Review Price £179.99
When the Philips DS7700 is paired with an iPod Touch or iPhone over Bluetooth, the free Fidelio iOS app can be used to control the dock remotely. Within this app, you can see the battery charge level and choose from between five equalisation settings - Flat, Pop, Rock, Jazz and Classic. You also have control over the DBB (Dynamic Bass Boost), and naturally any sound from your device, including games, is transferred over to the dock's speakers.
Under the speaker grille is a set of neodymium drivers, powered by a 14W RMS amplifier. This is slightly more power than the cheaper DS7600 or DS7550, but sound quality is in a similar league.
Still, that's not bad going. At low and medium volume, the Philips Fidelio excels, providing a rich and detailed sound that beats rivals like the Sony RDP-M15iP in terms of clarity, musicality and dynamism. The dynamic bass boost works its wonders well, providing the dock with a full sound even at low volume.
Unlike its bigger Fidelio brothers, the DS9 and DS9000, it will struggle to fill large rooms, and shows signs of struggle at high volume. That's pretty loud, mind. For civilized gatherings outside or inside, the DS7700 is a godsend.
It's something of an aberration in the Fidelio series though, which succeeds in our minds through executing its docks simply, with style and great sound quality across the board. While the design is good-looking here, the addition of the Bluetooth feature and rechargeable battery has hiked the price up into tricky territory. £180 is a lot to pay for an occasional-use dock and the D7700 doesn't quite have the scale of sound to use as your main living room music source.
We're not convinced that the dock really needs Bluetooth either, given that it has a 3.5mm aux input and shouldn't be bought by any non iOS device users. If Philips had slashed £40 off the price and yanked the Bluetooth, we'd be a lot happier.
As it stands, the DS7700 is 70 per cent more expensive than the DS7510 and - more crucially - Logitech's lauded 715i, available for £99.99, which offers an 8hr battery life and great sound quality. The Philips does have its advantages, including a more attractive design and increased portability, but for once the Fidelio range isn't quite looking like the best-value option around.
Once again, the Fidelio range has come up with a great-sounding, good-looking iPhone dock. With Bluetooth and a rechargeable battery on-board, this is also one of the most flexible products in the whole range. However, retailing for £180 and compromised sonically by its size, there are better-value options out there.
Scores In Detail
- Sound Quality