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Phoneo Speaker System Review

Editor’s Choice: Best Treo & Centro Speaker System

Best Treo & Centro Speaker SystemA couple of companies such as Altec Lansing have previously released speaker systems specifically designed for the Treo and Centro but these were typically extremely expensive (in the $200 range) and always seemed to have too many limitations.

The new Phoneo Speaker System on the other hand is a powerful and extremely well designed sub-$100 all-in-one integrated Speaker + Cradle + Speakerphone unit that in my opinion finally delivers both an affordable and elegant (shiny black and silver) solution to really get your Centro or Treo to “groove”.

Phoneo Speaker System

The circular shaped Phoneo Speaker System (7 inches/17cm diameter) offers five very powerful speakers (two on each side and one in the centre) that can really boost the sound barrier of your smartphone when listening to music from Pocket Tunes all the while providing very clear playback with no distortion even at maximum level.  At full blast the speakers are in fact so loud that you could easily use Phoneo to power a great dance party.

Phoneo Treo & Centro Cradle

Phoneo is not just about great speakers though as it’s also a fully integrated Treo and Centro cradle that can be used to HotSync and charge your smartphone via the connector base (pictured below right).  The Phoneo kit conveniently includes a USB data cable that can be plugged into your PC to HotSync.  Although there is no dedicated sync button on the unit but you can easily HotSync by first pressing the dedicated “Data” button at the back of the unit and then launching the HotSync application on your smartphone (it’s not ideal but works perfectly fine).

 Phoneo Microphone Phoneo Cradle Connector

Additionally, the Phoneo also includes a separate microphone (above left) which you can place anywhere you want on your desk thanks to a 36 inches long cable – ideal to ensure that you can place it close to you so that your voice comes across loud and clear when using the handsfree speakerphone mode (note: you must obviously use the microphone to make and receive calls when your smartphone is in the cradle).

Phoneo Spearkerphone + Speakers + Cradle

Aside from the included USB data cable and standalone microphone, the full Phoneo Speaker System kit also gives you a gold plated 36 inches long audio cable (to connect your PC or another MP3 player via the Audio In port) and a wall charger.  All of the cables conveniently connect at the back of the unit (picture above) to ensure minimal cable mess.

Phoneo Speaker System - Side

The Phoneo unit provides front buttons for Charge, Volume Up/Down and Mute while the back has Power and Data (for HotSync connection).  Additionally, the bottom of the unit (below right) offers three large rubber pads to ensure scratch protection and adhesion on any surface.

 Phoneo Speaker System - Top Phoneo Speaker System - Bottom

Finally, although the Phoneo is clearly designed to be on your desk I have to admit that I now have a second unit on order because I want one by my bedside as well.  There are a couple of reasons for this splurging.  Firstly I like to fall asleep listening to some classical music (I use the sleep timer in the Advanced Preferences of Pocket Tunes).  Secondly I wake up every day listening to my favourite tunes thanks to the excellent mobileCLOCK alarm (see my review).  In both instances the loud and clear sound of the Phoneo speakers is exactly what I need by my side.

Overall, I believe that the Phoneo Speaker System offers terrific value.  The design is extremely appealing, the build quality excellent, the speakers ultra powerful, the speakerphone loud and clear while a built-in sync & charge cradle specifically designed for your smartphone and a complete accessory kit combine to make it not only one of my favourite accessories but also the Best Treo & Centro Speaker System that I have come across to date.

If the Phoneo Speaker System happens to be “too much” for your particular needs and all that you’re really looking for is a cradle then I would recommend the Palm Cradle Kit for Treo or the Cellet Cradle for Centro (see my review).

Separately, other accessories that you may want to have a look at include:

Additionally, I wanted to let you know that we’ve extended our Software Specials Offer and you can still save 20% on any titles in our Treo & Centro Software Store by using the coupon code BESTSELLERS. [Please note that this coupon is not valid for use in the Treo Accessories Store or Centro Accessories Store].

For more inspiration and to discover some of the top software titles for your Treo or Centro please visit the links below:

Treonauts and Centronauts are always grooving

Posted by Andrew on May 2, 2008 at 10:36 AM

Centro Accesories , Treo Accessories

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by Dan Nimtz | May 2, 2008 1:17:39 PM

Couldn't quite tell from the pictures, but I'm wondering whether a Centro would fit in this unit with a Palm Air case on? In other words, how much room is there around the connector area to allow a case to be on the Centro?

Thanks for reviewing this - looks pretty sweet!

by geauxvols | May 2, 2008 3:56:03 PM

Does this device also work with the Treo 680? If not, why not since it appears to have the same connector?

by Andrew | May 2, 2008 6:52:36 PM

Dan - yes, no problems at all using the Centro with your Palm Air Case as there's plenty of room around the connector.

geauxvols - yes, the Treo 680 is 100% compatible with the Phoneo Speaker System.

Cheers, A.

by Ronin | May 3, 2008 1:16:12 PM

Is this compatible with GSM? By that I mean, do the speakers buzz/crackle when the GSM signal is active on the phone. As I recall one of the primary complaints with the Altec Lansing system was that the speakers were not properly shielded for GSM phone and they would constantly buzz/crackle from the interference.

by Andrew | May 3, 2008 1:25:15 PM

Ronin - there is virtually no buzzing or crackling whatsover with a GSM signal and the Phoneo speakers. Thanks for pointing it out as I hadn't noticed before and this adds one more thing to like about the Phoneo.

Cheers, A.

by WIlliam | May 4, 2008 5:26:34 AM

When will you start shipping to Slovenia... we are an EU country!

by Drew | May 5, 2008 10:27:18 AM

When will this start shipping? I'd like to get one to take on my honeymoon in three weeks!

by Andrew | May 5, 2008 10:37:57 AM

Drew - unfortunately the entire Phoneo stock was sold out this weekend and we're trying to get more in store ASAP... I'm hoping that they will be back in by the end of this week (plenty in time for your honeymoon).

Cheers, A.

by William | May 5, 2008 6:07:11 PM

Ahem, and when can I expect to get one delivered to Slovenia? Let me know if you have problems finding it on the map.

by lmh | May 12, 2008 2:24:24 AM

am i right to say that if i dock my centro in... this unit will work like a speaker (and microfone) for my centro..

which means, any musis games or games or other apps i run?

by Martha | May 12, 2008 5:37:27 PM

Why isn't this compatible with the 755p? Is something coming that will be compatible?

by Dave | May 20, 2008 10:33:34 PM


I received my order from you guys yesterday and I can say that this thing has potential, except for one glaring issue - I have no sound from the center speaker. This results in hearing instrumentals for all of my music files, sans vocals. That's not exactly what I am looking for. Should I package this device back up and send it back, or is there some magic trick I am missing? Note: I disabled the equalizer on pTunes, so I know I am not filtering out any mid-range sounds.

by Dave | May 20, 2008 10:51:44 PM

I need to amend the above post - the center speaker works with a line in from another source, such as my laptop. The speaker also appears to be working fine using Kinoma Player, playing the same song as I tried from pTunes. Has anyone else had issues playing songs from pTunes on the Phoneo?

by Andrew | May 21, 2008 7:24:04 AM

Dave - I have had no problem whatsoever with the speakers using either pTunes or my laptop (as a line-in source)...

Cheers, A.

by garry | Jun 17, 2008 11:17:39 AM

can you tell me where to get a new adapter? i have a treo 750 and the plugin unit that the phone sits on has a broken power fitting.

by Sheriff Dave | Jun 25, 2008 10:33:55 PM

I was really excited to get the Phoneo Cradle to use on the desktop at work. The phone causes a serious echo to the caller when using the handsfree speaker and microphone. Is there a way to correct this problem? It is totally unusable as a speakerphone with this echo. The callers get really annoyed.

by Jesse | Jul 3, 2008 12:37:46 PM

I have a Palm Centro and a nice set of pc speakers.
Does the Phoneo Cradle allow me to connect to external pc speakers. If not, is there any other centro cradles that allow connection to external pc speakers?

by Hzz | Aug 6, 2008 7:43:17 PM

Could you tell us a little about the AC power pack? I'm in Australia & am very tempted to mail order one, but we run 240 volts over here. Adapting the plug into the wall socket wouldn't be a problem with a cheap travel adaptor, but does the adaptor have variable voltage in (like most laptop adaptors)? Most replacements I've seen over here with 12v 1A DC out are very expensive.

by Andrew | Aug 7, 2008 3:11:34 AM

Hzz - the power adapter of the Phoneo provides variable 120-240V voltage. The only thing that you'll need is a US to AU wall plug adapter which costs a few dollars and nothing more to use the Phoneo in Australia.

I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

by SLW | Sep 10, 2008 8:56:32 AM

I just purchased and I am trying to hook up. I keep getting a message that the phone won't sync with PC. It won't work with out this, any suggestions? No user guide or instructions were included.

by SLW | Sep 10, 2008 3:08:36 PM

OK, got 'er hooked up... But I am having same echo issue as Sheriff Dave. Was there a solution to this?

by vinay | Sep 18, 2008 6:14:13 AM

I have 750. Will the phoneo work?

by Andrew | Sep 18, 2008 8:09:39 AM

Vinay - yes, the Phoneo works with your Treo 750 and virtually all other Treo and Centro smartphones to the exception of the Treo 800w and Treo Pro.

I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

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