PHILIPS FIDELIO B97 Review – Surround sound comeback king

When you see “Fidelio” on a Philips product, you know it’s all about high audio standards. The Fidelio B97 not only delivers on sound quality but also impresses visually, earning its title as a premium soundbar.

With its high-quality design and sophisticated technology, Philips has become a significant player in the European market. At the Amsterdam headquarters, they understand that great sound complements a great picture. Thus, their top OLED+ TV models come with fully integrated soundbars, developed in collaboration with high-end speaker manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins.

The system features 16 drivers across its soundbar and surrounds
Product: Dolby Atmos soundbar system with detachable surrounds
Position: Top of Philips’ range, above the 5.1.2-channel B95
Peers: JBL Bar 9.1; Samsung HW-Q800A

For those who don’t want to invest in a luxury TV but still crave an immersive audio experience, Philips offers the Fidelio B97, a newly released premium soundbar. It supports major 3D audio formats Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and is IMAX Enhanced certified. DTS also plays a role in another feature: the Fidelio B97 supports the Play-Fi multiroom system, which Philips has integrated into some of its TVs, soundbars, and Wi-Fi speakers. This allows high-quality music streaming from sources like streaming services or smartphones across multiple zones via home Wi-Fi.

Philips wouldn’t be Philips without an extra twist. Years ago, with the Fidelio B5, Philips introduced a soundbar with removable, battery-powered surround speakers—a concept later adopted by JBL. With the Fidelio B97, Philips has revived this idea. The two end pieces of the 1.30-meter-wide soundbar can be detached and used as rear speakers, placed flexibly behind the seating area. The exposed ends can be covered with the provided panels. The remaining soundbar still offers a good meter of base width and features two side-firing tweeters that become active once the end pieces are removed. This makes the B97 a versatile piece of equipment. Philips calls this concept “Surround Sound on Demand.”

The enclosures charge when reattached to the main ‘bar

The approach is quite ingenious. For those who watch a lot of linear TV with stereo sound, a powerful sound system with a broad base width is available. When you want to enjoy the immersive soundscape of modern movies or series, you can detach the side pieces and have a full 7.1.2 configuration 3D sound system with real rear channels. The battery life of the satellite speakers is about ten hours, enough for a lengthy series marathon. After that, the end pieces need to be recharged either at the main unit or via USB-C. With the charging port and the included wall mounts, they could even be installed permanently, though this would limit the flexibility to switch between optimized stereo and surround modes.

The B97 is primarily designed for TVs 55in and up

In testing, the 450-watt, 16-driver Fidelio B97 with its 8-inch subwoofer performed convincingly. Setting up Wi-Fi with the Philips Sound App required some patience, but the potential was evident from the first Play-Fi streamed tracks. The soundbar impressed with its rich bass, wide soundstage, and fine detail. It truly shone in cinema mode with detached satellites, delivering precisely defined main channels and an immersive soundstage with accurately placed sound effects. Alicia Vikander’s chase through the Hong Kong harbor in “Tomb Raider” was rendered with exceptional precision and excitement.

If wall-mounting the surround enclosures, use their USB-C input to recharge
The ‘bar has control buttons on its top


Frequency Response

The B97’s frequency response has notable highs and lows, and the subwoofer can be overwhelming. However, this is still within acceptable limits for audio performance.

The soundbar’s ability to play very low (120 Hz) is good for homogeneous voice reproduction but not ideal for maximum volume.


With its removable satellites, the Philips Fidelio B97 is a clever solution for those who value both an impressive 3D soundscape and excellent stereo performance.

Battery-powered, flexibly positioned satellites, very precise effect channel representation

Somewhat limited reserves, not perfectly balanced tuning

8 Total Score
Recommended PHILIPS FIDELIO B97 Review

With detachable rear speakers, this premium soundbar offers a genuinely cinematic surround sound experience, but don’t expect high Atmos...

Add your review  |  Read reviews and comments
PHILIPS FIDELIO B97: Price Comparison

When you purchase through links on our site, I may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

PHILIPS Audio Fidelio B97/10 TV Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer and...
out of stock


DRIVEUNITS (SOUNDBAR): 2 x full-range (centre); 4 x full-range plus 2 x tweeters (left & right); 2 x full-range upfirers; 2 x side-firing tweeters

DRIVEUNITS (SURROUNDS): 2 full-range plus 2 x tweeters

ONBOARD POWER (CLAIMED): 450W total (240W subwoofer)

CONNECTIONS: 2 x HDMI inputs; 1 x HDMI output with eARC; digital optical audio input; 3.5mm analogue input


SEPARATESUB: Yes. Sin driver


DIMENSIONS (SURROUNDS ATTACHED): 1,312(w) x 55.6(h) x 120(d)mm


FEATURES: Chromecast built-in, Bluetooth v4.2; wall-mounting option; rechargable wireless rear speakers; HDR passthrough (HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG); IMAX Enhanced; DTS Play-Fi; PS Fine Tune app; Works with Alexa; Apple AirPlay


Founded in July 2014, 7Review is a free audio resource for beginners, and we're dedicated to helping you create the ultimate movie-watching experience right at home. We pull insights from top audio magazines and trusted industry sources to bring you well-researched, reliable reviews and tips. Whether you're a home cinema pro or just starting out, we aim to give you the info you need to make the best choices for your setup.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.