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Philips Fidelio DS9000 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £361
inc VAT

Not quite as beautiful as the B&W Zeppelin, but audio quality is on a par. The only niggle is the lack of a bass control to tame the low frequencies.

Philips’ new Fidelio DS9000 is a high-end iPod dock, and you’re left in no doubt where your money went when you struggle to lift it out of the box. Not only does it weigh a reassuring 6.5kg, but it’s also curved and smooth, so there’s not much to get hold of.

Unlike your average speaker system, the Fidelio isn’t made out of plastic. Instead, it’s constructed using ‘veneer lamination’ whereby layers of lacquered ply wood are formed into the seamless curved shape. Philips says this eliminates unwanted vibrations and leads to better acoustics. It’s only a shame that you don’t get to see it, as the black cloth grille covers the entire front.

Behind this grille are a pair of 4in woofers and another pair of 1in tweeters. They have an impressive combined RMS power rating of 100W: enough to easily fill the largest living rooms or bedrooms. Each woofer and tweeter pairing has its own separate 3.4l chamber, and has a port to increase bass.

Philips Fidelio

It’s hard not to draw comparisons with B&W’s Zeppelin since both docks are a similar price and size, and both claim to produce studio-quality sound. The DS9000 lacks the Zeppelin’s video outputs, and there’s no way to update the firmware. The only connector, beyond the power socket, is a minijack input.

However, the main reason to buy a dock such as this is to play music from your iPod and there’s a spring-loaded connector in the centre which will accept virtually all iPods and all iPhones without an adaptor. iPhones and iPod Touches fit particularly well, although we had to remove all cases before the connector would seat properly.

The Fidelio uses the player’s digital connection to play music, and uses its own digital-to-analogue convertor. While it was hard to tell the difference compared to using the iPod’s headphone output plugged into the DS9000’s auxiliary input, audio quality was extremely good.

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Rating ****
Speaker configuration 2.0
RMS power output 100W
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption on 10W
Analogue inputs 3.5mm stereo
Digital inputs N/A
Dock connector iPod
Headphone output N/A
Satellite cable lengths N/A
Cable type N/A
Controls located remote control
Digital processing Pure Digital
Tone controls none
Price £361

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