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Philips Fidelio Speakers For Android Devices Review [Video]

When it comes to Android accessories, I’ve always been all about the wireless speakers. I love ‘em. For me, they’re the greatest things since sliced bread. In my quest for finding the best wireless speakers money (on a tight budget) can buy, I came across the Philips Fidelio line of Bluetooth wireless speakers, tailored made specifically for Android devices.

Before I even opened the speakers, I thought I’d walk you guys through my first time — from start to finish –  taking you through the unboxing, software, initial impressions and at the end, some areas of improvement, in my review of the Fidelio wireless speakers from Philips.

I actually received 2 versions of the speakers; a smaller bedside clock/dock (AS111), and the medium sized AS351. Not reviewed was the larger sized AS851. Both the AS111 and AS351 feature an adjustable micro USB dock that can be moved and fined tuned to dock a variety of Android devices, be it a phone or tablet. The dock really acts as nothing more than a charger for when listening to tunes and the audio connection is all done via Bluetooth. Both speakers had solid construction with a high-quality feel to them — something important form any electronics device. Although, technically, all these speakers are compatible with any Bluetooth device and even non-Android devices with micro USB ports (BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, etc.), the speakers gain added functionality when used with the optional Fidelio Android app.

Software

Philips has an Android application in the Market that when installed to your device, brings hassle-free plug-and-play functionality that will auto-launch the application, activate Bluetooth and pair the device with the speaker simply by doing nothing more than docking it. This is great for older folks or girl-friends who don’t exactly know how to jump into their device’s settings configure their Bluetooth. The application also features a few custom alarm clock functions, internet radio stations, and (after downloading another application) music player all in one easy to find place. Firmware updates for the speakers will provided using the Fidelio application as well. While the Fidelio app sounds great in theory, in my experience with it, I found it a little too buggy to keep on my device, turning on Bluetooth (and not turning if off) even when I was away from the speakers and plugged my phone into a standard charger. While minor, it was a nuisance and hopefully something Philips will address in a future update.

AS111

The smaller AS111 bedside dock packed a surprising amount of features with it’s LED clock and mood lighting along the bottom. This made it seem like the better value of the two, especially when you factor in the surprising audio quality and volume output from this little guy. The video may not demonstrate this very well (thanks to my camera’s auto-volume leveling), but the AS111 was able to push out enough volume to where it could actually become uncomfortable for the listener and to me — that’s a very good thing. Definitely more than your standard squawk-box, the AS111 exceeding my expectations from a bedside clock/dock.

AS351

The AS351 has 2 goals in mind: to deliver more power than the bedside dock — which it fully accomplishes this thanks to 10W of output, and improve sound quality — which is vastly improved thanks to its “dynamic bass boost” for deeper “wub wubs on teh dubstepz.” The AS351 also offers a wider variety of connections in the back, in case you wanted to plug in a non-micro USB device using the included AUX cable (sound freaks will tell you this will drastically improve sound quality). If you’ve ever put your device near a speaker, I’m sure you’ve heard your phone’s data transmissions picking up on the speakers but that was never a problem with the AS351′s “special shielding technology” keeping the speaker interference free.

Conclusion

Overall, I’d give Philips high marks when it comes to their Fidelio line of wireless speakers. I’ll admit, when I went into this review, I really wasn’t expecting much (long time lover of the Jawbone Jambox) but was pleasantly (as you can see from the video) surprised. It’s not everyday you’ll find speaker docks suited specifically with the Android user in mind and even if you decided to forgo the dock altogether, just as a stand-alone Bluetooth speaker for any device, the Fidelio line shines with excellent sound quality and a compact design. As I mentioned in the video review, my only complaint was the lack of rechargeable battery for taking on-the-go, but I guess they had to leave room for improvement in future models. If you’ve got a family of Android devices, or need something for the work place, I’d say look no further. Both the AS111 and AS351 are an instant buys.

[Amazon: $66 Philips Fidelio AS111 Clock/Dock | $108 Philips Fidelio AS351 Medium Speaker Dock]

 




  • RedPandaAlex

    I just use a bluetooth music receiver, which I can plug into any speakers I want. 
    http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-F8Z492-P-Bluetooth-Music-Receiver/dp/B0047T79VS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329232777&sr=8-1

    • kyds3k

      so that works pretty well? i’ve been thinking about using something like that for my scooter speakers . . .

      • RedPandaAlex

        Yep. I got an app to put a bluetooth toggle in my notification center for my xoom and all I need to do is toggle bluetooth on and it auto-connects. For some reason it doesn’t work on my girlfriend’s galaxy s (captivate) running Froyo though. But that might just be that it gets confused switching devices. I love it though. I just keep it plugged into a three-piece computer speaker set. 

  • ENGADGETWHO

    I have been using the AS351 for about 4 months and mostly love it. I don’t like the notification that keeps popping up telling me connected to fidelio, it gets very annoying. Also It seems to drain battery’s super fast. Other than that it works great.   

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Yeah, it’s ironic that the app, that’s actually supposed to make things easier, kinda fumbles everything up. 

      I’d say for the more experienced Android user — don’t use the app!

      • http://profiles.google.com/jdr327 JEFF Ringel

        I have  this speaker for months. I uninstalled the app the same day. The app added nothing. Otherwise I am thrilled with this speaker and pleasently surprised how great it  sounds. Perfect for tailgating at the SUPERBOWL CHAMPIONS NY GIANTS games.

  • aeok18109

    Thanks for this Chris. Ive been eyeballing these for awhile. Im picking up the AS351 for work. Im a mechanic so I NEED some music to get me through the day. my 50 yr old pair of desktop speakers are ASS. No bass whatsoever. These are gonna be boss with Pandora :)

    Time to piss off my boss even more….As I Lay Dying anyone? muhahahahahah

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Frail Words Collapse is still one of my favorite albums of all time! :D

      • sonofLA

        Hey cris, do u HAVE to use the fidelio app? Can u just plug and play??
        I want to be able to listen to my own radio apps…

        • ENGADGETWHO

          You can play any music you want

          • sonofLA

            You mean to tell me that it doesn’t charge the phone?
            If that’s the case then its a waist if time, that’s the whole point in buying one..

          • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

            It charges it =)

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          No, you really don’t have to use the Fidelio app at all. It’s actually easier (in some ways) not to. 

          You can just pair it manually with the speaker, and dock it at night to charge it while you sleep…

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

        Extra cool points for this post.  

  • JustinCrouch

    Awesome. I’ll have to add the 111 to my list of cool things I “need” lol

  • BP

    That’s a lot of hair.

  • Steve Hall

    The Amazon links are nice, but including prices in your article would make it more complete.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      The reason I didn’t include them is because the prices fluctuate on Amazon. Jus noticed the bedside dock dropped in price and I’ve gone ahead and listed the prices to make things easier on everyone =)

  • Deltaechoe

    I actually have been using the AS111 as my alarm clock for past few weeks.  Kind of nice since the alarms are driven by my phone and amplified by the dock (and it’s loud enough to wake me and that’s saying something) so multiple alarms can be set and managed by day instead of fiddling with a single alarm every night and making sure you remember set it right.

    Also for the price and for it using bluetooth these speakers have pretty good fidelity.  I recommend getting one if you have an android phone.  Another good speaker to give a try is the logitech wireless boombox, although that one does not have a dock for android.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Selnick/561159215 Brian Selnick

    My experiences with the AS111 were less than stellar. While the gentle wake and nature sounds for an alarm clock were cool, the fact that the display never sleeps while Fidelio is loaded sucks. You can hit the power button on your phone to turn the display off, but after the alarm clock goes off the display turns on and does not turn off after you hit snooze. I am not a fan of a bright LCD shining in my face when I need ten more minutes.

    I wrote the software developers hoping for some resolution but I never got a response. I ended up returning the product and going back to a regular alarm clock.

    The speakers did sound really good though…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Emberton/100000627165100 James Emberton

    I received the clock version as a gift and agree that the fidelio app was very troublesome and not worth having installed. The main issue being how it would hijack my audio in my Ford vehicles when using Ford Sync. I also had difficulty establishing a reliable USB connection with my VZW GNex when using a very thin case. When I would remove the case the phone itself, probably due to it’s size, seemed very unstable. I really wanted to like it, but ended up returning it.

  • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

    Chris – hah – nice revenge of the nerds laugh @ 7:30. (skip to 7:30 link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WeGopIQnqaA#t=7m25s )

    and btw – AA batteries litter my place, mostly because of rugrat toys. Just get a cheap charger and a huge pack of Amazon brand rechargables, and it’ll last years. (I’m still using some rechargables that close to 10 years old, though obviously not as good as new after hundreds of charge cycles) Anyway, yah, I need to replace my old clock radio one of these days… “hurrr hurrrr hurrrr”

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Good looking out! There’s a ton of dead electronics throughout my house that are in desperate need of some juice :)

  • Pkmmte

    My girlfriend just dumped me but I think I’m in love with these speakers/docks. <3

  • Cheri Rives

    OK, usually have no criticism of your articles Chris (in fact I sorta have a techie / geek crush on you)! But, seriously, what is it lately with the “girlfriends” needing help like all women are uneducated bimbos? I know more about Android and our phones than my “boyfriend” & my mom put together! We’re not all helpless, hence the number of women readers on your blog! Please don’t perpetuate a distasteful stereotype.

    Other than that, love your write-ups!
    Thank you!

  • Luis Herrera

    If only you could have ended the video with you saying “We are going to skate to one song, and one song only”