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Philips ShoqBox review.


The Philips PSS110 ShoqBox. The marketing blurb says that this product is a ‘uniquely portable, miniature solid-state audio player delivers superb sound and powerful bass performance from its built-in speakers, meeting the need of today’s consumers who want to listen to music at home and on the road’. And who are we to argue? Well we’re the Ferret for one thing, so we’ll have a go in this short review.

Click on thumbnails for larger image

First Impressions.
 First impressions are good. Shipped in a nice hefty box, the first surprise is that the device is really quite small, but with a big design feel. There’s a weight to it that you don’t expect from modern white plastic music players, and the finish and controls all indicate the Philips pedigree. The box contains all the usual things you’d expect from a music player – USB and Line In cables, MusicMatch software, power adapter/charger, but as so often nowadays, no paper manual which is a shame.


In Use.
 The first little quibble is the power on button, which for some strange reason is incorporated into the Play/Pause button. Long depress, player on. Long depress, player off. Get the picture? It’s fiddly. Cost savings are one thing, but maybe in this case unnecessary? However, once switched on, the interface is reassuringly simple. Menus which work, easy up and down buttons for navigation and a pleasant ‘no hassle’ system for auto-tuning the built-in FM radio. But why oh why only an external wire aerial? Without it the radio won’t work, and surely a portable device needs as few external distractions as possible?

The sound is not bad actually. A little bit better than a cheap plastic pocket radio, but a lot worse than a decent desk radio. The problem with offering in-built speakers on a small MP3 player is that people expect headphone type quality, and there’s no way that speakers this small can compete. It’s a design flaw which probably should have killed the product on the drawing board.

Another unfortunate annoyance is the fact that you have to install the music player software in order to transfer the music tracks across to the player. Oh you can transfer the tracks themselves, since your Windows XP PC will see the ShoqBox as an external drive, which is Good! But copy and paste the tracks across and the internal software fails to pick them up, so they don’t register on the player and you can’t play them. Which is Bad. Bad. Bad.


Nice idea folks. Hampered by the limitations of technology, imagination and physics. The speaker sound quality is sadly unimpressive, the track transfer is archaic and the product adds nothing to the world that a good MP3 player and a set of external speakers can’t fix. Shame, because it’s ever so nicely white, too, and probably quite useful for the headphone haters amongst us.


  • 256MB on-board memory (non-expandable)
  • MP3, WMA and FM
  • Up to 8 hours of music storage
  • XSL sound
  • FM radio and alarm clock
  • 10 hours play time from rechargeable battery 
  • Travel case

£90.00 from and high street retailers.

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