Philips DS8500 Fidelio Dock review: Philips DS8500 Fidelio Dock

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 8.0

Average User Rating

5 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Philips Fidelio speaker dock for iPhone and iPod delivers exceptional audio quality for its price, along with unique extras, such as a full-feature remote, proximity-sensitive lights, and an iOS app with integrated control over the hardware's sound-enhancement technology.

The Bad The Fidelio's bulky design isn't travel-friendly, the power adapter brick isn't pretty, remote control range is mediocre, and you'll be nagged into downloading the free Fidelio app, whether you want to use it or not.

The Bottom Line The Philips Fidelio speaker dock is a good value with impressive sound and a solid, attractive design.

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When the Philips Fidelio DS8500 speaker ($199) landed on our desk, our expectations were low. Reflexively, our eyes rolled a bit at the sight of the box, picturing what appeared to be the same lackluster Philips SBD7500 speaker we reviewed last year.

To our surprise, the speaker that we pulled from the box was like nothing we've seen or heard from Philips in recent memory. The white, rounded design with gray grille cloth conveyed refinement--not mediocrity. The speaker's heft and ported enclosure hinted at its robust sound. Even the included iPod-size remote control showed a level of thoughtfulness that's rare for this product category and price range.

After taking a minute to reset our preconceptions about Philips' iPod speakers, we sank our teeth into this refreshingly powerful and affordable product.

Design
The most surprising design aspect of the Fidelio speaker is its depth, stretching back 5.5 inches. For a product that measures 6 inches tall and 16.5 inches wide, that's a lot of junk in its trunk. Fortunately, Philips does its best to visually minimize the depth by rounding and tapering the white plastic back.

Another interesting design element is the flexible, spring-loaded dock connection that can accommodate any recent iPhone or iPod model, even if the device is kept inside a bulky case. A small rubber pad located dead center on the speaker grille provides a place for your iPhone or iPod to rest without rattling from sound vibrations.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Philips DS8500 Fidelio Dock

Part Number: DS8500/37 Released: Sep 1, 2010
MSRP: $199.99 Low Price: $150.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Sep 1, 2010
  • Speaker System Type speaker system with Apple dock
  • Nominal (RMS) Output Power 15 Watt
  • Speaker Type Portable speakers with digital player dock
  • Amplification Type active
  • Connectivity Technology wired