With a bazillion or so iPod docks, mini systems and other Apple swag already on the market, making an iPod dock that’ll deliver the audio goods and get the punters excited can be bit of a big task. Philips seems to have achieved precisely this with the DS9000 Fidelio (even if its model name sounds like an act between two consenting adults).
Design-wise, the DS9000 is a real people-pleasing bit of a gear. Sporting big curvy lines, it looks more like a high-tech zeppelin than a traditional speaker. It’s an odd look that may not be everyone’s cup-of-tea but then again it definitely isn’t your typical run of the mill vanilla iPod dock widget either.
Out of the box there is no denying that the DS9000 is a pretty chunky bit of kit. Measuring 562 x 214 x 216mm and weighing in at 6.5kg, the DS9000 couldn’t be accused of being a wilting violet, and felt reassuringly solid out of the box.
In an age when there isn’t much left that you can’t plug your iPod into, the connectivity options on the DS9000 seem somewhat sparse yet functional. Apart from the now ubiquitous iPod/iPhone connector on its front, the DS9000 also has a 3.5mm aux input for hooking up a different MP3 player or laptop.
If bass is your thing, than you’re going to love the DS9000. With two 4-inch woofers deep within its innards, the DS9000 belts out an obscene amount of bass. If oodles, the DS9000’s ability to deliver surprisingly tightly controlled low-end will. Where most iPod docks struggle to reproduce fatiguing chipmunk punk style treble and mids, the DS9000 delivered audio I felt at a gut level.
Where the DS9000 really shone was in its deliver of acoustic audio. Guitars had real presence and you could almost feel Ian Dury breathing on his sweat-stained microphone. Electronica, however, felt a little flat, which I remedied using my iPod’s EQ presets.
Another surprising win for the Fidelio was its ability to shine when used as an alarm clock in my bedroom. Waking up to AC/DC’s Thunderstruck at volume is a great way to get one’s adrenaline flowing.
With the amount of sub-standard iPod docks, available, you’d be forgiven for thinking Philips had produced yet another Tupperware wonder to add to the pile, yet with the DS9000 it’s really come up with the goods. The Ds9000 is a quirky looking, yet solidly constructed beast that manages to dish out some pretty decent audio.