Philips Fidelio X2?!
Dec 4, 2016 at 5:35 AM Post #11,551 of 15,108

Sorgiulio

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Hi all,
First of all excuse my english as it's not my native language.
After reading head-fi forums for months It's now time for me to write my first post as I got to the point where I really need some help here.
Here's my problem:
I own a pair of Fidelio X2 which I chose because I was looking for a set of cans that could be a good compromise between clarity, soundstage and bass presence. I'm not an expert so I read countless reviews on many different headphones in this price range and I thought that the X2 could be the best choice for what I needed. And over all I'm quite happy with the sound quality they produce. Or, to put it better, I'd be quite happy with them if only I wasn't experiencing these problems with high frequencies. I knew that the X2s, despite being considered an overall warm set of cans, can be quite bright when it comes to high highs. But the highs form my X2s are really really harsh, to the point that drum cymbals are almost distorted, unbearably annoying. I played drums myself for quite some time in my life and I know how cymbals are supposed to sound. From my X2s though, they sound more like someone is smashing dishes on the floor, making listening to music anything but a pleasant experience.
Here's my set up:
I stream apple music through iTunes on a macbook air, connected to the HiFiMe U2 Sabre dac, connected with a 5 GBP rca cable to a little dot 1+ on which stock chinese tubes have been replaced with a matched pair of Mullard M8100. What is it that I am doing wrong? I mean, is there anything I can do to reduce harshness in the high highs without lowering the overall sound quality?
When my X2s are plugged straight into my laptop, cymbals are by far less annoying, but the sound in general lacks body and fullness. I was feeling like I wasn't getting the full potential out of my cans so I decided to invest in an amp. Is it perhaps the wrong amp? I read that, according to the little dot boss, the output impedance of the amp is around 30 ohms, which as far as I understand would not be a good match with my 30 ohm impedance X2s. When I plug them in my Luxman L-3 integrated amp I get the same annoying highs and a much more mudded sound, which I attribute to the very high output impedance of headphone socket in old integrated amp (which I understand were not designed for headphones). Could this be the problem? Maybe an amp with a much lower out impedance (less than 4 ohms) would get rid of the problem? If this is the case, any suggestions on a good amp in the same price range that pairs well with the X2s? I'm still in time to return my little dot so I wouldn't lose money.
Or maybe the Fidelio X2 are simply not the right cans for me?
Any help would be much appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
 
Dec 4, 2016 at 9:41 AM Post #11,552 of 15,108

Sinery

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  Hi all,
First of all excuse my english as it's not my native language.
After reading head-fi forums for months It's now time for me to write my first post as I got to the point where I really need some help here.
Here's my problem:
I own a pair of Fidelio X2 which I chose because I was looking for a set of cans that could be a good compromise between clarity, soundstage and bass presence. I'm not an expert so I read countless reviews on many different headphones in this price range and I thought that the X2 could be the best choice for what I needed. And over all I'm quite happy with the sound quality they produce. Or, to put it better, I'd be quite happy with them if only I wasn't experiencing these problems with high frequencies. I knew that the X2s, despite being considered an overall warm set of cans, can be quite bright when it comes to high highs. But the highs form my X2s are really really harsh, to the point that drum cymbals are almost distorted, unbearably annoying. I played drums myself for quite some time in my life and I know how cymbals are supposed to sound. From my X2s though, they sound more like someone is smashing dishes on the floor, making listening to music anything but a pleasant experience.
Here's my set up:
I stream apple music through iTunes on a macbook air, connected to the HiFiMe U2 Sabre dac, connected with a 5 GBP rca cable to a little dot 1+ on which stock chinese tubes have been replaced with a matched pair of Mullard M8100. What is it that I am doing wrong? I mean, is there anything I can do to reduce harshness in the high highs without lowering the overall sound quality?
When my X2s are plugged straight into my laptop, cymbals are by far less annoying, but the sound in general lacks body and fullness. I was feeling like I wasn't getting the full potential out of my cans so I decided to invest in an amp. Is it perhaps the wrong amp? I read that, according to the little dot boss, the output impedance of the amp is around 30 ohms, which as far as I understand would not be a good match with my 30 ohm impedance X2s. When I plug them in my Luxman L-3 integrated amp I get the same annoying highs and a much more mudded sound, which I attribute to the very high output impedance of headphone socket in old integrated amp (which I understand were not designed for headphones). Could this be the problem? Maybe an amp with a much lower out impedance (less than 4 ohms) would get rid of the problem? If this is the case, any suggestions on a good amp in the same price range that pairs well with the X2s? I'm still in time to return my little dot so I wouldn't lose money.
Or maybe the Fidelio X2 are simply not the right cans for me?
Any help would be much appreciated.
Thank you in advance.

If you have anything over 4 ohm output impedance you're not going to get the full X2 experience.
If you have something over 10 ohm the X2s ought to sound like trash.
 
Dec 4, 2016 at 10:15 AM Post #11,553 of 15,108
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Fwiw I love the X2's from the LD I+ (and I've tried them with a lot of great sources/amplifiers).

Could you please link me the source that mentions 32Ohms output impedance on it? It sounds surprisingly high to me for a device recommended for (and sounding excellent with) low impedance headphones.
 
Dec 4, 2016 at 10:58 AM Post #11,554 of 15,108

Sinery

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Fwiw I love the X2's from the LD I+ (and I've tried them with a lot of great sources/amplifiers).

Could you please link me the source that mentions 32Ohms output impedance on it? It sounds surprisingly high to me for a device recommended for (and sounding excellent with) low impedance headphones.

 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/603019/why-is-the-little-dot-1-recommended-for-low-impedance-cans
Knock yourself out.
 
Dec 4, 2016 at 11:03 AM Post #11,555 of 15,108
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Dec 4, 2016 at 10:59 PM Post #11,556 of 15,108

BigDave

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here you go
 
http://nwavguy.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/headphone-amp-impedance.html
 
Dec 5, 2016 at 1:39 AM Post #11,557 of 15,108

ThomasHK

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  If you have anything over 4 ohm output impedance you're not going to get the full X2 experience.
If you have something over 10 ohm the X2s ought to sound like trash.

What would make you say that?
 
The X2's impedance is very flat. Much flatter than most open headphones. You'll barely get any influence on the frequency response even with a 10 Ohm output impedance.
 
Dec 5, 2016 at 5:00 AM Post #11,558 of 15,108
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here you go
 
http://nwavguy.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/headphone-amp-impedance.html

I don't know if this was for me but I've spent 30 minutes eying through both the article and the comments below it without finding one single mentioning of the Little Dot I+ in there. It's a lot of text though so might have missed it........
 
I also believe that it may be against the Head-Fi posting guidlines to post links to that site (I know it was but maybe it's not anymore). 
 
Dec 5, 2016 at 7:30 AM Post #11,559 of 15,108

BigDave

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  I don't know if this was for me but I've spent 30 minutes eying through both the article and the comments below it without finding one single mentioning of the Little Dot I+ in there. It's a lot of text though so might have missed it........
 
I also believe that it may be against the Head-Fi posting guidlines to post links to that site (I know it was but maybe it's not anymore). 


​Yes Peter123, it was for you and anyone else interested in an explanation for the output impedance query. 
Whoops, was not aware on an embargo on that site.  Why?  Only reason I posted it was that it gave IMHO an explanation for the 1/8th rule for impedance that was previously mentioned.  Not intended for any mention of the little dot. 
 
That said, I use a Nuforce Icon HDP and it supposedly has an output impedance of 10 Ohm.  I think my X2's sound awesome through that so go figure. 
 
Dec 5, 2016 at 8:20 AM Post #11,560 of 15,108
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​Yes Peter123, it was for you and anyone else interested in an explanation for the output impedance query. 
Whoops, was not aware on an embargo on that site.  Why?  Only reason I posted it was that it gave IMHO an explanation for the 1/8th rule for impedance that was previously mentioned.  Not intended for any mention of the little dot. 

That said, I use a Nuforce Icon HDP and it supposedly has an output impedance of 10 Ohm.  I think my X2's sound awesome through that so go figure. 


All good :)

The guy who did this work was once banned from here. I'm pretty sure that's the reason why links to his blog was once a big no no :wink:
 
Dec 5, 2016 at 8:54 AM Post #11,561 of 15,108

BigDave

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All good
smily_headphones1.gif


The guy who did this work was once banned from here. I'm pretty sure that's the reason why links to his blog was once a big no no
wink.gif
I


​cheers.  While I may not agree with everyone's opinion, his explanation appears to have the physics correct.  Generally the people who I see being banned are those that are unwilling to compromise with their opinions, and communicate in their posts....poorly (being diplomatic here).  I have always enjoyed being a part (although not always an active one) of Headfi and as a teacher I love to learn. 
 
At the moment, however, I worry that if I want to go a significant step above the X2's then I would have to part with some serious money....at the moment I am happy with what the X2's bring to the table but I shudder to think where my head may be in a few months......
rolleyes.gif

 
Dec 5, 2016 at 8:58 AM Post #11,562 of 15,108
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Yep, no doubt that he knows his stuff. It's been a long time so maybe it's not a big deal anymore. 
 
I totally love the X2's as well and even after two years with them I don't really feel the need to upgrade from them. There's always sidegrades though.........
wink_face.gif

 
Dec 5, 2016 at 2:24 PM Post #11,563 of 15,108

Pahani

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​cheers.  While I may not agree with everyone's opinion, his explanation appears to have the physics correct.  Generally the people who I see being banned are those that are unwilling to compromise with their opinions, and communicate in their posts....poorly (being diplomatic here).  I have always enjoyed being a part (although not always an active one) of Headfi and as a teacher I love to learn. 
 
At the moment, however, I worry that if I want to go a significant step above the X2's then I would have to part with some serious money....at the moment I am happy with what the X2's bring to the table but I shudder to think where my head may be in a few months......
rolleyes.gif

My step up from X2 was to TH-X00, and I suspect quite a few on Head-Fi did the same. This is not the ONLY option of course, feel free to research what would suit your needs when the time approaches.
 
Just FYI to prepare your pocketbook :)
 
Dec 5, 2016 at 2:26 PM Post #11,564 of 15,108

SHAMuuu

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  My step up from X2 was to TH-X00, and I suspect quite a few on Head-Fi did the same. This is not the ONLY option of course, feel free to research what would suit your needs when the time approaches.
 
Just FYI to prepare your pocketbook :)


I know one is open and the other closed, but can i get some insight on how you compare the bass on both? Maybe compared to some of the other ones from your past . Thanks
 
Dec 5, 2016 at 2:48 PM Post #11,565 of 15,108

Pahani

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I know one is open and the other closed, but can i get some insight on how you compare the bass on both? Maybe compared to some of the other ones from your past . Thanks

Both have excellent bass volume-wise. X00 is clearer, faster, and may extend deeper. X00 isn't *technically* Closed, more like semi-closed..it will leak some sound out.
 
X2 has the wider Soundstage by a fair margin. Both are very easy to drive, X00 has a much higher Maximum rated power input (read: less worry about blowing them up :p)
 
The overall sound signature on both is fairly similar. Not a guarantee, but if you like X2 then X00 SHOULD be right up your alley as well! To my ears, X00 ups the game to HD600 levels of overall fidelity.
 
I am in no way a professional Reviewer, or even a Critical Listener searching for nuanced differences. I'm just a regular dude that throws on my normal playlist and lets it go...so differences I can hear should be great enough that most people won't have to strain to hear it either.
 
As always, YMMV.
 

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