Philips cuts up the soundbar for sound in more than one room

Soundbars can be great solutions for the home theatre, as they provide a lot of sound in slimline package, but what if you don’t need all of the sound they offer at the same time?

If you’re not watching movies as often as you’d like and the idea of music around the house is a more tempting prospect, a new speaker system from Philips might sound like a good idea.

Part of the Fidelio lineup, the speaker is the B5, and offers up a soundbar with two 3 inch drivers and two 1 inch soft dome tweeters, which itself is a 2.1 system with a 6.5 inch woofer in the wireless subwoofer you can leave out to the side.


But a 2.1 system is just one part of the equation, and the Philips Fidelio B5 offers a little extra power and a little extra sound courtesy of a speaker built into each side that you can leave attached to bring it up to 4.1, or detach to make the speakers work in a separate capacity.


Each of these two speakers is designed to use another of those 3 inch full-range drivers just like the soundbar, and when you keep them attached, you’ll get more audio from the front, but you don’t have to, and while you can move these wireless speakers to the back for a surround sound experience with up to 10 hours of rear channel sound, you can also move them to a different room in the house.

Once you do that, the speakers will switch into a different battery mode, operating on Bluetooth with support for aptX for up to five hours of life, and allowing a phone or tablet to talk to each speaker separately.


Technically, that’s not pure “multi-room” in the sense of the term we’re used to, as each speaker is working independently rather than the connected definition of multi-room companies like Sonos, Samsung, Sony, and LG have been pushing out for some time, where the audio is the same in every room of the home.

For the Philips Fidelio B5, each speaker is independent, with one touch pairing if you have a phone or tablet that supports Near-Field Communication, while the iPhone and iPad will rely simply on pairing over Bluetooth.


When they run out of charge, you’ll plug the speakers back into the main unit for soundbar sound once again, allowing you to disconnect them later on when the time comes that you want different room around your home, or rear sound for your movie sound experience.


“The Fidelio B5 is our most intelligent soundbar to date as its intuitive capabilities enable it to cross over for a variety of applications in the home”, said Tracey Duff, Australia and New Zealand Business Leader for Gibson Innovations, the company responsible for building the Philips Audio technologies.

Pricing for the Philips Fidelio B5 soundbar comes in at $1099.95, with retail availability from JB HiFi, Harvey Norman, and electronics stores across the country.