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.