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This review is going to be updated once I receive a balanced cable and use this amp in balanced operation. I figured this amp needed a proper review on here, and there is a lot of good stuff to say...
Philips Fidelio X1 | Review & Comparison - Page 7
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Sorry, I haven't done the comparison yet. I have a head cold and my hearing is a bit off due to all of the congestion. I don't think I could do an accurate analysis until this clears up. Which will hopefully be soon... :(
hope you get better
Thanks! I am feeling better today and my hearing is getting better (the hearing in my right ear was very muffled). So, hopefully I can do a quick comparison tonight between the two.
which two again sorry lost track-.-
I will do my best to compare the X1 to the MA900.
First, let's get looks and comfort out of the way. I absolutely love the look of the X1. It looks and feels like a pair of high-end headphones. It just gives the impression of luxury, to me anyway. As for the MA900 - well, as expected it cannot compare to the X1 in the looks dept.. The MA900 looks and feels cheap. That's just my honest opinion there. The MA900 is very lightweight, significantly lighter than the X1. As for comfort, both the X1 and MA900 are very comfortable. The MA900 pretty much disappears on my head after a few minutes just because it is so light and has very little clamping force. The X1s are comfortable in a different way, but I really, really like the way it feels while I'm wearing it. The ear pads are a soft, velvety material and the headband strap is fantastic. I prefer the X1 comfort-wise. It feels more substantial and secure on my head.
As for the sound, this is honestly a tough contest for me to judge. Both the X1 and MA900 sound great, fantastic even. I'm not very good at describing what I am hearing, but I will try to break it down a bit.
My setup is as follows - Foobar 2000 (FLAC) - ODAC - Burson Soloist
I used a variety of music like the Tron Legacy Soundtrack, Pearl Jam, Deftones and even the Deus Ex Soundtrack.
The best way I can describe the MA900 is balanced. It does not put one part of the music in front of the other. The highs, mids and bass are presented in a very even fashion. There is no harshness or sibilance that I can hear. Vocals sound great with this headphone and are definitely not recessed to my ears. The bass is tight, but it is definitely present and is quite satisfying to me. The MA900 is not a basshead headphone but I think it has plenty of bass for most music. The soundstage of the MA900 is big. This is probably largely due to the openness of the headphones themselves. They have huge cut-outs where the ear cups are angled towards my ears. The MA900 has precise imaging as well. Sounds envelop my head and come from all around. Although, I will say that sometimes I get the feeling that the soundstage is too big and occasionally becomes a distraction. That doesn't happen often though.
All in all, the MA900 is probably one of the most well-rounded headphones I have ever heard. There must be something to the massive 70mm drivers in these things because technically, the MA900 is very impressive. At $200 or less, I would not hesitate to recommend the MA900. I just wish the thing didn't feel so flimsy!
Now, the X1
The X1 was a big surprise to me. I initially held off buying the X1 because I had tried the L1 and didn't like it at all. I thought the X1 was just going to be a more expensive version of that. I was wrong.
In my opinon, the X1 pulls off a rare feat when it comes to headphones, especially in this price range. It is exceptionally clear in the highs and mids and has very satisfying, deep bass. I mean, to me, it's a 'best of both worlds' headphone. The detail with the X1 is as good or better than the MA900. It's hard to describe but it seems that the detail pops a bit more with the X1 compared to the MA900. Maybe the X1 has a blacker background. I'm not sure, but I love it.
Vocals with the X1 may be slightly more recessed than the MA900s, but the difference is negligible. I suppose the X1 is slightly more u-shaped compared to the MA900. Regardless, vocals sound great on the X1. They are detailed and have a warmth to them. It's all very good stuff.
As for the bass, we all know the X1 has bass. It has some of the best bass I have ever heard, but at no point does the bass impede or overpower the mids. I think the X1's bass could satisfy both balanced headphone seekers and bassheads. It satisfies me that's for sure! :)
I am also equally impressed with the soundstage and imaging of the X1. While not as big as the MA900, the X1's soundstage is plenty big enough while giving me a more intimate feeling when listening to music. It feels more realistic to me.
If I was forced to pick a winner between the two, I would pick the X1. It's not a landslide victory, but the X1 really is the total package to me. It has the looks, build-quality and sound signature that just keeps impressing me every time I hear it. Of course, there is a price difference here but recent sales on Amazon have closed the gap between the X1 and MA900. Even for the $340 I paid for the X1's I think they are great bargain.
What it all comes down to is what headphones do I reach for? The X1, almost every time.
Thanks! Only problem with the x1 though is that the pads aren't replaceable.
Is the x1 more detailed, or does the x1 just have more highs because sometimes a brighter sound can give the illusion of more detail.
no, hell no, that's freaking dt880. x1 is matured and cultured and aged wine with proper amping
- Philips Fidelio X1 | Review & Comparison
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