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Philips Fidelio X1 | Review & Comparison - Page 23

post #331 of 334

good lookin guy :)

post #332 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post
 

If you put a gun to my head and said "pick which sounds better" I'd probably pick the X1 at the moment. It's not a knockout victory, more like a ref decision after a fifteen round brawl, but the X1 takes it for being a little more linear and having a much bigger soundstage. The M100 has more subbass, largely thanks to its closed back, and it's the kind of bass you can physically feel due to how the headphone really does sit AGAINST your ear, while the X1 has less mid/upper recess and the bass is big but not as "physical". The M100 sounds more "mechanical" than the X1, but is also much more in your face. The music sounds like you're pressed up against the amplifiers whereas the X1 sounds more like you're sitting in the audience. The X1 is more relaxed, the M100 is more aggressive. It's VERY hard for me to pick which one of those two sounds I like better, but maybe it's the novelty of it that makes me like the X1 more RIGHT NOW.

 

HOWEVER, there are other factors at play. To my feeling, the M100 with XL pads are far and away more pleasurable to wear. They hug the head just tightly enough that it feels secure, the pads are comfy, and the size is adjustable. The X1 is looser on the head and uses and auto-adjust system that works fine, but leaves the wearer feeling like the set is more "resting atop your head" rather than stuck to it. 

 

Then there's open vs closed and portability. The X1 is an enormous (and I mean enormous) open-back headphone while the M100 is an incredibly compact closed-back headphone. The X1 is not something you'll ever be wearing while on the go. It's just too big, leaks sound, lets in outside noise, and doesn't hold tightly enough to the head to feel good if you're on a subway or something. Additionally, the X1 seems a tad harder to drive. Using the same cable on a Macbook Pro, the M100 is at adequate volume at 50% or a little under, the X1 needs about 75% (I do like my music louder, admittedly). This could be an open/closed issue, but the point is you'll need some extra oomph over the M100.

 

It comes down to where you'll be using them and what you like. My M100s are sitting on the holder right now and I've actually been using the X1 over my SE846 for desktop listening (dat soundstage), but you could probably flip a coin between them and be totally happy either way. I sat here, swapping back and forth, and it was extremely hard for me to pick which one I thought sounded better. I enjoy the X1 at the moment thanks to the air and openness to the sound, but putting the M100 back on made me go "ahhhh, yes" all over again. If I had to say which is the overall better package? The M100 thanks to greater portability and how easy it is to drive. If you're staying at your desk? The X1 thanks to the bigger soundstage and more "natural" feel.

 

Both look cool as hell IMO, haha. And bonus Pandoras just because.

Appreciate your thoroughness, +1 is not enough.

 

Yeah it's kind of an awkward comparison with 100s being semi-closed.

 

Seems like the best of both worlds involve having the X1s at home and M100s outside which was my original plan.

 

M100s would definitely be a more of an upgrade than a sidegrade since I'm coming from ATH-M50s.

 

Ever thought of being a salesman? I was pretty sold on the X1s, but you just gave me more reason not to look back.

 

Will be saving pennies to own both...one day :P

post #333 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by LightLotus View Post
 

Appreciate your thoroughness, +1 is not enough.

 

Yeah it's kind of an awkward comparison with 100s being semi-closed.

 

Seems like the best of both worlds involve having the X1s at home and M100s outside which was my original plan.

 

M100s would definitely be a more of an upgrade than a sidegrade since I'm coming from ATH-M50s.

 

Ever thought of being a salesman? I was pretty sold on the X1s, but you just gave me more reason not to look back.

 

Will be saving pennies to own both...one day :P

 

Haha, no problem. I dunno about sales, but I'd be a happy guy if I could freelance review headphones once in a while. 

post #334 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overwerk View Post
 

I think the x1 is too unengaged for vocal. if we are quoting Queen Cerses then there should not be a middle ground. I would rather pin x1 as simply recessed in the mid. I would call that out just so people are aware of the issue. When people buy expensive cans for music and listen to vocals and don't get engaged as much it really defeats part of the purpose, depending on situation. Definitely something to consider when choosing x1.

 

But I disagree with your statement that vocals cannot sound good or the mid just goes through the song. The approach is not only good in movies and games, it all depends on the listener's taste.

 

For songs that are fun or cynical, you want x1. For songs that are heartbreaking, you would appreciate something else more.

 

Also I find the treble on X1 kind of sugarcoated and wrapped and twisted. It is certainly never piercing, but it never feels detailed and enthralling either. The more I listen the more I realize the x1 is not a pair of can to expect wow factor out of. It is really just that girl next door vibe. A very sexy girl next door, but still a girl next door.

 

Interesting post, I just feel that vocals on the X1 are actually very good. If they are unengaging it seems it's usually the recording that's at fault. Vocals on the X1 greatly benefit from the boost in the midbass (like most sennheiser headphones), making male vocals sound appropriately deep and female vocals get that bit of warmth to them.

 

I do agree that the X1 doesn't have the refinement like for instance the DT880. On the 880, all parts of the frequency reponse can stand out. The bass is beautifully textured and gentle, the mids can really wow you at times and many instruments sound great, and the treble is also very worthwhile with lots of presence and air. All in all it makes for a headphone with lots of ability and qualities, simply a very interesting listen.

 

The Fidelio is not like this. The bass doesn't quite hit the sweet spot the DT880 does, the midrange never really wows, and the treble is happy to just hang in the back a bit.

 

But the funny thing is... just listening to music, none of that matters, the Fidelio is just so easy and enjoyable to listen to. Nothing really stands out, it's just great sounding music. I think this will be the reason I eventually sell the DT880. Although I adore that headphone, I came into this hobby just looking for a great solution to just enjoy music, and like most people I had lost sight of this, experimenting with many headphones just to find what works best. With X1 maybe I can end this search. For me it hits the sweet spot in all important areas. It's resolving but not too resolving, the sound is smooth and mature but not distractingly so, the frequency response works very well for the music I like, the soundstage is nice and big, and last but not least it's extremely comfortable. Sure, I will never get those moments of pure awe that I have had with the DT880, but on the other hand, the X1 makes me not even care anymore.

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