Philips unveils Fidelio SoundSphere dock with AirPlay
By Paul Ridden
March 22, 2011
Set to hit Europe in May, Philips' gorgeous new Fidelio SoundSphere docking system consists of two curved speakers with an alien-pod vibe (especially with the eye-like tweeters on top) and a docking cradle that caters for Apple devices but also includes an auxiliary input to feed in audio from other players. The inclusion of Apple's AirPlay technology also means that music can be wirelessly streamed from an iTunes library over a home Wi-Fi network.
Philips says that the free-floating tweeter atop each speaker delivers omnidirectional sound with more clarity, while the precise audio crossover engineering and exact positioning of the subwoofer ensures minimized interference for a more natural sonic experience.
The company's FullSound technology uses the latest digital signal processing technology, together with an audio post-processing algorithm, to restore detail to compressed digital music and the company says that the curves of the hand-crafted wooden speaker enclosure are not just for aesthetics, they provide a "highly effective acoustic structure for sound reproduction." Each speaker gives a total power output of 50W RMS.
AirPlay wireless streaming technology gives users the option to stream music directly to the system from an iTunes library on Mac and PC, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch over a home Wi-Fi network – without needing to dock the Apple music device. For more functionality, there's also a Fidelio app available from Apple's App Store.
The Philips Fidelio SoundSphere docking speaker system will be shipped with a 3.5 mm stereo line-in cable and remote, and is scheduled for a May 2011 release in Europe for EUR799 (US$1,138), which is a good deal more than the equally gorgeous Zeppelin Air. Philips told us that there is no U.S. launch information available at this time, we'll keep an eye on this one and let you know as soon as we hear.