"In a class by itself"3.5 starson by garyduke
Pros: Novel; powerful sond for the size; fun factor
Cons: Already mentioned in other reviews
Summary: There is an unmentioned fun factor to the PSS110. Some examples: place the unit somewhere inconspicuous and set a high-quality lion roar, police siren, or soundbyte from your favorite action movie to play at full volume with the alarm function. This would surely scare the pants of someone. Take it to the next little-league game and use it to play crazy sound effects each time your kid's team scores. Etc. Etc.
As for music, have a few albums' worth of tunes to take with you on an outdoor trip: Unlike the traditional one-CD boom box of yore it can play at least 3 and as many as 6 complete albums depending on your preferred encoding method and bit rate. And of course, unlike the traditional boom box, it is incredibly compact.
It won't win any awards for audio excellence, but those speakers push a *lot* of air for their size. I placed my finger lightly on the surprisingly cushy speaker membrane and-- Whoa!-- the speakers vibrate as powerfully as a force-feedback game controller or heavy duty power tool.
And as a previous review stated, it does act very well as an amplified speaker set for any audio device, including your PDA, PSX, laptop, portable TV or portable DVD player.
For the all-in-one convenience, novelty and fun factor, I think you do get what you pay for.Updated
The buttons have an incredible solid feel to them... something sadly missing from most of today's boom boxes with their often flimsy, featherweight controls. The unit itself also has a nice heft to it.
The only thing I would add to the unit is some sort of metal grill over the speaker membranes... I am scared that my 3 year old daughter wil try to color on the attractive shiny speakers
On a firmware note: The radio auto-tune function needs to be fixed. It does not work at all for me. In addition, the manual tune function will not let you hold down the up button to step quickly through frequencies-- you have to laboriously press up-up-up-up-up-up-up... literally hundreds of times through 0.1 mHz intervals to set your stations.Updated
In an effort to attach the PSS110 to my waist, I dug up my old CDProjects hip sack (for carrying a portable CD player and accessories). It works great!
I lie the pss110 down at the bottom of the sack, so that the speakers faces upward. I have to zip the whole thing up since it only has one zipper pull. *But* this is actually fine because the extra unfilled room in the hip sack acts like a large resonance chamber. After I zip it up, the unit has a nice mellow sound when at about 75% volume or more.
I used it today while taking my dog for a walk. It worked wonderfully. Conversations with others could still be had because the music was more bassy than trebly (due to the bag being zipped). With the case zipped up, people wondered where the big sound was coming from
I even use it in the car, so that a) I don't have to carry/burn CD's anymore just to take them with me, and when I turn the car off and walk, the tunes follow me in the hip sack.
I have a hunch the unit will be great playing audiobook material on the go as well.Updated
The supplied carry case is very nice and stylish. But I love to go for walks and short outtings with the PSS110 in a hip sack meant to hold a portable CD player (I use my old CDProjects SP-1 leatherette pouch). Worn around the waist, the room in the hip sack lets me lay the PSS110 at the bottom of the pouch with the speakers facing upward.
The unfilled space in the hip sack acts like a resonance chamber. Even when the hip sack is entirely zipped closed, there is a nice worm boom to the sound. And having conversations with others around me while the music plays is easy to do since the hip sack makes the PSS110 sound a little less trebly (thus easier to talk over).
It's even nice to take with in the car (still in the hip sack) because I don't have to carry around CD's or burn compilation CDs anymore... And when I turn off the car and walk away, the tunes follow me!
Lastly, is is pretty impressive sounding at full volume: Loud, offering more bass than expected (with the DBB digital bass boost engaged), and not much distortion.