Sound bars are still relatively new to many people in comparison to surround sound speaker systems, but were already expecting more from them than simply better audio quality for watching TV and films. Philips was clearly on the same wavelength when it produced the Fidelio HTL9100. Its a sleek sound bar that splits apart into surround sound speakers when you want that authentic cinema experience. In its default configuration, the HTFL9100 looks like any other sound bar. It shares the same sleek and minimal design as the entry-level HTL5120, with black cloth speaker grilles and plenty of brushed aluminium. The teardrop-shaped unit will sit comfortably in front of your TV without obscuring its IR harbor, but looks equally stylish mounted to a wall. Theres no LCD display, but the row of white LEDs illuminate to show you volume, bass or treble levels as you adjust them with the easy remote control. Were used to sound bars skimping on inputs and outputs, but Philips has been generous when it comes to connectivity. The HTL9100 has two HDMI inputs and a single HDMI output that supports Audio Return Channel ARC to let you use the external speakers with your TVs integrated Freeview or Freesat tuner. Youll also find analogue RCA, digital coaxial and digital optical audio inputs at the back, along with an easier to attain 3.5mm input on one side. As the HTL9100 has built-in Bluetooth, you wont even need to crack out a cable to stream music from a smartphone or tablet. The HTL9100 doesnt have an onscreen interface, so you must rely on the remote control to trigger the process and watch the LEDs to know when youre connected. In its standard soundbar mode with the satellite speakers attached to the main soundbar, the HTL9100 sounds hot and detailed whether youre playing music or watching TV. The high-end is precise without sounding smart, which makes acoustic tracks sparkle, but theres enough low-end grunt to give presence to heavier tracks too. Theres admittedly not a lot of stereo separation, but thats to be expected from a single sound source. Its when the units broken down to build two rear speakers that the HTL9100 shows its true potential. They lock firmly into the main unit with magnets, but once removed they instantly switch over to wireless mode, using a proprietary frequency to avoid conflicting with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signals. Each speaker has an internal battery charges whenever you return it to the main unit. Philips says each one will last 10 hours, so itll take a Lord of the Rings marathon to drain them in a single sitting.