IFA 2015: Philips can turn stereo sound to surround sound in seconds

Here in Berlin at IFA 2015, Philips has taken the wraps off a speaker system that wants to be your one-stop stereo and surround-sound solution. It's called Fidelio E6.

It consists of two wireless speakers, each 40cm tall, and a wireless subwoofer. Each speaker has a detachable, battery-powered top section that can be removed and placed elsewhere in your room as, say, a rear speaker.

Philips claims its Spatial Calibration algorithm ensures perfectly balanced surround-sound regardless of where the speakers are positioned, and the batteries powering the detachable modules are claimed to be good for five hours' use on a single charge.

To emulate the presence of a centre speaker, each of the front speakers features an angled three-inch driver designed to direct sound to the centre of the soundstage.

The E6 also features HDMI inputs and 4K UHD pass-through for use with up-to-the-minute home cinema sources, and has Spotify Connect and Google Cast built in. It will pair with up to three Bluetooth devices at a time, so you can enjoy a battle for control of the music you listen to.

The Fidelio E6 is due to go on sale at the end of the year, priced at €900. UK pricing will follow.

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Simon Lucas is a freelance technology journalist and consultant, with particular emphasis on the audio/video aspects of home entertainment. Before embracing the carefree life of the freelancer, he was editor of What Hi-Fi? – since then, he's written for titles such as GQ, Metro, The Guardian and Stuff, among many others.