Philips Fidelio SoundRing DS3880W £270
31st Mar 2012 | 08:30
Sound, sound, get around, Philips gets around (get it?)
Philips' penchant for simple, robust design is noticeable, with the Fidelio SoundRing DS3880W circular speaker featuring the same grey and metal aesthetics as the Fidelio DS9010.
In fact, the DS3880W looks a little like the Dyson Air Multiplier fan, except that the round top lifts off its base, leaving you with a totally wireless speaker solution.
It's smart, certainly, but is also hugely convenient. It's not too big, and it doesn't weigh too much. Though its portability is great in this sense, its battery life is a little disappointing.
The rated battery life for AirPlay is three hours, and this bore out when we were using it. That's a bit lower than we'd really like, but it's easy to recharge - you just pop it back on its dock - but we do wish it had more longevity to it.
If you are not interested in the rechargeable version then there is the Fidelio SoundRing DS3800W which shuns the rechargeable docking unit for main power.
We can safely say that we weren't disappointed with the sound quality however. It's especially good if you're watching films on an iPad, adding so much more warmth to speech, and depth to the sound overall. It can actually kick out a surprising amount of bass, too, and really go quite loud, without distortion. It's a nicely balanced sound overall, with a punch that you wouldn't expect of a speaker this size.
Sadly, while the general quality of AirPlay audio might be very good, it suffered from reliability problems, dropping out at least once every time we used the speaker. When watching films or TV, you're left to desperately try to lip read until the audio kicks back in, a few seconds later.
On the plus side, getting AirPlay set up in the first place was fairly painless. Not great on battery life but there's a lot to like here.
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