To test out the Philips Fidelio AS851 Docking Station we loaded up a Samsung Galaxy Nexus with our standard test track set and went to work. Running the latest Android Icre-cream Sandwich OS-based device should see how forward compatible the speakers are. It also provides an opportunity to see if the DockStudio application is optimized for the new mobile OS.
With respect to audio tracks, we have our usual selection of MP3s that are encoded at a bit-rate of 320Kbps and should provide a decent challenge for the AS851. We also tested with a variety of other non-core tracks to get a better feel of how the dock handles in general, but more emphasis is placed on the core MP3 test tracks for scoring purposes. The Fidelio DS9/10 passed with flying colors previously and has already set the bar quite high. Hopefully the new contender can provide the same quality of performance for Android users.
As always, we retained a neutral approach during our listening and made sure that our personal preferences do not color our judgments. Rather than prioritizing excellent bass or shimmering highs, we tried to gauge how close the speakers came to projecting a neutral tone that stayed true to the intended mix of the track.