A superb TV soundbar from Philips

The unobtrusive Fidelio SoundStage XS1 delivers crisp spacial stereo

It may be somewhat unglamorous, but the TV soundbar is, in my view, one of the technology products that makes the most difference to daily life. If you have one, try disconnecting it for a minute, just to experience the awful, tinny sound flatscreen TVs make.

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I use the wonderful Canton DM 50, which can be bought for just £200 these days (and is also a really good one-box wirelesshifi, although I always forget I can use it as such). But this new soundbar from Philips, with its separate wirelessly connected subwoofer, is even better. The main box, which slips unobtrusively under the TV, contains six full-range drivers, each delivering 20 watts of power in remarkable, crisp spatial stereo. It’s also a bit of a design classic to my eye. Both the main unit and the sub are slim, flat things. The sub can be slid under a sofa (a particularly good place for feeling the bass) and almost forgotten about. It does, however, need a mains connection, so the sofa has to be close-ish to a wall socket. It’s very neat, nonetheless.

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