Meet Philips' new B97 and B95 soundbars, the first in the world with IMAX Enhanced certification

Philips has announced two new soundbar systems under its relaunched Fidelio range. Both the B95 and B97 support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and are IMAX Enhanced certified.

Philips says research has shown 80 per cent of soundbar buyers opt for the same brand as their TV, and with the company enjoying an 8 per cent growth in flatscreen sales in the last year, the time is obviously right to freshen up its soundbar selection. The B97 and B95 are the flagship models in a new nine-strong series announced today.

Priced £1,000 and available from November, the B97 is a 7.1.2 system, with detachable Surround-on-Demand rear speakers and featuring 17 drivers in total. These are two 2.5in upfiring Atmos units, eight mid/bass racetrack drivers (include a pair for its dedicated centre channel), six soft dome tweeters and the 8in woofer on the bar's wireless subwoofer.

When connected to the main soundbar, the Surround-on-Demand speakers operate as part of the left and right channels. Removed and placed left and right of the listening position, they function as traditional multichannel surrounds 'for a truly immersive cinematic sound performance.'

In this mode, side-firing tweeters on the main bar also become active.


Ranged below the B97, the £800 B95 (also available in November) is a 5.1.2 design without the Surround-on-Demand speakers.

Both models seem well-specified for system flexibility, with HDMI 2.1 input and output (including eARC) joined by optical digital audio and aux inputs. Wireless sources can be streamed via Bluetooth or Apple AirPlay, and the 'bars feature DTS Play-Fi, enabling multiroom integration.

Philips says 'installation and operation is simple and straightforward' thanks to its Philips Sound app and the soundbars' compatibility with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Style-wise, the B97 and B95 soundbars adhere to the 'Best of European design' ethos of Philips' other Fidelio sound products, with finish details including metal trim around their slim chassis.

Philips has today also announced its latest Fidelio headphones. The L3 are an over-ear ANC design using custom 40mm drivers. Bluetooth 5.0 brings compatibility with the aptX HD codec, while a wired cable is also supplied for hi-res playback.

The £300 cans claim a battery life of up to 35 hours, and feature a Muirhead leather-wrapped headband and aluminium frame design – a build that Philips says delivers both 'extreme comfort and luxury.'