Philips Fidelio SoundCurve DS8800W review

One of the better AirPlay speakers we've tested Tested at £350

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A good sound from a versatile system


  • +


  • +

    expressive sound

  • +

    good bass control


  • -

    Sound could be fuller

  • -

    complicated set-up

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Philips has a number of iPod speakers carrying the Fidelio tag, but this is the first dockless AirPlay unit we’ve reviewed.

Taking the standard 30-pin iPod connector out of the equation hasn’t dramatically changed the speaker’s appearance form the rest of the dock-toting Fidelio range.

The curved, rounded off chassis certainly looks the part, while the letter-box-like opening spruces up the speaker’s appearance, extending all the way back where it turns into the desktop stand.

Power and volume buttons are part of the plastic strip on front of the unit, but they feel a little vague in operation.

Clear, expressive sound

Thankfully, there’s a palm-friendly remote included as standard. On the back of the unit is a 3.5mm auxiliary socket and a USB input. The latter allows you to charge your Apple device.

The speaker fires outwards and upwards thanks to the slightest of tilts, but this positioning has no real impact on what is a very clear and expressive sound. Kings Of Leon’s Sex On Fire blasts out at a fair clip, but there’s still control and precision to be found in the presentation.

Donning our critical hat, we’d like a little more padding to offset the Philips’ leaner slant on music but overall this AirPlay speaker puts in a good shift.

See all our dock system Best Buys

Follow on Twitter

Join on Facebook

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test