Philips announced the HTL9100 soundbar as part of its Fidelio lineup at this year's CES, and now it's available for $1,077 (£699) at retail. Like Voltron, the soundbar comes with detachable parts, particularly two wireless speakers that you can place behind or beside you for true surround sound. These battery-powered satellite components can run for 10 hours straight, after which they need to be reconnected with the main hub to be recharged. The 5.1 system plays media from devices connected via Bluetooth or HDMI and also features a separate wireless subwoofer. Compared to more affordable competition like Vizio's soundbar and the Sonos Playbar its higher cost is a hurdle, but the quirky wireless surround feature may make it worth trying out.
Phillips Fidelio HTL9100 5.1 soundbar with detachable speakers (eyes-on)
Home Cinema reaches the Fidelio standard
The Philips HTL9100 SoundBar with detachable wireless speakers brings Fidelio innovation, build quality and sound excellence to Home Cinema.
By offering Fidelio quality and innovation in a SoundBar, Philips has created the perfect solution for people seeking the combination of style, convenience and the authentic home-cinema experience - via the unique choice of detachable speakers and surround sound on demand.
Used with the surround speakers attached, the HTL9100 operates as a single sidebar offering high quality stereo or a wide sound stage via virtual surround sound mode.
However, remove and relocate the wireless surround speakers, and the intelligent system automatically switches configuration to multi-channel mode and decodes 5.1 signals as true surround sound.
At the core of the Fidelio SoundBar are high quality TI Class-D amplifiers - with a built-in DAC - powered by a compact SMPS (Switch-Mode-Power-Supply) to provide a full digital architecture, delivering highly efficient audio amplification and premium audio quality.
Multi-channel audio decoding and Philips' proprietary audio features are both supported by a powerful, high quality, Cirrus Logic 32-bit DSP processor.
Using advanced Smart Surround and Equalization technology, the Philips Fidelio SoundBar analyzes and dynamically controls the sonic signals in real-time to provide a well-balanced surround experience from all speakers in the system. Plus, with in-built Orientation Sensors, the main unit can detect horizontal or wall mounted (vertical) placement and initiate Smart Equalisation to optimise sound performance.
Powered by 2-cell lithium polymer rechargeable batteries, the detachable wireless satellite speakers offer up to 10 hours of non-stop playback and can be easily recharged by connecting them back to the main unit. The separate subwoofer also connects wirelessly with all of the system using a proprietary SMSC 5.8GHz wireless audio system to provide robust connection and remove any chance of WiFi or Bluetooth network interference.
The wireless subwoofer also features patented Philips DoubleBASS technology to generate a deep and powerful bass performance and giving the perception of offering bass notes below the physical limit of the speaker. Philips DoubleBASS uses the powerful processing of the system to detect ultra-low frequencies and then recreate them within the audible frequency range of the subwoofer, giving the impression of delivering bass down to an amazing 20Hz.
Versatile and powerful, the Fidelio SoundBar caters for real music lovers, with inbuilt Bluetooth for streaming favorite tunes stored on your mobile or tablet, and simple connection via 2 HDMI inputs, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy a stream of your favorite films and media.
Launched in June for a RRP of £699 the HTL9100 Fidelio Soundbar is a chic and subtle device that makes a loud statement as the beautifully crafted, perfect addition to any living room.