I'm sure like a lot of people, I was intrigued by the Philips Fidelio M1 and L1 when they were shown off at CES. Having scoured the net for some reviews I was disappointed not to find many reviews. The L1 and M1 are available at John Lewis and I tried both at the booth and preferred the M1 instantly. The L1 just didn't play nice with my iPhone 4s, i had to max out the volume before getting a good level (I guess you would def need an amp with those). For any London based Head-fiers, they have return L1s for sale at £185, a good discount off the £230 rrp. I bought the last M1 so it seems lots of people have been buying them!
I currently own the Sennheiser HD25-1 II and am very happy with them. I've never felt the need to buy another set of cans but I loved the classy restro look of the M1s so cash in hand, I strolled to JL to grab a pair.
I opened the box and was greeted with the smell of leather! The headphones are just as nice as the publicity shots and you get a suede or suede like pouch and the cable with remote. It has to be said, the build quality on these really is superb. I just cannot find a single fault with the construction of the M1, every part is solid. One thing not noticeable is that the exterior ear cup, is plastic and this is the only plastic as everything else is aluminium or leather.
The clicking of the headband as you adjust it is very pleasing and well built. Inside you get some numbering so you can adjust it evenly, a nice touch.
The leather ear pads are really soft and comfy on, although I worry whether they will sucumbe to creasing with time (never owned leather padded headphones).
As you can see from the pics, the HD25-1 IIs are the same size as the M1. I haven't checked weights, but they feel similar, both quite lightweight. Once you have felt the M1s, the Senns suddenly feel very plasticky and cheap.
I've been a fan of the HD25-1 IIs for quite some time, have used for work purposes and then bought one of my own. Just a nice neutral, balanced sound, nothing overpowers the other. The M1s straight out of the box, sound a little veiled. Good quality of bass (not overpowering but more than the HD25-1 IIs). More clarity on the Senns definitely, however these two cans are very different in sound signature. The M1s may seem a little bassy in comparison, this was my initial thoughts but having giving them some hours burning in, they sounded a little better and the sound signature grew on me and then going back to the Senns, the sound seemed tiny. Strange. I like the M1s, they sound good and I'm sure with some more burn in they will sound better and they will sound less veiled. The overall package is great with the M1, fantastic build quality, comfy on the ears/head, good isolation and fun sounding. I wish there was a little more clarity with the sound, but again this may improve with time.
The M1 comes with a braided type cable which I'm not a fan off. It's also weird because there is about four inches of cable that dangles off the headphone and this is where they connect to the cable. I would of preffered it if they connected at the cup like most headphones these days. The remote is NOT one with volume control. Philips should of included the FULL remote featured on the L1 with these.
I'm going to give them a little more time to see if I really do like them and will probably sell the other pair. If anyone is interested in these let me know.
EDIT: I've since sold off the HD25-1 II and returned the M1s. Was going to get the Amperiors from the Apple Store but luckily I held off and managed to get a pair from eBay for £189. Good saving from retail. I would never pay £260 for the Amperiors, I think the £190 mark is about right. Anyway, as it turns out, I was right to get rid of both as the Amperiors just sound amazing - even straight out the box!! There is just clarity with the sound over the HD25-1 II, that is the first noticible thing. They still have that tight controlled bass I love. It's hard to descrive it really, there's just a little more sparkle to the sound. The M1s in hindsight were the weakest and I don't think I'd recommend them for the £160 price thinking about it. For me, it was a no brainer, £30 extra for the Amperiors. If you see such a good deal on eBay, grab it. Love the silver aluminium cups and the thinner cable doesn;t bother me, the only niggle is the remote, while it works great, the whole size of it when connected to the other part is just too big for my taste, it feels in the way. Other than that, the Amperiors are my favourite sounding earphones from having used the M1, HD25-1 II, AT ES7, MDR7510 recently.
Edited by Thesonofkrypton - 7/31/12 at 2:36am