View Full Version : DS9800/W sound improvements

11-28-2012, 03:57 PM
Not sure if I am the only one, but I also read some reviews about the DS9800W that equally complained about the speakers to sound rather lifeless at low volume settings (e.g. pc-advisor (http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/reviews/audio/3338713/philips-soundsphere-review/)). This is the only problem I am having with mine (apart from the Firmware-issues).

I sometimes want to play and listen to some music at rather low volumes either for background listening or just when i don't want to disturb my wife. unfortunately the DS9800W doesn't sound better than my kitchen radio when played like this. I am talking about the first 3 volume-notches from an iphone. The DS9800W starts to sound acceptable from the 4th and good from the 5th notch upwards (and then degrades again with the last few notches):


But at these low volumes the whole dynamics gets lost, bass disappears nearly completely and treble is also dull.

Usually this is quite a normal behaviour as the human ear starts being much less sensitive to low and high frequencies at lower volumes, but as the DS9800W is an active and integrated speaker system, it should be more than easy to compensate for this with an adequate DSP algorithm like simple "loudness" that has been around for decades already.

"DBB" should normaly do exactly this, but in case of the DS9800W DBB is nothing else than a global bass-boost that doesn't adjust its strength according to the actual listening level. DBB and EQ is anyway screwed up as DBB doesn't do anything if you don't use it with one of the exisiting EQ-presets, as soon as you try to create your own EQ-setting and turn DBB on, nothing happens at all.

I usually don't use the EQ at all, but rather prefer the sound of the DS9800W with active "full sound". It would be great if we could have an additional DBB option that on the one hand worked together with "full sound" simultanously, on the other hand really worked as it is meant to be: a dynamic bass boost that adjust to the actual volume, not a global change of the EQ.

I already owned dozens of different dockingstations, and even the small bose sounddock sounded much fuller and more convincing at low volumes than the DS9800W. i also had an Audyssey audiodock and this one sounded very impressive even at its lowest volume levels without ever sounding bloated or something, Audyssey just tuned the DSP to always sound right at all volume levels.

This problem is not that uncommon. Before i settled for the DS9800W i had tried a Sonos system and this one even sounded worse at very low levels. Despite Sonos having a "loudness" option, it also only acts a global bass-boost not one that dynamically adjusts.

Is there a any chance for such a Firmware enhancement? I could always try to adjust the EQ manually, but as the EQ settings with 5 bands from Dockstudio are rather limited and the DS9800W sounds so different when played either low or high, i would end up in trying to adjust it whole the time.

So please give us some really advanced DBB algorithm.


11-30-2012, 11:03 AM
Think the idea is great to have, let see :)

11-30-2012, 11:09 AM
so i am not the only one who has the impression as if the DS9800W sound starts to die at lower volumes?
i tried to really nail down the volume bar from where the sound sound starts degrading but it is not easy to tell, it is somewhere around the 3rd volume notch. if you listen to some dynamic and rather bass-heavy music and then turn down the volume slowly, you should notice that the first 2 notches are hardly listenable, the 3rd one is beter, but the speakers sound only really good from the 5th notch upwards.

05-14-2013, 07:48 PM
Meanwhile I noticed that the problem of bass-loss is particularly present with "Full-Sound" activated. I usually have turned on Full-Sound on all my Fidelio speakers, as I prefer the sound more
Iike that. Sound becomes clearer and less boomy while becoming more powerful at the same time.
Unfortunately with Full-Sound there is a strong bass-loss with the first 2-3 volume notches.

To finally prove this I played back a sine-tone with 80hz and started turning down the volume slowly. Instead of the tone becoming linearly lower, the tone suddenly disappeared from a particular volume setting (this setting is somewhere between the second and third volume notch). A deeper sine-tone like 60hz disappears even sooner.
Because of this fact listening to the DS9800w at low volume settings and active "Full-Sound" is quite dissatisfying as even my kitchen radio sounds fuller then.

I suppose some "bug" in the Full-Sound algorithm, as usually bass should even be boosted at low volume seetings due to the loudness-effect, but Full-Sound does exactly the contrary. Is there any fix for this realistic, or will it remain like this forever?
When Full-Sound is not active there isn't a problem though.

I would really appreciate some comment from a moderator about this.


Philips - QK
05-16-2013, 08:47 AM
Dear oluv,

Thanks for your very constructive comment and I will feedback this to the team.

Meanwhile, it seems to me that you are 'obsessed with sound', are you interested in our home test:


We have a new series of speaker to be tested but it needs specific smartphones, not sure if you have another device other than your iPhone.