Features and Operation

By Danny Phillips



Our Score:


The SoundSphere design is a key feature of these speakers, and was born of a desire to deliver an ‘uncoloured and accurate’ sound with wider dispersion than conventional box speakers.

Philips Fidelio SoundSphere DS9800W

To achieve this, Philips has mounted the 25mm tweeter in its own thick aluminium enclosure, held above the 5in mid-bass driver by a rigid arm. Philips says this frees the tweeter from interaction with the mid-bass driver and ‘limits refraction caused by sound waves reaching the edge of a box or baffle edge’.

The odd forward-leaning design helps to aid projection while the tweeter and mid-bass driver are positioned to ensure that sounds are ‘time aligned’, reaching your ears at the same time.

Philips Fidelio SoundSphere DS9800W

Elsewhere AirPlay is the highlight, but FullSound technology restores detail and depth to compressed music and there’s also a free Fidelio app that affords you greater control over the DS9800W’s sonic performance, offering a five-band equaliser (with various presets), plus alarms, playback modes and a clock.

Installing the speakers is simple enough – simply connect the two speakers’ binding posts with the supplied (and pleasingly thick) cable, position as necessary and plug in the power lead. It’s only when you begin network setup that things start getting more complicated.

This is not the sort of system where you can throw away the manual and configure on instinct alone. The esoteric nature of the speakers and lack of display panel means you have to rely on flashing lights, buttons and the browser on your PC or Apple device to get it to talk to your home network.

Philips Fidelio SoundSphere DS9800W

Unfortunately this isn’t an easy process. You hold down the ‘Wi-Fi Setup’ button for five seconds and the DS9800W creates a temporary network connection in your list of available routers. Connect to it, and visit the DS9800W’s setup page by entering its IP address into your browser. Here, you’ll find a drop-down menu containing all available routers. Select yours, and the Philips is supposed to start talking to your network within two minutes.

Sadly it refused to connect properly – all we got was a flashing green light on the back of the unit indicating that it hadn’t worked and no confirmation beep. We tried several times to no avail. Thankfully we were still able to check out the Airplay performance using the temporary Fidelio network connection and had no trouble streaming audio from our laptop, although we couldn’t use the internet.

The system comes with a chic and dinky remote, sporting just a few buttons to control iPod playback, input selection, mute and power. It’s very well made and sits comfortably in the palm of your hand.


March 21, 2012, 12:12 pm

for me they would be perfect if both acted independently without any interconnection between them.


June 29, 2012, 12:41 am

Just purchased these and I was sceptical on the network setup, but I was done in 2 minutes. Press button on router, press button on speaker, done. (Latest firmware was installed from the box)


February 2, 2013, 6:53 pm

This product is a lemon. My first set failed in under 6 months - a blinking red light - common problem if you see Phillips website. They promptly replaced them for me, but the second speaker set now failed. Very frustrating, poor quality product.

Prakorn Pm

May 26, 2013, 3:26 pm

For me it works perfectly, I can set up in a few minutes and enjoy the fantastic quality of music.


January 19, 2014, 6:27 am

I have had continuing connection problems with these speakers including the "red blinking light" problem referred to widely in forum discussions. And in this condition you cannot even connect directly to the speakers to use them. So at present they are very expensive paperweights

Eduardo Marquez

August 16, 2014, 1:39 pm

BEWARE with this product. I bought them based on Trusted Reviews stellar review, only to have them die on me with the dreaded red blinking light of death. There is no solution, except to send them back to philips. Not even the audio-in jack works. They are DEAD. Look online for the "red blinking light" regarding these speakers and inform yourself before you put 700 Euros down.


December 16, 2015, 7:34 pm

I think the Trustedreviews search engine may need some work
I managed to find this review via Google but no combination of the review title words would persuade the website to return it to me

btw I purchased these on the basis of this review and I also had the blinking light issue - speakers were returned and have been working ever since and sound amazing

Ronald Den Dekker

February 3, 2017, 7:08 pm

Just got myself a set of these speakers for a very low price. But... I got the red light blinking too ;-) The Line-in connection neither works. I was surprised too that I can't use the direct connection either.

Did you find a solution to make it work again? Can I by-pass the build in amplifier and use the speakers as a passive set connect to a normal amplifier?

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