In the days of the original iPhone, there was a simple choice to be made when buying a new smartphone - would you buy an iPhone or would you buy a model made by the competition, say an HTC or a Samsung device?
There are many exciting accessories for the iPod, but one that’s likely to gain quite a few fans is the Philips Fidelio Primo DS9000 audio docking system.
If you’ve been looking for an external sound system for your iPod, then you will find it difficult to get past the Philips offering, despite its chunky looks. The Fidelio also accepts an iPhone, iPad as well as the iPod, with or without case.
The Fidelio Primo won’t win too many design awards on the basis of looks, but after all, it’s the sound performance that’s important, right? The cabinet is 562 mm wide and 214 mm tall, with a depth of 216 mm, but it needs these generous proportions to encase the twin 4-inch woofers and twin 1-inch tweeters. At 6.5 kg the Fidelio is no lightweight, either.
The curved shape of the cabinet has been designed to minimise internal resonance to produce a more natural sound quality and includes specially designed bass enclosures for each of the twin woofers to enhance the bass response.
In terms of sound quality, the Fidelio performs best with acoustic tracks, delivering an amazing clarity at the higher end of the audio spectrum, while at the same time pushing out a sizeable quantity of bass, without any signs of distortion or fuzziness.
However, if your tastes run more to heavy metal or good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll then the sound could disappoint a bit. At high volumes, the bass tends to sound a little muddy.
But Philips have a remedy for this in the shape of a free downloadable app, appropriately named Fidelio+, which includes a 5-band frequency equaliser, so you can adjust the sound mix to suit your own tastes or select from a range of presets. The app also allows you to listen to your favourite radio station and, at the press of a button, display track information. There is also an alarm function with options such as wake up to natural sounds or to music.
A neat feature is the proximity sensor built in to the Fidelio, which lights up the controls on the front of the Fidelio as you approach the device. A small disappointment with the Fidelio is that it has limited connectivity. Perhaps the criticism it a bit picky, but apart from the obvious docking connector for your iPad, iPod, iPhone, on the front, there is only a 3.5mm auxiliary input on the back. You can connect your mp3 player or a laptop computer but that’s about it.
Overall, the Fidelio looks classy and delivers superb sound, which after all is the whole purpose.