Philips Fidelio SkyQuake B8/12 Audio

What is a Philips Fidelio SkyQuake?

You’ve got to palm it to Philips: a SkyQuake is substantially a best name for a Dolby Atmos soundbar ever. It highlights how a soundbar’s dual upwards banishment drivers can make sound sleet down on we from above, formulating a some-more convincing soundstage. With a further of 7.1 sound, and HDMI, Bluetooth and S/PDIF inputs, this would seem to be a soundbar that can do everything.

However, somewhat lifeless audio and groundless approximate sound let a side down.

Related: What is Dolby Atmos? All we need to know

Philips Fidelio SkyQuake – Design and Build

Philips has finished a good pursuit with a Fidelio SkyQuake. The categorical soundbar is comparatively prolonged (1,058 x 52 x 120mm), nonetheless it’s good matched to a 50-inch or incomparable TV. The one downside is that there’s no IR passthrough, so a soundbar can simply retard your remote’s vigilance to a TV.

Alternatively, a soundbar can be wall mounted, that might make some-more sense. Since a Dolby Atmos speakers need to glow upwards to rebound sound off of your ceiling, we shouldn’t put a soundbar in an enclosed space, or we won’t get a full effect.

The corpulent metal-effect subwoofer is wireless, so we can place it wherever we want. It’s taller than it is far-reaching (240 x 510 x 302mm), creation it easy to position out of a way.

Philips SkyQuake 6

Philips Fidelio SkyQuake – Features

HDMI inputs are a contingency on a high-end soundbar, compulsory to broach DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD soundtracks from Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray discs. Philips has 4K passthrough ports (30fps), yet a soundbar doesn’t support HDR. Plus a HDMI outlay is usually HDMI 1.4, that is a small disappointing.

I’d design a complicated soundbar to have full HDMI 2.0a ports. Of course, a HDMI outlay is ARC-enabled, so that a TV can send sound in a other instruction – from a built-in Netflix app, for example. It’s a contrition that there are usually dual HDMI inputs: regulating Sky Q and a Blu-ray player, for example, means that there’s no room for a games console.

Philips SkyQuake 8

Philips has tucked a HDMI ports into a recess in a soundbar. This creates them fiddly to entrance compared to those units that put a ports directly on a rear. But there is good reason for Philips’ decision, as wall ascent a soundbar (brackets provided) means that a behind of a section sits flush opposite a wall. The visual and coaxial S/PDIF inputs are likewise located in a recess for a same reason, nonetheless a smaller connector distance creates them easier to block in.

Philips SkyQuake 1

Only a USB port, for personification song directly, sticks true out of a behind to leave adequate room for a full-size USB stick. Philips solemnly provides a right-angle USB connector, so that when a SkyQuake is mounted on a wall, a USB drives hang true down.

Philips SkyQuake 9

There’s no network tie from this soundbar, that means that we can’t tide song directly to it. A elementary remote control is supposing in a box, that has all of a facilities you’d expect, and by-pass buttons for all of a inputs.

Philips SkyQuake – Surround Sound Performance

The SkyQuake has 18 drivers for a sum of 180W energy output, and a 220W subwoofer for a sum outlay of 440W. It’s a earnest combination, and a subwoofer delivers a bump and fad of explosions and gunshots with ease.

On a initial listen, a SkyQuake positively has a audio capability to hoop most any content. However, a some-more we listened to it, a some-more we found it wanting.

Philips’ Ambisound is designed to move practical approximate sound to your vital room, yet a audio chain is unconvincing. In comparison, a glorious Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700, that uses a setup mic to balance a audio for your room, convincingly placed audio all around me.

Philips SkyQuake 2

Audio also lacks a small of a gloss and impact that I’d expect. Watching a opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that doesn’t have an Atmos soundtrack, a initial battle’s blaster shots miss some of a flicker and flicker that I’d design from a soundbar during this price.

Towards a tip end, a SkyQuake can get a small harsh, while a mid-range can be a small muddled, creation discourse in some scenes some-more formidable to hear. Turning on a tallness speakers regulating a remote improves a fidelity, yet a sorcery isn’t utterly there. That’s not to contend that audio isn’t good; only that during this cost we don’t design to hear such flaws.

Philips SkyQuake

Switching to Game of Thrones and a Dolby Atmos Soundtrack, we watched a “Hard Home” episode. Here, Atmos kicks in, giving a deeper clarity of immersion. But, again, positioning is a problem. The tallness speakers only make it feel as yet a sound is all around you, rather than adding any direction. Samsung’s opposition HW-K850 delivers a most some-more considerable and immersive Atmos experience.

Fidelio Philips SkyQuake – Music Performance

Listening to music, around Bluetooth or one of a dedicated audio inputs, is fun and engaging. From a jazz tones of Louis Armstrong’s Mack a Knife, by to Foo Fighters’ Enough Space, we was happily impressed.

The soundbar’s subwoofer adds that bump and excitement, while a 18 drivers covering in detail. Again, a somewhat oppressive top-end and miss of refinement in a center can be heard; these aren’t vicious faults, yet this is an costly soundbar, and we design better.

Should we buy a Philips Fidelio SkyQuake?

In isolation, a Philips Fidelio SkyQuake is a fun and enchanting soundbar that adds fact and oomph to film soundtracks. But, a soundbar foe is tough and any flaws, no matter how minor, unequivocally hang out during this price.

The miss of positional audio and somewhat oppressive top-end detract, generally when a Samsung HW-K850 sounds improved and costs a same. Spend some-more and we can get a higher Samsung HW-K950, that has dedicated behind speakers for a scrupulously immersive experience.

If Dolby Atmos isn’t that critical to you, afterwards we can get a glorious Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700 for even less. Its intelligent soundbeam record accurately fakes carrying additional speakers, giving a most some-more immersive sound field, and it has a glorious MusicCast multi-room audio built-in, too.

Verdict

A neat soundbar that delivers improved audio than your TV, yet a sound is a small lacking during this cost and a deficiency of HDMI 2.0 ports is disappointing.

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