Philips 65OLED984 65in 4K HDR OLED with integrated soundbar Page 2

Moments latter, we meet the trapper camp, all chatter and crackling fire. As it comes under attack, the soundtrack is punctuated by taught, rhythmic drum beats. These have real body and cut through the soundstage.

The 'bar excels with midrange and upper/mid bass handling, while missing out on the lowest hits of systems with a separate woofer or larger bass drivers. The running battle in Sicily in Aquaman (Ultra HD Blu-ray) has bass impact, but there's a rolloff of low frequencies that steals the final layer of cinematic delight. Still, when the bell flies from the bell tower, the deliberate slo-mo bass note is conveyed, and the way the TV marshals the smorgasbord of FX in this scene, from crumbling masonry and laser fire to the propulsive score, is superb. Switching to the Tokyo race sequence that closes Fast & Furious 6 (Ultra HD Blu-ray) reveals an ability to mirror fast-moving onscreen action, with car movements steered across the LCR channels and projected well.

Presets for the OLED984's audio are AI, Original, Movie, Music, Game, News and Personal. The latter mode provides options for Speaker Virtualizer – Off, On or Auto. Set it on and it will force an Atmos height effect from all content; in Auto it will only kick in with Dolby Atmos material (it's also on by default with Movie mode). Despite there being no upfiring drivers here, this processing can be rather effective, enlarging the soundfield and emphasising certain soundmix elements. Only at times did I find it missed a beat, but Original, which sounds natural and still immersive, is a fine alternative.

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As for imagery, the set offers the same marriage of superb OLED blacks with Philips' potent processing as on the 804 (and again supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+), only written on a bigger canvas. With The Revenant, this means that if you take time with settings/presets – Philips' Ultra Resolution, noise reduction and motion smoothing technologies are accomplished and should be treated with care – you can get a picture that's wonderfully involving.

This 4K HDR set presents the natural beauty of The Revenant's cinematography and naturalistic colour palette to thrilling effect. Philips' 3rd Gen P5 processor (now a dual-chip design) and the OLED panel's considerable brightness combine to create a picture that subjectively doesn't want for dynamism. Iñárritu's frequent shots of natural sunlight filtering through tree tops and grey clouds are mesmerising.

Shadow detailing and near dark handling also impresses. In Chapter 3, as the trappers scramble to escape on the boat at dusk, the frame is filled with dark details – the boat's wooden hull, its shadowy interiors, coils of dirty brown rope. The image doesn't crush, with fine details remaining apparent.

Something worth stressing is the different viewing experience offered by OLED compared to LCD rivals. Those who used to own a plasma TV will be familiar with it – a natural, almost organic feeling to the picture that backlit designs can struggle to attain; those self-emissive pixels make their presence felt. And while the OLED984 doesn't have the brightness impact of LED-lit LCD models, its baseline black level ensures a wide dynamic range.

Criticisms are minor. I'm someone else who isn't a fan of the Android TV UI, and just accessing the OLED984's full settings can feel long-winded. Philips myriad user adjustments can also prove daunting. The TV/soundbar form factor won't suit everyone either, and our sample showed just the slightest bit of wobble once assembled. The biggest consideration is whether this model serves your needs. There's a price premium here over (most) other 65in OLED TVs (LG's wall-mountable W9 being an exception) and if you have an interest in running or later upgrading to a discrete sound system you shouldn't pay it. But the OLED984, which builds both display and soundbar into a smart design, is aimed at a different market.

HCC Verdict

Philips 65OLED984

Price: £4,500

We say: With this premium (and pricey) concoction of sound and vision, the marriage of Philips and B&W goes from strength to strength.

Performance: 5/5
Features: 4.5/5
Design: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5


3D: No
4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160
HDR: Yes. HDR10; HLG; HDR10+; Dolby Vision
Tuner: Yes. Freeview HD; satellite
Connections: 4 x HDMI inputs; 2 x USB; Ethernet; digital optical audio output
Sound (CLAIMED): 3 x 20W Bowers & Wilkins soundbar
Brightness (CLAIMED): N/A
Contrast ratio (CLAIMED): N/A
Dimensions (off stand): 1,448(w) x 826(h) x 47.3(d)mm
Weight (off stand): 27.9kg

Features: 3rd-gen P5 processing; USB multimedia playback; Android TV, Google Assistant/Chromecast built-in; four-sided Ambilight; Eco mode; Android TV; Dolby Atmos audio; Dolby Vision Bright/Dark presets; HDMI auto low latency mode; Perfect Natural Reality; Ultra Resolution