Philips Fidelio X1

Average User Rating:
4.84375/5,
  1. EvoX99
    5.0/5,
    "A Truly High Quality Set of Cans "
    Pros - Looks, comfort, detail, detachable cable, sound, build quality
    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).
     
    Build-Excellent
     
    Comfort- Excellent
     
    Sound- Excellent
     
    -Score
    10/10
     
    If you have an opportunity to buy them do it you will have no regrets happy listening [​IMG] 
  2. Obery
    5.0/5,
    "High quality entertainment"
    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.
  3. Alex Explorer
    5.0/5,
    "Philips Fidelio X1 is embodiment of extraordinary musical headphones"
    Pros - Extraordinary musical, strikingly lively, huge soundstage, excellent balanced, superior detailed, outstanding comfortable
    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.

    Conclusions

    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.

    Regards,
    Alex.
  4. vmirjamali
    5.0/5,
    "This is the closest I've gotten to feeling like I'm in a movie theater from a pair of headphones."
    Pros - Expansive Sound Stage, Amazing Treble and Midrange, Booming Bass.
    Cons - Non-removable earcups, bass is slightly lower than closed ear.
     My goal was to get close to theater like experience, this got me in the seat. It's amazing. I picked mine up for ~$150 during a sale and I would reccomend these up till $200, but go for the improved X2 for $250 if the X1 is over $200.

    Quality:
    These headphones exude premium quality from the get go. Everything from the box, to the headphone comfort, to the sound. They managed to put in the perfect mix of aluminum metal and lightweight plastic where it seems like the whole can is made of aluminum. Keeps the weight manageable while still very durable.

    Sound Stage: The X1 has amazing treble and mid levels sounds, and the bass is strong once it's been burned in. It's not as powerful as the closed can designs but for the under $250 price range you can't beat this cans clarity. I'm not an audiophile but even I appreciate the depth of the sound stage.

    Leakage: This is some leakage due to the open can design, but compared to even the closed can HD439's it leaks a lot less. So it's a heighly efficient design.

    Cord: Use the Anker 3.5mm at $5 shipped. Best cable for the x1 under 20 dollars shipped.A cable is a cable but this does improve the bass a little bit.

    Drawbacks: Non-removable earcups means I'll probably be having trouble a few years down. I haven't had bleeding ear cups yet but I've read it's an issue down the line. Hasn't happened to me as of yet.
  5. Star2806
    5.0/5,
    "Lush and dreamy experience"
    Pros - Bass! Airy, wide soundstage, neutral mids, sparkly highs, comfortable
    Cons - Some may like more forward mids
    I just bought these for £100 secondhand off ebay and I don't think I will get any better for the price, although I have not auditioned the AKG K612.  Bass is punchy, detailed, well textured.  Mids are very smooth, neutral, no spikes whatsoever, highs are sparkly and just right in the mix.  Overall, the detail level is great, clarity is of a high standard as you would expect and the speed response is great.  The soundstage is so airy and wide it really makes for a dreamy wonderful experience and especially with the low to mid bass response which fills the sound in beautifully.  The pads are so lush and comfortable with the velour padding, these feel as good as they sound!  Overall the X1s sound expensive and refined and they are definitely keepers.
  6. IronIWolf
    5.0/5,
    "Amazingly Natural,Rich And Open Experience That Lack An Equal."
    Pros - Open, Rich, Natural, Warm, No Sibilance, Imaging, Balance, Comfort and Price considering :)
    Cons - Non replaceable ear-pads :frowning2:

    Warm, Entertaining And Yet Very Refined And Revealing...

     

    If this is what you looking for, stop reading this review and go out buying one of these! ​




    ( The product was tested at 249,99$ ) 

    Because this is simply one of the most enjoyable headphones beneath the 500$ mark. The Philips Fidelio X1 was released by Philips Home Audio department in 2012 and had since then quite the fanbase and many great reviews. 

     

    With the Philips X1s, Philips was trying to bring their first true high-end headphone to the market, for critical home listening. Most of their prior products were based on either fashion designs or "mid-fi" headphones, that were mostly meant for mobile use. Not so with this one though... Philips made a big and important first step into the fields of audiophiles and did so with ease. 3 years ago you didnt even really know that Philips made headphones, nor did you ever consider them doing something in that direction. The only ever reoccurring names were Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic and AKG, when it came to european high-end headphones. Now Philips made a name for them selfs and a product that could make it self legend under the enthusiasts, just like The Sennheiser HD6xx line or the AKG K701s did and im going to tell you why.



    Build : Like A Tank!

    Right out the bat, youll notice that this is truly a premium product. Its made out of many metal parts (Aluminum) and some very high quality plastic, such as in the inner earcup design. The cable has also partial metal parts and seems to be very high quality and quite sturdy overall. Everything looks in place and quite beautiful with this one, the ear pads are very plush and have some medium density memory foam inside, which makes them very comfortable, but more on that later! The top headband is made out of leather and has metal rails inside for extra durability, while the extension itself is more of a self adjusting design ( similar to AKGs ) and is also quite plush and very unique in its material. To put it short, for under 300$ i have never seen a headphone so well put together and of such quality materials. 

    10/10 

     

    Comfort : Like A Feather With Some Tank Issues!

    These headphones are amazingly comfortable and that even for longer periods of time. I often found my self forgetting that i had them on sitting at home listening to music for several hours. But not only music, they did also prove themselves to be quite a treat for gaming and movies of all sorts. The Headband is so light on your head, but with just enough tension, to never slip down on your ears. Same goes for the earpads, they are so amazingly comfortable and plush, that sometime i just wanted to put them on to have that feel again. The headphones also do keep you ears quite cool allowing air to flow in and out of the headphone. This makes them of course unsuitable for mobile use out and about, or for listening in loud enviroments. But Philips didnt advertise to be that, they advertise these headphones as home listening headphones and they are exactly that! The only slight criticism id state on the comfort is, that these headphones are somewhat heavy, because of their many metal parts. Not to the point of really annoying me, but i could see why some people may think them to be uncomfortable for that. With 336g they are not the lightes headphones in the world and compared to my Sony MA900s, they are a tank... But as stated above, this may only apply to some persons, mostly young folk with tiny necks :wink: Still this takes some of the score.

    9/10

     

    Sound : Impactful And Revealing. Smooth Yet Entertaining!

    This headphone is Gold! It does something that most other high-end headphones cant... Sheer musical pleasure! The Bass hits hard and tight when asked to and the Mids stay really neutral and present in the mix while the Treble does have  sparkle, but knows how to behave himself. The Soundstage doesnt fall short either. Sound to good to be true? Well it definitely is!




     

    The sound of the Fidelio X1 is just amazing, everyone who listens to a wide variety of genres will be quite happy with this headphone. It delivers a pretty flat response, with a warm and also quite open retrieval. Bass is slightly emphasized, yet never to much. Its tight and very well defined, during testing the bass could impress acoustically and with synths without a problem, its simply a very impactful and refined bass that really grabs you! The mids are also really smooth and present, they are very detailed and project vocals and mid subtleties amazingly natural and exciting, while the highs are also really detailed and well extended, but also very, very smooth sounding and at no times fatiguing, unless it is supposed to, like withing games or movie, where there are gunshots and similar effect, which are supposed to sound hard to your ears. It also sounds very open and spacious, with great depth and positional cues, which really tends to impress during live concerts, acoustical music or games and movie. Only downside to the sound would be that it is not completely neutral and therefore not perfect for mixing purposes, but for enjoying music, it is definitely a winner!

     

    Sound : 9.5/10

     
     

    Conclusion:

    The Philips X1 is one of the most impressive headphones under the 500$ mark and easily compares with Sennheiser HD600 line (More so with the HD650), AKGs K700 series, Beyerdynamic DT and T series, as well as with Sonys flagship the MA900. The MA900 may have the better soundstage and the HD650 some more detail in the midrange, but overall the X1s have their own signatur and live up to the hype. 

     

    Final Score : 9.75 - Amazing!   

     







  7. DrikTheTroll
    5.0/5,
    "Sound great, look stylish, comfortable, good value"
    Pros - Euphonic fun headphone that works well for most genres of music and represents very good value for the price
    Cons - Earpads not user replaceable, need to swap stock cable
    The X1 does many things quite well and blends them together to produce a consistently pleasurable listening experience.
     
    Bass is excellent for an open dynamic headphone, but not excessive, and blends well.
     
    Overall tone is a bit warm, but not overpoweringly so (less so than an HD650). Detail is good (not excellent), but these are not analytical headphones.
     
    Works well across many genres of music, but is weakest at rock - still pretty good but shines on EDM, Jazz, Bluegrass.
     
    Large, plush velour earpads are quite comfortable, Sony MA-900s are the only headphones I have owned that are more comfortable (MA-900s are INSANELY light and comfortable, highly recommended for anyone picky on fit).
     
    Not picky to amp.
     
    My favorite headphone for extended listening sessions.
     
    An excellent value at about USD $230.
     
    Two downsides - the earpads are not user replaceable - I believe they are glued on. At a cost of >$200 that is a bit annoying. Also, it is generally recommended to replace the included cable due to its high impedance (about $10).
     
    Easy to give 5 stars to at this price point.
  8. dablues
    5.0/5,
    "Jack of all trades, master of them as well"
    Pros - Soundstage, construction, bass, mids, treble, musicality, accuracy
    Cons - Non-replaceable pads!
    What can I say about this headphone that hasn't been said? I just know that all the stupid things about it - the cable with stupid resistance, the non-replaceable pads, the strange headband, the fact that they probably aren't making it any more - all of those things just fade away when you put them on.
     
    They're accurate. Sure, not totally accurate - not like my K550s or HD598s - but an accurate that adds enough excitement to make good music fun. Isn't that what this is all about? I had Mad Dogs for a while, and have nothing but love and respect for those little monsters, but these have all the good parts of the Mad Dog with almost none of the bad. More soundstage. Airy-er treble. Just awesome.
     
    It boils down to this - you can get an HD600 or an HD800 or an AKG K701 and sit and be very proud of your lack of distortion and your oh-so-accurate sound, and I'll respect and like you for that. That's a fine a noble aim. But this headphone makes me smile. It makes me bob in my seat and dance along and act like a moron. Plus, if I DO want to hear every little detail, I just listen for them, and I can. They have the musicality of my old Momentums, some of the accuracy of the K550 and DT1350, some of the space of the HD598, and a beauty all their own.
     
    Sorry, but I can't make it more clear than that. Just go buy the things before they don't make 'em anymore.
  9. NinjaQuick
    5.0/5,
    "Exciting. Fun. Unique."
    Pros - Comfortable for big ears. Exciting sound, great soundstage, clean bass. Easy to drive.
    Cons - Non-user replaceable pads. Leaky sound for some.
    I highly recommend these for anyone that wants bass and soundstage. They deliver both flawlessly.
     
    Yes, there are more accurate headphones, and more thumpy headphones, but this strikes the perfect middle ground.
     
    If any weakness exists, it is in vocal music, the likes of Norah Jones.
     
    The bass is there, never gets in the way.
     
    In short, these are unique. They sound unlike anything I have heard, and do so in a way that sets them apart, on a pedestal no-one else seems to be interested in: Best Listening Cans. They aren't analytical in any way, they are just accurate enough to feel right, but do their thing impressively well.
  10. PTom
    5.0/5,
    "Great Soundstage and Bass"
    Pros - Fantastic bass, treble and soundstage. Quite comfortable. Easy to drive.
    Cons - Vocals could be more prominent. A bit bulky. Not the lightest headphone.
    These headphones are a huge step up from anything I've ever heard before. 
     
    The only other well known headphones I've listened to extensively are the Sennheiser HD 202 and the Logitech UE6000.  Compared to these headphones, the sound quality of the X1 is better in every way. 
     
    In my opinion the Fidelio X1 has a truly fantastic bass and treble response. The bass impact of these headphones during action sequences in movies really adds a level of immersion I've not experienced before. I'm also hearing a lot of details in music I previously did not know studio recordings picked up. Sometimes it feels like sensory overlord since I'm not used to listening to this level of detail.  I also find that the excellent bass and soundstage makes Jazz sound especially good with these cans. 
     
    My only complaint with the X1 is that I sometimes feel the vocals in music and speech in movies are not as prominent as I would like. These headphones are also a bit bulk and slightly heavier than ideal in my opinion. However, the comfort of the ear pads are great.
     
    I use these headphones with the Audioquest Dragonfly and I find this combination to be a great match. If you want to know which DAC/amp to use with the X1, check out the results of a  survey I conducted:
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/689313/dac-amp-for-fidelio-x1-ratings-and-recommendations-compilation-thread
     
    These results contains feedback and recommendations from over 30 Fidelio X1 users on the different amps and DACs they have used with this headphone.