Review: Philips DC910 Docking Entertainment System

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Short Version: The Philips DC910 is great-sounding system for playing music from your iPod, a USB thumb drive, an SD card, FM radio, or up to two external sources — all for under $150.

 Overview and Features:

  • Compatible with iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano 3rd Generation, iPod 5th Generation, iPod mini, iPod with color display, iPod nano 1st Generation, iPod nano 2nd Generation – iPhones will work, but you’ll deal with a bit of interference from the phone’s radio, especially when there’s no music playing to drown it out.
  • Place your iPod touch in portrait or landscape orientation
  • Play and charge your iPod
  • USB thumb drive and SD/MMC card slots for MP3/WMA music playback
  • Auxiliary input
  • FM digital tuning with presets
  • 3-inch wOOx subwoofer, two 1.5-inch tweeters – 30 watts RMS total power
  • Alarm clock function for iPod, USB, or radio
  • Wall-mountable
  • Available online for under $150

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Pros:

Wow. Dougie likee. This is a great all-around music system, like the kind you’d put on your wedding registry or buy as a housewarming gift. It’s not too big, yet it gets very loud, it can be wall-mounted, and it handles iPods, thumbdrives, SD cards, and there are two — count ‘em — two auxiliary inputs for plugging in whatever isn’t on your iPod or various flash memory cards and drives. The iPod mount can be swiveled horizontally for some hot Cover Flow action — a nice touch.

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Sound quality is surprising. It’s kind of like seeing a smaller person excel athletically. Think of the DC910 as the Dustin Pedroia of music systems – the guy’s like 5’7” and he’s arguably one of the best players in baseball, especially when it comes to hitting. When you first see him, though, he’s relatively unassuming. Same thing with this music system. I opened it, put it on my desk, and thought, “Okay. Here’s another iPod dock.” Once I turned it on, though, I was pleasantly surprised. You could throw a medium-sized party in your house and the DC910 would get plenty loud.

Cons:

Nothing major, just some minor quibbles. First, the power brick is just that: a brick. It’s larger than most laptop adapters. You’ll have to find somewhere to hide it, especially if you’re thinking of wall-mounting this system. Thankfully, Philips provides plenty of cord length so you should have a few options when you’re wrangling everything.

Second, the remote is a little iffy. It works fine, but if feels kind of cheap and the buttons are pretty squishy. It’s not very intuitive at first but it’s not bad once you start using it regularly. The range isn’t all that great, either. It’ll work across small rooms but I had trouble between my kitchen and the adjacent living room.

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Finally, the LCD display is useful for simple track information and the clock and whatnot but the system doesn’t ready ID3 info from files playing off of SD cards or thumb drives. You’re presented with a simple folder + track number interface – so song or artist information. I remember that kind of stuff being an issue like ten years ago when hardware players were first starting to emerge. It seems to just be a given nowadays.

Conclusion:

All in all, the pros far outweigh the cons, making the Philips DC910 music system a great choice for any home. Philips is currently selling it directly at $116.88 but, unfortunately, it’s out of stock at the moment. You can find it at most other online stores for well under $150, though. Amazon, for instance, has it for as low as $80 – likely in order to make room for the $180 DC912.

Philips Docking Entertainment System – DC910 [Philips.com]

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