Philips Fidelio B97 Review: An immersive experience
If conventional soundbars provide sound in two dimensions, then with the Philips Fidelio B97 planes will definitely fly over your head, – so it is said in the pre-release of the new Philips soundbar. The flagship B97 is a 7.1.2 system with Dolby Atmos and DTS: X support.
The Philips Fidelio B97 has 17 emitters on board, complemented by a wireless subwoofer (8 inches, up to 35 Hz) and two rear speakers that can be connected to the soundbar if desired, thereby expanding the sound of the left and right channels.
To get the right immersive sound, the manufacturer equipped the B97 with ceiling-firing modules. As mentioned, the soundbar can play both Dolby Atmos and DTS: X.
In addition, there is an IMAX Enhanced certificate. It is worth noting the presence of DTS Play-Fi technologies, Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, HDMI 2.1 with eARC and the ability to receive and pass a 4K UHD signal.
For ease of use, the soundbar was equipped with several sound modes for different content. The delivers as promised a bass and truly ambient sound.
The Philips Fidelio B97 Surround Sound on Demand system includes two detachable wireless speakers that play left and right channels while connected to the soundbar. When removed, they take over the function of the surround left and right channels by positioning them appropriately in the room and delivering true theater sound.
The Philips Fidelio B97 has 17 speakers, including eight 1 “x 3.5” bass / midrange drivers shaped like an athletics track. One of these riders is built into each of the detachable speakers. Together with another pair of drivers, they are responsible for the left and right channels while they are connected to the soundbar. Two more drivers are available for the center channel.
In addition, the soundbar features six 19mm soft dome tweeters, two of which are facing forward. In addition to the removable speakers, the tweeter is aligned. Two more tweeters are built into the side of the main soundbar. They are not activated until the detachable speakers are removed from the soundbar.
For an especially immersive sound experience, the Philips Fidelio B97 soundbar also features two upward-facing 2.5-inch Dolby Atmos Elevation speakers. Last but not least, the 8-inch woofer in a separate wireless subwoofer delivers the lowest frequencies down to 35Hz.
For powerful sound with plenty of headroom, 500 watts of power for the main system and 240 watts for the subwoofer are available at all times. Enjoy movie-like 3D sound thanks to Dolby ATMOS and DTS: X compatibility. In addition, the Philips Fidelio B97 is one of the first Philips audio products to receive IMAX Enhanced certification.
Two HDMI 2.1 interfaces that offer eARC and 4K pass-through ensure easy connectivity. There is also a wireless connection via Bluetooth and Apple Airplay.
Last but not least, the soundbar is part of the Philips Wireless Home System, which offers simple wireless connections for multi-room applications via DTS Play-Fi. Installation is quick and the operation is straightforward and straightforward, which is where the Philips Sound app and compatibility with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa come into play.