Philips Fidelio DS9010 & DS9 docks hands-on

Back in 2010, Philips took on the market leader in high end iPod docks, that is the B&W Zeppelin, and did so darn well with the Philips Fidelio DS9000 that the Dutch company has decided to do it again. 2011 sees the introduction of the brushed, anodised aluminium frame DS9010 and the marginally more junior wooden backed DS9. Naturally, it didn't take much to get us down for a hands-on session with the pair.

Let's get to the meat of it first. Both sound good and look great. As for the genuine audio credentials, we won't really know until it's time for a full review but we can say with a certainty that their physical design isn't going to get dull.

The DS9010 is more or less identical to the DS9000 save the finish and, thankfully, the metallic exterior adds no nasty resonance to what was already a tested performance. With the same pair of 4-inch woofers and 1-inch tweeters as its sister product, as well as the same £399 price tag, one can expect a reliably good ride.

As for the Philips Fidelio DS9, the first thing you'll notice is that it bends the other way. Whereas the DS9000 and 9010 are concave, the face of this £299 device is convex but the really clever part is at the rear where the bass ports are lined up perfectly behind the drivers to help maximise the depth of sound depsite the smaller size of the cabinet.

This time, what you get is a pair of 3.5-inch woofers with 19mm tweeters but the sounds is equally rich on brief inspection thanks to the same attention to detail and components.

On first look, a dock enthusiast or anyone looking for a more natural feel to their home audio, would have to be excited. Whether they should be champing at the bit to get one remains to be seen. Both are on the shelves and available to buy now.