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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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