Headed up by flagship soundbar, the Philips Fidelio B97, the new models “embody Fidelio design philosophy, so they’ll look as great as the televisions they sit below”, according to Kostas Vousaz, CEO Europe at TP Vision.
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According to Vousaz, “80% of soundbar buyers go for the same brand as their TV”, and having just released the OLED+ 935, Philips is offering a one stop shop for all your home cinema needs.
The Philips Fidelio B97 certainly sounds impressive, boasting support for Dolby Atmos immersive audio as well as DTS:X.
This 7.1.2 channel 500W soundbar comes with two wireless satellite speakers that are attached via magnets to either end of the main body. If you want to create a true surround sound experience, you can simply remove them from the bar and place them behind you on your left and right – and with a 240W wireless subwoofer included, you’re all set for an immersive cinematic experience.
The use of space-saving satellite speakers certainly sounds convenient, and their wireless connectivity means you don’t have to deal with annoying cables snaking around your living room. They have a 10-hour battery life, which should be enough to get you through a movie marathon or two.
With 17 drivers in total, the Fidelio B97 promises a powerful audio performance. In each satellite speaker you get three 19mm soft dome tweeters, including two forward firing and one side firing. Cleverly, when you remove the satellite speakers from the soundbar itself, another two angled side-firing tweeters are revealed in the main body, ramping up the sound even more.
The Fidelio B97 also contains two up-firing 2.5-inch Dolby Atmos elevation units, which send sound upwards, where it bounces off of your ceiling and back down to your ears, giving the impression of height from movie soundtracks.
In terms of connectivity, you have two HDMI 2.1 ports with eARC and 4K passthrough so you can enjoy ultra HD films and shows on your TV. There’s also support for Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay, so you can pair the soundbar with your phone or tablet to stream music from Spotify, Apple Music, and more.
Compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant means you should be able to control the Fidelio B97 hands-free, while integration with the Philips Wireless Home system means you can add the soundbar to a wireless multi-room audio system with Play-Fi technology.
According to Benoit Burette, TP Vision's Sound Expert, the Fidelio B97 will cost 1,199€, which works out at about $1,400 / £1,000 / AU$1,900 (although official prices in these regions are still to be confirmed).
Philips has also launched a smaller model alongside its flagship soundbar; the Fidelio B95 comes with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, but without the inclusion of those satellite speakers, offers a 5.1.2 format.
This soundbar is a little cheaper than the B97, coming in at 899€ (around $1,000 / £800 / AU$1,400).
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