Philips Fidelio docking products have always been focused on outright sound quality, pure and simple. By combining the company’s acclaimed SoundSphere technology with Apple’s Airplay System the Philips Fidelio SoundSphere - DS9800 - will create a new category of dock, offering outstanding levels of convenience and true audiophile performance to deliver a unique hi-fi experience.
The DS9800 features a pair of newly designed, rounded SoundSphere speakers – with one speaker that includes the Wi-Fi receiver and a high-quality, 100W RMS stereo digital amplifier. It also has an accompanying dock that supports and charges an iPod or iPad while they wirelessly connect to the speakers via Airplay(1)
Alternatively, audio products can be connected to the Fidelio using a line-in.
Sound by Design
A key element to the purity of the DS9800’s performance is the design of the SoundSphere speakers, which are the result of a seven year research programme by the Philips audio experts at the Innovation Lab in Leuven.
The focus of the research was to produce a speaker that was accurate and uncoloured, free from the ‘shut-in’ sound of conventional box speakers and capable of delivering a wider dispersion.
A key element of the design has been the physical separation of the drivers by mounting the 25mm, soft dome tweeters in their own thick, single piece, aluminium enclosure supported in free space by a rigid, sonically inert, arm.
This solution ‘frees’ the tweeters from any interaction – vibrations or standing waves – with the bass/mid range driver in the main cabinet and also limits refraction caused by sound waves reaching the edge of a box or baffle edge.
A new round design for the speaker cabinet is made from bonding multiple pieces of wood into a very stiff enclosure hand finished in black with seven layers of lacquer. The round shape also helps to reduce the influence of standing waves on the bass/mid driver.
Each tweeter is positioned above a 5” woofer which has been angled slightly forwards to ensure good sound projection, while a careful positioning of the axis of the two drivers ensures perfect time alignment guaranteeing that all reproduced sound reaches the listener at the same time.
The simple but high-quality audio crossover has been re-engineered to optimise performance for the new round design and for each driver to guarantee exceptional coherence.
Sound by Air
The adoption of Apple’s Airplay technology allows the Philips Fidelio SoundSphere docking speaker system to seamlessly play music over a home Wi-Fi network from iTunes on any Airplay enabled computer, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
With AirPlay, all of a music collection can be played back in superb quality thanks to the ability to transfer uncompressed audio from the source to the Philips Fidelio SoundSphere without the need to plugging in any cables or even dock a device.
Philips has also developed a special Fidelio App that can be downloaded from the Apple App store and allows an Apple device to control and fine tune the sound performance of the dock.
The Philips DS9800 Fidelio SoundSphere will be available from John Lewis stores nationwide from early July with an estimated selling price of £699
(1) AirPlay requires iTunes 10.1 or later and iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 4.2 or later.