Reviewed: Philips Fidelio docking speaker

31 May 2010

Because we’re all obsessed with staying connected, plus our phones service as alarm clocks and MP3s too, every smartphone owner plonks their handset on the bedside table.

The problem with this is that you’re simply not getting the best out of your phone. It lies there looking sad and flat. I mostly use my iPhone over an actual radio (courtesy of the WunderRadio app) because it’s easier to stream stations from the same device that you use for listening to music and podcasts so I wouldn’t mind having a home for it at night.

The Philips Fidelio DS1100 docking speaker has the perfect bedside manner: it powers up your iPhone or iPod touch (plus has an extra connection to power other devices by USB cable at the same time) and the circular base displays time that syncs automatically with clock settings on your iPhone or iPod.

The base has three light settings – time display only, or two variants of a softly glowing night light but obviously what many people want from a docking speaker is quality sound and the trick is in the speaker structure.

Because the base of the Fidelio is circular, you’re getting 360-degree sound experience (omni-directional to be technically correct) from your iPhone/iPod and this makes a nice change as you’re listening to the radio or what have you. The sound is deeper, heavier and travels further. At first I didn’t think it was as clear as the sound coming directly from in-ear headphones and this is true to an extent in terms of being used to listening to the spoken word within headphones, but if you’re playing some background music or throwing on tunes for a party then this little base is quality for its size and price.

If you travel a lot, you’ll really appreciate the Philips Fidelio: it’s pretty lightweight and therefore no burden to throw in with your luggage and, as already mentioned, it works as a charging dock for an iPhone/iPod plus one other USB device.

Price: Available exclusively through O2 Stores nationwide, supplied by CTC, and retails at €89.

Photo: The Philips Fidelio DS1100 docking speaker

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