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Preview: Philips latest high-end dock speaker systems

We take a listen to Philips' latest separate and dock speaker systems.

Philips has launched two new Fidelio iPad docks (which can, of course, also be used to dock an iPod or iPhone instead of the larger tablet). Audio quality is the priority here and the docks don’t come cheap.

The DS9010 is a hefty dock with a an RRP of £399 and brushed aluminium chassis that’s specially curved to minimise internal resonance which could interfere with the dock’s sound. It also has a pair of 4in bass ports and balanced armature tweeters, and a passive crossover to send only relevant frequencies to each.

Philips Fidelio DS9010

The sound is undeniably bass-heavy, even without Philips’ Dynamic Bass Boost enabled. This feature, as well as alarms, playlists and EQ settings, can be controlled via an iOS app for compatible devices. The dock takes the digital output directly from your device and runs it through its own PureDigital digital-to-analogue converter (DAC), but although the sound quality is clear, bass tones tended to overwhelm more delicate treble sounds.

Philips Fidelio DS9

We actually preferred the audio quality of the £299 DS9 dock. It looks like a smaller, flatter-faced version of the DS9010, and it shares many of its features, including the PureDigital DAC. It uses traditional dome tweeters, rather than the balanced armature type found in the DS9010 and its woofers measure 3 1/2in. We were pleased with its flat, even and well balanced sound, with a bass that was resonant without dominating other frequencies.

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