Got that perfect new TV, calculated the perfect viewing angle, and distance. Yet, somehow, something seems missing from that home theatre? The surround-sound system you were once proud of is now showing it’s age, but replacing all of that equipment seems too much of a chore? Do you have the old receiver blues? You moaned when replacing an old surround system was mentioned, didn’t you? Didn’t you!? Just thinking about replacing a receiver, the speakers, checking the wires, and possibly replacing those wires gave me the chills. Worse still, I remember first generation soundbars, which were just as much of a hassle to connect with less quality. Well, as said in old cigarette commercials, “We’ve come a long way, baby.” Wireless subwoofer, wireless Play-Fi connectivity, eARC for easier configuration, fewer speakers to find space for, and even Roku remote compatibility. You don’t have to sacrifice audio in your home theater any longer.
Let’s be honest, shall we? The wife isn’t here. The reason most of us want a surround sound system is not for the little birds tweeting behind our heads during a movie. Nope. We want the explosions when a plane is shot down, that space-fighter has had one too many laser blasts in it, or a super-villain succeeds in his destruction of a chemical plant to shake us in our seats. Just. Like. In. The. Theater. What we don’t like is running a speaker wire through another wall in hopes that we can find a spot close to a power outlet. Wireless communications has really matured well in this area, and the subwoofer with the Philips 3.1.2 system provides that needed thunder without any hassle. Simply put, it just works. Again, there is no setup involved with the subwoofer, just find a spot near a power receptacle, and the system will take care of the rest. I put that subwoofer next to the couch; when explosions happen, we don’t even have to look at the screen!
While there is some physical set up to attach the soundbar to the wall, it’s not difficult, and it has a built in level. (It’s the glass tube on the back of the soundbar with a bubble, can’t miss it.) Even if the level is removed in subsequent models, most of us have one in our toolbox already. Outside of that, a phillips-head screwdriver is all that’s needed. A couple of mounting holes in, some mounting brackets put into place, and follow that with attaching the soundbar. It couldn’t get much easier. Ikea could take a lesson from Philips here. Now, the part we’ve all feared… The wiring. Plug the bar into the wall for power, run the HDMI cord to the port on your TV labeled “ARC.” Done. Yes, there are more ports you could use (even optical in), but, trust me, the ARC port makes life much easier. Why? Because, once that’s plugged in, all you have to do is “tell” your TV that it’s there.
Now for what our old school surround sound systems didn’t do, “Alexa play music on the tv.” That’s right, digital assistant voice control. The soundbar is Play-Fi enabled, so you can tie it into a suite of stand-alone speakers, voice control the soundbar/subwoofer, add it into a group, and all of the Play-Fi features. From Google and Amazon to iHeart Radio and Pandora, Play-Fi ties it all together for you. While there is some set up involved, you’ll have a harder time NOT giggling like a school girl than getting your system up and running. Want to know more about PlayFi? Just point your browser to https://play-fi.com/ to get your geek on. To top this off, the Philips Soundbar 3.1.2 is “Roku Ready,” so your Roku remote works with your soundbar without any trouble. You know what? “Hey Google, play Steam Powered Giraffe on the soundbar.”
One of the features of this sound bar is the angle of the speakers within the soundbar itself, Dolby Atmos. This is a physically internal feature that angles sounds to give a surround-sound experience without the clutter of speakers all over the room. The idea is the sound is reflected off of the ceiling to “fill the air” with sound. If you imagine two speakers angled up and away from a center speaker, you’re imagining something pretty close. The mounting of all three speakers in a soundbar further helps this effect by putting the speakers on the same plane in three dimensional space. The net result? Surround sound without the hassle. Which is exactly what we want.
It isn’t a single feature that makes the Philips 3.1.2 Soundbar fantastic, it’s that all of the features work to create an easy home theatre that sounds fantastic. Atmos to give a full surround sound experience. Wireless subwoofer to reduce the number of wires the user has to deal with. eARC to simplify set up. Play-Fi to add all the goodies from our favorite digital assistants. Roku TV Ready so we have less remote control set up. Philips made more than a sound bar, they made it easier to take it easy.