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Philips Fidelio DS9000/10 - Features: Stripped Down or Lacking?

By Hugo Jobling



  • Recommended by TR
Philips Fidelio  DS9000/10


Our Score:


Aside from the prominent dock, the DS9000's connectivity would most kindly be described as minimalist, comprising merely of a kettle lead power input and an aux-in around the system's rear. Not that we particularly lament the lack of a video-out connection. No member of the editorial team has ever felt particularly inclined to watch video from our iPods blown up on a 42in plasma TV.

We're not so sure the Philips logo prominently displayed up front, on the metal strip which serves as the DS9000's volume control, gives the same air of class as the B&W logo on the Zeppelin. However, the choice of orange LEDs we rather like for some reason.

Firmly in the category of stylish but fundamentally pointless is the proximity sensor that activates these LEDs when your hand is nearby, and turns them off when you move away. Necessary? Goodness, no. Cool? Goodness, yes.

The remote control is a particular highlight. This metal-backed peripheral doesn't just feel rather pleasant in the hand and feature the usual array of volume up and down, mute, and source switching buttons. No, it also has a 'menu' button and a d-pad surrounding an 'ok' button which, with a compatible iPod (not iPhones or iPod touches alas) lets you navigate the device from afar.

If your iPod touch or iPhone is feeling left out there, then Philips' Fidelio app might assuage it a little. You will want to install this, if for no other reason than to stop your device nagging you to do so every single time you connect it to the DS9000. It doesn't offer much, but there's an alarm clock that will play either sound effects (birds tweeting, waves, church bells… you get the idea) or, alternatively, your choice of music to wake you of a morning.


July 19, 2010, 2:29 pm

Thanks for the review.

I would have to disagree with your point about the price difference - I think that anyone who is in the market for a £360 device would also be in the same market for the £400 Zepplin.


July 19, 2010, 3:05 pm

Looks like a nice package, but assuming the audio is on a par with the B&W, it still lacks the overall presence and WOW factor of the Zeppelin. The limited connectivity would be a deal breaker for me - I like my Zeppelin's optical input et al.

Given that I managed to get my Zep in Heathrow HMV at duty free prices minus 15% (last in stock was the demo model yet still pristine), I'll stick with what I've got!


July 19, 2010, 3:07 pm

Any word on the build quality? The Zeppelin could be used as a club to fight off a horde of zombies, whereas I've found Philips have tended towards the plasticky end of things at times. Looks are also a factor here: the Zeppelin is much more of a love/hate it device, but there is also the Mini Zeppelin too. Still, it's good to have a choice at this level of the market and I'll certainly give the Philips an audition.


July 19, 2010, 3:46 pm

The gap in the centre gives you a good hand hold for wielding it as a weapon, so it has the advantage over the Zeppelin there. I would feel perfectly confident fending of hordes of zombies.

Tim Sutton

July 19, 2010, 5:04 pm


Whats the verdict on sound quality from non-iZombie players? Does the DSP over-ride still apply?


July 19, 2010, 5:53 pm

You're relying on your player's DAC over the aux input. Sounded pretty good to me, still, though.


July 19, 2010, 5:55 pm

@Tim: Does the DSP over-ride still apply?

I wondered about that, one thing that I don't get about the IPhone/Zep is why things like Spotify/LastFm can't go via the DSP, and it has to resort to Analog mode anyway.


July 19, 2010, 7:45 pm

It's just a matter of Apple implementing a protocol for passing audio streams across the dock connector. But while it's not great, the DAC in an iPod/iPhone isn't so bad that Spotify/Last.fm streams will sound noticeably improved through a better one so it's not likely to happen any time soon.

Tony Walker

July 21, 2010, 9:29 pm


You're probably too young to remember a proper kettle lead but they have three holes in them, one being for earth. The one that this unit takes is just a "figure-of-eight" power lead.


July 26, 2010, 6:12 pm

It was just a typo, not an error (I'm not that ignorant!); but you're right, I've never actually used a kettle with a plug-in lead. Hurrah for Nespresso machines.

Tim Revis

December 30, 2010, 2:59 am

I have just purchased the Ds9000 and would like to add apart from its stunning sound it can also work with Ipad and charge it too.

And the best bit is I picked it up for £299 . A amazing product that oozes quality from its sleek design and solid construction to its classy metal remote.


June 11, 2014, 3:29 pm

Don't bother with this speaker. The connection for the ipod is awkward and its got no bluetooth connection or Airplay. The software that you can download causes conflict with the ipods own music player(s). Already its old fashioned. BOOOOOOOOOOO to this speaker

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