Android Tablet Speaker Review: iLuv The ArtStation Pro Hi-Fi Speaker Dock for Samsung Galaxy Tab Review
Editor's Rating (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: Holds the tablet while playing audio, power through for charging the tablet, great audio for pop music, movies and games.
What's Not: Sounds a little muddy playing classical.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
iLuv has made ton of speaker systems for Apple products, and now they are making audio systems for Android devices as well. The ArtStation Pro Hi-Fi Speaker Dock from iLuv is designed to work with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the new Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Android tablets, playing audio while holding the tablet in its built-in stand. The ArtStation Pro has a big sound and very balanced audio, and it works great for watching movies, playing games and of course playing music. The speaker also has an additional Aux-in option to work with any device with a 3.5mm audio out jack.
The ArtStation Pro from iLuv has a very unique design. The base of the dock looks similar to other speaker system in a rectangular shape in a modern, clean look. The front and side black mesh hides two speakers and the back of the speakers has a plastic cover. The top of the speaker box has shiny plastic that looks good in your living room or your desk, and the chrome colored bottom rim matches the tablet stand on the back. The speaker box (without the extended arm stand) measures 11.8 x 5.78 x 4.45 inches.
Unlike most speakers on the market, The ArtStation Pro lifts the Samsung Galaxy Tab way above the speakers with a sturdy stand that offers a 30-pin connector dock for the tablet. To stabilize the tablet sitting in the dock, The ArtStation Pro comes with a semi translucent plastic arm that clips into the top of the stand and holds the Galaxy Tab in place. The arm is designed to work with the 10.1" Galaxy Tab tablet, but the package comes with two rubber pads to reach the smaller Galaxy Tab 8.9 and hold it securely in the stand as well.
The ArtStation Pro from iLuv has essential controls on top of the speaker box. These round push buttons include power on/off, play/pause, forward back and volume buttons. For those who'd rather use a remote control, The ArtStation Pro comes with a small but comfortable remote. It replicates the control buttons on the speaker itself, and most intriguingly, you can store it on the back of the speaker via magnets. Very cool design if you tend to misplace their remote controls. The back of the speaker also has a power pin port that works with the world AC adapter (100-240V), a 3.5mm aux-in jack that works with any device with audio out capability (no cable included though) and a mini USB port.
Another very cool design on The ArtStation Pro is that the built-in stand not only can hold up the Galaxy Tab in landscape mode but also in portrait mode. The arm that holds the tablet clips onto a joint that can rotate in two directions, and it also has room to tilt the arm in more viewing angles, roughly 45-90 degrees. Thanks to the flexibility of this design, you can position the speaker in different height in both orientations, just tilt the tablet to adjust viewing angles.
The ArtStation Pro Hi-Fi Speaker Dock for Samsung Galax Tab has loud speakers. It has iLuv's own jAura Sound technology that tweaks the audio on the speaker. In general, the audio sounds very balanced. There isn't any single type of track overpowering others, and in pop music tracks and movies, voice/treble sounds really clear and full. Bass is noticeable but not overwhelmingly strong. If you enjoy songs with many instrument tracks, The ArtStation Pro will please you because it has good clarity at presenting each piece, in both electric and acoustic camps. The only genre that's noticeably muddy is Classical tracks. Heavy string centric pieces from Mozart, for example, sounds a little flat and doesn't sound very clear.
The volume on this relatively small speaker system is amazingly loud. The amp and drivers seem to be very powerful and tweaked to work together well. Its volume range worked with all devices we tested in providing high volume and penetrating sound. The system has a nice set up where the speakers don't sound blown out or buzzing at very high volume.
The iLuv ArtStation Pro for the Galaxy Tab is an excellent speaker system for playing movies, music and games where you need big sound. The speaker dock has a very sturdy stand and a steady arm to hold the large tablet in place, and thanks to the 30-pin connector dock, it charges your tablet while playing media content. The stand is flexible and works in either orientation in many viewing angles. We like the audio quality of the jAura Sound speakers that have powerful yet very balanced audio. The speakers sound clear while playing movies, games and music in most genre; the only thing it falters is playing classical music pieces. It works with Galaxy Tab 8.9 as well as the two 10.1 models.