• Philips Fidelio Primo DS9
Our Verdict 
This is a well-built, easy to get on with dock that will serve most people well
Well built
nicely integrated sound
free app is useful
accepts iPads
Lacks the ultimate clarity of the best
bass loses control a little at very high volume
Reviewed on

This is the (slightly) smaller sibling of the Philips DS9000 we tested towards the end of 2010. The DS9 shares many family traits with its brother – and that’s almost without exception a good thing.

Power is down, at 2x25W compared with the 2x50W of the larger unit, but there’s still plenty of oomph in this attractive-looking unit.

The rest is pretty much the same, though. The Fidelio range is fully primed for all your iDevice needs – it will accept near enough any iPod (often even in a case) or iPad.

It's iPad compatibleIndeed, when you first plug an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad into the dock, the first thing it does is direct you to Philips’ free Fidelio app, which allows you access to such niceties as internet radio, alarms and a five-band graphic equalizer.

There’s a neat, pebble-like remote control that can access your iPod’s menus as well.

More after the break

The sonic signature of this dock is similar to its sibling’s as well. That means you get a nice, meaty sound, with plenty of bass, and a well-integrated midrange and treble.

You can turn the wick up good and loud without many worries – just a hint of flabbiness low down, perhaps. Overall, though, it’s a warm sound that should serve most well.

A slight lack of clarityIt’s only when you compare it with the best that a slight lack of ultimate clarity reveals itself. Its main rival, B&W’s Zeppelin Mini, may not have the bass oomph of the DS9, but in purely musical terms it wins out with precision, timing and clarity.

Still, in real world terms, and for most users, we think this Philips is a very impressive option for general listening.

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