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Philips Fidelio DS3510 review: Philips Fidelio DS3510

Another little bonus Philips throws in is a free Fidelio app for iOS, blessing the speaker with a modicum of EQ control as well as providing additional features, such as a clock, Internet radio channels, and links into Facebook and Twitter for sharing song recommendations. The app isn't a required download, but we found it useful.

There are a few missing features we could complain about, such as the lack of a remote control, radio, or video output capabilities. At this price, though, you're basically trading these capabilities for Bluetooth streaming, battery power, and iPad compatibility. If that trade-off isn't meaningful to you, then you're looking at the wrong speaker.

The Fidelio DS3510 has a clear sound with crisp highs and restrained lows. Sonically it's right where it should be as a speaker dock in the $150 range boasting a premium feature like Bluetooth. That said, if you could do without Bluetooth or iPad compatibility, a portable iPhone/iPod-friendly speaker like the Logitech S715i is going to sound significantly better and cost less.

Our biggest complaint about the Fidelio is that its speakers face sharply upward, directing the best sound at the ceiling and not your ears. It sounds fine when you're standing over it, but it's an unlikely listening scenario beyond the initial in-store demo. Move away from the speaker, and the sound becomes muddier, losing some of the treble fidelity.

Still, the sound is more than adequate for a kitchen or nightstand, and the Fidelio's small footprint and flexible device compatibility make it an appealing choice.

Final thoughts
Nothing about the Philips Fidelio DS3510 is designed to stand out. It's a solid little portable speaker, with decent sound, a few notable bells and whistles, and a dock that plays nice with the first-generation iPad (but not so well with the iPad 2). If you're looking for an understated speaker dock that will work with most of your home's portable Apple gadgets, the Fidelio DS3510 is worth a try.

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