- – Wireless – Audio Quality
We don’t like
- – Clutter – Lack of visual interface
Despite a few minor imperfections such as its lack of visual feedback for its settings or the absence of Wi-fi, the Fidelio E5 stands out as a flagship product for 2014. Awarded at the CES last January, it did not disappoint in our test. This is a well thought-out quality system. With it, Philips can look forward to kicking off the anthill of high-end Home Cinema
Wireless home cinema are we cracking or not?’ class=’wp-image-15466′ data-lazy-sizes='(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px’ data-lazy-src=’https://verifiedtasks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/test-philips-wireless-home-cinema-are-we-cracki.jpeg’ data-lazy-srcset=’https://verifiedtasks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/test-philips-wireless-home-cinema-are-we-cracki.jpeg 600w, https://verifiedtasks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/test-philips-wireless-home-cinema-are-we-cracki-300×200.jpeg 300w’ height=’400′ src=’data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’%20viewBox=’0%200%20600%20400’%3E%3C/svg%3E’ width=’600’>
Introduced last March, Philips’ Fidelio E5 is now available. This 2.1 home cinema kit is capable of being transformed into a 4.1 system thanks to satellites stacked on top of its main speakers.
With the Fidelio E5, Philips is forcing the door on high-end audio devices by making no compromises on either manufacturing or on-board technologies. Its price is determined accordingly: ,699 euros. We’re a long way from supermarket complexes, but the bet is still a daring one. Philips has in its sights manufacturers such as Focal, Cabasse or Bose, which all have 2.1 systems dedicated to home cinema in the same price range.
Should we fall for the newcomer? Does it have what it takes to make you forget the top tenors? It offers many technologies, but does it master them all?
Yes, because of its successful design
Sober, the Fidelio E5 kit does not denote in a living room. While Philips has worked well on the sound quality of its system, it has not overshadowed its visual appearance. A top-of-the-range device, it integrates into its design materials that are easily attributed to good-quality loudspeakers. The two main speakers as well as the subwoofer are thus wrapped in a thickfabric, the two satellites are surrounded by a metal mesh. wood is also used in the composition of the set by being positioned on top of the rear speakers as well as on the surface of the cabinet. Finally, to make it easier to carry the satellites, Philips has even thought of attaching a leather strap that acts as a wrist strap.
Of course, underneath all these details are hidden plastic structures, but they don’t get in the way. Better yet, the finish is exemplary. Nothing goes over. In this idyllic setting, one imperfection should nevertheless be pointed out: in position 4.1, the main speakers are stripped of surround sound. Their surface is then empty and reveals the connectors which allow the loading of the said satellites. The same could be said for the ADA 890s, except that Altec Lansing had thought of providing caps to hide the unsightly connections.
This is not a negative point, but let us specify that the Fidelio E5 system is imposing. When the surrounds are on the two main voices, we reach 41 cm high for 16 cm wide and 16 cm deep. This is far beyond the speakers of a much more compact Bose Cinemate or Cabasse Stream 3. Therefore, space must be reserved on the TV cabinet, especially since there are no legs for the Fidelio E5.
Yes, because it is wireless
Although you don’t come across them every day, a 2.1 that turns into a 4.1 is not new. Altec Lansing had launched its ADA 890 in 2001, a kit similar to the difference that it was wired. Today, Philips offers a completely (or almost) wireless package: a real treat to integrate in a room.
No more trying to hide the cables by hiding them in more or less successful baseboards. The Fidelio E5 requires only one cable to connect the two main speakers to each other and three mains sockets to connect them and the subwoofer respectively.
Both satellites are battery operated. They have an autonomy of 10 hours. They are each provided with three LEDs that indicate the battery status. Once flat, it takes 4 hours to recharge. It’s a long process, so don’t forget to put them back on their docks on a regular basis. To integrate into the system, these surrounds use proprietary wireless technology to avoid interference from other devices while maintaining optimal audio quality
Yes, because the sound is powerful
Originally, the Fidelio E5 seems to us rather badly tuned. Its bass is too present and the treble is muffled. Fortunately, these parameters can be adjusted using the remote control supplied.
After a few tries, a dynamic and powerful sound can be achieved while remaining clear. Beware, the final rendering remains rather metallic and is neither round nor hot. Also, when it comes to listening to music, it’s up to each person to make his or her own choice. For our part, while we found the result satisfactory with rock and pop, the sound lacked warmth on classical and jazz tracks. Note that it is possible to listen to music in 4.1 by activating mode “Surround” available on the remote control. This makes it an ideal installation for an evening out with friends, as the sound capacity is more than enough to disturb your neighbours!
In home cinema mode, we tested the Fidelio E5 on Rush, the biopic of Formula 1 rivals Nikki Lauda and James Hunt. The roar of the engines seemed to us a good way to test the surround sound. As soon as the film was released, we were already full to bursting at the seams. No need to go to the cinema anymore, the Philips kit is amazing in this respect. The main voice on a 5.1 is not missing here. It is quite well “simulated” by the two front speakers. The subwoofer does its job while remaining discreet enough if you take the time to make some equalizer adjustments.
No, because it lacks the Wi-fi
And that’s all he needs. The Fidelio E5 is connected. It offers Bluetooth certified Aptx for high quality audio playback if you have the right “loseless” files. It is also NFC, which allows you to quickly pair tablets, smartphones or other Compatible devices
So, all it needs is a Wi-fi connection to be at the top and fit perfectly into a home network
No, because it has no visual interface
This is the second grievance we have against the Fidelio E5. His remote control is very well done, but no feedback has been provided to measure the settings that are made. Philips simply thought of lighting a white LED for two seconds on its main speakers to indicate that the bass or treble volume has reached its maximum or minimum.
Connected in HDMI to the TV set, we would have appreciated having a visual interface in order to better appreciate its settings and even record them. Even a nearly 10-year-old Yamaha sound bar (YSP-1000) is equipped with this option. In the end, we’re going to have a bit of luck, juggling between the ” + “ and ” – “buttons and especially the ” Reset “ button at the bottom of the remote control.