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[New] Philips Fidelio X1 - Page 18

post #256 of 4838

Got my X1's earlier today and have been doing lots of listening! Here are a few of my initial early thoughts...

 

I'll preface this by saying while I paid £121 for these, I would have happily paid upto £350 for them (non-removable pads taken into consideration).

 

Ok, got them and first had to marvel at the design/construction of them. One of the most beautiful phones I've seen along with the AKG K550,  Pioneer HDJ-2000 and a few others which escape me at this point. Anyway, plugged them all up, pressed play and started cycling through my usual playlist. Wasn't too impressed and thought a good contender for the £100-£150 bracket. As I wasn't too taken aback by the sound I sarted contemplating returning them or selling them as I'm more than happy with my K701's and K240's. I started to proceed with my sibilance test as I figured may as well see how they stacked up in that department considering that is the number one thing that I just can't tolerate! I'm super sensitive to the stuff and I returned my Senn HD650's, HD558's and too an extent my Fischer FA-003's because of that. I began to A/B with my K701s and K240s (which, incidentally I find less sibilant than the K701s)

 

My impressions on sibilance needs a whole topic to itself as to this day I've never encountered a headphone or IEM that handles sibilance this proficiently. The HD650's and HD558's while not traditionally sibilant like the K701 did seem to possess some sort of glossy very high frequency shimmer that gave a slight metallic sound on some songs where the K701 will give a more traditional sibilant sound that while still aggravating not as earache-inducing as tha almost soundless shimmer the Senn's exhibited. The X1's have neither the traditional sibilance like the AKG's or the shimmer present on my former Senns. Unless I know I'm walking into a poorly mastered recording, with the X1's I can pretty much relax my ears and not have to worry about those 'eeeeek' moments where I know a sibilant sound will occur!

 

At this point I figured 'ok, maybe not as bad as I thought'! Anyway, I started doing some more A/B'ing and came to the following conclusions:

 

1.) The X1's are the most engaging and dynamic headphones I have used to date. My problem with both the Senns (particularly the HD558's which would smear neutral-ish songs with midbass) was that they both had a tonal balance that was a bit too far for me on the bassy side. The opposite with the AKG's  The Fischers were perfect in this regard but they just didn't carry enough weight in sound notes (lacking energy of the Senns/X1). I wouldn't call the X1 bass or treble heavy. For me, they have hit that sweet spot where nothing is clouded but can pack a punch in either direction if needed.

 

2.) The soundstage and separation on these are nothing short of amazing! While both AKG's (though moreso K701's) have the edge in physical width (L/R channels). The X1's have a far greater advantage in perceptive depth. It sounds like there is much more air available on them and music notes have a perception of travellling much further distances than the physical distance of the AKG's. The decay on these are on a different level. Again, it almost feels as the X1's render each track within the song separately with clear boundaries from each other. I'm hearing rhythms that I never heard with the Senns or AKG's. Full orchestral crescendos where this is most needed are now done justice. I wish I had the fischers to see if this an issue of tonal balance but I;m not sure they would have had enough energy/weight of sound to carry each track with the conviction the X1's do it with.  

 

3.) Not related to SQ but they are amazingly comfortable (comparable to the AKG's though with slighter greater clamping force) though the velour pads did itch for the first hour or so though that has stopped.

 

4.) They leak sound like nobody's business!

 

Oh, going back to tonal balance I wouldn;t say the mids are recessed at all and this is all with the stock cable. I was going to get a pure silver cable made up but if it led to a brighter sound and thus possibly inviting sibilance into the mix then that would be a gamble I'm not willing to invest in seeing as the stock hits the perfect FR for me. Points 1 and 2 less so 3 are the greatest assets I believe the X1's to possess. Those are the things I'm sure most people will notice first. Not everyone is plagued by sibilant sounds so that may be less noticeable but for those that cringe at even the mere thought of its anticipation will love the X1's.

 

So far so good and I gotta say kudos to Philips. On atleast a superficial level they seem to have delivered. I wouuld have paid upto £400 if they just had removeable earpads though!! :(


Edited by communic - 10/3/12 at 1:27pm
post #257 of 4838

Its taken me a while to decide what cables to use instead of stock on these phones and finally I have settled on using some old Silver Dragon MK1 reterminated with mini jack plug for the phone end.  I still feel the stock cable is limiting the upper mid and high end. more especially in my Computer based system that I had chosen these phones for. It seemed to be somewhat lifeless when listening to tracks played previously on my HD650's and AKG Q701. So after a number of trials I have been favouring the silver cables. The standard tracks I use for comparitive purpose where all excellent on the X1 using Flac files and Kernal streaming, The X1 balance is in the front row of the soundstage with a great deal of detail being available in all types of music.  Certainly more than I was expecting even at the manufacturers recommended pricepoint.

I was so pleased , I decided to try them on the main system via my SPL Auditor and Xcan v3 using CD source .

 

Wow what a dynamic set of headphones.  On some tracks its more like being in the band than listening to a recording !!!

 

The soundstage is not like.I have heard before as its very close to the recording , not  distant like my Tesla T1's.

There are details in the recordings I have not heard before within tracks. Clapping , Voices and other background sounds not audible with any other of my headphone collection.  I don't have much issue with sibilance so silver cables to to me is a good solution.  The lower range and definition of the music spectrum is certainly a strength of the phones.  

I would say on my head and ears the level of comfort is not the best . My AKG Q701's are a better fit.

 

I have to say I prefer the balance using the Xcans as the SPL Auditor can be very revealing of source material and coupled with the close soundstage of the xX's some material can be a bit less than pleasant.  

 

I don't think the phones are yet broken in but I will give further comments as I listen on and especially when my Toxic*cable special design arrives in a few weeks time. 

 

Unfortunately I don't think I can currently compare the X1's against the Tesla T1's as they sound rather different on the Headamps I use due to the wide variation in sensitivity and impedance.  However The X1 really does sound like an Improvement on the HD650's  (Clarity and openess)  and also against the Q701  ( It has the missing bottom end !!!)  

 

I didn't think a major general electrical goods manufacturer had a headphone design like this in them!!!  I wish the stock cable was better though.

post #258 of 4838

Hmmm.

 

Now these two latest reviews sound rather promising, except for the leakage factor. But they do sound like a "must-audition" candidate, and can always be returned.


Edited by Beagle - 10/4/12 at 6:17am
post #259 of 4838

Here's a funny one. When "enjoying" bass-heavy material loud, the cloth covering the driver "flaps" against your ears. Annoying.

post #260 of 4838
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ultrazino View Post

 

There is no hype.

 

I stand corrected.

post #261 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by hekeli View Post

Here's a funny one. When "enjoying" bass-heavy material loud, the cloth covering the driver "flaps" against your ears. Annoying.

Yes I have found that as well , Strange feeling wasn't sure what is was at 1st.    Must be moving a lot of air !!!

Headphones are not as comfortable as the AKG Q701's but certainly ok .

Hopefully structural foam used does not go limp like foam in my Senn hd650's has over a few years.  

The pad design and geometry reminds me of my Beyer T1's to some extent.

post #262 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffra View Post

Its taken me a while to decide what cables to use instead of stock on these phones and finally I have settled on using some old Silver Dragon MK1 reterminated with mini jack plug for the phone end.  I still feel the stock cable is limiting the upper mid and high end. more especially in my Computer based system that I had chosen these phones for. It seemed to be somewhat lifeless when listening to tracks played previously on my HD650's and AKG Q701. So after a number of trials I have been favouring the silver cables. The standard tracks I use for comparitive purpose where all excellent on the X1 using Flac files and Kernal streaming, The X1 balance is in the front row of the soundstage with a great deal of detail being available in all types of music.  Certainly more than I was expecting even at the manufacturers recommended pricepoint.

 

I have to agree that there is definitely a slight recession in the lower treble with the stock cable that, if can be coaxed out, with the right silver cable would be perfect. I may start off with a relatively cheap one to see how, if at all, it changes sibilance. As it stands now it's not too distracting as I'm comparing to quite treble heavy phones. I really wish I still had the 650's or even 558's to see exactly how the treble compared though. However, I am very curious to test some cables.

 

On a side note I find them to be more comfortable than the k701's as while the clapmping force is lesser on them the X1's have a greater chamber within the pads so my ears never touch the driver unlike on the 701's.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ultrazino View Post

 

 

I stand corrected.

 

I've been in this game long enough to know the difference between a good product and a hyped one but then ultimately it all comes down to what someone is looking for. For instance, I always buy earphones/headphones with a view to minimize sibilance so that always acts as my focal point. I can appreciate different representations of sound but never sibilance! In terms of mid-fi and beyond headphones, I went from hd650 => FA-002 woodies => HD558 => K240 => K701 and now X1's. Each time only changing to the less sibilant phone except for going from the 650's to the FA-002w as I felt they were the more technically gifted phone though slightly more sibilant and arguably the 558 to k240 as which were more sibilant but of the less cringey variety.

 

I only bought the X1's since I could procure them for £121 as otherwise I believed them to be not worth much extra especially after reading the pads were not replaceable. I originally intended to get the LCD2's for xmas as I've always wanted to see what a good orthodynamic sounds like. Looked at the HE-400s but they were quite a few reports of sibilance and if their IEM's act as any indicator then I wasn't too surprised and hence scared off!

 

I didn't walk into this purchase expecting too much so was pleasantly surprised by how adept they were at the sonic attributes I mentioned in my earlier post as well as being easily driven for portable use which I forgot to mention. For people that are not bothered by sibilance or appreicate a more physically wide soundstage or don't like a neutral phone with an ever-so-slight emphasis on bass who also happen to pay full price for this, then, 'warning: you may be disappointed'! Does a better phone for my needs exist or at some point will be available? Of course, but as of now, I personally find them better sounding than my prior Senns. I can;t even say that my 701's on its own are technically better since the lower frequencies present on them simply serve as a teaser for what they could be, maybe, with the right amp. If I am able to get a silver cable to draw out some treble whilst not affecting sibilance then my 701's are gone! </hype> wink.gif

post #263 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by communic View Post


I'll preface this by saying while I paid £121 for these, I would have happily paid upto £350 for them (non-removable pads taken into consideration).

Where did you get them for 121£ ?

Thx
post #264 of 4838

Hey guys, really need some advice. I cant get these for £175. Unfortunately I missed the £125 offer which is very annoying but can't do anything about it now. I'm looking to use it mainly for gaming (non-competitive). the DT770 I have is terrific because it has a very wide sound stage and the sound is laid back so I can wear it for long sessions, but it's not so laid back that it's dull. I'm only selling it due to comfort issues. Is the X1 a worthwhile upgrade? Or is the sound too close and intense? Was gonna get the MA900 but the price is too high and the lack of bass is a problem.

post #265 of 4838
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffra View Post

My view on flagship is the pinnacle of performance as defined by a manufacturer!!!
So Philips have stated the X1 is their current flagship and therefore it should be treated as such.  Its their best effort !!! So Why should a excellent Transducer and Enclosure design  be let down by a poorly designed cable ????
Perhaps different departments missing the whole aspect ?? who Knows.

Yes a slightly dark /warm sound initially is my feeling but not as compromised as the basic HD650 sound signature which also smears complex rifts ! The Philips is a very transparent design with a well crafted low end waiting for the right cable     not equalisation.  I only used equalisation to see if the transducers would sound better with an enhanced feed.

I never used to change headphone cables until 6 to 7 years ago when after some basic experimentation I could really hear audible improvements with certain cable types over stock units.  ( Mind you not all cables are an improvement and unless you can make them yourself it becomes an expensive exercise)

I’m currently glad I’ve purchased the X1’s as I do believe they are a potentially excellent set of phones and worth experimenting with.
However  I will imagine that the initial response of dark /warm based on 1st reviews will stick with them on most published reviews. 
I know now that’s not really the case and will find the right cable match to unleash their full potential!
Will try Van Damme silver plated cable next  perhaps a slightly better compromise the 4 9's silver!!!

Just to say a well designed acoustically dead metal enclosure is not a bad solution for headphones,  I am not a lover of wood furniture enclosures !!! LOL

I don't understand why changing 1 meter of external cable could change something in sound signature since there are hundred of meters of thin cable in the speaker coil...
That remains à mistery so that´s why I'm not a biliever too.
post #266 of 4838

Looks like AccessoryJack is selling these for $419.99 

post #267 of 4838
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyBai View Post

Looks like AccessoryJack is selling these for $419.99 

 

Thanks for the tip.

 

Too bad the price is even more than the earlier quoted MSRP, especially in the wake of our European friends getting these for $200-something. I notice they actually have the L1 outside of the Apple store as well, albeit at an absurdly high price, haha.

post #268 of 4838

Well, it's a little more. The cheapest so far was 250 $ but most have paid more. 419 $ sounds much, but you should not wait until the price drops to 200 because that will never happen. ;)

post #269 of 4838

Isn't the suggested retail when it hits the US $399?

post #270 of 4838
With the UK discounted price delivered to my Skypax addy of 175 pounds + 38 pounds customs and shipping to NY + 20 USD for their forwarding brings it up to about 360USD total. Should hopefully have them this week.
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