Cons - Stock cord isn't great (build is great but since its woven can cause noise artifacts when something touches it)
Once you take these out of the box you see how high quality they are. The metal on on the ear cups, the grate on the cups that's also made of metal. Then the headband made of leather, overall excellent build quality. Then the sound, just wow they sound great for all music. They have a warm relaxing sound for easy long listening. Would totally recommend to someone who has treble sensitivity because these don't feel irritating at all the music I have tried on them (Jazz, EDM, House, Experimental electronic, Blues, Folk).
If you have an opportunity to buy them do it you will have no regrets happy listening
Pros - Great bass, great soundstage, great sound overall
Cons - None for me
People here are saying these sound artificial, they have too much bass, treble is weird or whatever.
Truth is, these are my perfect headphone, and if you're someone like me, who isn't a seasoned audiophile, and doesn't care about the sound maybe, possibly not being 100% natural and neutral, you're gonna love these!
These have the wow-factor. They sound great. They sound fun! And that's what I want from my headphones - they need to make me want to listen to them. And these just do. If they sound unnatural (which I'm not convinced they do) to achieve this - fine by me. Just make my music sound awesome. And these do exactly that.
Bass ir strong. Are these heavy bass cans? I say no - most of the bass is located low down. They do have an emphasis on sub bass and the kick you get from these, when the music calls for it, is fantastic. No mid bass / high bass bloat. Bass sounds clean and controlled. And powerful.
There's a hint of some treble spark. It's just a little (and perfectly IMHO) elevated.
Mids may be recessed somewhat compared to treble and bass, but they're still upfront and never sound dark.
And then there's the soundstage. So much wider and more open than other cans I've tried. The instruments are playing all around you, rather than inside your head.
The only thing these are a little lacking for me is "opennness". These are not transparent on your ears - they do isolate quite a bit of sound. With no music playing, you can still hear your own voice and your surroundings, but once the music starts playing, the rest completely disappears. But this is just a minor gripe.
Easy to drive, comfortable, great looking, well built. Got one of the last pairs on Amazon.co.uk for 180 pounds and couldn't be happier with my purchase. Gaming, music, movies - these do it all.
P.S. You're not taking these outside - they're not portable, they have retardo-huge earcups and are not that easy to drive. My phone can push them, but to fairly low levels and not enough to drown out background noise, since these are open.
Cons - Not replaceable ear pads, the cable tends to swirl a bit too much
Audio impressions in music
Many reviewers already wonderfully described everything what is needed to know, so I will try to use a bit different approach.
Namely, does the Philips Fidelio need the headphone amplifier or not, as they have just 30 ohms, what doesn’t demand really serious amplification.
1. Testing with different equipment from just PC, to integrated amplifier and separate external DAC and headphone amp
Philips Fidelio X1 is always keeping their main characteristics, but the presence of those characteristics is significantly changing with use of following equipment:
- when plugged just into PC everything appear as from distance (not present enough), as if you will sitting outside of concert hall and listening to music. Although Fidelio X1 doesn’t need that much of amplification, you can hear, that just a little bit more juice greatly improves entire sound image.
- when plugged into external DAC (without any amplifier, either big integrated one, nor small headphone amplifier) you are definitely getting more quality sound (more resolution and fine details), than just plugged into PC, but there is still this feeling that everything appear as from distance, as if you will sitting outside of concert hall and listening to music.
- when plugged into integrated amplifier, who is not made specifically for headphones (without DAC), you are immediately getting over-emphasized presence, what is literary like day and night difference compared to plugged just in PC or laptop. So you are getting intensity of Fidelio X1 characteristics, but not right away all positive qualities.
- when plugged in integrated amplifier (who is not made specifically for headphones) and external DAC you are starting to get positive qualities of Fidelio X1, but there is still everything very over-emphasized (intensity is still not enough balanced with the quality of sound).
- when plugged into dedicated headphone amplifier (without DAC) you are finally starting to get proper balanced details with appropriate presence of sound, which is not too much and not too little intensive. Fidelio X1 really doesn’t need a lot of amplification, as it has just 30 ohms, so even a little external headphone amplifier is already making a big difference. But without DAC there is still missing the fine resolution of sound, what you will never know until you won’t try it out.
- when plugged into combination of external DAC and headphone amplifier you are “on horse”, sort of speak. You are finally starting to get out the whole potential of Fidelio X1 in balanced presence of intensity and quality.
I’m using Epiphany Acoustics E-DAC and Beresford Capella headphone amplifier.
The difference in intensity and quality is surprisingly obvious, even in those basic options. So it’s really worth to try out all those options for your self.
2. Testing with different analogue cables (for connecting external DAC and headphone amplifier)
I was testing with four different analogue cables between DAC and headphone amplifier. I just kept the same USB cable. It was always entry level AudioQuest Tower 2.0 USB cable.
Up until now I didn’t know that you can actually make so much difference just with changing the “passive” analogue cable, but once I connect the DAC and headphone amplifier with Dynamique Audio NEO 2 the Philips Fidelio X1 literary start to shine like superstar. All positive characteristics of Fidelio X1 were presented in extremely rich enjoyable sound image, which was never too much intrusive. So after 5 months of usage I’m again rediscovering the Fidelio X1 as simply amazingly excellent headphones.
First very obvious impression was, that “there” and “here” was much more organically interconnected. It wasn’t just big sound-stage and then musical tons hanging on different positions. They were going into each another, but still keeping enough room for identification of position.
Increased level of details was amazing, but always enough balanced, never intrusive.
I was getting the impression that Dynamique Audio NEO 2 and Philips Fidelio X1 are made for each another, as Dynamique Audio NEO 2 is smooth and very kind to details and Philips Fidelio X1 is very musical. So they were literary playing with each another, creating the surplus of enjoyment in music. In this sense you can’t speak about neutrality, but in the same time you can’t say that there is too much of bass or too much of mid-range or too much of higher frequencies. Everything was nicely balanced, with addition of additional flair. I was getting the impression that everything is sparkling with liveliness.
I find very nice, that even “up front” feeling of Fidelio X1 was balanced as well. So the characteristics of Philips Fidelio X1 were even more emphasized in all their positive aspects, while all “negative” aspects were in this case “balanced away”. That’s a point, when you start to feel “milk and honey” in you mouths.
Audio impressions in movies
The increased level of details in movies is simply amazing. Especially once I start using the Dynamique Audio NEO 2 analogue cable. It’s literary as having 3D sound.
I really mean it when I said, that the Philips Fidelio X1 is embodiment of outstanding musical headphones. So if you prefer to be engaged into music and movies, this are very much “perfect all-round” headphones.