If you’re looking to enhance your TV’s overall audio quality with a wireless surround sound system, the Fidelio B5 will do the trick. Its unique detachable surround speakers, in combination with the soundbar’s impressive power and quality, create a truly cinematic experience for a reasonable price.
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Pro Impressive audio performance
This Philips soundbar is a stunning performer with an overall clear and balanced sound coming from its high quality speakers. The subwoofer can produce deep, rumbling bass and the highs and mids are well balanced and sound natural.
Pro Detachable speakers can act as wireless rear surround speakers
On each side of the soundbar there are removable speakers that, once detached, can act as rear wireless surround speakers, allowing you to enjoy real surround sound. The speakers can work wirelessly for 8 hours and they take about 2-3 hours to fully recharge. Each of the rear speakers can be used separately as a Bluetooth speaker for music streaming, without having to use the soundbar itself.
Pro Wide bass response
The subwoofer has a 6.5-inch downwards firing woofer that can produce frequencies between 20hz and 150hz, allowing for a much wider bass response than many of its competitors.
Pro Automatically switches between surround and stereo modes
The soundbar automatically switches between surround and stereo modes, depending on the speakers being detached from the rest of the system or not.
Pro Variety of input options for connecting most devices
This soundbar has HDMI, optical connection, coaxial, a 3.5mm jack and an RCA input to choose from, so the vast majority of devices can be connected using at least one of these inputs.
Pro Useful signal processing features
Signal processing offers many enhancements including treble and bass control, auto volume level, listening modes, and voice clarification.
Pro Loud enough for a large living room
With 210W of power (90W just for the subwoofer), its capable enough to use in a large living room.
Pro Easy to set up and use
The system is easy and quick to set up, since the rear speakers and the subwoofer are wireless. You only need two power cords and a signal wire to connect to your TV. The easy-to-use remote lets you easily calibrate everything, as well as change the sound properties, sound modes, sync time and rear volume.
Pro Comes configured with preset modes for different use case
This soundbar comes with preset modes for listening to music or watching movies. There's also a night mode that decreases the overall loudness for when you don’t want to disturb the neighbors.
Pro Near listening mode
The Fidelio B5 has a near listening mode where you can place the surround speakers near you and sound will play only from them, disabling the main unit.
Pro Easily updatable via USB
Philips provides software updates that can be installed via USB.
Pro Suitable for hanging on the wall
The soundbar comes with included wall mounts. The rear speakers are completely wireless and have holes in the back that allows them to be easily hung on the wall.
Pro Dust and liquid resistant and stylish surface finish
This unit has a cloth finish that is dust and liquid resistant, with a brushed metal stripe in the center that gives it a premium finish look.
Pro Convenient Bluetooth connectivity
Both the soundbar itself and each detachable speaker can be connected to other devices via Bluetooth. The soundbar supports NFC for easy Bluetooth connection and aptX standard that allows high-bitrate audio streaming using this protocol.
Pro HDMI 1.4a and ARC support
The Fidelio B5 has two HDMI 1.4a inputs that can passthrough signal to the TV, and one HDMI ARC output that can receive sound and remote commands from the TV.
Pro Using the remote control is easy and intuitive
The remote is easy to use and clearly labeled. It has convenient dedicated buttons for each input.
Pro All the importation information is conveniently visible
A dimmable front display provides all the necessary information regarding input, sound mode, volume, and sound levels.
Pro Automatic calibration depending on speaker placement
It’s possible to automatically calibrate the soundbar, depending on speaker spatial placement, with just the press of a button, on the remote.
Pro Full surround effect
The separate rear surround speakers create a full surround cinematic effect that is much better than the virtual surround created from soundbars without rear speakers.
Pro Clear dialogue and accurate positioning, despite not having a central speaker
It doesn’t have a central speaker, but it can emulate it pretty well, for clear dialogue and accurate positioning.
Con No HDMI 2.0 support
This soundbar has no HDMI 2.0 support, so it cannot passthrough more modern formats, such as 4K HDR.
Con No Wi-Fi connectivity
This soundbar doesn't support Wi-Fi connectivity.
Con Takes up a lot of space
The main unit takes up a lot of space, as it is longer and wider than most of the soundbars. The subwoofer is considerably taller compared to those of competitors.
Con Only controllable via remote
The soundbar has no control buttons on the unit itself, only a power button on the main unit and Bluetooth/surround buttons on the detachable speakers.
Con Insufficient surround standards support
Even though this soundbar supports Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS sound standards for surround sound, it does not support the latest DTS:X and Dolby Atmos standards.
Con No companion app
The Fidelio B5 doesn't come with a smartphone or tablet companion app.
Con No input or setup information displayed on the TV
It does not display any input or setup information on the TV screen, via HDMI.
Con Rear speakers sound quality is only average, when used separately
The rear speakers, when used separately from the rest of the system, offer only average sound quality. They're only suitable for things like quiet ambient music or podcasts.