Stereo to Surround.
Soundbars are normally alternatives to full pledged speakers which normally doesn’t do justice when offering stereo or surround sound. Philips tries to change this with the Fidelio B5 speakers, a soundbar that can change from stereo to surround mode in just a few seconds.
The Philips Fidelio B5 is a 4.1 channel speaker system that can function on stereo mode and surround mode. For surround mode, you can simply detach the speakers and place them in the right place for you to enjoy surround sound mode. Each of the two detachable speakers are powered by Bluetooth and are rechargeable, plus it can function for up to 10 hours. Once the battery is drained you can simply place it back to the main soundbar for charging.
The Philips Fidelio B5 works well in a surround sound setup. You can use the Arc Spatial calibration software that will help the main soundbar determine the position of the detached speakers. For example, if one of the surround speakers is farther from the other, the other speaker will automatically increase the volume to balance the volume.
The subwoofer also delivers a decent ‘thump’, especially when playing movies on surround sound. The main soundbar house a plethora of connections: two HDMI-in ports, one HDMI-out port, optical audio and a 3.5 mm port along with Bluetooth and NFC.
It fares well with playing movies as mentioned, even if it’s a 4.1 setup. I hooked up the soundbar to a PlayStation 4 and used it for gaming and movies. Voice is clearly heard in the middle, while surround effects work flawlessly.
The only thing we didn’t like about the Philips Fidelio B5 is the price. At almost $900 (3305 AED), you can already purchase a full pledged receiver and speaker system at that price. Still, the Philips Fidelio B5 offers a convenient and easy way for you to enjoy stereo and surround sound at your home without all the messy cables.