Philips Fidelio M2BT

General Information

This is the new version of the already awarded M1BT.
Rich powerful vibrant bass, nice soundstage, good detail, nice mids and highs, good portability, nice look, APTX, Multipoint, NFC.

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Bluetooth Guru
Pros: wonderful bass, overall balanced sound, portable, light
Cons: poor range, poor call quality, some sibilance on highs, strong flashing light, unpractical power button, occasional connection problems.
This is an edited review, rerated from 4.5 to 3.5 stars. It is the sad story of the end of a love which I was sure it would have never ended.
All because of a very bad Customer Care.
I started my quest for the best sounding and portable Bluetooth Headphones some months ago.
I compared two. I was not satisfied. So I bought more. The Fidelio were among the first 5 I've compared.
Soon it became a sort of hobby and passion and I've tested almost all the best Bluetooth Headphones available.
In my thread "Huge Comparison of [almost] all the Best Bluetooth Headphones" you can see which ones.
I did it a bit for curiosity, to see if there was something better than the Fidelio.
And a bit because I have always been grateful to reviewers and forums. People helped me in my choices, and I wanted to give something back and help other people in their choices. Chain of favours.
So, about the Fidelio M2BT. Tastes are tastes and no Headphone ever will possibly be perfect for everybody and with every music.
But the Fidelio M2BT somehow manage to put lot of different things together and to perform quite well in many fields.
Actually, apart for some problems which I write at the end of this review they are quite amazing.
Let's start with the most important thing: pizza.
The Fidelio can't do that, sorry.
Now the second important thing:
I was surprised at the graphics in the review of the M1BT (which is pretty much the same as the M2BT) on Digitalversus: flat, balanced... I was surprised because I do not like flat sound. And the Fidelio do NOT sound "flat" to me at all. They make music sound beautiful and SEXY!
I do not know how they do that. I think it is a bit the good components, and maybe some special DSP which they use (a guy of Philips told me about a new DSP on the M2BT, called "Atmospheric" something, which is supposed to make the sound be more open and alive and three-dimensional).
They have an astonishing frequency response: 7 - 23,500 Hz (most BT Headphones have 20-20000)
This normally means nothing. I do not believe in Specs or in "Sound on Paper". Paper does not sound :)
But in this case it probably gives them this ability to render frequencies (specially the very low ones) surprisingly well, without need of boosting them like most headphones do.
At first the BASS!
Most "extra bass" headphones just boost the bass artificially. Put the Beats Studio Wireless which even if supposed to be "less bass boosting" than the old Beats, they still have a clearly pumped low line which is ALWAYS too present, and unfortunately of low quality.
The Fidelio M2BT do not do that. They just render bass frequencies better, without boosting them. Specially the sub-bass, which is rendered wonderfully, with a clean deep rumble.
Did you ever heard of the UE9000? They have been one of the most loved BT Headphones ever.
Their bass is wonderful, round, warm, soft, strong, with wide extension, it goes deep with very good sub-bass. And they actually sound very good overall, with very good detail, warm mids, nice rolled off highs.
Well. The Fidelio sound pretty similar, with a bit more highs and a tiny bit less detail and soundstage.
Actually, these two, Fidelio and UE9000, are the two best ones for Sub-Bass among those I've tried, with the Fidelio being just a bit less powerful because of the smaller drivers, but believe me, I had to compare them a long time to find that out. And in some tracks the Fidelio were actually better.
When i want to understand how good sound mids in a pair of Headphone, I play at first these songs:
1) "Boa Sorte" by Vanessa de Mata & Ben Harper. It remembers me of my ex. I am a romantic.
2) "Roads" by Portishead.
3) "Hope there's someone" by Antony and the Johnsons
4) "Hunter" by Bjork (it also works good for the balance of bass mids and highs)
5) "Sideways" of Santana feat. Citizen Cope
And, well... The Fidelio make these songs sound alive and beautiful.
I've tried a few other BT Headphones which have more presence and life here, but which do not perform as well as the Fidelio overall.
They could be a bit more detailed and present, to be really honest. The Plantronics Backbeat Pro are more incisive here (some people say too much), and the AKG K845BT too.
But the Fidelio do well enough.
They may show some harshness and sibilance though, if you push the highs too much with the EQ, or if you play some low rate Mp3 file.
They surprised me immediately for how clear all sounded.
With the time I have tried other Headphones which are even more detailed, like the AKG K845BT (boring), the Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless (dark), the Plantronics Backbeat Pro (well, actually pretty darn good), and the Audio Technica ATH-WS99bt which are currently my favourite pair of Bluetooth Headphone (they miss a bit of deep rumble respect to the Fidelio, but have for the rest a better bass and actually a better everything. For my tastes they are too forwarded in the low mids but I solved that with the EQ and I do not look back).
But, at least with an Aptx enabled device, the Fidelio M2BT do quite well.
this is another surprise. You probably know that "soundstage" and "On Ear" do not often go well together.
Well, the Fidelio do not have the glorious soundstage of the best Over Ear headphones.
But they have the best soundstage of ALL the On Ear (Bluetooth) headphones I have tested, and of many other Over Ear, including the Harman Kardon BT for example.
They sound excellent with cable. I have noticed just a bit boost in the lower region, I would say from 2khz to 200hz, approximately (using only my ears). This gives them more presence in the vocals (especially male vocals) and more body in the upper bass.
The detail is also better.
Only passive. And for being On Ear they do pretty well. I did not fly with them but I took a train and I had no problems.
At the Train Station I had to take them away to ear the notifications on the Station Speakers.
Not so good. I hear very well but I am not always heard well. Sometimes people have no problem hearing me, but sometimes I need to take the headphones off.
they are no Bose Soundlink On Ear (the softest On Ear around) but they feel very comfortable to me. And being very light, I can wear them for many many hours before starting to feel that I should take a break.
It must be noted anyway that comfort is a highly subjective thing.
I find them very beautiful and elegant. I like very much how they do not protrude from the head, how they have a natural and beautiful form and curve.
I feel good when I go around with them. People do not look at me like if I were an astronaut.
And the new choice of black instead of blue (respect to the M1BT) will surely please more people.
-They have NFC to connect to Smartphones (equipped with the same technology) with just putting them in contact. Quick, easy. Effective.
-The support of the APTX Codec gives the better sound and latency which people nowadays expect from a good BT Headphone.
-They have MULTIPOINT, the same technology used by the Bose Soundlink On Ear and Plantronics Backbeat Pro and Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless and a few new ones. It is very cool, because you can connect them at SAME TIME with two devices, for example PC and Smartphone. You can not listen to music from both devices at same time, but you can for example receive a call on your phone while you listen to music on the PC.
The music will be automatically paused, and when the call is over the music starts again.
It kind of sucks. It is not the worst but they are not very powerful. If you go in another room and you have a couple of walls between you and the source, they do not always make it through.
It is not a matter of distance. I have reached quite more than the promised 10mt of a Class 2 device.
It is a matter of how many walls are in the way, and the form of the room.
They are NOT the only ones which do that. And not the worst.
But I have also found quite a few which have more power to get through walls.
For example the Plantronics Backbeat Pro have MUCH better range. The Beats Studio Wireless too. The Bose Soundlink On Ear also. And my new ATH-WS99BT also (which is another reason to love them. Really an almost perfect pair of headphones).
Over 10 Hours. I have reached the 12.
-a very nice audio cable to listen music when (IF) the battery is over. it has got no Mic on it, so you will have to take your phone out if you receive a call while cabled.
It is covered with Fabric, which makes it nicer and less prone to what cables normally do (getting messy).
-a usb cable to charge it. No firmware Update is possible with these Headphones. Philips seems confident that it will not be needed. I disagree because of what I am going to explain soon.
-a soft velvety carrying bag. I am not fan of soft carrying bag, I like semi rigid ones because you can slip your headphone in and out of the bag quickly while the bag is in the middle of a stuffed backpack. With a soft bag you must take the bag out first. Which is what happens with the Fidelio too.
Why should I review the Packaging?
Because I have received many small headphones in huge packaging. And I find it totally unecologic. I am not fan of very cheap packaging like the one of the Skullcandy Hesh2 Wireless or the Sony MDR-XB950BT, but the super luxurious box of Beats Studio Wireless, Harman Kardon BT or Logitech UE9000 is just a waste of material typical of consumerist world. It is time to be more responsible with these things.
The box of the Fidelio is little, light, minimal, elegant, and nice. The best. Really.
At the beginning I had some connection problems when I switched to the Fidelio from another BT Headphone. The Fidelio were very slow in connecting. They also from time to time disconnected and reconnected again. And sometimes the sound was skipping and I had to turn the BT off and on again to fix it.
I was very frustrated. Then I had the idea of resetting them. To do this you must at first turn off the Bluetooth of your Smartphone and/or PC or whatever you use to connect to the Headphones, and you have to delete the Fidelio from the memory of those devices.
Then you take the Fidelio and press the volume lever plus the main big button till the LED blinks white five times. If it only blinks three or four times, you must repeat it again till it does it 5 times.
Well, this solved the problem for a long while, but from time to time I had it again and I had to reset again, and then it returned a couple of times lately... So, there is something wrong here.
I can suppose that it must not be a problem for the 99% of people, because normally this only happens when switching between different Headphones, which people do not generally do (unless they are obsessed like me and spend their time comparing Bluetooth Headphones). When I only used the Fidelio and turned them off and on, there was till now no problem.
But the fact that this problem only happened with the Fidelio and that I have tried two different units and it happened with both of them, it is NOT a good sign of the quality of the BT chip here.
Also, here is where I have found out the real quality of the Customer Care of Philips. And IT SUCKS VERY VERY VERY BADLY.
The German Support had NO IDEA of why this can be happening, they had not even the MINIMAL BASIC technical preparation on these Headphones, and they could only suggested me to try a third unit. Which at least shows they were ready to give me a new unit.
I have then contacted directly the Headquarters in Netherlands, I have explained the problem and that it was not only something which bothered me personally as a customer, but also as a big fan who was suggesting these headphones heavily (for which I was feeling responsible). So I have asked to be contacted by a senior Technician, somebody who could really have an idea of the cause of this problem.
They did not give a s***. They showed ZERO interest in me as a person and in me as a customer, did not provide ANY solution, I was never contacted by any technician, and only after LOT of protesting they finally called me, exactly during my working ours (=exactly in the time where I had told them NOT to call) and when I asked them if they could call again after 4PM they said "yes, no problem" and did not call EVER again, did not write, nothing.
So, they basically left me with the problem. I was shocked, because I was not expecting this bad service from Philips. What a shame!
-The poor wireless range was already mentioned.
-the absence of mic on the cable also mentioned
-A blinking LED light on the right speaker. I really hate blinking LEDs on Headphones... And this is REALLY very strong and it is right on the middle of the right speaker and if flashes so intense that when I used it at night I had to put a piece of tape on it, because this constant flash on the walls on a dark room was very disturbing. I would be highly ashamed of using them on a plane.
-they are not foldable. I love foldable headphones. But at least the speakers can be turned flat.
-the on/off button is digital. I prefer the analogue switches because they are faster. And the Fidelio are a bit too slow when turning off: 5 seconds long press needed. Not what I need when I must take them away quickly. Besides, it happened very often to me that I had them on a stuffed Backpack and they turned on by themselves due to the pressure of something, and connected to my phone and almost made calls! This is really BAD DESIGN.
So, I am sorry, I really loved these Headphones, but the horrible Customer Care, the connection problem, the poor talking quality, the poor range, the very strong flashing light and the "self-turning-on" ON button are for me very major NO GO which turned love into hate. Especially the bad Customer Care, to be honest. Till then I had tolerated the other problems, being in love with their sound (especially their sub-bass). But their Customer Care just was too much.
But if you do not plan to switch among many headphones, and if all the negative aspects above mentioned are not a big deal to you, I can only recommend them. Although the Customer Care sucks, the policies in case of defects seem to be good, because they were ready to change the unit with a new one. It would have not solved that problem, but it could solve a different one.
And they sound quite amazing.
But for their actual price (above $400) they do NOT worth that money, EVER. If you really need something with a powerful bass buy the Audio Technica ATH-WS99BT which as said are MUCH better than the Fidelio in everything (but the very very low deep rumble) and cost less.
Or give a try to the Plantronics Backbeat Pro, which are much cheaper and have a very good soundstage, an overall impressive sound, and a very nice bass, and are even cheaper.
Or if you want to spend that kind of money, try the new Bang and Olufsen H8. I did not try them yet but I read that they do well and have a good bass.
Do NOT buy these M2BT unless you can get them for less than 300.
Now, I think I have said enough, but whatever you want to know just write a comment and I will be happy to give you the information and suggestions you may need.
I hope this was helpful!
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Reactions: TheVisitor
Good read you are awesome man thank you for this! Good luck on your journey.
This is a great review. I almost bought these. But now I must think again. You're recommendation for the Audio Technical BT is noted. Thanks man, keep them coming. Did you ever review the Herman kardon BT headphones?
pekotski bit
pekotski bit
Thanks for great and interesting read. Almost bought them, but now on the lookout again. Shame on Philips.


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