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Philips Fidelio DS3000 - Philips Fidelio DS3000

By Hugo Jobling

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

The dock connector on the DS3000 is worthy of praise, too. The spring mechanism means that there are no rubbish interchangeable dock inserts to mess about with; instead you just slot your iPod on top of the dock and it will hold it securely in place. We had a little trouble getting a current-generation iPod touch to slot in, but that seemed to be a by product of the design of the dock connector on the iPod rather than the DS3000.

The most annoying thing about the DS3000 is that it will prompt you to install the Philips Fidelio+ iPhone app every time you connect one (or an iPod touch). Although this application is free, it doesn't really offer anything worth the effort of installing it - which you will, if only to avoid the nagging. This offers an alarm with either a few sound effects or selected music from your library and pretty much nothing else.

The 8W power rating of the DS3000 proves deceptive, as even at low volumes (we're talking under a quarter on an iPod touch scale) the output has a good deal of punch and vigour to it. Turned up all the way, the output gets pretty distorted, as the small drivers can't really cope with such loudness, but the DS3000 maintains its poise even at volume levels that might have your neighbours demanding you turn down the racket.

Importantly, the output is able to be this loud at the expense of quality. Unsurprisingly we're not talking Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin, or even DS9000, levels of fidelity here, but for £52 it's better than we expected. The punchiness of the output definitely works best with certain genres of music.

Music from the likes of The Veronicas work well, with a real sense of energy. There's enough detail to reproduce the more technical works of Biffy Clyro well, too, with background tones merging well with vocals and lead instrumentation to develop a wider and more involving soundstage than we expected of such a small speaker dock.

It’s not a flawless bill of health, though. Put on something a little less heavy, say the Shins or the Beta Band and you aren't going to be blown away by the detail, clarity or poise on display - because there isn’t as much as we want. But then, we're talking relative to speaker systems costing several times the money the DS3000 does, so it's not so much a criticism as an observation.

As a fairer benchmark, we can safely say that the DS3000 sounds tangibly better than the almost four times more expensive Sony RDP-X80iP. For the money, the DS3000 really is an excellent sounding iPod speaker dock.

Verdict

It might not have the size or distinctive looks of the larger, more expensive DS9000, but what the DS3000 lacks in presence it makes up for in value. It offers excellent sound quality for its asking price, has a neat docking mechanism and can even be battery-powered, and we can't ask for more than that.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Value 8
  • Sound Quality 8

wibblemaster

October 30, 2010, 3:40 pm

I've had one of these little gems now for 6 months... taken it camping, abroad on holiday. It's a very robust dock and the 8 hour battery life is well underestimated, one set lasted me 5 days playing it for 4+ hours a day... admittedly on lowish volumes to prevent neighbouring poolside sun worshippers complaining.


The sound quality is quite astonishing for such a compact system as mentioned already. However, I personally think that the app IS worth installing, as it allows easy access to the the equalizer plus a dynamic bass boost (loudness) for low to medium sound settings, as well as a nice easy to access alarm clock. It makes a perfect bedside clock radio as well as an overnight ipod/iphone charger.


Bargain!

Kerwood

October 30, 2010, 4:36 pm

I have discovered Philips' range of iPod/Phone/Touch players in a shop recently, and like you I was surprised by the good quality of the sound.


Like you, my first reaction was one of irritation at the prompt asking me to load an App.


However, I think though that holding this against Philips is quite unfair.





If it feels irritating when you just try it, it has to be realised that if you would own it, you would appreciate that it brings you something that the iPod/Phone/Touch does not bring you by default: the possibility to wake up to your own music.


Considering the size of their speaker pods, Philips has made them bedroom friendly, hence maybe the "soft" colour scheme and subdued grey.


One has to read through form and function...

Keithe6e

October 31, 2010, 3:25 am

Maybe missed it in the review, but does this charge your IPod/Iphone too?

wibblemaster

October 31, 2010, 2:28 pm

yep, but only when on mains... on battery it does not.

james1000

October 31, 2010, 5:52 pm

Are you sure it comes in black also? I cannot find it anywhere...

wibblemaster

November 1, 2010, 4:22 am

Mine is black...

gonzorv

November 5, 2010, 6:38 pm

Comet have one listed with a black unit pictured. Although note it doesn't explicitly state its black. If it does turn up grey I'm sure you could return it based on an incorrect picture.


http://www.comet.co.uk/shopcom...





Note, Quidco offer 3% cashback but also currently have a 10% voucher code for iPod speakers ("SPEAKER10" valid until 07/10/10) bringing the price to £49.49. Free delivery available too!





I just ordered myself one.





p.s. I do not work for Comet, just think its a pretty good deal. Hopefully james1000 sees this before the code expires.

gdawg304

November 11, 2010, 4:37 pm

Argos is now selling this for £49.99 on special offer...sounds like I might have to pop down there and take a look!

Miguel101

September 23, 2013, 4:03 am

I plug in my aux cable but nothing play do I have to press a source button or something?

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