These days just about everyone has a phone that can playback music. Be it an iPhone, Android or any kind of feature phone, you can pretty much store and playback and even stream music on just about any phone out there.
Surprisingly, while there are plenty of available options for sound docking stations for the iPhone and iPod, Android speaker docks are few and far between. Enter the Universal Speaker Dock fro Android from Digital Innovations.
As you might expect, it looks and works as most universal docks do. The only difference is that there isn't a set part in the stand for docking. Instead, you pull out a headphone cable and a micro USB cable and plug them into the appropriate areas of the phone. From there you turn the dock on and hit play on your phone. Music or any other sound will start playing instantly.
While the above may not sound that impressive, the folks at Digital Innovations took it one step further and created a free app for Android called SONR that lets you use an included wireless remote to control volume, skip, play and pause.
For my test I used an HTC EVO 4G. I downloaded Pandora and started playing. I then plugged in the Universal Speaker Dock and then plugged in the micro USB cable to the bottom of the EVO and the headphone cable into the headphone jack. Immediately, my EVO began charging and the sound started streaming through the dock. Next, I downloaded the SONR app, selected Pandora as the music player, and then was able to raise the volume, play and pause, and even skip to the next track, all from the remote. The experience was solid and the only thing I would change is that I would add retractable cords, since I found myself trying to stuff the cords away to give it a streamlined look (see the picture below).
Again, if you have an iPhone or iPod dock, this may not sound like a huge feature set, but if you have an Android phone, this is heaven.
As for the Universal Dock, the sound quality is solid and I was able to crank it all the way up with little distortion.
If you have an Android phone and have been dying for a way to use it as a player in a dock, take a look at the Universal Speaker Dock for Android. Given the scarcity of speaker docks for Android, the $100 price is worth the experience.
UPDATE: Matt also reviewed the Universal Speaker Dock and shot a video of it in action. In his review he also tested it with an iPhone, Nexus, and HTC Radar, with the iPhone coming away with the best sound.