The Philips Fidelio DS3800W wireless speaker, or SoundRing, is one of a growing number of docks to utilise Apple’s AirPlay technology for streaming music from iTunes and iOS devices wirelessly. Looking a little like a Polo mint for those with big appetites, the speaker is still compact enough to sit just about anywhere. Stylish, with minimum onboard controls, it’s one lifestyle accessory that should at least get people asking: “What’s that?”.
Setting up the speaker is fairly straightforward, but wholly dependent on your chosen Wi-Fi setup. A compatible router is the simplest option, and takes about two minutes to connect. Alternatively, you can use your iOS device, which is a little more fiddly, requiring you to enter an IP address via a dedicated Philips web page using Safari.
The Fidelio comes with two front-firing and two side-firing drivers, which Philips ambitiously claims offers impressive, room-filling sound. In reality, the speaker struggles a little due to its diminutive size, but it does produce a good, neutral sound that shouldn’t disappointment casual listeners. The size, however, is a bonus when you want move the speaker around the home. You needn’t worry about finding a ‘sweet spot’ on your travels either, as the Fidelio performs well wherever you choose to place it.
Like with many iOS accessories, a free Philips Fidelio app extends the speaker’s functionality, including the ability to stream internet radio, and is available to download from the App Store. While an AUX-in option is included, the speaker doesn’t actually have a traditional dock, so if your Wi-Fi network fails you could be left listening to the sound of silence.
Apple’s AirPlay technology lets you stream your iTunes music collection to your Fidelio SoundRing
The Philips Fidelio DS3800W is essentially a compromise between sound and size. Thankfully, the audio quality the SoundRing produces is better than you might expect from such a compact speaker. The Fidelio then is a good choice for those short on space or wanting a level of portability.