What is a Philips Fidelio I hear you ask? Well, it’s an Airplay speaker I’ve had for about six years and for the most of that time it has gone completely unused, mainly because it was completely unusable! After posting a review on the Philips website, I’ve now been sent a firmware updated, and it appears to be doing what it should, almost!
So I’ve had this for quite some time, and whilst I always thought it sounded pretty good for such a small speaker, it got very little use. The reason? It wasn’t very reliable as a wireless Airplay device and when I came to use it, more often than not it was no longer available on my network and couldn’t be selected by the machine I was trying to stream from. Sometimes, the fix was as simple as cycling the power with the small button on the back. Other times that didn’t work, and the speaker needed to be reset and then the wireless settings reconfigured. Not a huge task, but it takes a good few minutes to reset, connected to the wireless network the speaker creates, select my wireless network and add in the complex password, and then wait for it to reconnect. Hardly something you want to be doing if you just wanted to listen to some music in another room!
Well, after posting the review on the Philips website, I received an e-mail with some instructions to download a newer (2012) firmware. This was pretty straightforward, although didn’t work at the first attempt. The second time was more successful, and it now appears as Airplay device all the time in iTunes. That said, it’s still not perfect as it’s a little less reliable on the mobile devices (iPhones and iPads) and can sometimes take up to 30 seconds before you can select it. Once you have, the playback is sometimes a little choppy when it starts and will play for a second and then appear to disconnect, before it starts again. It might do this a couple of times but eventually does play uninterrupted. I suppose this is better than it just not being available.
The speaker now lives in my daughter’s room, as she likes to have a bit of a sing and dance from time to time, especially when she has some friends over. She can play some music on her device, and then stream it to the wireless speaker, once it’s got it’s initial startup problems out of the way!