Audio docks for Apple iOS devices have been around for a while now — in fact there’s plenty of them to choose from, so why a PHILIPS? Maybe because you have to look for the straw in the haystack to get a quality result. Or maybe because the PHILIPS Fidelio SoundAvia AD7000W/3 is worth the trouble of separating out from the other consumer electronics chaff.
Lets get right to it. — the design is very euro — a nice curved grill-covered front. NO sign of a dock to connect an iPhone or iPod to — that’s okay, you don’t use one. So what do I see that I can poke or prod? A power button and volume up and down buttons next to it, check. I also see on the back end the power plug for the AC input, a USB socket for a flash drive (sic) and one of those mini-jack audio inputs that let’s you pass an audio signal from a headphone output into the PHILIPS Fidelio SoundAvia AD7000W/3. The WiFI setup button is here too — but more on that later.
Is that it? I don’t care how cool it looks to start, I want some more tech. One of the consumer electronics gods taps me on the shoulder (okay, he bops me on the head, but why should I make fun of myself) and points to the mini CD with the instruction manual on it. Guess I can pull the info off the disc and see if there’s anything else going on.
Um, well, sorry…er yes there is. The PHILIPS Fidelio SoundAvia AD7000W/3 has “AirPlay” working — that’s Apple’s wireless connect system. The way it works is that you use your iOS device to sync directly to the Philips Fidelio SoundAvia AD7000W/3, so that you can set up the parameters and activate its functionality. Then you return to your own home network, which the PHILIPS Fidelio SoundAvia AD7000W/3 is also now connected to. You can now stream to the PHILIPS Fidelio SoundAvia AD7000W/3 from iTunes (Mac or PC) or an iOS device (iPone, iPad, etc.) by selecting the PHILIPS directly as the audio source to use (rather than speakers). Believe me, it’s a lot easier to do than discuss and of course it doesn’t cause any grief with your wireless home network.
Should you not want to bother using it — though I would think you would since it makes the compact PHILIPS Fidelio SoundAvia AD7000W/3 even more compact — just plug an iOS device directly into that USB socket on the back. The music not only goes directly through the speakers now, but you also get the added bonus of charging/recharging the iOS-connected device.
So you can see that there’s not a whole lot to do to use it, even if you DO use “AirPlay” — by the way, like all “AirPlay” compatible devices, not just the PHILIPS Fidelio SoundAvia AD7000W/3, if you lose the AC, you lose the settings and will have to redo them. Just another thing making those uninterruptible power supplies looking more attractive than even.
But if the proofs is in the pudding, then the sound is in the speakers….the PHILIPS Fidelio SoundAvia AD7000W/3 combines front speakers with back bass pipes to provide an even and melodious sound in which the bass mixes well with the mid-tones. The curved design makes the stereo effect more pronounced than would be the case otherwise — and that’s a good thing. Usually these little guys don’t separate stereo out all that well. But I had played a hirez of The Cars (my nominal stereo separation tester) and it performed quite well in this regards.
Of course what you hear is as important, if not more so, than whether it’s coming from the left or right side as you face the sound. In this case, the PHILIPS Fidelio SoundAvia AD7000W/3 is more than up to snuff, as it were. Good midrange audio, reasonably low bass and in general the vocals stayed on track even when the volume was turned nearly all the way up. Don’t expect to kill the windows as there’s only 10 watts to work with but…this is a compact speaker that you won’t be using as your home theater sound system for watching Die Hard, so nothing to worry about there. On a desk or a table in the den or even the garage, it’s good stuff.
Bottom line: The PHILIPS Fidelio SoundAvia AD7000W/3 produces good sound and has a clean and compact look that won’t embarrass. Plus it’s wireless technology makes it even more compact. Also the $199 retail might seem high, until you realize that the “street” price is just a bit above about half that.
- WiFi Protected Setup enabled
- Free iOS app
- Firmware updating possible
- WiFi B/G technology doesn’t allow for as great a reception distance as “N” would
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.