IFA 2013 - First Look at Philips Fidelio Range

The story behind Philips innovation in sound

Home AV News

IFA 2013 - First Look at Philips Fidelio Range
SRP: £579.00
When it comes to Philips audio strategy, connectivity is the key. The manufacturer is looking at effective ways of connecting you with their audio products, ensuring that you can always access your music, no matter what the source. However, connectivity is only part of the story as Philips are keen to pursue a people focused design philosophy that is intended to deliver an authentic sound experience.
This design philosophy is conceived to provide aspirational products that combine product and acoustic design, resulting in something that delivers iconic looks and best-in-class audio performance. The embodiment of this philosophy is Philips SoundSphere speakers which include unique tweeters that are released from the traditional speaker cabinets. By separating the tweeters from the drivers and removing them from the enclosure, there is less interference and the tweeter is free to deliver sound in all directions. The result is a more natural sound with a deeper and wider soundstage.

There are two different Fidelio SoundSphere models, the wireless speaker version and the DesignLine model. The former uses the unique tweeter design and incorporates an unusual cabinet to create a wireless speaker that provides both high-fidelity and convenience. The Fidelio SoundSphere includes AirPlay, allowing you to wirelessly stream music over your wireless home network. The smaller SoundSphere speakers delivered a controlled and delightfully detailed performance that redefined the capabilities of a wireless speaker. There is no longer any need to compromise between convenience and performance and the attractive and unusual design is an added plus.


The SoundSphere DesignLine is Philips flagship home cinema speaker and development began back in 2005. The result is a speaker that is certainly unique in appearance but this design is based on the idea of a point source - a theoretical speaker that generates all frequencies from a single point in space. The speakers include 32-bit dual-core DSP processing and Universal Class D (UCD) amplifiers, along with Bluetooth aptX and AAC for lossless audio streaming. There's also EasyLink for controlling HDMI-CEC devices from one remote control and HDMI ARC to access sound from your TV. In the demo the audio produced by the SoundSphere speakers was impressive, with an open soundstage, plenty of high frequency detail and a tight low end.

In a slightly more traditional configuration, Philips also have their stereo Sound Tower which is comprised of two floor-standing speakers. One of the towers includes the amplification for 2 x 80W and also incorporates a built-in CD drive, docks for both 30-pin and Lightning connectors, WiFI, Bluetooth and a FM radio. The result is an all-in-one solution that removes the need to have additional sources or unwanted cables. The stereo Sound Tower delivered a pleasing and suitably detailed soundstage with plenty of well integrated bass. If you don't have room for two floor-standers, there is also the option of the single Sound Tower, which incorporates a 3.1 speaker system with 200W of total power and a built-in subwoofer. There's also a built-in CD drive, dual iPod docking, Bluetooth, WiFi and a FM radio. DEspite being limited to a single floor-standing speaker the Sound Tower was still able to produce an open sound that filled the room.


The P9X offers a combination of portability and performance, with a mono block wireless speaker design that incorporates aptX and AAC Bluetooth technology. The P9X is compatible with the latest Android and iOS smartphones and includes NFC technology. Other wireless speakers from Philips include their Primo wireless docking speaker, which includes both an iPod dock and AirPlay. There is also a distinctive curved look that Philips have christened SoundCurve and it's designed to be a more effective structure for acoustical performance. If you're looking for something with more high-fidelity characteristics, Philips also have their Fidelio wireless HiFi range. This range includes both the A5 and the A3 speakers which combines uncompromised acoustic design with cutting-edge wireless technology.

For those who are looking to improve the sound of their TV, a 5.1 system is generally the best approach. However, not everyone has room for all those speakers, which is why soundbars have become so popular. Philips has developed the E5, which offers the best of both worlds, with two speakers at the front for normal viewing and detachable wireless rear speakers for when you want genuine surround. This clever Surround on Demand idea of detachable and rechargeable rear speakers was first introduced on the HTL9100 Fidelio sound bar and is the ideal home cinema audio solution for consumers who want surround sound without the bulk or wires. The sleek E5 speakers feature a unique design that allows the top to detach to create four independent wireless speakers for a full surround sound experience. Since there is no centre speaker that is created as a phantom speaker and there appears to be no way of setting the distance or levels for the speakers. However with their built-in carry handles the rechargeable rear speakers are easy to set up and in the demo at least, did create an effective surround field.


Philips latest headphones are the Fidelio M1s but at IFA the company also released a new Bluetooth version in the form of the new Fidelio M1BT. Combining wireless listening freedom with the sound quality of the Fidelio brand, the M1BT is natural fit for those who have a passion for sound and music. Unlike other Bluetooth headphones, the M1BT utilizes the latest Bluetooth 4.0 standard along with APT-X (Android), AAC (Apple) and SBC for the superior music streaming and low power usage. Philips also launched their Fidelio L2 headphones, replacing the class leading Fidelio L1. The new generation Philips Fidelio L2 features lighter materials, a new headband design and key sound improvements that will impress even the most discerning audiophile. The Philips Fidelio L2 headphones have also been tuned by the most analytical ears from Philips’ ‘Golden Ears’ panel of audio experts, to deliver exceptional performance.

The result of all this innovation is a range of audio products that remain true to Philips high-fidelity heritage, whilst embracing the way people listen to music today. Whether it's a CD or a wireless connection, Philips latest line-up can handle it and whether you want to be on the move, creating a quick surround system or listening to a high-end audio system, Philips has all your needs covered.
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.

Latest Headlines

TCL announces TS8132 soundbar
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
L-Acoustics Creations launches new multichannel Archipel Sound Systems
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Denon introduces Home 550 soundbar
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung HW-Q950A soundbar adds room calibration for 2021
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: CES 2021 Special
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Top Bottom