Philips Fidelio B5 Speaker 2020
The Philips Fidelio B5 soundbar system isn’t short on options. For $699.99, it offers a central soundbar, a radio subwoofer, and two wireless rear satellites that can even be added on either side of the soundbar or used as individual Bluetooth speakers. The machine can be utilised in 2.1 or 4.1 modes, rendering it simple to switch between music and movie playback. From an audio tracks standpoint, the powerful subwoofer and crisp treble delivered by the tweeter are created a lot more versatile by the capability to adapt both bass and treble. Assuming you have $700 to invest, this 4.1 system won’t disappoint.
The Fidelio B5’s main soundbar component measures 2.8 by 40.7 by 6.1 inches (HWD, the width drops to 28 inches when the medial side speakers are detached), with black cloth speaker grille and a central aluminum bar running vertically down its middle. That’s where the power button is situated, and behind the grille are white LED readouts indicating what mode you’re in. Dual 3-inch drivers and dual 1-inch soft-dome tweeters under the grille project audio tracks forward and upward.
On the trunk panel of the key soundbar, there are two HDMI inputs, aux, coaxial, and optical inputs, and an HDMI ARC output. The included power cable also connects here. Unfortunately, the Fidelio B5 doesn’t ship with any HDMI or optical cables, which is pretty silly for the purchase price.
Measuring 20 by 7.9 by 7.9 inches, the tall, rectangular subwoofer sits after durable rubberized feet to avoid it from moving because of vibrations from its 6.5-inch driver. On the trunk panel, there’s a connection because of its included power cable, and a power button. When powered up after the key sound bar is fired up, the Fidelio B5 automatically connects wirelessly with the key speaker. If for reasons uknown the bond is lost, there’s a manual Connect button on the speaker’s rear panel.
You can stream audio tracks via Bluetooth to the Fidelio B5. As stated, the detachable side speakers can be utilised as rear satellites for surround sound or as lightweight Bluetooth speakers. They measure 2.8 by 6.4 by 6.1 inches each and output 8 watts from an individual 3-inch driver. Whether or not they’re being used for movies or as lightweight speakers, they have to be charged-they charge when docked to the key soundbar and last up to 10 hours.
A remote control is roofed, together with the two AAA batteries it requires. The rounded black-and-metallic wand has buttons for switching between your various inputs, Bluetooth pairing, track or scene navigation, play/pause, volume, bass level (there’s a variety of -6 to +6, with 0 as the default, flat setting), treble level (same level range as the bass levels), Voice mode (for concentrating on dialogue), Music mode (for stereo playback when the medial side speakers are docked), Movie mode (for rear channel surround when the medial side speakers are undocked), rear volume, audio tracks sync (for adjusting the minor delay between video and audio), Auto Volume Leveling, Night mode, Dim (for dimming the LEDs), and Calibration.
For the Calibration button, when setting the machine up, you might have it calibrated to your room. It’s an instant process that involves inserting the trunk speakers first where you will be sitting and where you will in actuality place them when watching movies. In both scenarios, the machine will run an instant calibration test to make sure ideal performance predicated on their placement as well as your seating arrangement.
In Movie mode, the Fidelio B5 sounds a lot more powerful and bass-boosted-the sub becomes a force of nature. In Music mode, the sub’s occurrence is more understated except at the highest bass levels.
On Chapter 13 of the Pacific Rim Blu-ray, with the Fidelio B5 in its 4.1 wireless surround array, the speakers deliver a crisp, clear response with a robust bass rumble from the sub. The explosions and massive robot creature stomps sound powerful, so when you raise the bass and treble, things will get quite intense. The trunk speakers play a solid supporting role, and for many who want to hear a bit more or less of their presence, they may be boosted or dialed back.
On Chapter 2 of the Casino Royale Blu-ray, the gunshots and explosions receive some added low frequency punch and depth. Later in the film, quiet dialogue between Bond and M is delivered with crisp clarity, whether in Moice mode or not. In most cases, Movie mode provides a thrilling, dynamic listening experience that deploys deep bass rumble through the subwoofer without sacrificing overall clarity-the wireless rear channels work quite nicely, making for an immersive 4.1 experience, and the Voice button does a good job of earning up for having less the central dialogue channel that would’ve made this a 5.1 system.
Next, we tested the Fidelio B5 in Bluetooth music mode, with the the trunk speaker linked to the sides of the key soundbar to create one long bar. (To be clear, you should use Music mode when the trunk speakers aren’t docked, aswell.) On tracks with strong sub-bass content, just like the Knife’s “Silent Shout,” with the bass level at 0, the Fidelio B5 offers laudable bass depth, and does so at high volumes without distortion. Of course, if you value powerful deep bass, you really can push what to the limit here-at +6 with the quantity maxed out, the Fidelio B5 is much more likely to rattle frames off your walls before it actually distorts itself. At more sensible bass levels-say, +3-the lows are delivered with intensity, but with clarity aswell. A decent guideline may be to improve the treble the same amount you raise the bass-it doesn’t negate the added bass power, nonetheless it maintains balance and give a clearer overall response.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with much less deep bass in the mix, sounds almost modest with regards to bass occurrence when the Fidelio B5 is defined to 0 on both bass and treble. Boosting both to +3 lends some added body and fullness to the drums, that have the potential to sound thunderous on bass-forward systems. Taking the bass to the utmost level certainly pushes the drums to a heavier place, but this won’t sound terribly natural. At around +3 for both bass and treble, the guitars and percussion hits get yourself a nice, bright snap with their attack, and Callahan’s rich baritone vocals-the most evident bass occurrence in the mix through these speakers-get some added high-mid clarity.
Keeping the +3 setting for Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the open,” we hear only modest bass depth-the most prevalent sound may be the attack of the kick drum loop, which includes some serious high-mid punch to it. However the sub-bass synth hits sound more raspy than heavy here-until you dial the bass up to maximum level, and you hear their rumble. So, messing around with the EQ will let you achieve a variety of sound signatures, however the default, pure sort of the Fidelio B5 is truly a rather flat, dialed-back frequency response.
Orchestral tracks, just like the opening scene in John Adams’ The Gospel In line with the Other Mary, sound full and rich through the Fidelio B5 at nearly any reasonable bass and treble setting (including 0 for both). In the event that you boost the bass too much, it pushes the low register instrumentation out of its supporting role and into boomy and unbalanced territory, but otherwise, the sound here’s bright, crisp, and rich.
The Philips Fidelio B5 gives an immersive surround experience, and even better, does so without cumbersome cables connecting the sub and rear channels to the key soundbar. When the medial side speakers are linked to the bar, the music continues to be compelling, making the machine equally adept at handling music and movies. In every, this is an extremely solid sound soundbar that earns its high $700 price by delivering powerful music and wireless convenience with little hassle.
We’re also fans of the JBL Bar 3.1 and the LG SJ7, which deliver powerful sound quality for $200 less. And if you are shoping on a budget, the Polk Signa S1 gives a fantastic audio tracks experience for the purchase price. When you can afford $700, however, the Philips Fidelio B5 is obviously worth your consideration.