The new Philips E5 is a sister product to the Fidelio HTL9100 sound bar that detachable speakers, but with the E5 kit the detachable rear speakers sit elegantly on top of the front speakers when not being used as rear speakers.
These removable satellites, with beautiful leather straps as handles, magnetically attach to a bookshelf pair, instantly turning the 2.1 system into 5.1 surround sound, providing design and functionality a league of its own.
We tested these speakers with the new Philips 5000 Series 3D Ambilight TV and we were blown away by the quality.
Launched at the 2014 CES Show, this system is now on sale at Australian retailers and where the two satellite rear speakers on the soundbar charge on either side of the bar these speakers charge on top of the front speakers. The leather handle on the top provides for easy movement.
The new E5 system is very versatile, and has a stylized look that will fit into even some smaller home theatre setups.
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The Philips E5 provides high-definition surround sound without wires. There’s also a wireless active subwoofer, which works with integrated amplifiers to power the bass. The subwoofer is paired with two small towers that are just slightly larger than your average bookshelf pair.
The speakers plug in with HDMI audio, HDMI CES, and HDMI2x as connectivity options. The system features surround sound on demand, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS 2.0+ Digital Out, an HDMI x2 input and Bluetooth APT-X and AAC, as well as NFC. While the E5 connects to the home theatre system, the Bluetooth and NFC functions let you pair devices, such as a smartphone or tablet, to play music and support video.
Where the E5s differentiate themselves from other systems are the wireless, detachable surround speakers. Sitting atop each tower is a satellite speaker that recharges while in its base, and can support up to 10 hours of playback time. The E5 system is able to recognize content and adjust sound appropriately.
When set up for 5.1 surround for a movie, the satellites operate as rear speakers when they are detached from the main speakers syncing automatically when lifted. So as you move them to a rear position you will hear and feel the surround sound experience kicking in. If the action in the film includes a car approaching from the rear, you’ll hear the tires on the pavement as it rolls up behind you.
When playing music, the speakers play stereo sound whether on the base or detached. Users can also take one or both satellites into another room, such as the kitchen or even the backyard, to serve as B speakers. The speakers can either play music from a connected stereo or be paired with a device to play music in another room or area where you would not otherwise have music.
The versatility of the Fidelio E5 system is just one of the elements that make this system attractive. It also has an eye-catching design. The subwoofer, towers and satellites feature a clean, unobtrusive look. The subwoofer stands taller than most, with a polished wood panel on the top.
The satellites nestle on top of the towers to form a sleek tower, and look equally in place when moved around the room. On top of one satellite is a wood rocker panel that controls power, volume and inputs, while a leather strap makes the satellites easy to pick up and put into place for listening.
Recommended Retail Price: $1049.99 but expect a street price of sub $1000.