Speakers Guide

Philips Fidelio Primo DS9/10 Docking Station review

Philips Fidelio Primo DS9/10 Docking Station - Reclined Resplendence

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Overall rating 9/10
Design:
9.5
Performance:
9.5
Features:
7.5
Value:
9
THE GOOD
Excellent performance and soundstage
Allows for iPad docking
Affordable price point and great value
THE BAD
Lacks common features and controls
Speakers are hefty and bulky for an audio dock


Conclusion

Good or Great?

Seeing that the Philips Fidelio Primo DS9/10 Docking Station navigated every test set for it with ease, the results beg the question, "Is this a good speaker dock or a great speaker dock?" As mentioned earlier, the Fidelio DS9/10 is quite sparse when it comes to features, especially when compared with the Yamaha TSX-140. If you are looking for USB ports, wireless playback and fancy controls you might have to look elsewhere. The intended usage of the device must be accounted for before passing judgement.

From the Yamaha TSX-140’s suite of features, such as IntelliAlarm and CD player, it was obvious that the audio dock was intended for the bedside table. The Philips Fidelio Primo DS9/10 seems like it was destined for more prominent display in a room. Its dual 19mm tweeters and dual 3.5-inch woofers point towards audio performance being foremost in the designers’ minds when conceiving the speakers. Their dedication obviously paid dividends and this is evidenced by its overall results below (condensed from the previous detailed breakdown):-

Philips Fidelio Primo DS9/10 - Summary of Audio Performance Results
Test Type Score
CD Audio Testing (movie soundtracks) 9.0
CD Audio Testing (orchestral soundtracks) 9.5
MP3 Audio Tracks Testing 9.5
Overall Audio Performance  9.5

With its S$459 price tag, the Philips Fidelio DS9/10 makes an affordably priced mid-range docking station. It is obviously nowhere near the wheelhouse of serious audio docks such as the Bose SoundDock 10 or the Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin which cost substantially more. In fact the Fidelio DS9/10 is even a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than the Yamaha TSX-140 that we have been comparing it to. Couple its affordability with its stellar performance and we have a docking station that deserves to be labeled great.

The Philips Fidelio Primo DS9/10 has a spacious and lush soundstage, which we detailed in our performance analysis section. The speaker is proficient at handling whatever is thrown at it and it consistently vowed us during our tests. Different genres such as jazz, orchestra, rock, pop and trance did not faze the speaker dock and each was rendered brilliantly.

If you are an audiophile and prize performance over all else, then you cannot do much better than the Fidelio DS9/10 at this price point. Even though it lacks features, it still manages to pack a unique selling point in the form of iPad compatibility, which is not offered by many products presently. Another subtle plus point is its ease of use - there's nothing to be done other than plugging in the power, place your iPod/iPhone/iPad, select the song and control the volume to your preference. From its ease of use, you could mistake it for an Apple product as there's really nothing to configure or control. You get the excellent audio performance we heard right out of the box. If features and all-rounded usage are important to you, you might want to look up some of the other products from the Fidelio lineup or from other competitive models like the Yamaha TSX-140 that we closely compared against.

There is no doubting the fact that the Philips Fidelio Primo DS9/10 offers top notch audio quality in its price bracket. We are stopping short of telling you to go buy a unit simply because sound is a subjective matter. However, we can guarantee that trying one for yourself will not leave you disappointed.