Philips’ new SoundSphere is pretty pricey, but it’s more than just a conventional speaker dock. Rather than a single dock unit, the SoundSphere consists of two separate stereo speakers. The egg-shaped base of each unit houses a woofer, with a separate tweeter mounted on an arm above it. The speakers are solidly built and weigh a hefty 6kg each, so it’s probably best to leave them sitting on the floor. Visit Group test: what's the best speaker set?
That woofer-tweeter combo works well, producing a detailed sound on higher frequencies, backed up by a good solid base sound. The two speakers provide a total output of 100W and we could only turn them up to about 75 per cent of maximum volume before we had to stop in order to avoid upsetting the neighbours. See also Philips Fidelio DS9/10 review.
They’re more powerful than most speaker docks, and could power a party. Oddly, though, the sound seems to fade away when you drop the volume below about 25 per cent, and then surges up at around the 30 per cent mark, so the control could be more sensitive.
SoundSphere also supports Apple’s AirPlay, although the initial setup process is a bit long winded. You have to first connect your iOS device to the speakers’ own Wi-Fi network and then use a web browser to reconfigure the speakers so that they switch over to your main home network. Philips also includes a separate dock unit and remote control, along with an auxiliary input for older iPods and other devices without built-in Wi-Fi.
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That £699 price tag is steep, but the SoundSphere sounds great, and the fact that it provides a powerful set of stereo speakers means that you can use it as your main speaker system.