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IFA 2019: Philips announces two new OLED TVs with Bowers & Wilkins audio built in

Jonathan Bray
6 Sep 2019
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Philips latest OLED TVs deliver improved picture quality and high-end, audiophile grade audio systems

Philips has launched a pair of new flagship OLED+ TV sets at the IFA tech show in Berlin. The new TVs, available in 55in and 65in sizes, include Philips’ third-generation P5 image-quality engine as well as a new multi-speaker sound system, produced in conjunction with high-end audio firm Bowers & Wilkins.

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These are not the first Philips TVs to benefit from Bowers & Wilkins audio: the first was the OLED+903 launched in 2018. But these two models – the 65in OLED+984 and 55in/65in OLED+934 – have improved audio performance, says Philips.

The systems are different across each model range: the OLED+984 has the “audiophile quality” system and the OLED+934 a less exotic setup. However, whichever model you choose, both have multiple speakers that mount their drivers in physically discrete housings.

The OLED+934 has a separate speaker enclosure that sits just below the screen, a bit like an integrated soundbar, and houses four 30mm mid-range drivers, two decoupled 19mm titanium tweeters and an 80mm ported subwoofer. Since this soundbar unit protrudes slightly, there’s also space for a pair of upward-firing 50mm drivers. Unlike the OLED+984, this allows it to support Dolby Atmos and its extra audio height information. 

The premium OLED+984 has a larger bar, which is separated from the screen by a few inches. The bar houses three separate, floating speaker enclosures for the left, centre and right channels; each of these has a 100mm mid-bass drive installed within.

A centrally mounted "Tweeter-on-Top" enclosure sits on top of the soundbar unit and there are also tweeters on each end of the bar. It’s an impressive system on paper and, in a demonstration after the launch event it sounded very impressive to my ears, with broad, rich deep and confident presentation, surpassing anything I've heard from any other built-in TV audio system.

Plus, if you want to add even more scale - for use in a larger room, for instance - there’s a subwoofer output so you connect your own unit and underpin that great quality sound with fuller, richer sub-bass.

Needless to say, Philips is also claiming great leaps forward in picture quality, and given how impressed we’ve been by the firm’s OLED TVs in the past, the new offerings have plenty of potential. The TVs include the latest OLED panels and Philips’ third-generation P5 image processing technology, which the firm says delivers better HDR performance across HDR10 and HDR10+, including richer colours and lower noise. For the first time in a Philips TV, Dolby Vision content will be supported, too.

Naturally, the new TVs also feature Philips’ trademark Ambilight technology, with bias lighting LEDs mounted to the rear of the TVs on all four sides. And both also run the firm’s Android TV software UI, based on Android 9 Pie.

As for pricing, that ranges from a tempting £2,200 for the 55in OLED+934 to £3,000 for the 65in version, while the premium OLED+984 will set you back a whopping £4,500. All the new models will be shipping to customers from the start of October from John Lewis, Harrods and Dixons.

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