Philips' Sound Obsession - New AV Devices Engineered for Perfection

Of Muses and Fidelio Fidelities

Of Muses and Fidelio Fidelities

Philips has roped in a few acoustic experts such as Geoff Foster (he did the instrumental score for The Dark Knight) to share their sentiments and obsessions on sound. To quote the man, "creating atmospheric is about supporting what you see on screen; it needs to be around the film in a glorious surrounding fashion but without drawing attention to itself." On a similar note, audio professionals over at Philips are trying to create a precise yet enveloping auditory experience for the consumer. And this aim is reflected in new technologies such as SoundSphere and 360Sound found in Philips' upcoming audio systems. Wait not, for here are the six hero products designed to augment their current audio mission.

GoGear Muse MP4 Player

The GoGear Muse MP4 player continues in the same vein as its GoGear predecessor. Difference is, the new arrival has been given a swanky makeover with more features packed within its svelte brush-metal aluminum body. The 16GB Muse will feature Philips current FullSound technology, engineered to restore sonic details to "lossy" or compressed audio files. On top of that, the engineers have tweaked the DSPs (Digital Signal Processor) to compensate for ambient noise. This is to ensure the hustle and bustle does not drown out any critical musical components when you commute from point to point. Featuring an intuitive touchscreen, the GoGear Muse also carries a HDMI outlet capable of 720p videos and a microSD slot. Other treats include a simulate surround sound for movies, and Philips' own Songbird client which allows you to sync and manage your audio files and more, such as online services and websites. Like the rest of the following gizmos, the GoGear Muse will be available in Singapore from July onwards, with a going price of S$259.

Featuring a 3.2-inch touchscreen and an extensive format support such as lossless FLAC and APE codecs, the GoGear Muse MP4 player should appeal to music lovers who want to bring their music with them on the go. You can also hook this baby up to your TV via its HDMI port. Unfortunately, it only goes up to 720p, and the player's UI is still in the prototype phase so we can't comment much on its software interface.

Using Philips improved DSP, the FullSound features helps improve your music experience by enhancing the spectrum's dynamics. In doing so, the frequency enhancements also help to compensate for background noise (grey portion) along the way.

The Muse comes with a pair of sound isolation AY3834 in-ears which should serve as a decent barrier against ambient noise. Storage wise, the MP4 player also carries an internal 16GB Flash drive within. If that isn't enough, you can insert your own media storage card by means of its microSD slot. 


Fidelio Primo DS9000 Docking Speaker

If you can ignore its fancy name, the Fidelio Primo DS9000 actually falls under Philips upcoming suite of iPod/iPhone docks. More interestingly, Philips isn't abashed to proclaim this product in the same docking station market as the B&W Zeppelin. The DS9000 is also one of their chosen flagship AV models to spearhead their "Obsessed with Sound" campaign. Decked with four speaker drivers in all, the Fidelio Primo offers passive crossover in order to produce a fuller audible spectrum reproduction, as well as isolated left and right drivers for a cleaner channel separation. Unlike some of its competitors docks, the Primo doesn't require any iPhone or iPod adapters. The volume controls are fashioned with a proximity sensor (they light up when your hands are near), while the chassis, fashioned by specialty makers in China, is furnished with "curved" wood to create a more effective structure for acoustic reproduction. Its 12mm thick wall is also designed in such a way to reduce and further eliminate any form of vibration and distortion. This sweet thing is coming your way in July as mentioned, and it is yours for S$639 apiece.  

Would you pay S$639 for this? The docking station does sound sweet with its twin tweeters and double woofers. It has an aesthetically pleasing design as well. According to Philips, they are planning to market the Fidelio Primo in the same space as the B&W Zeppelin. We guess time would reveal as to which station will eventually get trampled underfoot when it comes to the crunch.

"Curved" wood was difficult to manufacture years ago, according to Philips. However, it is now a possible reality, thanks to a couple of niche wood makers based in China. Understandably, the curved walls are supposed to help randomize the direction in which sound waves are reflected inside the speaker's acoustic chambers.


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