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Very disappointed by the Fidelio L1

A Review On: Philips Fidelio L1

Philips Fidelio L1

Rated # 252 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $250.00
Posted · 33743 Views · 10 Comments





A picture taken on just a normal Headphones-Testing-Day™


The L1 is in the second row, the third can from the left, between the D5000 and DT770 Edition.






About the L1:




+ very tight seductive bass


+ really enjoyable wearing comfort (memory foam pads)


+ relatively good build quality and materials (metal, leather)


+ good isolation for a semi-open can


+ no piercing highs





o nice and classy design with kind of an aggressive optical approach


o for some too much bass


o not balanced sounding


o very dark and slightly full sounding


o rolled off highs


o overall lower mid-fi sound


o medium large soundstage





- wearing parts like the ear pads are not replaceable

(environmentally and economically very bad, as you can literally throw the L1 away, after the pads are worn down, if you won't/can't find a DIY-method until then, to fix it -



- slightly metallic resonances in the bass


- nasal sound because of its 2kHz-peak


- the cable transmits much structure-borne sound


- too expansive for its performance


- overall unnatural sound


- veiled and muddy midrange


- there's nothing to see in the highs


- very bad instrument separation


- far away from a hi-fi sound (not enough detail information in the sound, etc.)


- no fun at all because of its flaws


- lubricant on the aluminium hinge


- "Made in China" (instead of e.g. "Made in Holland")


- too expansive, because even the Creative Aurvana Live! or Superlux HD668B offer an overall better sound for much less money


These headphones are one of my biggest disappointments in my history of headphones since the 1990s. Shame on you, my Dutch neighbors at Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.!


I had them twice, to find out, whether something was wrong with my first pair.

But sadly the second L1 sounded identically.


Maybe I should simply wait for the open Fidelio X1 with 50mm driver.

I really hope so... but if the X1 comes also with "planned obsolescence", I'll not buy it, as a matter of principle.


Now, feel free to praise or hate my opinion and rating on the L1... wink_face.gif


Is this before or after burn in?
The first L1 I owned had about 200 hours of burn-in. It didn't effect anything.
Nice review, I had a quick listen to these from an iPod in a quiet corner of a department store and I echo most of your thoughts from what I remember, they were a disappointment.
Glad to hear that I'm not the only one being disappointed by the L1.
Good review! Wonderfully designed and comfortable, but offer a disappointingly restrained and veiled sound. Instrument separation is quite poor and some instruments are not audible. Lacking sub-bass. I'm astonished at some of the rave reviews these get in terms of sound.
Thank you for the review I will definetely steer away from it!!!!
looking for great mids solid bass and good detail in this price range. any recommendations. have you heard the ue 6000. just sent these back. They sounded okay but not detailed. I did like how they werent fatiguing though.
I found this review very expansive...
Amazon US has them at $125, I think that is a decent price.
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