Philips Fidelio DS9000 review

Premium iPod docking station and B&W Zeppelin rival?

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The Philips Fidelio DS9000 audiophile iPod dock is a class act through and through. Featuring a distinctive curvy design and 3.5mm audio output it's certainly high-tech but is it worth the £400 price tag?

Fidelio is the name of Beethoven’s only opera and is an apt name for this classy, cultured iPod dock from Philips. Much like an opera singer, the DS9000 is designed to project crystal-clear sound into the room, and to do so it boasts a wealth of interesting features and design concepts.

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That distinctive design isn’t just for show. The beautifully curved cabinet has been built using Veneer Lamination technology, which is normally reserved for high-end furniture. Multiple layers of lacquered ply wood have been glued together and bent into a curved shape, the stiffness of which helps reduce unwanted vibrations and gives the unit substantial build quality.

On the inside are high-quality drivers, a passive crossover that directs the different frequencies to the appropriate drivers and finely-tuned bass pipes. That’s the science, but on a purely superficial level It’s absolutely gorgeous – minimal and modern without looking excessively ‘techy.’ It will look great in any room, as any good Apple iPhone and iPod dock does.

Philips Fidelio DS9000 – Features

The DS9000’s PureDigital sound processing takes the digital signal directly from your Apple iPod or iPhone, unlike some other docks that take the analogue signal. You can, of course, control the iPod using the DS9000’s buttons and the supplied remote, but you can also download a free Fidelio+ app that lets you tweak the unit’s sound from your iPhone or iPod Touch. There are five EQ presets that can be selected according to the type of music you’re listening to.

Other funky features include a proximity sensor that makes the front controls light up when you approach, a built-in alarm and a 3.5mm audio input. Power output is quoted as 2 x 50W.

Philips Fidelio DS9000 – Performance

As much as we love all these cool features, the DS9000’s greatest asset is its incredible sound quality. We’re deep in audiophile territory here, with sumptuous sonic detail that exposes parts of your favourite iPod tracks you never knew were there, while rich, punchy bass brings the sort of depth and energy that really warms the cockles. That £400 price tag might seem like a lot, but with sound quality this good you won’t mind splashing out.

So there you have it. With the DS9000, Philips has unleashed an iPod dock that boasts the sort of performance, stylish looks and features to give similarly-priced B&W Zeppelin a run for its money, and that’s no mean feat.

The Philips Fidelio DS9000 is available now, find out more from Philips