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Philips Fidelio L2 - Page 31

post #451 of 934

Well can say without a doubt now the L2's are my "use at home" headphones and the Sennheiser HD25-1 ii's  are my preferred on my travels Cans.....


The L2's are just to open for office use..... got some funny comments the other day !!!!


and the Balance of the HD 25-1's  are ideal for out and about....


Did try a pair of K450's too in the mix..... comfy and light but what a dull sounding headphone compared to the HD25-1  .... outclassed completely....


Wife likes the balance so.... not all wasted.... now they live on I-Phone :)


been playing with the tubes on the MC34-B and have settled the vocals some on the L2...  without the need to consider EQ-ing...


slightly rolled off treble from 6n2 and 6n1 from Russia....  a step up from the ones in before.... still very detailed but that nasal sound has been opened a little and their tendancy to get upset with poorly recorded stuff quieted too a little...


Its certainly possible to get some wonderful music from the L2's with some careful matching up....


I have opened the sound stage "even" more and added a little more sub bass with the valve amp setup ...


The HRT Microstreamer is a wonderful piece of gear.... but no match for a well balanced Quality Dac and a Decent Rolled Valve Amplifier....that extra current makes a big difference to the driving of the wonderful driver in the L2.... it really can shine .....


all in all well worth a little playing....  not much to complain about now :)


will be looking for the next step up next....... what do I try now ??????

post #452 of 934

Madness overtook me in a moment of weakness and a pair of Audeze LCD2.2's are now part of my collection :)


Much as I love the L2's , I can see their limitations compared to the LCD2's


It's hard to compare the two, because they sound so different... its quite a shock going from to the other....


Will try put some words down over the next week or so when I have had chance to listen to listen to lots of material...


this is gonna be fun :)

post #453 of 934

Being that the LCD-2 is 3-4 times more expensive than the L2, one would expect that. 


The LCD-2 isn't what people would call a value option either. I'd love to hear a more detailed comparison between the two though. Hopefully the L2's comparison is favorable enough to further convince me to get the headphones. Hurry up and get it already USA!

post #454 of 934
Originally Posted by Karnoffel View Post

Being that the LCD-2 is 3-4 times more expensive than the L2, one would expect that. 


The LCD-2 isn't what people would call a value option either. I'd love to hear a more detailed comparison between the two though. Hopefully the L2's comparison is favorable enough to further convince me to get the headphones. Hurry up and get it already USA!

I've had both for a while now (the LCD-2's longer than the L2's). L2's are significantly more punchy in the bass and not nearly as tight as the LCD-2 (regardless of the source chain). The treble on the L2's is also a bit more prominent. Neither headphone has a particularly large sound stage though the imaging and separation on the LCD-2 is very good.

post #455 of 934

Of course there is a "slight" price difference between the LCD-2 and The L2  but hey thats what makes comparing the two so interesting :)


Ok .. here we go...


Comfort ----   The L2 is much easier to wear for long periods than the Audeze, its lighter, its  softer and sits altogether better on my head anyway.... the first listening test with the LCD2 almost crushed my skull.... some straining of the head band at least made its powerful clamping tolerable , but its still very heavy and boy is it big....  1 nil to the L2


Ease of Driving  ------ The L2's are easy to drive.... they make a perfect partner of the Microstreamer which drives them with ease... The LCD2's need a good amp to really shine and open up.....They sound a little flat with the Microstreamer.... The L2's are not amp fussy...

2 nil to the L2



Portability ----- Would anyone walk around with LCD-2's on their heads ????  okay the L2 does not isolate as good as some... I wouldnt use them in a library... but hey.... they are fine for most traveling , just expect a few sideways looks....

3 nil L2


Bass  -----  Their are moments when its hard to believe how good the bass and sub bass is on the LCD-2's  its their gift..... I have heard detail , no thats the wrong word....texture in the bass the LCD2 can produce that is way beyond the L2.... its not that the bass is bad on the L2.. its full, punchy, tuneful, it underpins the music...  its just not Real..... The LCD2 has a real bass sound..... like a good speaker.......it has impact, never congested, always integrated, and deep, impactfull..... and it does something I did not know headphones could do till now.... it becomes part of the overall sound..... its there... just as it should be.... but not "out there"  it is felt ....

3 -1 to L2



Mids -----  This is  hard one.... both of these headphones have great mids..... The L2's  are crisp, detailed and very open around the vocals, almost to the point of being unforgiving of bad vocal tracks and emphasizing the grain in some peoples vocals.... listen to Marc Cohn's vocals and the edge to his voice is very evident, etched.. The LCD by comparison smooths his vocals takes some of his harsh edge away...... now I have not heard Marc Cohn live...... but I am guessing from listening to the same material on my Naim system that there is a slight edge to his vocals..... The L2 is more like the reproduction of his vocals on my speaker system..... Does this make the L2 Mids better ?   well no....  The Mids on the L2 are trying to hard.... it feels at its limit..... The LCD-2 is liquid, subtle, there is more fine detail..... somehoweven sounding softer it manages to reproduce more detail....never offending.... never over the top.....the word is effortless......my vote has to go for the LCD-2..... because it just reproduces vocals that never tire me....


3 -2  L2


Highs -----Again not easy at all...  The L2 with my upgraded cable is clean, sharp, detailed, and yet no harshness of forwardness...

The LCD is clean, but it is slightly rolled off.....easy on the ear.... yet all the details I know so well on the material is all there... none lost....... it just merges so beautifully with the over all presentation.... the L2 show you the details, makes you hear them.... the LCD-2 lets you look for them if you can drag yourself away from the overall fluidity of the experience.....


3 -3


Depth -----  maybe I should try and define this a bit better....  Instrument placement off centre axis....

The L2 excels in this area for a headphone of this price.... The field of instrument placement in front and behind is very good with the L2..... it is simple to close ones eyes and place the vocals, the drums.... the bass... the backing vocals....

BUT...... it "over does" this too.... it moves the placement to far on occasions, over emphasizing the width, the air in between...this makes for a very clean (hifi) sound  .... but it isnt always integrated as it should be...... larger than life...

By Comparison the LCD-2 always keeps the placement in check, the sound more integrated... the Instruments working as a whole, The bass and drums bound together realistically...Coherent and weighty, full and believable...


3   - 4  to the LCD2


Soundstage  ---- There isnt much to split the two on this.... both produce plenty of air, but not over the top..... I havent heard anything better to both of these headphones.....


4  - 5   to the LCD2



Overall -----  I know there is always a subjectivity of listening tests that will be different for each person....


The LCD-2 sounds more integrated, it has a realism, and a knack of making music relaxing, it does not force any part of the performance or recording, all aspects of the sound are balanced and it will never make the music harsh or annoying, it would be easy to listen to music through these Cans all day...... but...... they just are not comfy enough to do that !!!!


The L2 is a quarter the price of the LCD2....    is the LCD-2    4 times better..... well no it isnt.....and comparing the step up from my Hd480 to the L2's and then to the LCD2  it does not really stack up in terms of price increase..... for the improvement... diminishing returns as they say !!!


I still think the L2 with a good silver cable is a wonderful headphone , its flexible, comfy, sounds great, does not need £500 of amplifier to get the best from it....and will for the best part be perfect for 90% of people looking for a good headphone to use out and about and at home.....


The LCD-2 is a sonic step up.... it needs a good amp to get it to really shine.... it looks beautiful.....and I find it hard to believe there is much better to be had out there....  it sounds everybit as good as a great Speaker Based system.. which is some feat....


I am glad I have both now...... and will continue to experiment to get every last drop out of the LCD2's ....BUT

The L2 isnt going in the buy and sell...... they are too good....... and  I still think they the best headphones for £150 .....




Edited by Jonfairway - 5/3/14 at 5:52am
post #456 of 934
Jonfairway where did you get the silver cable for the L2s?
post #457 of 934


Both my portable and my home rig with the exclusion of the CCK for the home rig and with the addition of a laptop. Getting a darker/warmer sounding DAC to tame the treble then maybe a portable tube amp. 

post #458 of 934

A couple of dac/amps that I think could be a match with the L2 are the Nad D 1050 (desktop) and the ADL X1 (portable) which have both had good reviews. The Nad seems to bring the mids forward which could balance out the slight v-shaped response of the L2s. The ADL is said to have a dark character and is good at bringing out the textures of instruments and voices. It recently came top in a group test in Hifi News, beating the Centrance M8. 

post #459 of 934

Anyone have specifics on US release? I read that it's sometime in the Summer but I haven't seen such info when I checked on Google :/

post #460 of 934
Final battle (after testing several cans) between M500 and L2 : L2 ordered on Amazon
post #461 of 934
Hi guys, I feel compelled to add my two cents here.

I ordered the L1, liked them but could appreciate the comments about them being excessively dark. Got the L2 to A/B them, and again agreed, the L2 has a much wider sound stage, clearer mids, less bass and more brightnes (maybe a little too much). It's a much better sounding headphone for metal, skittish electronic, rock and most other things I've tried. But not enough has been made here of the reduction in build quality...

It's such a shame, they've increased the SQ but then entirely removed nearly all aspects of what made it look and feel like a 'luxury' headphone. It's very obvious that Philips is capitalising on the success of the L1 and actively trying to re-present that publicity but after looking to cut costs wherever possible... And charge more!

I'm actually disappointed to have to choose the L2 over the L1 now, because I lose all of the "luxury experience" I liked. Pictures to illustrate...
Edited by pitchshifter - 5/13/14 at 3:38pm
post #462 of 934

The L2 looks fantastic so I don't believe that the luxury look is lacking. The build quality however, can you give more info? Haven't seen any other person with these headphones mention anything negative about the build.

post #463 of 934
Use of plastic rather than metal screws:

Substitution of thick luxury 'for show' leather with thinner, cheaper leather:

Headband now made from rolled aluminium band instead of brushed aluminium - hinges possibly less robust. (Yes the headband is lighter now, but this is because it's made from much cheaper materials!):

Thick comfortable headband replaced with much less padding. Combined with the extra clamping force (which is good as the l1 was a little loose), this increases the pressure point on top of the head so you can immediately feel the band unlike the L1. I am hoping my head adapts, but if not I'm either going to need to keep a bit of extra foam on my head as a buffer, or more ideally investigate taking it apart and stuffing a little extra memory foam inside the band somehow, looks like I could fit a tiny bit.

Call button of the first put into cheaper plastic housing. Cord is also thinner (cheaper but not necessarily worse as more flexible). New placement of cord jack means that you are no longer able to plug the two leads together as a single extension, making the second one a bit redundant except as a spare.

The cost cutting even makes it to the box and accessories. Bag no longer plush velour style but thinner material with plain plastic inside:

Box even uses cheaper, non-cloth covered shell:

Finally, even the instruction booklet is now made from a thinner paper instead of thicker, fold out card. And the two manuals are very similar... Except in the L2 one, the page titled "build quality" is no longer present, since that was going into detail about the quality of leather and aluminium, which is no longer valid wink.gif

Like I said, the thing is, it sounds so obviously better though that I just can't keep my L1 over it. So if you just received an L2 you'd be thrilled. You have to compare the two side by side to appreciate that besides the sound tuning tweaks and the largely unaltered speaker materials, Philips is now both using cheaper materials and charging substantially more (40 pounds extra in the UK for the L2, best case). That equals a lot more profit I believe! If only there was an L2-tuned version of the L1... Maintaining the build quality and frankly more adult look, with that clearer, wider sound that makes it impossible to go back to the L1, much as I tried!

Hope that helps demonstrate what I'm on about.
post #464 of 934
So perhaps 'build quality' was the wrong expression - the device is still put together well. I should have said the quality of materials used.

I can still feel the top point of my head is a little sore from where I wore the headphones last night for about half an hour... After exams I'll try to be brave and and stuff some more foam into the top as I don't really want to listen to the thing with a sock on my head as a buffer smily_headphones1.gif Will post some more pics (or not if I just break it wink.gif.
post #465 of 934
hey guys, i've been following this thread since minths because i wanted to buy the fidelio l2 . well now i have these cans since 2 months maybe, and i would like to know how to change the earpads? i mean , i love them so much i would like to keep them as long as possible

anyway, my opinion about them is that they are really really good. i can definitely understand why audio-pro people wouldn't think that it's good enough for them though. i'm not an audiphile, i just like good sound and though before, i thought that the more analytic a sound system was the better they were, now i don't believe that anymore (for me). i prefere when it's near to analytic, but still fun/ coloured

as it may have been stated, the vocals are kinda nasally, and sometimes, it's just a little too bright. i think it definitely improved with time though, still there, but with a good source it's less bright than it used to be. i just went in an office and tried the focal spirit one, a few sony headphones , sennheiser momentum and some focals, and let me say, by far that these are the best headphone that i could here there, like really.

i have to try the silver cable yet, but i want to ask you guys for how to remove the earpads, and how do you do to use another cable? because the stock one is flat on a side, and using a round cable kinda scratch the side of the cuff, i don't want them to have cosmetic issues haha ^^
Edited by vanen - 5/14/14 at 6:28am
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