Philips has just taken the wraps off a new, four-model soundbar range, including a 720W Dolby Atmos model, but it's the Fidelio FS1 wireless speaker that's grabbed my attention most – and not just because it's got integrated Ambilight.
The intriguing little FS1 speaker has a three-way design consisting of a 1-inch tweeter, a 3.5-inch woofer and a top-mounted, angled 2.5-inch driver, and it can be employed in a variety of scenarios. It can, of course, work as a standalone wireless speaker, or it can be partnered with another FS1 in order to create a stereo pair. Alternatively, it can be used as a satellite in an AV system, with the upward-firing driver handling Dolby Atmos duties. Finally, a pair of FS1s can handle the left- and right-channel duties when connected to a compatible Philips TV, with the TV's own speakers then used as the centre channel.
And yes, the FS1 also has integrated Ambilight, with eight little LEDs built into the little speaker's rear that allow it to synchronise with the Ambilight from a Philips TV. There's no specific mention of how the LEDs behave when the FS1 is used as a standalone wireless speaker, but my assumption is that you can essentially synchronise it to your music, which is something you can already do with an Ambilight TV.
Circling back to the soundbars, the four-strong range opens with the 2.1-channel B7207, rises to the 3.1 B7807, steps up to the 600W B8507, and tops out at the 3.1.2 B8507.
Power ratings range from 520W for the bottom model to 720W for the top one, and each model comes with a dedicated wireless subwoofer. Side-firing tweeters are built into each 'bar, too, designed to expand the width of the soundstage.
Naturally, it's the top model that's most interesting, thanks to its high power rating, dedicated height channels and DTS Play-Fi compatibility, which allows the 3.1.2 configuration to be expanded to 5.1.2 via connection to wireless surrounds – two FS1 speakers, perhaps?
Pricing and launch dates for the FS1 and new soundbars are yet to be confirmed – more when we have it.
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