Philips Fidelio L1

General Information

Philips' top-of-the-line over-ear headphone introduced in 2012.

Latest reviews

Pros: excellent build quality, detachable cable, comfortable, good bass,
Cons: parts not changeable, carpet in lower highs, too low clamping force (moves on head)
I bought this cans because I needed a pair of headphones for outside mobile use with a normal phone/mp3-player. As such, the design and build quality were the most important factors to decide.
In this regards, the Fidelio L1 is an excellenct choice, as they are beautiful and have a very solid feel to it - everything on this headphone consists of either metal or leather. The leather ear feels very soft and plushy, but not as plushy and comfortable as for example the Beyerdynamic DT series' velour pads - they do get warm on the ears after some while, but that is a general disadvantage of non-pervorated leather materials. The clamping force is quite nice after some time, but it could be a bit more of it, as they move around on my head when I do rapid head movements - they tend to either slide into my neck or into my face - this is one of the major disadvantages in my opinion.
They isolate quite well against the outside world, considering the mesh structure on the outside of the earpads. Sound leakage into the outside world is also low - up to no-existance at my personal hearing levels (I asked a friend sitting 50 cm away from me in a quiet surrounding).
However, this cans aren't the most physically portable out there. The cable is detachable (it comes with 2x 1m long cables, one of them with a 3 button cable remote), but it tends to coil itself up and to entangle horribly. Tee soft bag feels good put doesn't protect the cans at all - it's just a means of transportation. It's quite bulky to transport on its own because it can't be folded up like some portable cans do. However, the ear pads swifle, so they can be placed around  the neck and get out of the way easily.

They sound like typical semi-open cans, without the feeling of being closed in, but not with a particular amazing sound stage. The bass response is rich without being over the top and relatively warm sounding - the bass blends well with the low mids without sound peaks, but lack a bit of really deep bass in my opinion. However, there is a "carpet sound" right at the frequencies of normal human speech - that leads to a relatively long time until one gets used to it's sound, but it doesn't affect my listening experience too much once I get used to it. However, this characteristic is this pair of headphones' major flaw and could be the major reason not to buy this pair (at least, not as the primary one) - but you should check for yourself if you don't mind it, like it or hate it. The treble is there clearly and not too aggressive or pronounced.
They are very easy to drive, because the have "just" 32 Ohms impedance (I'm used to 250+ ohms from my Beyer and old AKG cans) and are quite efficient. They don't profit from a headphone amp at all (unlike the former named ones) and can be easily driven off of any clean (they pick up hissing noises quite well, but not as good as IEMs, of course) "normal use" sources, like phone and mp3 player headphone jacks.
Overall, I use them as my smartphone pair of headphones. They are fun to listen to but not too revealing and detailed. They are exceptionally good for a wide range of musical genres (I listenen to Prog Rock/Metal, Classical, Rock and Metal, Jazz and a variety of electronical genres, in this order) and for multimedia use. The major setback with these is the uneven response I described as "carpet", but I get used to it in about 5-20 minutes every time. I wouldn't buy them for the 180€ they cost on Amazon; watch out for used ones or special sales for about 120€,  that would make a good deal that I could recommend at least trying for everyone.
Pros: Excellent SQ, beautiful design, very affordable (for some)
Cons: Bass can at times creep up on the mids, Isolation
Here Goes My First Head-Fi Review!​
  1. Just to let you know what your getting into, these don’t NEED an amp, but they do like em’.  Don’t worry about amping because you don’t need it, it’ll be a little quiet though. 
  2. They are semi-open.
  3. 26ohms
  4. Emphasize the bass (don’t all portable cans do that?)
Build- 7/7- Absolutely fantastic build.  The headband is real leather (or at least the top that is pressed with Philips on top of it), and the build is conposed mostly of metal.  The wire is covered in fabric.  I actually pulled the earcups to a 180° angle to both test the build and improve clamping pressure.
Comfort- 9/12- The first time you put them on, you’ll notice the brutal clamping pressure, and im someone who thinks the dt770s are a little light at times with the clamp.  Now all you have to do is stretch the hell out of the headband and you’ll get very favoring results, but right now they do clamp quite a bit.
Looks-1.75/2-  Theres no reason to have this section but I’ll throw it in there anyway.  They look great, its just the cord that sticks fron the top of the cans can look a little goofy, but I still like em’.  I still think the black momentum(don’t have) looks the best, followed by the MDR 1R(do have).
Isolation-4/6-Compared to the 1rs, these do have a little less isolation, since they are semi-open.  The isolation is just enough for me to use on the train and bus, but i do loose the bass.  These isolate just enough for me to hear people talk to me, when the music is played low, which i love!  The isolation will not be a turn off if you know what your getting into.
Bass- 9/10-The bass is pumping!  I like it for dance/electronic and rap, r&b, and pop music. The bass is emphasized, but I don’t think it’s crazy bass.  It’s very tight and quick, and it goes down deep.  Its tighter aand deeper than the 1r’s bass, and just tighter than the dt770’s (80 ohm).
Mids- 7.5/10- I’m not gojng to say they’re crystal clear mids because their not.  They are pushed back a tiny bit, but move up as you burn them in.  The sound is very smooth and warm, and the upper bass does interfere with the lower mids.  Eq fixes the hell out of it though!
Highs-8.5/10- You know, iI’ve never been able to succefully attampt talikg about the highs.  All I know is that they’re not emphasized, or recessed.  I do boost them because i’m a bit of a treble head, and i just like the air  and space it can give some headphones.  They’re very even sounding, but I don’t even know how high they extend or anything.  I just like them more than the MA900s and 1r’s highs.
With eq, these can become just a different set of cans.  The soundstage expands, and they no longer sound congested.
The MA900s have better, clearer mids and a wider and deeper soundstage, the the l1s have better highs and bass extension (and quantity).
The 1r’s… The 1rs are just more upfront…  More up close and personal.  The bass I think at least isn’t as solid or deep  as the l1s, and the highs are around the same level.  The L1s are a little clearer though and have a deeper doundstage, at least with eq. It does depend on what you looking for.
I just flat out am not a fan of the dt770s.
The ma900s trash all cans in comfort, and the 1rs are a little behind it.
This is all just coming out a a sansa clip zip, ipod touch 4g, galaxy player 5, or ipad 2, plus a fiio e6.  No super huge power requirements.
I overall enjoy these cans and they work well with my 1rs and ma900s.
They get 46.75/57  which is about 82%.
Update:  The comfort didn't increase, and as time goes on, I've started to dislike these.  The bass simply isn't tight enough.
Update 2:  These don't really compete well with other portables.
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How does this compare to the PSB M4U 1?
Not very well at all.
What about in terms of sound quality?
Pros: Great sound experience; Comfortable and easy to use; Nice and solid finish; Everything seems to be just correct; 3 button usage mounted in the cable;
Cons: Maybe leather is not the best material if you are using this device on your bike, in the pouring rain.; The soft travelbag might not be the best prot
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[size=12pt] I was given the chance to test the new Philips Fidelio L1 For "The Insiders".
I had been looking for a new headphone set to replace my old In-ears. It needed to comply with a few demands: 1) I do not want to be disturbed by the chatter noise of my colleagues when I'm being all focussed at work and 2) I don't want toe disturb my colleagues with my music when I’m listening to noise they don’t like.
3) I also don’t want to have that fatigue feeling, which one sometimes can have after using those in-ears for a long period. And 4) the headphone set has to fit within my backpack, along with all my other stuff.
The L1 looks great, it really does and has really handy features, like the connector-plug close to the headphone, and a cable with a volume and pause-button. A second cable with a removable big-plug, twistable ear shells for transportation and (also important) a sublime sound. It looks really nice with the black and aluminium parts and the fine Italian leather. The head mount fits really good without a pressing feeling, and is easily to adjust to the correct size without sliding back to the former position. The cushions are made of memory-foam and fit very well around the ears, where they seal off the background noise better then I expected. The connector which is about 10 cm below the left shell is made to release tension on the cable if necessary. Mounted in one of the two included cables is a three-button-usage which supports Apple devices for volume and pause.

After having used the headphones for several full days now, I must say I didn’t feel any discomfort, unless I must admir my ears are getting warmer after a couple of hours. But I like to think that goes for all over-ears headphones. I did not receive any comment from my colleagues about my taste of music and I wasn’t disturbed by background noises. I must admit hearing things in the music of which I didn’t now they were there, it is like experiencing the music again, and that is something I really like, like the music is being surrounded inside my head.
The three button usage in the cable is actually more. It controles the volume. Can make your music pause and continue and can make you skip a track forward.On the backside there is a small pinhole size microphone.
I am originated in the primal years of portable music devices, and I am used to headphones being as small as possible, so for me this is an unusual large format for a set of headphones. However, compared with the headphones available on the market at present day, the Philips Fidelio L1 fits quite perfect. The L1 is said being perfect for on-the-go as well as good to use at the office or at home. Being on a bike, I think it blocks too much of the traffic noise to navigate safely, but while using transport transportation, I think it is good to use for blocking neighbour noise, where as your neighbour don't need to get bothered by your music.

-         Great sound experience
-         Comfortable and easy to use
-         Nice and solid finish
-         Everything seems to be just correct
-         3 button usage mounted in the cable
-         Very complete set
-         Maybe leather is not the best material if you are using this device on your bike, in the pouring rain.
-         The soft travelbag might not be the best protection
My conclusion: a nice device, with a lot of good properties. For users who, like myself, don’t have an absolute hearing this is a very good headphone.  
And to the customer who has added some comment below: I am not working for Philips, actually I work for the Netherlands Government, making ships navigate safely through our waters, but thans, I see your opinion as a compliment for my skill as a professionel writer. I have writen the review from my user-point-of-view. 
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That one is for sure written by someone from Phillips themselves, for sure. A billion dollar company has enough with 4 writers to work 40 hours a week on creating fake names and e-mail addresses to write fake positive reviews allover the internet. The Phillips L1 is great headphone if you want to go deepsea diving and need to get used to high ear pressure as the phillips as way way too much bass.,


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