Philips Fidelio X2

General Information

The Philips Fidelio X2 is an over-ear headphone, in a similar vein as the Fidelio X1.

Latest reviews


New Head-Fier
Excellent for the money
Pros: Soundstage, build quality, bass quantity and quality, value for money
Cons: Nothing at its price point
I suspect when a headphone lowers too much in price, it begins to be critisized more. This does not just happen with headphones, but with any product that has a price. It has to do with psychology and I am not going in to that. I will just say that some headphones I have had costing 600 or 700 euros (Grado rs1 or Denon d7200) do not perform as greatly as these X2. Some of you might argue that the D7200 are closed-back headphones, but for 700 euros, I would nonetheless expect them to perform a bit better that a pair of headphone that cost me 79 euros.

Perhaps I prefer the Hifiman Sundaras over the Fidelios, but these are valid alternatives to the Sundara if you favour fullness and versatility (they sound ok when plugged to a phone or a tablet) over speed and ultimate accuracy.

I have also had the HD650 and they had lighter treble, less bass, less soundstage, were less versatile and had more forward mids by comparison. Definition was more or less the same. Overall I prefer the Fidelios between the two.
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New Head-Fier
Easy to get used to, hard to work with
Pros: Built well and has a sound signature that can compliment music
Cons: It isn't revealing the whole picture; lack of details and forwardness.
I spent a long while with these headphones but was never able to click with them before moving on. They are built very nicely, appear to be quite reliable and are one of the most comfortable headphones that I've used.

I'd generally describe the sound as relatively consistent as you have no drastic sudden peaks or dips, which makes it quite easy to leave a neutral impression and to also get used to their sound signature. They make music sound fine and by all accounts they're a decent pair of headphones.

The issue I have is that while the sound signature is consistent, it is skewed towards clamping down on the mids and having treble that, while can be quite smooth, lacks detail. Again, there's no obvious bad aspects of this headphone to me once you're used to it, but it can be quite a night-and-day difference when you switch to a headphone such as the HD600, K371 or DT990 and realize how much aggression and forwardness is not present in the X2HR.

The combination of a recessed mid-range combined with a lack of detailed treble veils instruments which gives an artificial sound-stage. It all culminates in a headphone that gives the impression of a neutral sound but doesn't perform as I would hope for anything more than general music listening.


New Head-Fier
Pros: Comfortable for long periods.
Neutral sound yet with an economy of precision
Much more bass
Cons: A bit heavy
Velour fabric gathers dust like crazy.
To be totally honest, I went for the Fidelio a bit biased. I own several pairs SHP2000 and have always considered the name Fidelio as the highest form of Hi-Fi. Therefore, you may say im a Philips fanboy....

Yes and no. What drew me to the SHP2000 was its cheap price and what you get for it. 40mm angled drivers, velour pads and minimalist design. Open back too. What more could you want for 20$. Well, headband cushion would be nice, but cant complain for the price. Nor cant complain about the neutral sound with lots of bass. Perfect as a commuter headset that allows you to hear traffic while having the guts to punch some tunes when it gets quiet. And since they were cheap, not a big loss to replace them every 2-3 years when they got worn form all the dust, sun, rain, sweat and so on.

But something was missing. At that point I had heard Sennheisers, Koss, AKG. Even a couple of planars. High range was lacking in comparison. Even the mellow bass seemed lacking. What I needed...was a proper headset.

Then I remembered an ad I saw years ago about the first Fidelio X1. Instantly hooked on the classic curves and beefy grill. And thats what drew me to the Fidelios. The look. The average, classical clean look. Nothing fancy, but not lacking in style in any way. In a way, a more royal form to everything else.

And then came the magic moment I got a pair if X2HR-s. To be honest, I was not blown away, like with Senneheisers. I was not amazed like I had with planars. It felt like I was listening to SHP2000-s...but with a bit more volume. I really had to listen to the subtle difference in high range clarity and punchy bass. The funny thing is...I could listen to them, even concentrate on finding "it"

Reason being these headphones are the most comfortable pair I have ever tried. And even when they are full metal and weigh almost 2x to any Sennheiser or AKG. You simply cant notice them for extended periods of time. Elastic headband conforms perfectly to your head and the big velour memory foam cushions form a nice contact over the ears. Pressure has been well established with metal hoops and the leather binder is un-commonly sturdy. The metal construction has no creaks, no rattles.

And then comes the reproduction. Everyone will say its neutral, un-offensive, pleasing. Yet, somehow its has more bass than most of its competitors. Thanks to the 50mm drivers, they ought to have. Couple of other tricks Philips engineers pulled are angled drivers and very well tuned reflex port. Angled drivers point the radiation pattern away from your ear canals, allowing a passive filtering by manipulating radiating patterns. And the reflex port allows just enough rear end to bleed through to boost the bass.

All this coupled with neodynium motors and you have a pair if headphones that are...average. Nothing special, they do the job. And you might be thinking: thats a bit anti-climactic.

But here is the genius of Philips. While everyone else is busy making THE BEST, nailing the average takes more skill. It takes more skill to make something that you are not going to get tired of (which I was after a short period of time with fore mentioned high-end headphones) even after many many hours. Something that works and does it with classy elegance. And the best part is: Fidelio X2HR costs around 200$/€/£. Thats 2-3x less than most other high-end offerings. The funny thing can get the same neutral warm sound for only 1/10th of the price too.

So to sum up this, I thought I would borrow from Old Top Gear and something either Clarkson, May or Hammond would have said. Comparing a modern hypercar to a beautiful classic. Its not difficult to put a 1000Hp engine in a body styled to look like a jet fighter, everybody is doing it. And its fun for that little while until you get scared or tired from spinning around all day. But if you have an old Jaguar E-type, you get the sensation of an average handling car that sounds magnificent, looks absolutely stunning. Is comfortable to drive...and does so for as long as there is a sunny summer road. And THAT is the essence of a car!



New Head-Fier
Happened upon a thread on FB, pretty sure in the Head-Fi group, that mentioned the X2HRs and how good they were. I had been considering the Meze 99 Noirs, from Drop, and a few others in the sub $200 price range.

Did some research and within a few hours ordered the Philips from Amazon.

Arrived today.

I love them. Well made, comfortable and sound oh so good.

Lifted Andreas

Formerly known as geko95gek.
Happened upon a thread on FB, pretty sure in the Head-Fi group, that mentioned the X2HRs and how good they were. I had been considering the Meze 99 Noirs, from Drop, and a few others in the sub $200 price range.

Did some research and within a few hours ordered the Philips from Amazon.

Arrived today.

I love them. Well made, comfortable and sound oh so good.
How have you been liking them??