In the battle for space in the living room, Philips has launched three new soundbars that provide extra functionality together with a new Philips Ambilight TV.
Philips TAB6309 – big sound from a small space
Philips promises that the new TAB6309 soundbar is the perfect partner for Philips Ambilight TV owners, with its big cinema sound yet not blocking the bottom edge of the screen. This is thanks to its “exceptionally low profile”, at just 37 mm in height. Alternatively, the soundbar can be mounted on the wall.
Despite its low height, the TAB6309 promises high-quality 3D sound with audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual:X. Since the speaker system is of the 2.1 type, this must be realised with digital audio processing. It can never be as good as having separate drivers on top of the soundbar, but it can create an extra sense of ambience.
The included wireless subwoofer provides more power in the bass register. It is very compact and can be placed either horizontally or vertically, so there should be plenty of opportunities to hide it completely out of sight.
The soundbar has great connectivity options, with HDMI eARC, optical digital in, analogue AUX and even playback directly from USB memory. Philips use their own EasyLINK system, which allows you to control both the soundbar and a Philips TV with a single remote control. This provides a few more features than usual, but it should be noted that all soundboards can be controlled with the TV’s remote control, as long as they both support HDMI-CEC. As today, this applies to the vast majority.
Music can be streamed via Bluetooth 5.3 and the soundbar supports the LE Audio codec for a more stable connection. It is also said to provide better sound with lower latency compared to the old SBC codec.
Audio-wise, the TAB6309 is customisable with four EQ modes and a Dialogue Boost mode. You can use both remote control and app for this.
Philips TAB5309 – slightly smaller
If you have slightly lower ambitions for the TV room, the TAB5309 could be the soundbar for you. Also with DTS Virtual:X, but without Dolby Atmos. So not the same support for immersive 3D sound.
The TAB5309 also has a compact, wireless subwoofer next to it, and similar connectivity options as its big brother.
Philips TAB5109 – still better than TV sound
If you’re not particularly interested in powerful bass, but still desire better sound than that coming directly from your TV, there’s the Philips TAB5109. A compact 2.0 system with DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Digital Plus. Again, the same connections as the two larger soundbars.