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Review: Philips Fidelio E6

by Parm Mann on 23 May 2017, 16:00

Tags: Philips (AMS:PHIA)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadhkk

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Performance and Summary

...Fidelio E6 succeeds in combining ease of use, on-demand surround and a powerful home cinema experience in a simple and satisfying package.

Versatility is one of the Fidelio E6's key strengths, but can it deliver the audio quality expected from an £800 solution? Well, almost, though there are some obvious weaknesses.

The first question you might be asking is how does a system with four speakers and a subwoofer achieve a 5.1 designation? The answer lies in the speaker configuration - the sub is armed with a 6.5in woofer, the rear units are equipped with full-range 2.5in speakers while the front satellites are each outfitted with a 19mm soft-dome tweeter and two 3in woofers. The latter are designed to simulate an extra channel and do an effective job of centring speech.

As a whole, the audio output is surprisingly satisfying. Belying its size, Fidelio E6 punches above its weight with the sub providing plenty of rumble while the satellites offer good detail and depth. Definition is kept intact at high volume, with clear voices maintaining a central effect, and movies are delivered with real verve and convincing clarity. The satellites create a wide soundstage, though we did feel the need to lower the bass as the sub can be a tad overpowering at default settings, but all things considered, the Fidelio E6 does a grand job of localising effects and creating a feeling of immersion.

What's the catch? Well, the detachable speakers do a job in creating a full surround experience, but they aren't particularly powerful and lack the strength of the main units - sound output is comparatively timid, so while you get the effect, you don't necessarily get every last drop of rear detail. The same acoustic limitations apply when listening to music through a single rear speaker, and though the system's impressive versatility goes some way toward justifying the £800 price tag, audio buffs will be well aware of the fact that true 5.1 systems are likely to offer superior sound quality for less.

Bottom line: Philips has set out to bring versatile surround sound to users unwilling or unable to contend with a traditional wired solution. The Fidelio E6 succeeds in combining ease of use, on-demand surround and a powerful home cinema experience in a simple and satisfying package.

The Good
 
The Bad
Excellent upgrade for a flat-screen TV
Clutter-free surround sound
Automatic spatial calibration
Bluetooth/WiFi music streaming
Attractive design
 
Companion app is basic
HDMI 1.4 not future proof



Philips Fidelio E6

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The Philips Fidelio E6 is available to purchase from Amazon and Richer Sounds.

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At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



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HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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I don't mean to be picky, but most reviews these days seem to get some type of award at the end. TO differentiate the best maybe standards need to be increased?
Right sort of product at the right sort of price point for me, but hardly the most effusive review. I would probably consider the second version of it, but would need better than ‘Excellent upgrade for a flat-screen TV’ as my current solution is a <£200 (albeit 2.1) significant upgrade on the 20W I get out of my flat planel.

On this subject, roughly how long do people expect to have each audio system for? I usually end up getting dissatisfied with mine for a number of reasons after only a couple of years, I think my current setup is my 3rd in ~ 10 years.

neonplanet40
I don't mean to be picky, but most reviews these days seem to get some type of award at the end. TO differentiate the best maybe standards need to be increased?

Does indeed reduce the weight we, the readers, would give such an award.
wazzickle
….

On this subject, roughly how long do people expect to have each audio system for? I usually end up getting dissatisfied with mine for a number of reasons after only a couple of years, I think my current setup is my 3rd in ~ 10 years.

….
:eek:

Well, I bought my turntable in the late 70s. Ditto headphones. Some other bits are certainly newer, but my philosophy is to :-

- buy quality
- buy once
- upgrade/replace ONLY when necessary (kit failed) or to get a MAJOR improvement.
Saracen same philosophy

I bought a pair of Wharfedale Zaldek S1000s about 15 years ago, and they are powered by an amp that is older than me. My dad bought it in the 70s or 80s, my older brother had it for the 90s, and I got it in the 2000s.

I've never cared for surround sound, I prefer the powerful sound of full sized speakers.
Saracen
:eek:

Well, I bought my turntable in the late 70s. Ditto headphones. Some other bits are certainly newer, but my philosophy is to :-

- buy quality
- buy once
- upgrade/replace ONLY when necessary (kit failed) or to get a MAJOR improvement.

That's what I figured. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, or I'm just getting unlucky. I don't cheap out on purchases, and read plenty of reviews beforehand, but something usually goes wrong. Can't remember what I had before the Klipschi iFi which was also an iphone/ipod doc, but that one stopped working after a couple of years, connections went a bit loose or something, in both the remote (which was small enough to get lost on the regular) and the main console, which didn't seem suited to switching. So the latest which has probably actually lasted about 4-5 years is an Onkyo all-in-one HDMI switching machine - 3 HDMI inputs, 1 output, but there were again problems with the hdmi connections, and it was annoying when I had a source (wii) that wasn't HDMI. So now I just use the multiple inputs on my flat-panel. I already have an overabundance of remote controls, so I bought a logitech universal remote (new) that promptly after a year or two one of the volume buttons just straight-up stopped working.

Yeah, I'd guess, on reflection, I've been getting unlucky. Happy to keep my current system for a while as it produces decent sound but it certainly could be better (struggling to hear voices sometimes) and it's not 5.1.