Philips Fidelio X2 vs Bowers&Wilkins p7 vs Focal Spirit Professional ??
Dec 3, 2014 at 8:48 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

Ultimate Audio

Dec 20, 2011
i'm between this 3 cans i have hard time to choose one :frowning2: 
1. I'm excited to buy my first open back HP , but i never heard one i'm little bit worried
2. the p7 seems to be a great HP but it cost almost twice the price of the x2 ( here in Italy) it is really worth the extra money ?? p7 sound so much better than x2 ? i can believe that ,i think 50% of the price is the name and the Build quality/materials  IMO
3, Focal spirit pro seems to be a very very great HP at a good price ,thegamingaudiophile said is better eveen than X1 so nonw i'm really confused
now let's talk about my sound preferences:
1. i prefer sub bass more than mid bass , i want a clean sound but rich and full , 33% bass,33% mids 33% highs so i dont want to miss nothing in the sound
2. i'm a litte bit scare about of lack of bass in a open can ,seems to be a common problem across all the open cans , x2 seems to be the only one with decent bass and sub bass
Dec 9, 2014 at 11:43 AM Post #2 of 6
I'd give the X2 the edge over the P7 for qualtiy of bass if both aren't using a amplfier. I don't thing either of them are "basshead" headphones.

However, amped I think the P7 scales up well both on my Headroom Total BitHead (portable) and my PS Audio GHCA (desktop). It's sort of like the X2 sound is so good unamped it just doesn't benefit as much as the P7 from amplfication, at least with my equipment anyway.

Both are keepers and I use them in different environments. The P7 is a little more portable, and of course they are closed and won't be disturbed by outside noise, or disturb others with sound leakage.

Comfort, well I'd give the edge to the X2, but the leather on the P7 is very nice. Contruction wise the P7 shines. the X2 though well made is not up to the level of the P7.

As I've written elsewhere I'm not a desert island, just choose one headphone kind of guy. Both the X2 and the P7 have good attributes.

Good luck in your quest!
Dec 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM Post #4 of 6
I have the X2. Before I got them, I tried the L2, the V-Moda M-100, the B&W P7, Sennheiser Momentum, B&O H6.
What sealed the deal for the X2 was exactly what you're looking for - a very balanced headphone, very comfy (even with eye glasses) and with sub-bass. I'd consider the balance 16% sub-bass, 28% bass, 28% mid-range, 28% treble.
Can't go wrong with X2.
Dec 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM Post #5 of 6
I posted this below observation in another thread. If it helps you.
Please note my below observation and comparison is performed with X2 which has now about 20hrs of usage and P7 with 500+ hours of usage and no amps/dac were used. Also, please note that my personal sound signature preference is about deep extending bass, resolving treble, very good sound stage and definitely not forward mids and my likeness would color based on the above preference (you could guess that I hate Senn Momentum coz they fail on all of the above points :))
If I have to find a pair of headphones with similar sound signature these two would vie for top spot. Mids are spot on for me (neither forward nor recessed), excellent bass for an open back can, resolving treble (not sibilant) and an extremely impressive sound stage. My P7 initially had a mid bass hump, slightly recessed mids but it started improving as I clocked more hours in it. Once it crossed 200+ hour mark, it settled down nicely and basically it kicked NAD HP50s ass (but HP50 still had better bass extension). At this point, my X2 provides me everything my P7 provided after 200 hours and I am going to assume it is going to get better as it gets more mileage.
Bass - Bass sounds very similar to P7 at this point. P7 has slightly more extension but you'd be hard pressed to say if you miss anything in X2. Both are very slightly above neutral.
Mids - Mids are exactly where it need to be. Right at the center. Neither forward nor recessed. Tonal quality is spot on. Male voices are very similar between two. Female voices X2 gets the upper hand. Between these two, P7 feels one row behind X2 and both are very near to the centre. No unnatural sweetness and it doesn't feel artificial as if you are sitting in the very first row.
Treble - Very resolving and detailed highs but not sibilant or harsh in any way. P7 gets a slightly upper hand in treble resolution which is saying very highly about X2. I haven't heard another can that has P7s excellent treble resolution (whether open or closed). Though I have said both of them are not sibilant, they are very slightly north of neutral and adds a sparkle.
Sound stage - For a closed can, P7 has one of the best sound stage but compared with X2, it's X2 all the way. Again, it depends on your source rig (I'll explain below).
Source machine:
iphone 6 plus - Both are very similar sounding. In a blind test, I would not be able to tell which is P7 and which is X2. And yes, both of them sounds good but not spectacular. X2 requires more volume to drive (almost 3/4th to sound good).
2011 MBP - X2 all the way. Instruments feel very distinct. There is a general airiness with X2 which I don't achieve in P7. At 50% volume, X2 is very very good but for some reason P7 requires more volume than that to achieve the same detail and sound stage.
2012 Ipad 3 - Here's the weird thing. P7 sounds much clear and better here at around 60% of volume. X2 sounds better than iphone 6 plus but overall P7 wins here if I just have this ipad to drive. Not sure why but I'll post some more on it after I give my X2 at least 200 hours.
I know for sure P7 scales spectacularly well with a proper DAC/AMP and at present I don't have any to see X2. I'll post more on this after I give some more hours in my X2 and also my observations on gaming and movies.
But one thing I can say this beautifully complements my P7 and if someone likes P7, they'll love X2. This is the best can I've purchased and I don't see a better allrounder than this till we hit 700-800$ price point. Sure, there may be some cans that can have a wider sound stage or better bass extension but put together everything this is the best bang for buck..
Happy listening 
Jan 4, 2015 at 1:39 PM Post #6 of 6
A somewhat late response, but to share some of my demo experiences with the Focal Spirit Professional. It didn't struck me as a bass heavy headphone, but it wasn't lacking in sub bass. It is a well balanced headphone without any particular frequency emphasis and I rate it quite high on sound quality. I would have probably bought a pair if it wasn't for the poor fit and lack of comfort. My ears felt fatigued after about 30 minutes having them on my head and I'm used to to dealing with lack of comfort on the Hifiman HE-500! Quite a pity as these headphones have some of the best mids I've heard and isolates well which allows you to focus on music. It can pull out amazing details from stringed instruments such as violin and guitar which is noticeable on the leading edges of notes. Treble isn't anything spectacular but its inoffensive and free from grain, but take that with a grain of salt as my high frequency hearing is quite limited. Sound staging was also very decent for a closed headphone. The list price is quite high in my country, more expensive than the B&W P7, which also lowers their value for money factor, but it is a very solid effort from Focal and definitely a good set of cans, especially for those looking for a balanced sound. They would have complemented my Hifiman HE-500s well. I'd wait for a revision on the earpad design and an improvement in build quality before spending money on these.

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