Are Philips Fidelio X2s and FiiO E10K a good choice for my music preference?
Jul 26, 2017 at 4:43 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

Biffins

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Hey everyone! New to the audiophile world, and after years of PC gaming with "gaming" headsets I've decided to switch to a quality pair of headphones + stand alone mic.

I've done some research but I still have a difficult time understanding what "tone" of headphones would be best for my musical preference while still remaining relatively decent for gaming. For reference, right now I am using a pair of Sennheiser 363Ds and they feel a little "flat" to me with a lower bass punch than I'd like.

I mostly listen to KPop/JPop, with metal getting a fair bit of play time as well. I occasionally listen to electronic music (not counting any "electronic" backing tracks to KPop song) but not enough for it to be a main focus of mine. For gaming I play FPS (Overwatch and CSGO) as well as MMO's.

Is there another pair of headphones around the same price range that would be a better suit for my music preferences than the X2's, or a better amp/dac to pair with X2's than the E10K?

Thank you in advance to everyone with far more knowledge on the subject than myself!
 
Jul 26, 2017 at 6:55 PM Post #4 of 17

cossix

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I've never heard the X2 but I think you're fine with the E10K. Those cans aren't heard to drive at all and the FiiO is pretty good for the price. If you like various pop genres, I would stick with the X2 honestly. Many headphones in that price range cut down on the bass for a more neutral response, which I've never enjoyed for pop.
 
Jul 26, 2017 at 7:57 PM Post #5 of 17

Biffins

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Thanks for your input guys, it sounds like the X2s will be a good choice for the majority of my use then. Only thing that I can really see regarding them that would give me pause is some reports of treble spikes but I assume that can be smoothed over with an eq.
 
Jul 26, 2017 at 9:05 PM Post #6 of 17

Biffins

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Would something with less of a v shaped sound and more recessed high/treble perhaps be better than the X2s? With the potential for sibilant highs on the X2 could it be that for my music preference the highs could end up being too harsh or bright with a V shape sound profile?
 
Jul 26, 2017 at 11:25 PM Post #8 of 17

ProtegeManiac

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I've done some research but I still have a difficult time understanding what "tone" of headphones would be best for my musical preference while still remaining relatively decent for gaming. For reference, right now I am using a pair of Sennheiser 363Ds and they feel a little "flat" to me with a lower bass punch than I'd like.

I mostly listen to KPop/JPop, with metal getting a fair bit of play time as well. I occasionally listen to electronic music (not counting any "electronic" backing tracks to KPop song) but not enough for it to be a main focus of mine. For gaming I play FPS (Overwatch and CSGO) as well as MMO's.

I use an HD600 with EQ to mimic the HD650 flattened the 3500hz peak and reduced everything above that as well, boosted 45hz and below to get closer to where 1000hz is (although the bass plateau still isn't as tall as the HD650's). My Meier Cantate.2 started having a few problems and before I get it fixed I'm using a Pangea HP101.

Metal vocals - ex Simone Simons, Tarja Turunen, Roy Khan - all sound great. There's a bite to the rhythm guitars on the low end, and enough kick to the bass drum; fast double pedals aren't compromised in speed (ie each of the hits don't blend into each other).

Pop music vocals don't get sharp unless there was something really wrong with the recording. Choa and Yuna sound wonderful on these (especially how on some songs Yuna pronounces the tail end of each line in a way that...ummm...she kinda sounds like she's doing something else), ditto Soyeon and Eunjung; Hyejeong and Nara's parts sound sweet too. Has enough bass (for me anyway) even for T-Ara's older songs and the EDM remixes. Same thing about vocals and bass on Late Night Alumni.

Considering what is "enough" bass for me tends to be nigh inaudible to other people, chances are the X2 might be what you'd like over the HD600, as it's basically similar to the HD650.

As for the E10K, its amp stage will be enough for the X2, since it has comparable sensitivity to the HD650 but its impedance is at the meat of the E10K's power band. The other bits on the E10K though might not be what you need if you've been using gaming headphones and still play games that don't have built-in virtual surround.
 
Jul 27, 2017 at 2:10 AM Post #9 of 17

Biffins

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Considering what is "enough" bass for me tends to be nigh inaudible to other people, chances are the X2 might be what you'd like over the HD600, as it's basically similar to the HD650.

As for the E10K, its amp stage will be enough for the X2, since it has comparable sensitivity to the HD650 but its impedance is at the meat of the E10K's power band. The other bits on the E10K though might not be what you need if you've been using gaming headphones and still play games that don't have built-in virtual surround.

Wow! Thank you for going so in depth! Just went ahead and ordered an X2 based off all the opinions in the thread pointing to it being a good choice. Thank you everyone for your input!
 
Jul 31, 2017 at 11:06 AM Post #10 of 17

Biffins

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Out of curiosity how much amping does an HD650 need? I've been using my X2s for about two days however vocals in both genres come across flat and almost robotic. Is it possible I got a defective pair or is that just the sound signature on the X2? Not sure if I should exchange them for another pair of X2s or an HD650. Only thing I'm concerned about is how much more I'd need to spend to properly amp a 650 and having a cord going into each headphone isn't preferable, but would be tolerable.
 
Jul 31, 2017 at 12:47 PM Post #11 of 17

ProtegeManiac

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Out of curiosity how much amping does an HD650 need?

What exactly do you mean? 300mW/ch at 300ohms will get it to ear bleed levels, but the idea here is that, as a very general rule, if the amp can produce that much with low distortion levels, then you'd have very clean output and more than enough power (even if you're working with a low voltage input signal. Basically this just guarantees that if you have an amp that does 300mW/ch at 300ohms with 0.001% THD+N, then you're assured that at realistic output levels using less than 100mW you won't be getting more than 0.001% THD+N.


I've been using my X2s for about two days however vocals in both genres come across flat and almost robotic. Is it possible I got a defective pair or is that just the sound signature on the X2?

That can be as much a function of how the singer delivers his/her lines. Even on my cheap desktop speakers playing pop music I can hear the details of signers' intonation as long as I crank it up. If anything the likely reason why I hear more through my HD600 vs, say, an Etymotic ER4 is because of the 3500hz peak (and maybe also because I'm running it through a hybrid amp).

If anything the low end on the X2 might be setting you up to think it's as loud as whatever else you use, and you're not hearing the midrange well enough at that level. Does it still sound that way when you crank it up?


Only thing I'm concerned about is how much more I'd need to spend to properly amp a 650 and having a cord going into each headphone isn't preferable, but would be tolerable.

If you want "emotional" vocals the advantage of the HD650 is that, at 300ohms, you can use a cost effective OTL tube amp that might get you what you're looking for without the risk of making it sound like a tin can or just have exaggerated bass (either can happen with low impedane headphones on an OTL amp). On top of that, OTL amps pour more power into 300ohm loads than 32ohm loads.
 
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Jul 31, 2017 at 1:15 PM Post #12 of 17

Biffins

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What exactly do you mean?




That can be as much a function of how the singer delivers his/her lines. Even on my cheap desktop speakers playing pop music I can hear the details of signers' intonation as long as I crank it up. If anything the likely reason why I hear more through my HD600 vs, say, an Etymotic ER4 is because of the 3500hz peak (and maybe also because I'm running it through a hybrid amp).

If anything the low end on the X2 might be setting you up to think it's as loud as whatever else you use, and you're not hearing the midrange well enough at that level. Does it still sound that way when you crank it up?


In regards to how much amping it would take it was more in regards to if the e10k would still be enough to power the 650s well of if I'd have to spend a bit more on something like a schiit stack (still very new to hifi audio equipment).

I'll try raising the volume a bit and give it a few hours on the X2s and see how that goes. I didn't really explain well and it almost sounds as though vocals went through a voice changer set to "robot" if that makes sense, lots of echo and the voices are super deep.
 
Aug 1, 2017 at 12:49 AM Post #13 of 17

ProtegeManiac

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In regards to how much amping it would take it was more in regards to if the e10k would still be enough to power the 650s well of if I'd have to spend a bit more on something like a schiit stack (still very new to hifi audio equipment).

E10K won't suck but it won't necessarily be what I'd listen with primarily. Not that you need a monster amp, but I'd always go with a fair bit more clean power.


I'll try raising the volume a bit and give it a few hours on the X2s and see how that goes. I didn't really explain well and it almost sounds as though vocals went through a voice changer set to "robot" if that makes sense, lots of echo and the voices are super deep.

You're listening to a headphone with some soundstage depth, kind of like switching from, say, a Focal Chorus to a Focal Utopia. The former will have the vocals all out in front with the drums close and slightly just behind it; the Utopia on the other hand will image the vocals near where the speakers are and then image the percussion relatively far behind that. It's not that it's "emotionless and robotic," they're just made to sound farther away. Cranking it up will make them more audible, but there's the question of amp distortion.

Is bass that important? If not, just get a Grado SR225. This one will work fine with an E10K.
 
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Aug 1, 2017 at 8:39 AM Post #14 of 17

squee116

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In regards to how much amping it would take it was more in regards to if the e10k would still be enough to power the 650s well of if I'd have to spend a bit more on something like a schiit stack (still very new to hifi audio equipment).

I'll try raising the volume a bit and give it a few hours on the X2s and see how that goes. I didn't really explain well and it almost sounds as though vocals went through a voice changer set to "robot" if that makes sense, lots of echo and the voices are super deep.
It's possible that it's a bad pair of headphones, but it could also be a problem with the recording itself, or anywhere in the chain from source to headphone.

If you have a phone or DAP, put the songs on there and listen from your mobile device. You can rule out certain issues by doing that.

It's also possible that Protege is right. I bought a friend a pair of X1's some years ago, and lent him my x2's recently. He claimed the headphones were broken, and sounded distorted and robotic. He sent them back to me, and I tested them, with no problem. There was something different about the listening experience that seemed unnatural to him. Sometimes it's just our ears.
 
Aug 1, 2017 at 10:37 AM Post #15 of 17

Monsterzero

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The X2s had several bad batches a couple years ago,so its possible you have a defective pair.
The advice Squee offered is solid...Try a few different DAPs/phones/sources to see if the issue persists on each set-up,or is relegated to one specific set-up.
 

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