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Philips Fidelio X2 : A Review by Baycode

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by baycode, Aug 5, 2014.
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  1. Baycode
    Philips Fidelio X2 (Price: 299 Euro):   A Review by Baycode
    CATEGORY: Full Size Open

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    My 7 years old daughter enjoying the dad's X2 [​IMG]   (these sweet factors postpones all of my reviews!)



    Intro to Baycode's Reviews with Graphs:

    I always prefer to see "detailed but simple and easy to evaluate reviews" on head-fi. So I ended up using the graphs. Each factor you see in the graph is provided after extensive listening and A-B'ing with other full size HP's. The higher the value, the better that factor gets. Anything less than 5 is below average, 5 is average, 10 is max. These numberings are not based on any other reviews. For better understanding the terminology and graph please see the notes section on the bottom of this page and read this glossary. To see the summary of the graph just look at the red and orange bars (red bar is average value of all factors while orange is the average value of only the sound quality). For the other factors you can find short notes under separate headlines. I want my reviews to be as fast an effectively understandable as possible which reflects only the TRUTH and as you already know -IMO-. Some of the review products are free review samples sent to me while some of the others are purchased by me. Always feel free to ask any questions.


    I compare and put the values for each category which is specifically evaluated (calculated) values for that "CATEGORY". So please do not attempt to compare an IEM category with full sized HP's.

    Each ranking on frequency ranges are equated values of the each fq response and its technicalities. All these values should be taken as IMO.


    Thanks for your visit and valuable contributions!  [​IMG]


    Philips Fidelio X2 Graph:

    Click to see larger:

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    Summary:

    CAPTIVATING SOUND!
    WIDE SOUND-STAGE!
    EXCELLENT LAYERING!
    WARM!
    FUN!
    TOE TAPPING!
    BASS!
    CLARITY!
    SMOOTH HIGHS!
    COMFORT!
    STYLISH LOOKING !

    Some notes on sound quality:
    General sound signature is warm, neutral-ish till the beginning of the sub-bass region, then it gains some extra dB and acts like a sub-woofer attached inside the cups (this character changed after even more burn-in (200+ h) it still produces bass with body but this is not as bloated as once it was and depends on the recording).

    Highs never get into the ear-piercing territory. But not veiled either. I have never heard such smooth highs on any HP before. Yet it's very detailed!

    Mids are very very good (Though I would prefer a  little more up-front mids). After 200+ hours of burn-in I can now say that the mids are sounding excellent. Still not very much up front but not shy like it's on the beginning.

    Bass is the dominant part on X2. But it shows itself especially "if the recording calls for it". I would prefer slightly more details on the bass-subbass region TBH. Bottom end has good separationd detail after 200+ h burn-in.

    Clarity is top notch throughout the freq ranges. But especially mids and mid-highs territory is excellent.

    I believe this headphone is certainly up there with top of the models from other big names. It's technical capabilities are excellent. I think this is Philips's biggest success to produce a headphone which is fun and easy to listen while being technically superb at the same time. Sound-stage is  wider than anything I have ever heard! Layering is heard to be believed. Excellent! Imaging is also very very good on X2. X2 is very detailed sounding HP. It really likes higher-end products as a source (wish I could have ATM). Anyone who prefers: a detailed and technically superb full sized HP with a warm-musical sound with smooth highs and highly satisfactory level of bass can go for this X2! 

    Is this an hi-fi headphone as stated on the box? In to some degree yes... But, if the bass had a tiny bit-more texture and detail, if the bass slightly is lesser, if it weren't a warm HP I can definitely say that it's an excellent Hi-Fi audiophile HP. But it's really a warm, fun, unique sounding HP that never gets fatiguing. I am a neutral HP loving person but I really rank this Fidelio X2 on the top. Because it's engaging yet technically superb on  a broad range of SQ areas!

    Once I start to listen the X2 I never want to put the HP away! It certainly captivates me (and my daughters as well) with its comfort and sound  :L3000:

    Compared to neutral-ish headphones like a K551 or K701, X2 has more bass presence, better soundstage depth, expansive soundstage (like its on the K701 and better than K551) but imaging and layering is much better. Both AKG's produces high frequencies with more presence and with slightly more detail but X2 is not far behind in detailing yet X2's highs are very smooth (never gets fatiguing) and general sound signature is not thin. In comparison, both AKG's sounded thin after listening to X2 for a long time. This character of the X2 is poisoning, because I couldn't get enough pleasure from all of my AKG's (including the K340 electrostat-dynamic hybrid) once my ears/brain gets used to the sound of X2.

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    Box front view



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    Box side view


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    Back of the box


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    One of the side of the box


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    Under the box package there is the main box (front)



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    Opening the flip of the main box reveals the beauty inside, Fidelio X2!
    That Philips Fidelio written plastic apparatus is supposed to be for cable management. I never used it.



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    Under the headphone there is the manual and a moisture absorbing silica gel bag which is a MUST for every HP/iem bag!
    Never throw away those silica gel bags. Always put/keep one inside your HP/iem cases.




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    Classy, sexy!  I feel Porsche quality on these!




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    Bottom of the HP's. On the left earpiece there is a 3.5mm connection for removable cable.
    I will definitely build a shorter, quality OFC cable for my X2 (probably from a Canare or Mogami wire)!



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    Pure beauty!



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    Philips Fidelio engraving on the top of the REAL LEATHER headband.



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    I love this breathable mesh material on the headband. It makes the wearing a comfortable joy!



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    Underside of the breathable mesh material. Its also porous and breathable.



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    Large, circumaural ear-pads are extremely comfy!



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    Side view



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    Ear-pads are easy to remove and put-back! Underside of the ear-pads you can see 4 holes where the plastic pins on the earphone body enters and securely hols it.
    Align pin is a nice idea. This prevents a mis-aligned insertion (attachment). There is an  extra resting hole for this pin on the earphone part.



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    Comfy comfy comfy!!!



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    There are no glue on the attaching process of the ear-pads. These photos reveals the angled driver.



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    Shape of the ear-pads are circular but on the middle part it is oval. I shoot this photo through the sunlight to show this in detail!




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    With the cable attached. This cable is OK for movie watching because its too long (3 m or 9 ft) !



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    Golden mini (3.5mm) stereo jack is very good in quality. Also cable is extremely soft to touch, very flexible, microphonics are very very minor.




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    X2 from different angles...



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    I love all black approach. Metal grilles are adding value to the aesthetics of the X2!
                                            

     

    Genres Good for Listening with:

    Pop, Rock, EDM, Soundtracks, Hard Rock, New Age, Chillout, Ambient, Instrumental, Heavy-Metal, Vocal, Classical, Jazz, all kinds of bassy music, etc. Broad ranges of genres are suitable with this HP.

    Also excellent while watching movies! (Sorry I don't play games, so no opinion on it).

    Suitable to Use for:

    Home and relatively quiet office. It's not portable by any means.


    HP native wearing position:

    Circumaural. Earcups completely surrounds your ears and ears fits inside the cups. Single detachable cable on the left earpiece.

    Fit, Comfort and Size:

    This is really an easy to fit HP. X2 has a self adjusting headband. It really fits like a glove :bigsmile_face:   and stays securely on head even if I shake my head a little with the music :L3000:

    Although X2 is 382 grams, it feels a little heavy on the head at first listen. But long term listening up to 3 hrs doesn't cause any problems for me. For a large headed person this HP may cause some discomfort because of the clamping force at first trials. Is it clamping too much? I can say not for my case (I have medium size head). But clamping force is on the north of being average for my head. But anyone can stretch the headband by using the old technique on head-fi (putting some books in between the ear-pads for a period of time, or just stretching the headband out by pulling with hands). Edit: Clamping force is now excellent. Not tight, not loose. Extremely comfortable. I think this headphone got stretched and loosened its clamping force a little bit during use...

    Deep memory foam and velour earpads are heat regulating type. Because of the thick and technically designed earpads makes this headphone a joy to wear. I also never have sweating problems, even after extended use.


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    X2 on my office desk next to my AKG K551



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    My love for many years an AKG K340 Electrostat-Dynamic hybrid headphone (highly modded, re-cabled) is now sharing the same bed with X2!



    Isolation:

    X2 is supposed to be open backed. So its really hard to say that it isolates. But all I can say that there is very little isolation. Unfortunately X2 is not suitable to be used in the noisy environments. It will leak sound as well. So surrounding people can hear what you're listening to.
     
    Source-HP Matches/Mismatches:

    X2 is stated as 30 ohms. I have tried it with my Galaxy S2, Sansa Fuze, iPod Touch and every portable solution can drive them well. I have also connected it  to my SS and tube amps. It definately scales better with better and more powerful sources. Likes tube amps very much. Synergy is excellent IMO with a DV 336SE. I have tried a Zaerix 6AS7 NOS military tube on the back and the bass was hitting tighter with body. 1950's RCA 6AS7G black plates JAN tube gives the X2 a flatter, yet detailed sound response. With the General Electric 6080 5 Stars tube on the back position I can hear unimaginable level of details on the recordings. I don't know how and why but X2 has special synergy when paired with Sansa Fuze player (without the need of an amp, my Fuze is Rockboxed).

    Brain and Driver Burn-in Period:

    Sound is already great right out of the box but it needs at least 30-40 hours of burn-in for the biggest settlement. Especially clarity opens-up!! Don't know if there will be a change in the future but as for today I have reached 100h with X2.

    Edit 1: I have passed 200 hours. Now it is sounding much better. More linear compared to the previous period of burn-in. Mid frequencies came slightly more forward. Bass earned more detail and definition. Also bass is not on the eye shaking level now. But still bass plays a big role and because of this X2 is still far from being a real neutral HP. I like the X2 much and much more after passing 200 hours. I am eager to hear if there is going to be any change on sound with more burn-in.

    EDIT 2: I believe X2 is completely settled. I am on 300+ hours and I hear no change in sound. I will inform if anything changes...


    Quality and Durability:
    When I first opened the box of X2 and touched/worn it I feel the quality of a higher-end product. It certainly feels like a Porsche! Also it's very powerful but this time the power is not beneath the wheels, it's beneath the ear-pads! :k701smile:
    Aluminum speaker cup holders, steel headband inner parts, real leather headband with breathable self adjusting headband, excellent quality removable memory foam velour ear-pads, everything is built to last forever!
    ...but only the test of the time will tell the real truth :wink:

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    Whom should avoid Philips Fidelio X2:

    Analytical HP lovers, absolutely flat (neutral) HP lovers, who doesn't like extra bass, who hates single entry cables, who prefers a really light (X2 is 382 g) HP; who needs isolation from outside noise, who needs a portable HP, should avoid X2.

    Value for Money:

    Since the 300-400 Euro HP's are crowded with very good competitors and X2 has a chance for being a very durable, quality, fun, warm, but detailed signature HP. Its bass will satisfy even the bass-heads. Its extremely big sound-stage, imaging and layering capabilities are appealing. General sound quality is excellent.

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    Love Factor:

    This term is new in head-fi (I prefer to use it). "Love factor" is very "personal taste" dependent and one should take care of this factor as a grain of salt (but if you ask me it's one of the most important factor). This factor summarizes my liking of sound quality, fit-comfort, durability,  isolation, microphonics, aesthetics, etc. So joining of all these factors makes me want to listen to a given iem/hp for a long time or not.


    Although X2 is slightly heavy for me, and its bass is slightly over my tastes, I really enjoyed it. Wearing this comfy HP is like holding two teddy bear toys on your ears. Velour and memory foam earpads are excellent in quality. I suppose no-one will ever want to replace them with something else! Self adjusting headband is excellent and fits my medium sized head perfectly! I can listen to it for 2-3 hours non-stop without any issues. After that period I have some neck pain (because of the weight). But this is easily gone after making some exercise and some breaks. I can say that my love factor for X2 is well above average. Philips Fidelio X2 and Havi B3 Pro1 are the two best buys for me this year!


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    Sum-up:

    I think X2 is an excellent HP who wants some warmness and expansive soundstage with excellent fun factor with toe tapping sound eye shaking, chest shivering bass.  It's material (or build) quality is excellent. But do not expect any accessories other than a Fidelio Cable Management Clip and a 3.5mm to 6.5mm convertor. I wish there were at least a carrying case inside that beautiful cardboard box!!!  C.mon Philips it's not that hard to put that carrying case for the price I paid!

    If I solely talk about the sound quality, although X2 is warm and bassy HP, it has the potential to satisfy even the neutral HP loving audiophiles (including myself) because of its technical capabilities and fun factor!

    Although I didn't have chance to hear X1 (the predecessor of X2), I read a lot about it before and all I can say that X2 is probably an upgrade over its predecessor! X2 doesn't exhibit any problems on the highs region like X1. Also earpads are easy to remove and put-back!

    Availability: Amazon.co.uk

    Guarantee: Yes, provided by Philips (where available or applicable), 24 months. I always appreciate the guarantee on the audio equipments. So big applause for Philips here!


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    X2 weights  as 382 grams without the cable. Measured by me by the help of a scientific-grade balance

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    X2 outer diameter measures 100mm or 10cm on the largest part


    It seems from the photo that I didn't measure it from the largest par but I did :wink:
    My LG G3 cell phone's wide angle lens is responsible for the false perception.


    Specs:
    • Drivers: Angled Dynamic Drivers, 50mm diameter Layered Motion Control (LMC) Diaphragm with GEL filling between the layers + Powerful Neodymium Magnet
    • Rated Impedance 30 Ω
    • Frequency Range 5Hz ˜ 40kHz
    • Sensitivity 100 dB @ 1 mW
    • Max Input Power 500 mW
    • Distortion < 0,1%  (THD)
    • Cable 3 m (9 ft), Removable, Single entry with 3.5mm mini jack on both ends (According to a Chinese web site cable made by Oyaide. I measured the value as 0,6 OHM for +/- and gnd for this cable)
    • Plug 3.5mm Gold Plated
    • Circumaural memory foam velour earpads, earpads have heat regulating technology
    • 382 g (Headphone only, measured by Baycode)

    Contents & Accessories:
    • 3.5mm to 6.5mm converter
    • 3 m (9 ft) Cable
    • Fidelio Cable Management Clip


    Acknowledgements:
    None, thanks to my pocket! I paid 380 Euro! Approximately every gram of this headphone is 1 Euro for me! :blink:

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    Notes:

    1- Most of the terminology used in this review is depending on this excellent write-up by multiple headfiers: http://www.head-fi.org/a/describing-sound-a-glossary

    2- Specifications and/or color of the equipments covered by this review may change in the future by the producer. And these changes may not be reflected inside the review in the future (although I prefer to update).

    3- The bar-graph review technique is a new one and its my way to show readers to understand an equipment at first look. It’s easier to understand IMO rather than reading dozens of pages. But I also advise any reader to look for the other reviewers pages and other contributors ideas. There is no single way to reach the truth.

    4- The values in the graphs may change “slightly” over time. This is because my equipment collection is growing and comparative evaluations will always be in the process (even after review). So please feel free to come back and check the graph in the future (for example 2 months later). But usually these values are created after extensive burn-in and listening/comparing periods. So will mostly be stable.
    [rule]



    Subscribe: Baycode's Upcoming and Completed Reviews (in the graph style) 





    Short Impressions, Comparisons and Photos by Members:


    On the head photo by hi5 : http://www.head-fi.org/t/729413/philips-fidelio-x2-a-review-by-baycode/690

    Comparative impressions with HD558, X1 and L2 by arcwindz : http://www.head-fi.org/t/723025/philips-fidelio-x2/1785#post_11146227

    Comparative impressions with HD600/650, HD800, LCD 2.2, HE-560 by daltonlanny : http://www.head-fi.org/t/729413/philips-fidelio-x2-a-review-by-baycode/735#post_11241808

    Comparative impressions with HD600/650, LCD 2.2 by MattTCG : http://www.head-fi.org/t/729413/philips-fidelio-x2-a-review-by-baycode/675#post_11227614

    Comparative impressions with HD600/650, HD700, HE400i, HE560, LCD 2F, DT880, DT990, T1 by cute : http://www.head-fi.org/t/729413/philips-fidelio-x2-a-review-by-baycode/630#post_11207607

    Comparative impressions with HD650 and HE400i by Jazz1 : http://www.head-fi.org/t/729413/philips-fidelio-x2-a-review-by-baycode/600#post_11179598

    Comparative impressions with HP50, HD600s and AHD2000 by Zennheiserie8 : http://www.head-fi.org/t/729413/philips-fidelio-x2-a-review-by-baycode/405#post_11026960

    Comparative impressions with B&O H6 by Randolph Duke : http://www.head-fi.org/t/729413/philips-fidelio-x2-a-review-by-baycode/750#post_11242850

    Impressions for imaging (for gamers) by Sundown : http://www.head-fi.org/t/729413/philips-fidelio-x2-a-review-by-baycode/600#post_11177136

    Replacement earpad (cushion) info and part number for ordering through Philips by Rave77 : http://www.head-fi.org/t/729413/philips-fidelio-x2-a-review-by-baycode/765#post_11246136


     
     
  2. Rave77
    Great review, any idea when these will hit the rest of Europe?, I'm in the UK and I want them now.
     
  3. gr34td3str0y3r
    I 2nd that. I haven't heard of these. No word on an NA or Asia release? I LOVE my X1 (but did have to send my first pair back. A driver was damaged under normal listening circumstances. Philips has HORRIBLE customer service. HORRIBLE. I wish I could do double bold double caps. Amazingly Amazon replaced them for free no problem 3 months after I bought them when Phillips refused) Even still. The X1s are amazing. Will buy the X2s as soon as I get the chance. 
     
    Edit: so seriously how do they differ from the X1s. 2nd what is the impedance of the provided cable? 3rd, is it really leather? As much as I love the X1s, it was my understanding it was fake leather. Are you telling me they are using real leather now? 
     
    "Guarantee: Yes, provided by Philips (where available or applicable), 24 months. I always appreciate the guarantee on the audio equipments. So big applause for Philips here!"
    When I "talked" to phillips, they said "no". Overall compared to other companies I have found Phillips to be the worst when it comes to customer service (compared to companies like V-moda). They are a billion dollar company that cares more about medical equipment and has long left TV and audio equipment only to recently keep one  toe in the audio dept cause they can. Don't get me wrong. They make a great headphone, but they don't care like other headphone companies. They make a good can cause they can, not because they care. If you have a problem, good luck. Maybe the X2 is an answer to all the problems with the x1s. lets hope. I love my x1s so much I will still buy them even though phillips is such a **** headphone company. 
     
  4. Shawn71
    Excellent write-up and great pictures.....:)
     
  5. Shawn71
    :popcorn: for penon iem.....
     
  6. cocolinho
    Great review. Fantastic chart!
    Thanks
    I'll probably buy them when they will hit the market
     
  7. waynes world
    Awesome review Baycode! I have and love the X1's, but you really have me stoked about the X2's now. I'm looking forward to reading detailed comparisons between the two.
     
    And I was really happy to read this!:
     
  8. gyx11
    Subbed. Been sniffing around for my next full sized cans. Go Baycode!
     
  9. Silverwind
    Thanks for the review! I wonder if the X2 ear pads can be modded to fit the X1? Of course if it is an upgrade in sound I may have to pick it up!
     
  10. maricius
    Have you heard the Fidelio L2 by any chance? If so, please make a comparison across the board of aspects
     
  11. Shawn71

    Uh hum.......Hope theres no pun intended.:D

    :beerchug:
     
  12. Lorspeaker
    what a review...pretty daughter u have..and those fotos are artistically taken :p
     
    a few questions...
    are the drivers angled?
    and the velor pads...can it be easily peeled off the baseplate, and be used on other cans like beyers? 
    ( or is it glued to the baseplate...and then snapped onto the can? )
     
  13. munggo
    Awesome write up!:blush:
     
  14. altrunox
    Amazin review, and finally...
     
    REEEEEEEEEEEEMOVABLE PADS!
     
  15. DADDYDC650
    Thanks for the great review. I wonder when they'll be available in the United States.
     
    tonyo123 likes this.
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