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Philips Adds iPod Speakers, Plans iPad Speaker System

NEW YORK — The inaugural Fidelio
series of iPod-docking speaker systems
from Philips steps up the company’s
top-end price point to suggested
$499, introduces a new curved styling,
and features the company’s first models
with free iPhone/iPod Touch apps
to add features.

They’re also the company’s first
iPod-docking speaker systems to dock
with iPhone and iPods with their protective
cases on. And two are the company’s
first to capture iPod/iPhone audio
in digital PCM form.

The company also launched two new
docking speakers outside the Fidelio
series, both sporting a more traditional
design, and announced plans for its
first iPad/iPod/iPhone-docking speaker
system sometime in the second half.
It will feature built-in stereo Bluetooth
and AC/DC operation. Consumers
would use Bluetooth to transmit audio
while holding an iPad to play a motionsensing
game, or they could use Bluetooth
to transmit music while holding
onto the iPad. While docked, the iPad
would double as a photo frame with
music playing in the background. Additional
details were unavailable.

The Fidelio speaker systems, all onepiece
units ranging in price from $69.99
to $499, just became available, and all
but the $69.99 model became available
at Apple stores. The top three models
are exclusive to Apple.

The Fidelio name is earmarked for
products that are “more aesthetically
pleasing” in the home, said customer
marketing director Roy Carpenter. Because
of the additional functionality provided
by the app, the company didn’t have
to place as many buttons on the units’
chassis, enabling the giving the company
the flexibility to design aesthetically
pleasing shapes, Carpenter said.

Philips also stepped up sound quality
at all price points in the series, which
tops out at $499, compared with a previous
Philips top price point of $199,
he said.

For all five Fidelio models, the free
app adds alarm clock and sleep-timer
functions. In the $99.99 model, the app
adds those functions plus bass boost,
and in the $199.99 and $499 models,
the additional functions are preset EQ
settings and user-adjustable five-band
equalizer. More functions will be added
with future app updates.

All five feature spring-loaded 30-
pin connector to accommodate an iPod’s
protective case and hold the iPod
against a support when iPod controls
are pressed.

At the top of the line, the company
said, the $499 DS 9000 features separate
woofers and ring-radiator tweeters,
100-watt Class D amplifier, capture of
an iPod’s digital PCM output, a front
dock, black-fabric face, a curved-back chassis that eliminates internal standing
waves and a chassis made of wood
to enhance stiffness. A proximity sensor
lights up a backlit control panel
when someone approaches.

At the bottom of the lineup, the
$69.99 DS1100 consists of a round
base with top-mounted dock, topmounted
speaker pair to deliver omnidirectional
sound, 4-watt output, aux
input, and clock display that synchronizes
with an iPhone/iPod clock when
docked. It also features USB port to
charge a connected portable device, and its base glows from the bottom.

Stepping up to $79.99, the DS3000
features curved back, front-mounted
dock, 8-watt output and aux input. For
desktop use, it has iPod/iPhone synchronization
of media and contacts
with a connected PC. It also features
USB port to charge a connected portable

At $12.99, the DS7550 is the company’s
first portable AC/DC rechargeable
dock, said Carpenter. It features front
dock, slim design to take on the go,
metal grille for durability, aluminum
back chassis, scratch-resistant coating,
protective case, aux input and Philips’s
Woox bass enhancement. It comes
with 10-watt amp, aux input and the
battery’s playback time is more than
eight hours, Carpenter said.

The $199 DS8500 features curvedback
chassis, front dock, 30-watt output,
ability to capture digital PCM audio
from a docked iPod/iPhone, and
proximity sensor to light up backlit

The two new docking speakers not in
the Fidelio series are the 5-watt $69.99
DC220 FM clock radio and the 10-
watt $99.99 DC290 clock radio with
aluminum chassis.

Both also feature spring-loaded dock
and ability to dock with iPods/iPhones
with their protective cases on. Both are
dual-alarm models with FM radio and
aux input.