Berlin, Germany – Two years ago, Philips launched the Philips Fidelio L1 headphones, which have...

Philips Fidelio L2

Average User Rating:
4.33333/5,
  • Berlin, Germany – Two years ago, Philips launched the Philips Fidelio L1 headphones, which have gone on to be recognized as one of the leading headphones in their class. Today, Philips is introducing a new generation: the Philips Fidelio L2. The new model features lighter materials, a new headband design and key sound improvements that will impress even the most discerning audiophile. The Philips Fidelio L2 have been tuned by the sharpest ears from Philips’ ‘Golden Ears’ panel of audio experts, delivering exceptional sound detail for every song.

    “The Philips Fidelio L2 headphones deliver a pristine audio experience,” said Alexander van der Heijden, consumer marketing for headphones at Philips Lifestyle Entertainment. “We’re proud of the recognition we’ve received for the Philips Fidelio L1s, but we also wanted to keep striving to deliver the perfect headphone in its class. So we asked users of the L1 to tell us what they liked, and what more they wanted, and the result is the Philips Fidelio L2 headphones. We’ve made some small but important changes, such as increasing the sensitivity in the sound technology to make for a more robust and clean sound experience.”

    To enjoy high definition sound the Philips Fidelio L2 headphones are built with 40mm optimally vented neodymium speaker drivers that provide a wide dynamic range, so you can hear those very subtle details of your favorite tracks. They feature a semi-open back architecture for pure and natural sound, ensuring you can hear every beat and every instrument with all the clarity the artist intended. The headphones have specially engineered aluminum ear shells for acoustic precision and the speakers are tilted to the ear’s natural angle for added clarity.

    The Philips Fidelio L2 headphones feature an improved headband design of fine leather that is smaller and lighter, ensuring long-lasting comfort and meaning you can enjoy your music for hours on end. These headphones offer excellent noise and a spacious listening experience to enjoy all genres of music.

    The Fidelio L2 headphones not only sound incredible, but also are a style statement. Crafted with premium materials including aluminum, fine leather, detailed stitching and a larger grill they are certain to command attention. The ear shells have been redeveloped to allow the 3.5mm cable to be plugged directly into the headphone for added convenience. For those on the go, the L2 fold flat and include a soft cloth travel pouch to protect them.

    The Philips Fidelio L2 are available in September with a recommended retail price of EUR 279.

Recent User Reviews

  1. hawkeye3110
    4.5/5,
    "The Phillips Fidelio L2 is great for the right price"
    Pros - Comfort, Build, Price
    Cons - Very small gripes with cable and earpads
        This is a review of the Phillips Fidelio L2. I got these on Black Friday for $100 and in the 6 weeks I've had them it is a steal for the price. I wanted to finally get a decent pair of headphones that were affordable. I wanted something that was good all around. I wanted something unique since everyone has hd598 and m50x. 
        The packaging is nice with a large box with protective padding on the inside to protect the headphones. Other than the headphones, the box includes a fabric carrying pouch, 2 removable cables (one with a one button mic and one without), and some pamphlets. 
        The headphones have really nice build quality. Metal on the housing and bands in this dark metallic finish. The headband has little padding that is wrapped in leather. However despite the metal build, the headphone is very light and the headband will not cause a problem for most. I have a rather large head and with the headphone adjusted to my size, there is still plenty of room to increase the size of the headband. This headphone will fit most. The earcups have thick leather padding. One of the few cons of this headphone is the lack of removable earpads. This is unfortunate since this helps increase the lifetime and option for different materials like velour. It does matter the orientation you wear these headphones. There is a small L and R on the inside of the yokes. There is a difference if it is backwards. Just remember that the earcup with the cable goes on the left. Both cables are a meter long, braided, and terminate in a relatively short straight jack. One cable has a inline mic with a universal one button mic. This mic works on ios and android with play/pause and double click for next track. The one other con I can think of is the cable without the mic could be longer. I know the headphone is targeted more toward mobile use, but since the mic is universal, the second cable could've been targeted for home use. The cable was too short to be routed behind my pc so I had to buy an extension. The headphone is smaller so good for mobile use and has a low impedance. Overall build is really good for the price and will suit most.
         The sound now. These are semi- open headphones. That means the back is not completely sealed but the drivers isn't completely expose behind. They are somewhere in the middle. They block outside noise pretty well despite being partially open, and they do not leak much. I am no means an audiophile. These are my first decent set of headphones. I don't have a dac, amp, or a flac library. Just someone with a pc and phone that plays mp3 files, youtube, and pandora. I've used the Shure SE215 IEMs for years before this and they have a relatively flat signature (perhaps warm at times). The L2s have a similar sound signature as the Shures. They are balanced with good, detailed bass however not overpowering. The highs are nice and aren't fatiguing to my ears at all. No complaints about the well controlled mids too. Since these are semi-open, sound stage is pretty good. While gaming with them, I could pretty accurately hear footsteps from the correct direction. You won't get crazy separation in songs with the beset detail. They can sound muddy if there are a lot of elements to the song. They won't compete with headphones like the Master and Dynamic MH40 I got to try. They aren't meant to compete with headphones like that.  Overall a great sounding headphone unless you have very specific needs.
        In conclusion, these are a great all-around pair. If you can them for about $130 or less I highly recommend them. I give them 4 and a half stars for the short cable and lack of removable earpads. Minor gripes and gave them 5 stars on amazon since I can't do half stars. Hope this reviews helps and hope you enjoy them if you purchase them. This is my first written review so thanks for reading:)
  2. Jackpot77
    4.5/5,
    "Crystal clear and down and dirty - Philips' Fidelio L2 over-ears provide the voice of an angel with a bassy face"
    Pros - Great bass depth, crystal clear presentation, micro-details, conveys emotion in male and female vocals brilliantly
    Cons - Headband could be more comfortable, sound leakage due to semi-open design, lack of hard case, midrange might be a bit lean for some
    Philips Fidelio L2 – initial impressions
    I picked up the Fidelio L2s as part of a swap deal on Head-Fi as my first “proper” pair of middle-range over ear headphones. These were picked up as an experiment to dip my toes in the water with regards to over-ear ‘phones, and see what differences there are between a mid-fi IEM and a lower-tier over-ear for reference.
    About me: newly minted audiophile, late 30s, long time music fan and aspiring to be a reasonably inept drummer. Listen to at least 2 hours of music a day on my commute to work – prefer IEMs for out and about, and a large pair of headphones when I have the house to myself and a glass in my hand. Recently started converting my library to FLAC and 320kbps MP3, and do most of my other listening through Spotify or Tidal HiFi. I am a fan of rock, acoustic (apart from folk) and sarcasm. Oh yeah, and a small amount of electronica. Not a basshead, but I do love a sound with some body to it. Please take all views expressed below with a pinch of salt – all my reviews are a work in progress based on my own perceptions and personal preferences, and your own ears may tell you a different story.
    Tech specs
    ·       Headphone frequency: 12 - 25000 Hz

    ·       Headphone sensitivity: 105 dB

    ·       Height: 19.5 cm

    ·       Impedance: 16 Ω

    ·       Maximum input power: 200 mW

    ·       Weight: 260 g

    ·       Width: 17.2 cm

     

    Unboxing
    The Fidelio L2s arrive in a nice sturdy cardboard box, with the usual array of marketing and product specs adorning the sides and back. There is a nice premium feel to the packaging, which extends to the inner of the box as well. The headphones sit in a molded plastic insert, with the two detachable cables and faux-velvet carrying bag hidden underneath. The carry bag has the product name printed in a classy grey (slightly darker than the bag itself) in small print at the bottom, and looks like a quality soft carrying option. Unfortunately there is no hard case included with the package, which would have been nice for the advertised retail price, but as these are semi-open and intended for mainly home rather than portable use, it isn’t a necessity if you don’t intend to give your gear a hammering.

    Build quality
    The overall build and feel of the Fidelio is very good, and gives a nice first impression with regards to the quality of the workmanship. The headband is lightly padded and wrapped in faux-leather with a nice orange stitching detail (matching the orange drawstring on the carry case). The rest of the headphone parts are made of aluminium, and look like they will stand up to a fair bit of abuse without too much wear and tear to show for it. There are a few nice design touches throughout – the earcups swivel flat (DJ-style) to allow for easier packing when transporting them, and the extender mechanism on both headphone arms moves with a smooth and audible click. The arms also have a numbered scale etched onto the inside, so you can see exactly what “setting” the extension is at for future reference. The grill covering the earcups is also solid metal, and adds to the design aesthetic very nicely, giving the headphones a vaguely futuristic look, much like its sibling the Fidelio X2. The enclosed cables also add a nice touch – there is one with and one without a microphone, and both are cloth-covered, reasonably thick and very flexible, with zero cable noise. The Fidelio uses a standard 3.5mm jack connection in to the left ear socket, but the cables have an additional plastic spur on the headphone connector end which locks into place in two slots next to the headphone jack to prevent the cable from rotating or detaching too easily. While this may make cable upgrades a little tricky (although not impossible), it is a nice touch, and the additional stability of the cable connection does feel more secure when moving around.

    Ergonomics
    As an over-ear headphone, the Fidelios are quite large, but the overall comfort is very good. The padding on the underside of the headband is quite thin, so may start to cause a hotspot on the top of the head when worn for extended periods of time, but the soft memory foam padding on the earcups and the overall diameter of the inner of the cups makes them fit comfortably over my reasonably large ears and makes them very comfortable for me for extended listening so far. In terms of weight, these are not a heavy headphone for an over-ear, and can quite comfortably be worn by my girlfriend without any additional scaffolding to hold it in place. Clamping force (i.e. how easily the headphone sticks to your skull once on without popping your head like a children’s party balloon) is reasonable and never excessive – moving around with the headphones in place is easy, and they generally stay put for most activities (I make no guarantees for those of you out there who like to listen to their music while trampolining). The cups are also mounted on a ring structure that allows them good freedom of movement (and permits them to swivel flat for wearing around the neck or packing down in a bag), so they should follow the contours of most craniums with ease. As a semi-open design, there is some sound leakage from the cups into the surrounding environment, so these are not a ‘phone to be taken to the library unless you like making yourself unpopular, but the leakage is not overwhelmingly loud. In terms of sound coming in, they isolate slightly better than you would expect (think of them like a bouncer at a busy bar, always seeming to let out far more than they actually let in). They will easily block out background noise if you are listening at home or in an everyday environment, without rendering you totally deaf to whatever is happening around you.

    Sound quality
    Test gear:
    LG G Flex 2 (with and without Brainwavz AP001 mini-amp)
    Sony NWZ-A15 (as above)
    Sansa Clip+ (Rockboxed, amped as above)
    Microsoft Surface Pro 2 (straight from the output jack)
    Test tracks (mainly 320kbps MP3 or FLAC/Tidal HiFi):
    Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – S.O.B. / Wasting Time
    Blackberry Smoke – The Whipporwill (album)
    Slash – Shadow Life / Bad Rain (my reference tracks for bass impact and attack, guitar “crunch”)
    Slash & Beth Hart – Mother Maria (vocal tone)
    Richie Kotzen – Come On Free (bass tone)
    Otis Redding – various
    Elvis – various
    Leon Bridges – Coming Home (album)
    Foy Vance – various
    Blues Traveler
    Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (album)
    Sigma - various
    Rudimental – various
    Rodrigo y Gabriela – various
    Mavis Staples – Livin’ On A High Note
    Professor Green ft. Emile Sande – Read All About It
     
    General notes on the sound signature
    (graph taken from the Innerfidelity website)

    Being a relative newcomer to over-ear headphones, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Fidelio series, but the overall sound signature sits quite nicely with my personal preferences. The sound reproduction has a clear and neutral tone to it, with decent high end extension and a very detailed and almost lean mid-section. The bass extends low with a slight sub-bass tilt, so you can get some decent rumble from the right track without the mid-bass being too prominent. The overall bass presentation is a little north of neutral, but always fast and punchy rather than thick or overwhelming, leaving the overall impression being of a reasonably neutral sound with good extension on either end, a nice impact to the low frequencies and a detailed and forward midsection which never feels too syrupy.
    Highs
    On first listen, this headphone can come across as quite bright, especially coming from the warmer and bassier tone of my current “home listening” choices. Once your head kicks into gear (brain burn-in, as it is sometimes referred to here), the highs settle into a sharp, detailed presentation that gives plenty of detail and bite to the soundscape without ever tipping over into harshness or sibilance. Listening to “Mother Maria” and “Starlight” by Slash on these is a truly wonderful experience, with Beth Hart and Myles Kennedy hitting their straps with high notes that are crystal clear, sharp enough to cut glass but never feeling strained or screechy. Cymbals shimmer and fade with a palpable sense of realism, and manage to avoid the overly “metallic” tinge that can sometimes goes along with brighter tuning in my (very limited) experience. Despite being a semi-open design, the L2s aren’t awash with “air” (a usual side effect of the high end tuning), but everything is presented on a jet black background, so overall the sharper treble presentation works very well with the rest of sound, and never feels like it is overpowering the rest of the frequencies.
    Mids
    The mids on the L2 are fairly forward, very balanced and packed with micro-detail. They treat male and vocals similarly well, and manage to convey emotion at the same time as technicalities, leaving the listener immersed in the music rather than sat in front of it analysing it. That isn’t to say that these can’t be used for critical listening as the detail is simply some of the best I have heard yet, but the temptation to simply dive into the song being played rather than trying to work out how the headphone is presenting it is quite compelling. The clarity of the vocals is excellent, and guitars (both acoustic and electric) sound sublime, with plenty of crunch and speed when required, and subtle timbre and tone to accompany the sound of fingers sliding up and down the guitar neck for the more mellow passages. In fact, the midrange lends itself very well to both rock and acoustic music, with the right blend of emotion and energy to really sweep you along, and enough clarity to keep everything in focus as it whips by. I am not a massive rap fan, but one of my tester tracks for vocal clarity is the Professor Green version of “Read All About It”, and the L2 handles the soaring vocals of Emile Sande and the quick-fire drawl of the Professor with equal aplomb, making it easy to follow the lyrics without having to concentrate, which some of the other mid-range IEMs I have used recently have struggled with.  The detailing and clarity also helps with the emotional impact, capturing the vocal phrasings and breathing of the singers in the back of the soundscape, so no drop of musicality is left behind in the mixing desk.
    Bass
    In my recent listening history, I have been spoiled with regards to what I consider “good” bass after discovering the Aurisonics ASG-2.5, so my standards have shifted slightly. While it never reaches the sheer impact and authority of the 2.5s, the bass on show here is something pretty special in its own right. It is quick, agile and can provide a good thump in the eardrum when called for, and gives a nice rumble of sub-bass when pushed. It never feels artificial or forced, and can add real substance to a track when needed. My go-to tester track for overall bass impressions is “Bad Rain” by Slash, and the L2 absolutely nails it in terms of the sort of presentation I like. The bass growls right down to the soles of your feet, and the sub bass gives enough of a tickle in your eardrums to add the weight that this song is really capable of, while never swamping the crunch of the guitar or the rasp of the vocals. It is slightly north of what you would consider truly neutral, but never pushes too far into the midrange or colours the presentation any more than it needs to, leaving more of an impression of neutral but capable rather than warm and soupy. Running the L2s through my small Brainwavz AP001 mini-amp provides a little bass boost, which can thicken up the sound slightly when I want something truly epic, but that is more of a preference than a requirement, as the default bass on these is more than enough to impress all but the most serious of bassheads out there.

    Soundstage/separation
    The L2s don’t have a massive soundstage, which is something I found quite surprising for a semi-open headphone. The instruments present themselves in a bubble that extends just outside the confines of your own head, with a good depth and sweep from left to right giving a very good feeling of placement to even the most congested of tracks. The “black” background of these headphones (i.e. the lack of noise or bleed between instruments in the soundscape) provides a great canvas for the L2s to paint an almost holographic image on to, so the separation and imaging that these provide is top-notch. Listening to Leon Bridges (who masters his tracks like a live studio recording), the position of each instrument presses itself very well into the landscape, giving an almost palpable “feel” to where the horn section and backing singers are standing, and how the drummer is positioned in the back of the room. The black background also helps you pick out individual guitar licks and bass notes in the sea of music when listening to your favourite tracks, which is very impressive.
    Amping
    The L2s are an easy to drive headphone, and the dynamics and quality don’t improve appreciably with the addition of extra “juice” (with my limited gear, at least). They can be driven loud direct from most smartphones or DAPs without the need for any external power, so amping will be more of a personal preference for those of you with access to more high end solutions like the Chord Mojo, rather than something that is mandatory to make these cans sing.
     
    Comparisons
    Flare R2A – these were my original daily driver, and while being an IEM, have a soundstage more like an over-ear headphone and have a similar RRP so probably provide one of closest comparisons to the L2 I can currently make. The R2A are less sharp in overall presentation than the L2, with a slightly warmer bass response and slightly more rolled off treble. The detail levels are similar, but the leaner and crisper presentation of the L2 brings them further forward in the listener’s mind, so making them less of an effort to appreciate. Soundstage is actually won by the R2A, which has a very spacious soundstage for a microdriver-based IEM. In terms of ease of driving, the L2s require less power to drive well, despite their comparative difference in size.
    Aurisonics ASG-2.5 – these are my current “go to” pair for home listening, and again are another pair of IEMs with a very expansive soundstage (albeit with a larger price tag to accompany it). The 2.5s have an overall warmer feel to them than the L2s, with a larger bass presence (I run the 2.5s with the bass tuning port at ¼ open, so they have the potential for FAR more bass than the L2). The detail and tone are similar between both, with the 2.5 edging it in terms of soundstage and the L2 leaving a cleaner impression for treble “crunch” and brightness, and slightly more detail, although some of that has to do with the cleaner tone of the L2. Extension in the treble is similar to my ears, with the 2.5s winning on sub-bass extension and quantity (an acknowledged strong point of this particular IEM). Both are easy enough to drive direct from a mobile phone or DAP, with the 2.5 achieving slightly more volume at the same settings than the L2.
    Overall conclusion
    The Fidelio L2 are my first real foray into a decent mid-range headphone, and a very impressive headphone at that. They provide a sharp, crystal clear sound, with a nice low bass extension and bags of detail. They convey the emotion of a track extremely well, and overall are almost perfect for my personal preferences. In terms of things to improve, a slightly wider soundstage, hard carrying case, more padded headband and a tiny pinch more body in the midrange would be on my wishlist, but none of these would alter my overall opinion of the headphone. For its price, this is an excellent piece of workmanship, and produces a truly engaging, musical sound that will suit most tastes and musical genres.
  3. White Lotus
    3.5/5,
    "Philips Fidelio L2 - semi-open bassheads dream"
    Pros - BASS, build quality, overall clear and strong sound signature
    Cons - Headband pressure

    Foreword:

     
    I'm a production manager, but focus mostly on sound engineering. I install and tune a lot of P.A equipment, and also mix live acts in :

    - live venues,
    - concert halls,
    - bars, and
    - nightclubs.

    I've taken a huge liking to headphones, and IEM's in particular. I like the idea of having my own personal PA system, that I can take with me anywhere. Especially with Rockbox being in such advanced stages, and such great low-impedance portable amps coming out, you can really seem to get any sound signature you wish out of a portable rig.
     


    Phillips Fidelio L2 review.


     
     

    Build quality:


    Absolutely superb. I've always enjoyed the build quality of Phillips headphones, and this is no exception. The cans have a very “premium” feel, and the aesthetic details are superb.
     
    There are intricate details, such as the “rings” around the exterior of the cup, and the woven pattern of the mesh grills.
     
    The L2 pivot/suspension system features a single pivot point for up/down movement. Combined with swiveling cups, it's easy to get a good fit (more on that later).
     
    The stitching is a nice touch.
     
    And for those of you who are OCD about headband length: you can now know for sure that you're even on both sides.
     
    The cable is removable, and you will be able to hear taps and rubs through the headpiece when adjusting it.
     

    Accessories:


    A neat little cloth pouch, with the Phillips branding on it, as well as a full-size headphone jack converter. This is more than sufficient for what full-size headphones come with, in my opinion. It would have been nice to have optional change-out pads, but I'm just being fussy.
     
    I'm glad Phillips chose to save money in the accessory department, instead of sacrificing build or sound quality.
     

    Feel/comfort:

    A comfortable wear. A lot of full-size cans don't fit around my ears, but these do nicely. It's relatively easy to “tweak” the fit, by use of the swiveling and pivoting cups, matched with the measurable headband. My ears still touch the insides a little, but it's no big deal. There is sufficient clamping force. My one complaint is that the headband is stiff, and thin. It looks great, but it means that a lot of the weight of the L2 is pressed into a thin line across the head, and I needed to “shift” it around a little after long sessions.
     
    Keep in mind, I don't have the smallest head around!
     

    Specs:

    From the Phillips website:
    Frequency response
    6 - 40 000 Hz
    Impedance
    16 Ohm
    Sensitivity
    105 dB
    Maximum power input
    200 MW
    Distortion
    < 0.1% THD
    Speaker diameter
    40 mm
    Acoustic system
    Semi-open


    Sound:

    It's worth noting here that the impedance is 16ohms. This will make the L2 a little fussy with sources, and damping factor should be considered when choosing a suitable source.
     
    They are also incredibly efficient and easy to drive. Sources such as mobile phones, DAPs, laptops and other portable devices will power these with no issues at all.
     
    Isolation is interesting - “semi-open” is a perfect description. They isolate better than most open-backed cans, and leak more than closed-back.
     
    I would, to be safe, treat these as “open-backed” when thinking about using these outside of the home. They don't leak as much as open-backed cans do, but definitely more than closed-back.
     

    Bass:

    Strong, authoritative, unrelenting.
     
    Very strong mid-bass presence, with hard impact. The bass is very impressive, especially considering this headphone is using open-backed 40mm drivers.
     
    Bass-heads, pay attention!
     

    Mids:

    Not quite as open as an open-backed headphone, but sound-stage is sufficient none-the-less. These are not neutral headphones, and the mid-bass definitely powers through the mids a little. Sometimes male vocals can feel a little recessed, but that might just be due to the strong bass and pokey highs.
     

    Highs:

    These aren't “dark” headphones, despite having such overwhelmingly strong bass. I don't find them to be too peaky or sibilant, but they are definitely “forward”.
     
    Good amount of details and excellent clarity. They can be listened to at decent volume without any significant piercing. 
     

    Value:

    Pricing varies depending on region, but for a few hundred bucks, no matter where you are, these are a good deal.
     
    It's a very premium feeling offering at that price – considering the excellent build quality, and accompanying audio performance.


    Overall conclusion:

    Sound quantities in a nutshell:
    Bass: ++
    Mids: -
    Highs: +
     
    These headphones are a bass-heads dream - if you're looking for a semi-open backed product with a very premium finish.
     
     
     
     

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