Philips Fidelio X2hr - not impressed
Apr 8, 2020 at 4:25 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

Tidalizer

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Hi,

Ok so I have some ATH MSR7's and wanted to experience the same sound quality but with the open sound stage of an open back so I ordered some Philips Fidelio X2hr cans. Doing A/B testing between the headphones it's seems the MSR7's retrieve more detail and sound generally better than the Philips Fidelio X2hr for every track I tried.

That's not to say the Philips Fidelio X2hr sounded really bad, just lacked maybe the sparkle of the MSR7's, perhaps the Fidelio's have recessed vocals ? music seems to lack the emotion the MSR7's deliver.

Anyhow the reason for the post is to ask for some opinions of where I go next, I've ordered some AKG K702 for a comparison, as above I want MSR7 clarity / detail but open. Is the K702 a reasonable choice / likely to give me what I'm looking for ?

I've been looking at the ATH 500X or 700X which are within budget, most reviews seem to say this won't be as good as the K702 for clarity and detail.

Amp is a magni 3 and topping D50 DAC and Amazon HD music i.e. the source shouldn't be a issue.

I've used the Superlux HD668B and I was really impressed with the open sound of these, they got sent back because they wasn't comfortable to wear, but sparked my interest in some reasonable open backs.

I know the Sennheiser HD600, 650, 800 would likely do what I'm looking for but these are way out of my budget, HD598, 599, 569 are with in budget but I think possibly these will lack the sound detail I'm looking for.

Not interested in Beyerdynamic, tried some before and they wasn't loud enough, that wasn't a impedance / power problem it was just distortion from lower power rated drivers. Which is why I'm thinking the K702 may suffer with the same problem with only 200mW drivers.

Not interested in Grado, they look like on ear cans / uncomfortable.

There's the SIVGA SV004, SV005 or SV007, not sure about these, reviews suggest they're ok but not that great, perhaps another Philips Fidelio thing of generally ok but a bit of a let down.

I wonder if a cheap Superlux HD-330 might be good enough seeing as I was generally ok with the Superlux HD668B, at least I wouldn't have spent a fortune and got something I'm not impressed with as per the Fidelio's i.e. good bang for your buck headphone.

So it seems I have choice between Sennheiser HD598, 599, 569, AKG K702, ATH 500X or ATH 700X or generally give up and go for a Superlux HD-330.

Any other suggestions ? that's if you didn't get bored half way through my ramble and switched off :)
 
Apr 9, 2020 at 12:04 PM Post #2 of 19

Tidalizer

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I'm going to answer my own question, is the AKG K702 a better option compared to the Philips Fidelio X2hr in terms of sound quality, sound stage and instrument separation, in a word, yes.

AKG K702 = a proper open back, sounds absolutely amazing straight out the box, perhaps a shade lacking in volume level due to the 200mW drivers, the sub bass interferes with the vocals, backing the volume off a little solves that. For the price I'm well happy for the sound quality I'm getting.
 
Apr 9, 2020 at 12:32 PM Post #3 of 19

Beagle

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To each their own, horses for courses, but I cannot understand anyone not liking the Fidelio X2, for the money and especially compared to the ATH MSR7. I find the AT cold, mechanical and unmusical in contrast.
 
Apr 9, 2020 at 1:14 PM Post #4 of 19

Tidalizer

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I guess it depends what you're looking for, if you wanted big bass for electro / dubstep then perhaps the Philips Fidelio X2hr might be something you'd like, personally I listen to all sorts of music including electro. The MSR7's and AKG K702's both deliver detail and accuracy not big bass but correct bass in my opinion, some might call these sorts of headphones boring or even bright perhaps. Of course these headphones are kind of entry level quality headphones, I know there're better options, but they fit my budget or how far I want to stretch to at the moment.

I've subscribed to hi res music streaming, I want the hear all the details in the audio, therefore I need headphones that deliver the detail.

This video sums up the Philips Fidelio X2hr, especially the frequency response graph.

 
Apr 9, 2020 at 1:38 PM Post #5 of 19

Beagle

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I must apologize for not properly qualifying my comments by indicating that I had modded my X2 for a more even balance (covering half the "port" hole on the back of each driver). I sometimes forget I've modded something on the interior and forget to take that into consideration when describing the sound later on.

This video sums up the Philips Fidelio X2hr, especially the frequency response graph.

Wow, the HR must be a totally different beast from the original X2..
 
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Apr 9, 2020 at 2:04 PM Post #7 of 19

Tidalizer

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The bass didn;t bother me, I liked it, what bothered me was simply the lack of emotion they conveyed, exactly why that was the case I'm not sure, whether it's lack of detail, small sound stage, unbalanced high frequencies, or some headphone jiggery-pokery 'thing' they just don't have whatever the K702 has that puts smile on my face and wanting to listen to track after track. Since they arrived I've took them off once, to visit the toilet :)

Certainly the K702 has loads of detail, instrument separation and sound stage. In an ideal I would have kept the Philips Fidelio and persevered. perhaps find something I'd like them for or perhaps try the mods you mention but I can't afford to, with the K702 I've now got a good mix of cans, open and closed both I'm very happy with based on what I've paid for them.
 
Apr 9, 2020 at 2:15 PM Post #8 of 19

HipHopScribe

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I don't have much experience with the K702s or MSR7s, but mids on the X2s are a bit scooped out, there's definitely a dip which would be noticeable compared to mid-forward headphones and might present as a "lack of emotion". And while the X2s have decent treble presence it's a bit uneven. They also have an upper bass boost that makes bass a little muddy and imprecise.
 
Apr 9, 2020 at 2:28 PM Post #9 of 19

GearMe

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I guess it depends what you're looking for, if you wanted big bass for electro / dubstep then perhaps the Philips Fidelio X2hr might be something you'd like, personally I listen to all sorts of music including electro. The MSR7's and AKG K702's both deliver detail and accuracy not big bass but correct bass in my opinion, some might call these sorts of headphones boring or even bright perhaps. Of course these headphones are kind of entry level quality headphones, I know there're better options, but they fit my budget or how far I want to stretch to at the moment.

I've subscribed to hi res music streaming, I want the hear all the details in the audio, therefore I need headphones that deliver the detail.

This video sums up the Philips Fidelio X2hr, especially the frequency response graph.



I must apologize for not properly qualifying my comments by indicating that I had modded my X2 for a more even balance (covering half the "port" hole on the back of each driver). I sometimes forget I've modded something on the interior and forget to take that into consideration when describing the sound later on.

Wow, the HR must be a totally different beast from the original X2..
Agreed.

Have the original X2 and the Q701...both nice headphones! Have a couple AT's ATH-AD900 and the M50...neither get much time.

Use the X2 (or HD650 or HD58X) on shuffle with all genres of music. Set and forget (mp3 to FLAC); just enjoy listening to a variety of music including blues, rock, jazz, R&B, folk, classical, etc.

If I was in the mood for an evening of listening to some acoustic jazz, violin or piano concertos, or vocalists, etc., then I'd probably pull out the Q701s (or DT880s).
 
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Apr 10, 2020 at 3:25 AM Post #10 of 19

Kammerat Rebekka

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I think what happened is that you were used to and clearly dig the extra energy in the treble area of both the Audio Technica and Superlux...then got a warmer/more balanced headphone in the X2 and miss the ‘air’, ‘detail’ etc of what you’re used to.
The K702 is a bright classic and it doesn’t surprise me that you’d prefer it over the X2. I have a couple of friends who also vastly prefer brighter sound signatures like the K701, DT880 and DT1990.
We all have different tastebuds and there is literally no right or wrong as long as you’re enjoying the music:)
 
Apr 10, 2020 at 5:10 PM Post #11 of 19

GearMe

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I think what happened is that you were used to and clearly dig the extra energy in the treble area of both the Audio Technica and Superlux...then got a warmer/more balanced headphone in the X2 and miss the ‘air’, ‘detail’ etc of what you’re used to.
The K702 is a bright classic and it doesn’t surprise me that you’d prefer it over the X2. I have a couple of friends who also vastly prefer brighter sound signatures like the K701, DT880 and DT1990.
We all have different tastebuds and there is literally no right or wrong as long as you’re enjoying the music:)
This! :beerchug:
 
Apr 11, 2020 at 5:15 AM Post #12 of 19

Tidalizer

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There is no right and wrong but I'd argue with the K702 that this has the balanced sound / closer to a reference sound compared to the X2.

I like bass, I have subs on all 4 of my audio setups, so for the X2 the bass was very welcome just a pity that as per the review I posted which sums up the X2 IMO where wheezy states everything below 1KHz is spot on and everything above 1K is the opposite / not spot on. If the X2 had reasonably correct (IMO) and detailed highs with a good open sound stage that I assumed I'd get from an open back then I would have been over the moon with it.

Possibly the X2 might have been enjoyable for gaming although gaming with the K702 has been surprising where I'm hearing sounds so behind me it's like I've got speakers at the rear. Obviously the bass of the X2 combined with everything else the K702 offers IMO would be an awesome headphone plus sensitive 500mW / 1W drivers, that's the headphone I want to buy if it exists which I'm not sure it does.
 
Apr 11, 2020 at 8:14 AM Post #13 of 19

Kammerat Rebekka

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That’s the thing..and my actual point: people will obviously describe the sound signature which they’re most fond of as the one being the most balanced/natural sounding - whatever the frequency response shows....yet we do actually have a good way of measuring how close the sound of our headphones is to the actual recording ie more or less a flat line. A flat frequency response basically just means that there is nothing added to the recording. Warmer cans either add bass or subtract from the higher frequencies whilst brighter cans do the opposite...which again is very much apparent when you look at the frequency response. The K702, like it’s older brother the K701, both share an uptilted frequency response with several bursts of energy in both the mids and treble ultimately making them bright sounding headphones. That is their purpose though and the way most folks like em:)
The X2, at least to me, sounds more balanced in that it almost reverses the K702 sound characteristics whilst being a tad more smooth overall....but I’m fairly certain some of my friends feel differently. Again..at the end of the day it’s all about enjoyment of the music...unless of course you are using your headphones as tools for a specific job.
Some like it hot and some like it cold.
 
Apr 13, 2020 at 12:08 AM Post #14 of 19

llysender

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I bought the MSR7 as a companion outdoor headphone to the R70X so I'm going to recomend that. Its just that the R70X is not as bassy as the MSR7 but is still pretty bassy imo. One of the better headphones audio technica has made. Need a decently powerful amp to make it sing though.Ah nvm I didnt see you already have a stack. Should be ok.

That being said if you want something cheaper I can recomand the AD500x. Granted it has a rolled off upper trebble so if that bothers you you might want to look else where. Detail isnt as good as the MSR7 but for enjoying music the bass and mids are really nice imo.

Btw I noticed you wanted soundstage as a key reason. If so the K702 might be better. Although as its not audio technica it will not have audio technica vocal colouration. The R70X and AD500X has what I would call natural sound stage that just extends abit outside the headphone but not really by much.
 
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Jan 17, 2021 at 3:57 PM Post #15 of 19

MundoHiFiOz

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I bought the MSR7 as a companion outdoor headphone to the R70X so I'm going to recomend that. Its just that the R70X is not as bassy as the MSR7 but is still pretty bassy imo. One of the better headphones audio technica has made. Need a decently powerful amp to make it sing though.Ah nvm I didnt see you already have a stack. Should be ok.

That being said if you want something cheaper I can recomand the AD500x. Granted it has a rolled off upper trebble so if that bothers you you might want to look else where. Detail isnt as good as the MSR7 but for enjoying music the bass and mids are really nice imo.

Btw I noticed you wanted soundstage as a key reason. If so the K702 might be better. Although as its not audio technica it will not have audio technica vocal colouration. The R70X and AD500X has what I would call natural sound stage that just extends abit outside the headphone but not really by much.
Is the zen DAC or Q5s enough for r70x?
 

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