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My new best iPad accessory!

PHILIPS DS8550/10 FIDELIO IPAD/IPHONE DOCKING SPEAKER

Rating: ★★★★½

The Philips Fidelio docking speaker is robust and solid. Although mostly plastic it feels so dense that you would be mistaken for handling a solid chunk of metal. This is not so great for the backpacker or happy camper maybe, but it’s great for the everyday house and garden user as it’s not going to scratch or crumble or be knocked off a perch and is still easy to move from one location to another.

The features are comprehensive and useful. The Bluetooth is a great additional way to connect a device – especially when playing games. I connected my iPad up this way while playing Need For Speed Hot Pursuit which meant I could control the steering using the iPad gyroscope whilst still getting rich and bassy sounds.

Plugging the iPad into the dock was perhaps a little bit worrying as it that you could easily knock the tablet forward and snap the connector – but this could have been due to me not finding a snug fit mould attachment in the test sample.

The Philips Fidelio manual suggests you download the free app that works with the docking speaker and so I did.
The app itself is great, easy to use and has all the features you’d want to create a bedroom alarm or stereo.

But obviously you can also use any of your other apps with the device also.

I experimented with a radio app and was pleased to hear the benefit of the enhanced bass and treble. The speakers clearly separated the voice from the music and performed beautifully with both spoken and music streamed broadcasts over the internet.

Listening to music was also exceptional. I tried the device in the bedroom and found that the sound was loud enough to fill the room with a similar sound to a micro hi-fi. Similarly outside the sound was clear and loud enough to be heard above the noise of cars and trains nearby. In fact I had to turn it down at one point for fear of annoying the neighbours.

Pros

  • Robust but lightweight
  • Extra separate dock
  • good loud, bassy sound
  • battery or mains powered
  • bluetooth & line-in

Cons

  • a little pricey!
  • made of plastic
  • too large to commute with
  • slightly flimsy docking

Verdict

Overall I think this product is a must have for anyone who uses (or wants to use) their iPad around the house as a portable music device.
There are plenty of iPhone dociking speakers on the market but for an iPad we are more limited and I would say hands down I want to own this.


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