This Transformer of a soundbar enables you to switch between straight 2.1 audio and a full surround sound experience.
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- Russ Andrews
The SoundBar is a seductive choice for anyone with a small apartment and an eye for style, and the concept has proved a big success for Philips. This iteration combines all of the speakers and electronics you need for a home cinema inside one package that can be mounted on the wall beneath your ﬂatscreen TV – an equally smart subwoofer takes care of bass and messy cabling. With a DVD player on board and virtual 5.1 surround sound, it's certainly the least conspicuous way of sneaking a home cinema into the front room.
Philips' stylish HTS6600 comprises a central unit for spinning discs, a subwoofer housing all the amplification and two attractive stereo speakers. It's a very handsome system at an attractive price, but will the touted 'Ambisound' technology really make us feel as if we're at the very heart of a full-on surround sound system?
There have been several 'pseudo-surround' technologies over the years, but few work as well as Philips' Sonowave, which is found on this devilishly good-looking system.
You have to take your hat off to Philips for coming up with the most innovative and literal interpretation of the one-box home cinema solution. Its SoundBar is easily the most practical TV-friendly form-factor in its class
The Philips MCD908 DVD stereo system uniquely combines analogue hi-fi technology with the latest digital advances. The twin shoebox-sized components are well constructed with brushed metal fronts
Philips' HTS8100 Ambisound surround sound home cinema fits unobtrusively beneath a 37in or 42in TV screen. The neatly designed 'sound bar' can be wall mounted using the supplied fixing plate
Philips' new multi-room WACS7000 Wi-Fi music system demonstrates that you don't need to be a computer whiz to install a wireless music network. The latest Streamium plug 'n' play music system replaces the WACS700 and is surprisingly easy to master
This ultra stylish, well specified 6.1-channel system boasts wireless rear speakers, which is a godsend if you're a stickler for tidiness. The unusual main unit features a touch-screen control panel and a side-loading disc slot.