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Philips FIDELIO M1 v Sennheiser HD25-1 II v Sennheiser Amperior

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello gang!


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.












Sound wise: 


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
post #2 of 10



thanks for this comparison i was waiting for one.

could you tell me if you keep noticing improvement as you expected with the M1?

post #3 of 10


Great review and nice pictures. You offered a good impression on the sound signature. They are really beautiful and as you mention the construction seems solid.

One thing though, the cushions are not real leather please see the video below:


post #4 of 10

They won't gain clarity with "burn-in". Burn-in is not a magic SQ creater. The 4" cable is a protection measure against accidental yanking or getting your cable stuck somewhere and breaking it at the cup. :)


Nice review! I like the design a lot. From your review I imagine they sound a bit like a TMA-1. I prefered the HD25-1 II over the TMA-1 because I thought the latter to be a bit veiled and and dark as well. :) 

Edited by Negakinu - 7/25/12 at 12:53am
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi guys.

The M1s have had about 48hours burn in now and while everything does sound a little punchier, the veil is still there. ;( Negakinu, thanks, I'm not an audiophile so didn't know that. The cable, I know it's function, but still don't like it one bit! :)  It is a surprise that the earpads are not real leather, it is very good pleather in that case.


I've tested the TMA-1s before and did not like them and they sound closer to the M1s with that veiled sound but the M1s are miles better than the TMA-1s imo and not as dark!


I've come to the conclusion that I should keep the Senns and return the M1s or I may sell the Senns also and get the Amperior, another set which intrigues me. :)

If anyone wants the M1 for retail (I'll take a hit on postage) let me know otherwise will return to store.

post #6 of 10
thanks for posting your review, very interesting. I was looking for such comparison as hd25 might be my next purchase
post #7 of 10

I had the M1 for about 1 week. Although I absolutely loved the look and build quality, I had to return them because the pressure on ears and head was just too much for my taste. After some hours of listening it really started to hurt, but I am very sensitive to on-ear designs.


The sound quality was similar to my L1 but not completely at the same level. The L1 has a much better soundstage and sounds more natural, because of the semi-open design I assume. Fortunately I have no problem driving it with my iPhone 4, the level is more than enough at least in quiet environments. But the L1 are a bit too big and heavy for street usage, so it really sucks that the M1 were no match for my ears.

post #8 of 10

Thank you for the impressions! Nice photos.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well, ended up selling both! haha.. bought a pair of Sennheiser Amperiors from ebay for only £189, a £71 reduction from the RRP.  They sound amazing.  I've finally found something I'm truely happy with, for me there was something a little missing with the HD25-1 II and the Amperiors fill that void perfectly.  Just such great sound across the board, such clarity.  The M1s just pale in comparison.








post #10 of 10


Thanks for the impression & the pics!


Does anyone know how the M1 & the Amperior sound compared to the Beyerdynamic DT1350?

I already have the HD25s but thinking about getting another pair. 

So if anyone did compare them please comment!


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