Rated 3.6 out of 5 by 10
Rated 2 out of 5 by Ripley62 Attractive and with great sound but horrible build quality
I have two of these, First the dock is a waste and noting but a overly large charger. The remote has never worked well and is pretty much useless. The first set worked great for just over a year then went dead. I liked the first one so much, it sounded great, that a bought another few months after buying the first. Now maybe a year and half after buying the second set its also having problem. There it appears a new model, DS9860W, becoming available in Europe, that "solves" WiFi connection issue. Who knows if we in the US will be able to purchase this new model. The concept and wood enclosure are great ideas just why would any company go to the lengths of making a product that seems so solid, the wood and metal and yet so poorly source the electronics that permit the speaker to operate. To be honest it makes me question why I would ever buy another Philips consumer electronics product. The Philips Hue for example looks very interesting but its it would be a much worse problem if the build quality of the Wifi portion was as bad as with these speakers. I really do wonder if anyone has these speaker working correctly after a few years?
1 June 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by DJCAM48 I have three pairs of this product.
A wonderful sound experience with a touch of aesthetic harmony and a simple ease of use that is practical.
30 November 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by NeverBuyAgain Sounds and looks great, but shoddy tech and unreliable
The speakers sound and look great—the set of speakers is unique for an Airplay dock system, most are soundbar type designs but this has two separate units, which means better soundstage when setup in a room, and they have a very polished unique design.
But, the hardware used for Airplay connectivity has issues, disconnecting randomly. After a few months of use, I decided to just connect to the speakers through direct audio input (negating one of the speaker set's main features). A year later, the speakers have stopped working altogether, and are just days outside the warranty period.
This was my first time buying a Philips product, and after this experience probably last. For the money spent, I could have just booked live concerts for a year instead. Needless to say, a very disappointing product, with Philips basically cheating me out of my hard earned money with this product.
17 August 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by Karlborg Cant use them since i got android
Got android trying to use the app airstudio from philips but obviously doesnt work well since it always lagg and crashes
12 July 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by CharlesC Works great!
Great sound, Airplay works well.
A periodic problem not playing on first play from the iPad prevents me from giving this a 5 star performance (iPad tries to connect and fails sometimes the first time I play). But this is a minor issue. Once I try again it works.
Since it's so easy to disconnect a single speaker and bring it somewhere else, I WISH the single speaker would play mono once disconnected from the other speaker.
But, these are the best airplay speakers I've used, and they look and sound great. Highly recommended.
3 October 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by Verified Reviewer Great separation
Difficult to set up. Great stero separation nice sound sometimes the airplay drops out.
24 August 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by Keith61 Very Good sound quality
Very good build and sound quality, needs light in front and auto bypass mode when not in use.
17 June 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by oluv nearly perfect
I won't give them all possible stars, because they are not perfect, but they are pretty good and better than most others.
What holds me off rating them even higher are some small quirks that i want to describe later.
Soundwise there are hardly any complaints, they sound very balanced and clear with plenty of detail in the treble and mids. They are no bass-monsters, they have strong powerful bass, especially if you tweak the EQ a little bit or turn on "Full audio" which really improves the fullness, but they drop off below 60hz quite strongly. My Audyssey South of Market Dock has a deeper reaching bass, while at the same time being smaller overall. They sound better the louder you turn them, they lose a little bit of dynamics at low listening levels. In this case DBB setting doesn't seem to do anything. There are 2 settings selectable from the Fidelio-App, but I cannot hear any difference with both. Also when putting the speakers rather free the bass isn't that strong as if you put them against a wall. A Harman Kardon go+play has a much more powerful bass even when standing completely free.
The best thing is you can seperate both speakers to your liking, this way you will get a pretty huge stereo-field unlike with most other docking-speakers that only consist of one single box and sound rather mono.
The maximum volume is impressive and they won't distort even at the maximum point. Great to have only one master volume-level, so no hassle with 2 different volume-sliders, just one slider, regardless if you change it through the remote or directly through the i-device.
But here comes the first negative point: Why do both speakers need a wire in between? It would be perfect if both were completely independent similar to the Zikmu from Parrot. You'd just need 2 power-sockets and could set them up compeltely free without additional wires. I once set up the Zikmu in my garden for testing and was able to separate them 20m apart, this was quite an impressive sound-experience.
The other negative point is the pretty useless docking-station. It is only meant for charging an i-device, but doesn't have any other function as it is not connected to the main-speakers. You cannot use an Ipod nano or an Ipod classic to hear music with the docking-station, you could of course use a wire, but due to additional A/D conversion there will always be a quality loss.
It is a pity the docking station doesn't act as an Airplay transmitter on its own, so that any device docked could automatically be transmitted to the speakers through airplay. This would be a unique solution and would increase the value of the dock as well!
Other quirks are, that you never know if they are on or off as the status-light is at the back. The remote transmits infrared and has to be aimed at the left speaker. It would have been better if the remote was radio or bluetooth, so that you wouldn't need to aim it anywhere.
Apart from the quirks i really think that the Soundsphere is a pretty nice speaker set. I would have preferred some additional colors, but it is available in black only. The finishing and material-quality is top-notch, but you wouldn't notice they are made of wood because of the glossy finish.
I doubt any other present Airplay speaker will sound better than the Soundsphere. If you like the looks you will definitely love the sound as well.
30 March 2012