Gibson Innovations may not be the first to the market with a Dolby Atmos-compatible soundbar, but its new Philips Fidelio is certainly the most svelte.
The Philips Fidelio Soundbar with Dolby Atmos is only 5cm tall, yet still features 18 drivers inside its low-profile chassis, including twin arrays of up-firing speakers to provide that signature 5.1.2 Atmos 3D surround sound.
This week saw Samsung announcing its own Dolby Atmos soundbar to rival the existing Yamaha DSP-5600 behemoth. The Samsung HW-K950, though, feels more like a standard home cinema surround system, with its wireless rear speakers, than a traditional soundbar. And the Yamaha is just plain enormous, though that does lend it a tremendous sense of value…
The new Philips Fidelio design, however, is the epitome of the form factor.
The raison d'être of soundbars is to present a clean, unobtrusive method of getting quality sound from your super-slim TV without dotting speakers around your living room.
By having such a low profile the Fidelio won't get in the way of your TV's IR receiver, and yet it still packs enough speaker tech to deliver Dolby Atmos sound.
At each end, recessed into the top of the soundbar, are the up-firing tweeters and mid-range units, while set in the sides are another pair of side-firing tweeters.
Across the front of the new soundbar are a further six mid-range drivers, configured for the different audio channels through dedicated sound processing, to create the 5.1 surround sound it promises.
Finishing off the package is a powerful 220W wireless subwoofer to add tangible depth to the audio.
Big sound from a small package
Continuing with the theme of slimming down the soundbar, Gibson Innovations has also created the new Philips Fidelio Compact Soundbar. This is slightly taller than the Atmos soundbar (only by 8mm so we'll forgive it that), but it's just 40cm in total width.
It still manages to create a relatively wide soundstage, with four full-range speakers angled around the device and a further pair of angled tweeters behind them.
Using Microbeam technology, together with the angled drivers and sound processing, the Compact Soundbar is able to create a 180º soundstage. It's also able to widen the audio it outputs by using the Microbeam tech to bounce sound off walls towards the listener.
And it's not just the soundbar itself which is compact, as the wireless subwoofer has been designed with a small footprint and the ability to stand vertically or lie horizontally – meaning you can stick it under your sofa for some pant-shaking vibrations.
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