Philips has expanded its premium Fidelio range with two new soundbars, and one of them is a real doozy, packing in Dolby Atmos, IMAX certification, and fully detachable surround sound speakers.
The Fidelio B97 – out at the end of November for the princely sum of £999 – is a 7.1.2 soundbar that squeezes 16 separate drivers into its slimline frame, along with a 17th 8in bass driver in the detachable subwoofer.
Eight ported 1”x3.5’’ bass/mid race-track drivers and six 19mm soft dome tweeters are spread along the soundbar, with a further two side-angled tweeters that activate when the surround speakers are detached.
And when I say detached, I really do mean it. You can pull a left and right speaker off the end of the sound bar for wireless surround sound when you need it, and re-attach them to the main bar whenever you’d rather save space.
The B97 is compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, along with being IMAX Enhanced Certified, making this the first soundbar to meet the new standard, which requires support for an enhanced variant of the DTS:X codec. It’s got good port-game too: twin HDMI 2.1 connectors with both eARC and 4K pass through, along with Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay, and both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa baked in.
If £999 is a little too blue for you, the £799 Fidelio B95 is slightly more restrained. It drops the detachable surround speakers but still packs in 14 drivers, the same Dolby and IMAX compatibility, and the same ports and smart support. Basically, it’s a B97 for people who know they’re likely to leave the speakers attached to the soundbar anyway.
The B97 and B95 are just two of nine new soundbars Philips is launching during the rest of this year, though with the rest of the range running from £69 to £499 it’s fair to say that most people will be eyeing up the company’s more affordable offerings. Take a look at our best soundbar chart for a few more options that are less bank-breaking than the B97.
Philips has also announced the new Fidelio L3 over-ear cans sit at the top of a new range of headphones, along with several new TVs boasting Ambilight and Dolby Atmos support.