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June 21, 2014

Philips Fidelio X1 Quick Review

The Philips Fidelio X1 is a premium-grade headphone made with high-end materials and will surely entice audiophiles by simply looking at it. It falls on the open-back category which we’re a fan of, so read on as we excitedly take a look at this top-of-the-line pair of cans from Philips.

Philips Fidelio X1_5

As we’ve mentioned, the X1’s design alone is sure to attract both casual music listeners and picky audiophiles alike. It’s got a great form factor thanks to the materials used like genuine leather for the headband, meshed lining that comfortably supports the head, soft padding for the ears, and metal support that makes it feel sturdy and robust. You’ll basically be putting on a pair of headphones that are crafted with quality in mind.

Philips Fidelio X1_3

The separate cable that plugs in to the left earcup comes standard at 3 meters long and outputs to a bulky 6.3mm jack for studio use. Don’t worry, though, as the package comes with a (bulkier) gold-plated 3.5mm jack adaptor so you could use it for your MP3 players and smartphones too! The cable is made of inter-woven fabric and is tangle-free, so that’s another point for the Fidelio X1.

Philips Fidelio X1_1

Now we go to the sound department. We’re confident to say that the X1 also excels in this aspect as much as it did in build quality. The 50mm neodymium drivers, combined with its open-back design, rendered music with a wide soundscape that made us fall in love with it instantly.

We played uncompressed audio files to gauge its true capability in reproducing details and what we first noticed was its gift to make the lows sound like it’s coming from a closed-back headphones – it has that solid thumps that are usually not present with open-backs. Mids and highs were a bit on the bright side and tin-y, but considering we’re working with an open-back here it’s fairly forgivable.

Philips Fidelio X1_2

The Fidelio X1 can be used for extended hours of time. Some ‘phones can also be used for hours but you’d have to change its position every once in a while as it strains the ears. With the X1, you can put it on and the next time you’ll touch it is when you’ll remove it hours after.

Philips Fidelio X1_4

So far this headset has aced every test that we threw its way.

One thing that puts a limitation on it is portability. In case you still haven’t noticed, the X1 is pretty big and doesn’t fold so bringing it around will be a hassle. Also, because of its open-back design, sound leak is very prominent and if you’d use it in a van while commuting, for example, the people beside you are sure to hear what you’re listening to.

This isn’t all a bad thing since it was really made for indoor use (the 6.3mm audio jack pretty much gives it away) in the first place. It also doesn’t come with any travel pouch so it wasn’t really intended to be packed inside a bag.

Philips Fidelio X1_5

For us, the Philips Fidelio X1 is one of the best open-backed headphones we’ve tried so far. It ticked off all the items in our list of what makes a good indoor headphone and at the same time, has a justifiable price tag. It has an SRP of Php12,499 and is available for purchase locally.

Philips Fidelio X1 specs:
Type:  Headband, Open-ear
Driver size: 50mm
Magnet type: Neodymium
Frequency response: 10Hz – 40kHz
Impedance: 30 ohms
Sensitivity: 100dB
Connection: 6.25mm stereo jack
Cable length: 3 meters

What we liked about it:
* Premium design
* Great music reproduction
* Wide soundscape
* Very comforable
* Justifiable price point

What we didn’t like:
* A bit bulky

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3 Responses to “Philips Fidelio X1 Quick Review”

  1. hanjo says:

    Hi!
    I am wondering if you coukd suggest some headphones (circumaural) that are priced P6k and below. I am not what peiple call an audiophile so i dont feel like forking out much money for cans. But i did test some and found many unable to pass my standards. When i tried the high end ones also, i found some to be overpriced or perhaps my ears are not so keen to distinguish the difference. It is in that sense that pricey ‘phones may not be of much value to me. So i’ll go for the midpriced ones. I dont go for the very cheap ones either as i can really notice the very low quality output. Maybe i can stretch my budget to P8k if that would mean more recommendations from you.
    Thanks a lot!

  2. Carl Bytes says:

    @Hanjo for P6k, ATH-M50 is for you but they are not portable. For the best and portable around P9k on Amazon US, check beyerdyanmics DT1350. Sennheiser HD25-1 ii is an alternative.

    Sorry you missed yesterday promo of P5k for a vmoda m80. They are also portable and sturdy.

  3. Schmidt says:

    can you make a review of sony mdr xb400? thanks

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Kevin Francisco is the Senior Editor and Video Producer for YugaTech. He's a Digital Filmmaking graduate, a music junkie, and a superhero by night. Follow him on Twitter for more tech updates @kevincofrancis.

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