Customer Reviews


24 Reviews
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Beauty - Updated - Now Fully Working!
After um-ing and ah-ing about my Zeppelin Air and the drawbacks I've found with it, I decided to buy a set of these so I could compare and then sell/return the speakers I found the most lacking.

The problem with the air was mainly the soundstage - I know I should have known this but it's not until you have to live with it that it really starts to become...
Published 20 months ago by Mr. P. D. Charnley

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this product. It is flawed. And Philips know it.
I am (was) a loyal Philips fan. Great products. Until I bought these speakers. Great speakers, until they just stopped working after 12 months.

I got the dreaded "flashing red light." Checked on internet and saw it was design flaw (firmware problem) -- with absolutely no way to reset the speakers manually.

I called Philips and they said I...
Published 5 months ago by Mr S Sondhi


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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy!!!, 7 Jun 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Philips DS9800W/10 Fidelio SoundSphere Docking Speakers for iPad/iPhone/iPod with AirPlay (Electronics)
Update rev2:0. July 2014
Well after 2years and 3 months the speakers died. Red light if death as reported by many many others. I was lucky they lasted as long! I liked these so much I forked out the £169 to have them repaired by the authorised Philips repairer. Chatting to them on the phone it was clearly a known issue and it sounded as if they replace and upgrade some capacitors. So hopefully they will last longer.

The design is bad - the electronics have no way of venting heat other than through the metal of the speakers

If it had been less than 2years I would have challenged Philips under the EU sale of goods acts that protect the consumer for product that is not of merchantable quality. Don't worry about it only having a one year guarantee ....your rights last longer than that. Even at2+ I could have had a go! but frankly didn't want the hassle.

UPDATE : I now use the speakers with the line input connected directly to my Apple Express and i seldom loose connection, even when microwave on. (fidelios AirPlay struggled with the microwave! ) To me this suggests strongly its not an issue with AirPlay but the fidelio design itself. I see the price has dropped a lot, a good buy if you don't need to use the Fidelio's dodgy wireless capabilities.

.................................................................

Looks, physical quality - 10/10. Speakers that you must not hide away and make any decor look great.
Sound quality 10/10 especially when the power is turned up! I have them on the floor and you can feel the base. I cannot say enough good things about the sound quality ...superb.
Installation - 5/10 , these are NOT plug and play. If you are OK with setting up wireless then it's straightforward , otherwise you might take a few attempts. And future firmware upgrades will be just as tricky for non techies.

Wireless - 5/10 when using using apple AirPlay. I have apple wireless kit and I suffer from intermittent connections, even though the speakers are a couple of meters from the transmitter. It will play for a few hours then just stops, losing connection and then after fiddling with the iPod or iPhone settings, somehow magically the connection starts up again. Im beginning to think fiddling is a waste if time and best just to wait! . On the Philips forums there are lots of complaints. Latest firmware has improved but not eradicated the issue. Whether its philips or AirPlay who knows or cares.

A premium product like this should just plug in, play and keep playing. That said, given the choice would I buy again.....probably!

PS the fidelio app is not any great shakes. Download it try it, but it doesn't improve or add value over the built in iTunes controls etc.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Airplay Speakers-Updated, 20 May 2012
This review is from: Philips DS9800W/10 Fidelio SoundSphere Docking Speakers for iPad/iPhone/iPod with AirPlay (Electronics)
As someone who is signed up to the ios ecosystem, these speakers allow me to hear music from my iPhone and iPad in superb quality.

Set up is reasonably easy and, especially since the latest ios update,they have worked superbly. I suspect they are probably the best airplay speakers on the market and are superior to the Arcam "rCube" which I had before.

If you want a way to hear your Apple based music collection with excellent sound quality,look no further.

July 2014...UPDATE

After two years, I experienced the same problem as reported by several others, namely the speaker failed to connect to wifi, presenting with the oft reported phenomenon of the blinking red light.

There really does seem to be a genuine issue with these, as so many have been affected.

Speakers of this cost should not fail after two years. I spoke to Philips who initially sought to hide behind their one year warranty and said I would have to pay for the repair.

Under the UK Sale of Goods Act, the consumer has protection for up to six years: after I had pushed this point, Philips agreed to cover the cost.

Any others who have these speakers should push for a similar resolution.

Time will tell how long the repaired units work for.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant sounds, badly engineered for longevity, 20 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Philips DS9800W/10 Fidelio SoundSphere Docking Speakers for iPad/iPhone/iPod with AirPlay (Electronics)
I'm not usually a review writer, but these speakers have motivated me to highlight some concerns to other potential buyers.

Firstly, the positives. They look beautiful, and in the hand, are exquisitely made and are quite unique. Secondly, the sound quality is above peers, in my opinion. I did pretty extensive listening research prior to purchase, and B&W, Loewe, B&O etc. can't compare, either from a sound or aesthetic perspective.

However, and this is a really big "HOWEVER"; they are deelpy flawed from an electronic perspective. Put quite simply, they die, very very easily. I'm on my second pair, and they are on their way back to Philips. The first pair suffered from the notorious red light of death, which if you do any research, you will see is a common flaw. Yes, they built these with no reset button. Interestingly, even though this flaw is widely reported, Philips client services claimed they had never heard of such a problem. Thankfully a purchase from John Lewis allowed an exchange & refund. They lasted, by the way, 7 or so months.

But their beauty called me back, and I tried a second set, purchased over Amazon, in August of 2013. Sadly, these too, have died. In this case, airplay dropped, and the remote control couldn't turn off the speakers with the objective of resetting. Neither could the button on the back. So, I unplugged. When I replugged the speakers, they ceased to turn back on.... So they sit there, visually beautiful, sonically useless.

Philips will be sending a courier to collect, and perhaps they will re-invigorate them. But whether they do, or not, sadly, the verdict is as above - one star. You cannot make something so fundamentally flawed, no matter how beautiful it is during its periods of operation. If anything, it just heightens the loss when they break.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Sound But Low Mortality, 14 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Philips DS9800W/10 Fidelio SoundSphere Docking Speakers for iPad/iPhone/iPod with AirPlay (Electronics)
Very impressed by the sound. Great clarity and bass. Airplay is so, so. 80% of the time it seems to hold the connection but the other 20% get multiple drops which can be annoying.

Aesthetically they look great but the biggest issue with these is the internal build quality. After 10 months they packed in on me. The blinking red light of death. Unable to reset or get any sound to play from them. Even if you connect via the 3.5 mil lead. Nothing. It seems once the Wifi fails the whole unit becomes unresponsive.

Luckily as I was in 12 month warranty I got a replacement sent through without any fuss. However the same thing has happened again now within the next 6 months. No WiFi connection. No sound. As it is outside the original 12 month warranty period I am now unable to get them replaced and I don't want to spend any money to get repaired as they seem consistently unreliable.

When you pay this sort of money for a product you expect a certain level of quality. The least of which is an expectation that they last more than 12 months. So close but so far Philips. I shan't be buying your products again.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic sound when it is still working, 23 Nov 2012
This review is from: Philips DS9800W/10 Fidelio SoundSphere Docking Speakers for iPad/iPhone/iPod with AirPlay (Electronics)
Wifi stopped working after a few months. Other experts also tested it a few days without result. Red blinking light whatever we tried. Impossible to connect wirelessly. After a few internet searches I found that hundreds of people around the planet experienced the same. Sent it back and got my money back. Bought a B&W A7. Not nearly as good a sound, but it works! Give Fidelio aw5000 a chance.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great speakers but given up on AirPlay, 17 Nov 2012
This review is from: Philips DS9800W/10 Fidelio SoundSphere Docking Speakers for iPad/iPhone/iPod with AirPlay (Electronics)
Firstly the quality of the speakers is excellent and that is why I will keep them.However setting up the airplay is awful and I have given up.The instructions are clear but the thing just does not work and life is just too short.Soooo I have paid over the odds for some good speakers that I just plug my iPod into.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 31 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Philips DS9800W/10 Fidelio SoundSphere Docking Speakers for iPad/iPhone/iPod with AirPlay (Electronics)
did not work properly
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gutted......., 18 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Philips DS9800W/10 Fidelio SoundSphere Docking Speakers for iPad/iPhone/iPod with AirPlay (Electronics)
I have been considering these speakers for (on and off) 3 months. My dilemma , I was really happy with my Zepellin, loved the sound, style, but was a little concerned they were not "room filling" because of the one box solution.

Anyhow I decided to take the plunge with the Philips Soundsphere.
I transferred the Zepellin to the kitchen ( Sounds amazing still, no sound soaking fabric) and awaited my new arrival with intent , excited , tredipdation.

They arrived , they took circa 15 mins to unpack AND set up ( so easy) through the wireless network/ spotify extreme / ipad (3) and I (currently, product non failure dependent) could NOT BE HAPPIER.

The sound, out of the box, is on another planet ( not burnt in yet, spiked stands, 12 ft speaker separation )
I downloaded the apple app with a trackpad (cool or wot) graphic equaliser.

If you want the best possible airplay sound quality ( reliable wireless , not dropped off at all, cannot understand the negativity feedback around this point) ..... BUY THESE SPEAKERS.

Why am I gutted ? I could have had Jackson Browne , singing live , in my front room 3 months ago
What a sad waste of 3 months.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, 1 Dec 2012
This review is from: Philips DS9800W/10 Fidelio SoundSphere Docking Speakers for iPad/iPhone/iPod with AirPlay (Electronics)
Had the speakers for 6 months and absolutely amazing speakers the talk of all who visit.

Never had any issues connecting to two different routers and plays music from my Ipad and Iphone without any issues.

Highly recommend these speakers ... rock on.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fidello Sound Sphere Speakers with Air Play, 11 Dec 2011
This review is from: Philips DS9800W/10 Fidelio SoundSphere Docking Speakers for iPad/iPhone/iPod with AirPlay (Electronics)
I saw these in the Apple store in Covent Garden but they were not working properly too much going on I guess.
Set them up no problem but they kept "dropping off" I was due to get Apple Tv and The Airport Extreme set up as well so thats what happened
The results are spectacular significant improvement in sound and streaming and they look good too!
Not sure if they would be as good if you had anything other than Apple kit though!
Try em if you don't like em send them back!!!!
[...]
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