Design and Installation
The HTL5120 is a very well connected package with 2 HDMI inputs as well as an ‘out’ to take advantage of TVs with Audio Return Channel (ARC) compatibility, allowing the television to send audio ‘upstream’, cutting down on the number of cables behind the TV and also meaning you can use the TV’s remote to control the volume. There’s also a 3.5mm L/R stereo audio and both coaxial and optical digital audio connections to choose from. If that’s not enough, the 5120 will also communicate with your Bluetooth enabled PC, Smartphone or Tablet to stream your music collection or even as an accompaniment to games and other apps. With all those connections available, keeping everything neat and tidy is a concern and Philips has gone some way in addressing that by including a cable tidy clip for wire management. In practice, if you do utilise every connection, it’s going to be difficult not to have things poking out.
The Phlips HTL5120 doesn’t doesn’t feature any OSD (on-screen display), despite the HDMI out connection so it’s through a combination of the elliptically shaped remote control and indicator from where all operations must be marshalled. The remote is quite nice to handle but a touch on the slippy side and the contours aren’t ideally shaped to sit in the hand. The buttons are well planned and presented, however, with plenty of space between one another. The handset has controls for input selection, volume, bass and treble as well as standby and an activation of the virtual surround mode.
The effect is as good with TV and movies as it is with music too. The HTL5120 inherits much of the sonic signature of the higher-end Fidelio range, meaning it’s warm and full, yet still reasonably transparent. The soundstage is also wider when than one might expect with audio radiating from the teardrop sides, as well as frontwards from the mid-range drivers and downwards from the dual subs. It all adds up to something quite compelling and we applaud Philip’s feat of engineering here. It’s certainly possible to push those bass drivers too hard, however, and it’s likely that some surfaces might rattle more than others but the HTL5120 is undoubtedly more than capable of immersing the average living room in highly satisfying sound. We guess the only other minor negative we can come up with is that the DSP Virtual Surround mode is a waste of time but you don’t have to use it!
- Lovely, room-filling audio
- As good with music as it is movies & TV
- Gorgeous, compact design
- Loads of connections
- A doddle to set up
- Outstanding value
- Bass can distort when pushed too hard
- Remote is a bit slippy in the hand
- No OSD set up
Philips HTL5120 Soundbar Review
It's child's play really, although we're not fully sold on the remote which is a bit like a bar of soap but not quite so slippery. Once you're happy with your sound levels, you can then sit back to enjoy the warm - and surprisingly big - sound of the HTL5120. Philips has engineered an enveloping soundstage from this rather modest looking system and also full credit for the in-built bass drivers that will give any subwoofer, in this price-class, a run for their money. You'll be surprised what Philip's has managed to accomplish with this compact little system. We certainly know we were!
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
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