Philips adds IMAX to Dolby Atmos to create the ultimate cinematic soundbars

Philips is hoping to make a big noise with the first Dolby Atmos soundbars to be certified IMAX Enhanced, the soon to launch B95 and B97.

IMAX Enhanced certification, which takes a lead from the premium film format, isn’t exactly the talk of the town, but it does promise high quality sound and vision, should you stumble across it on a 4k Blu-ray disc or streaming service. 

When it comes to its implementation on soundbars, we’re anticipating a deeper bass response than you might get with Dolby Atmos. Both new Philips soundbars ship with a separate subwoofer, capable of dropping to 35Hz.

Their feature count is high. The new models have Bluetooth built-in, work with Apple AirPlay and are Play-Fi enabled, meaning they can fit into a wider ecosystem of Play-Fi speakers (various brands support it) for whole home audio playback. They’re also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Basically, they come with all the home cinema toys…

When it comes to IMAX Enhanced implementation on soundbars, we’re anticipating a deeper bass response…

Pop off speakers can be used for rear surround with the B97

The range-leading Fidelio B97 is classed as a 7.1.2 model and features both dedicated Dolby Atmos Elevation drivers and the brand’s novel surround-on-demand technology. That’s to say, the bar has detachable speakers that can be used as wireless battery-powered rear surround enclosures.

The B97 system features no fewer than 17 drivers (including sub), with eight bass/mid drivers, six soft dome tweeters, and two angled, up-firing Dolby Atmos Elevation units.

Cumulative power output is rated at 500W for the main soundbar, and an additional 240W for the subwoofer. While it’s always wise to take these specifications with a pinch of salt, it’s a fair bet that it’ll sound quite punchy.

The B95 has Dolby Atmos but no break-off side speakers

The sibling Fidelio B95 Dolby Atmos soundbar is described as a 5.1.2 system, as it lacks detachable wings for rear surround. 

In total the B95 has 14 drivers, including five soft dome tweeters, three pairs of ported mid/bass drivers and two angled up-firing Dolby Atmos Elevation units.

Power output is rated at 450W for the main system and 240W for the subwoofer.

The Philips B95 and B97 will sell for £800 and £1,000 respectively. They’re expected to hit stores at the end of November.

About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and editor of The Luxe Review, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, Yahoo UK, Home Cinema Choice, Games Radar, Ideal Home, Louder Sounds, Channel News and Boat International. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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