The Fidelio X1 by Philips

fidelio_x1_07

Disclaimer: I received the X1 sample directly from Philips Asia.

Ah, the Philips Fidelio X1 headphone. I’ve had it for almost two full months now and I’m guilty for not having published this review sooner. From the first moment I listened to the X1, my impression have been very positive. Weeks go by where I didn’t listen to the HD650, mainly due to this Philips. I’m not saying that this is a better headphone than the HD650. It’s really hard to say since the X1 is very new and the 650 has been tested for years. However when you look at the positives of the X1, not only does it sound very good in a review like this, it also sounds really good when you are listening to it. Take the warm and full sound of the HD650, add top end air, add pace, snap and attack, and you’ve got the X1. All without losing the bottom end weight and punch. Sweet.

I did go back to the 650 once or twice during my few weeks with the X1. And although I’ve always knew that the 650 is a slow headphone, my ears have somehow adapted to it during the many years that I listen to music through the 650. It’s not fast, but I didn’t really feel it to be slow. After just weeks with the X1 however, I went back to the 650 and there it was: that slow, sluggish sound that felt a little veiled. The X1 by contrast was a lot more snappy especially on the top end. A lot more airy than the 650, and very clear sounding. Of course, if air and clarity is what you are looking for, it’s pretty easy to find such characteristics on many other headphones. The Beyers, the AD-Series Audio Technicas, the Grados, you don’t really have to wait for the X1. Definitely there is something more being offered here by the Philips.

If you were there during the K701, DT880, and HD650 era years ago, you know how we used to fight over which of the three was really the best. People like the 880 for its clarity, detail and speed. The HD650 camp however, always found it to be lacking warmth and low end body. Well those two camps can now make peace as the X1 combines the strengths of the Beyer and the Senn, meanwhile the K701 camp now have the K550. With the X1, Beyer people should not be calling veiled anymore, and the Senn crowd should be equally happy as this headphone does have a worthy low end.

Of course if you like the linear top-down clarity of the DT880, which some people call unreal since bass doesn’t sound as clear in real life as the DT880 portrays, the X1 would still sound a tad less clear and less articulated. Likewise on the other hand the Senn crowd may complain that the treble is still a tad too much than what they’re used to on the 650, and that the mids aren’t as smooth as the 650, and that ultimately bass impact still wins by a few percents on the 650. So, this is about making compromises. And yet, while most “middle ground” headphones often fall sounding flat and dull, the X1 happens to be a successful blend. Ignoring the good adjectives I throw at it, the X1 is most importantly an enjoyable headphone to listen to.

 

 

Comparisons 

I wouldn’t have guessed how the X1 came out with this sort of a sound signature. The L1 which was the first Fidelio headphone, is really nice with its laid back sound, good bass with a clean and black background. The X1 is in no way similar. Though a bigger headphone is usually more laid back than a smaller one, the X1 is more forward than the L1. It doesn’t have the L1’s black background and the sound of the X1 is actually quite grainy like the HD650 and DT880. It does sound bigger than the L1, and it does sound more HiFi so in that regard Philips have done the X1 right. But the bottom line is that with the X1 and the L1 we’re talking about two completely different sounding headphones. Interestingly, the sound character of both Fidelios seem to back up their form factor. I would go for the X1 when listening to music at home with a nice desktop amp, but the L1 seems to be the one I prefer sound-wise when I’m on my portable system.

Again comparing it to the HD650, I still feel that the Senn scales up higher than the X1. It just have more resolution to it, despite the now “veiled” feel of the sound. Soundstage, though felt less open than the X1, is more proper on the 650 with better imaging and depth. Bass impact is still best on the 650, but the X1 comes very close in second place. So, not quite the end of the 10 years old Senn, but by the moment you add the other strengths of the X1, I think more people would find it easier to enjoy the X1 as it is a far less love/hate headphone than the 650.

 

More comparisons on the next page…

 

The Fidelio X1 by Philips
4.33 (86.67%) 6 votes

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135 Comments

  • Reply December 11, 2012

    Trent_D

    Yay, I finally get a first post!

    • Reply December 11, 2012

      Mike

      Well… maybe you’re saying that because the polarizing headphone you happen to have in mind is the 650. 😉

      • Reply December 11, 2012

        Trent_D

        Could be right. I do love that thing.

  • Reply December 11, 2012

    andkoppel

    Mike great review. I am enjoying a lot my AEs (on while I write this). X1 can be bought very cheaply in Spain (195€), but a natural tone is very important to me. Would be the X1 be a downgrade from the AEs in that regard? What about PRAT? Keep up the great work.

    • Reply December 12, 2012

      Mike

      PRaT is better on the X1 just by a slight margin. Overall I still like the AE better though. It’s a closed headphone, but the whole sound is nice.

  • Reply December 11, 2012

    Julius

    Yummy

  • Reply December 11, 2012

    Ijul Naera

    Need warm? Why not Graham Slee Novo?

    Nice review, Mike 😀

    • Reply December 12, 2012

      Mike

      Yes Novo would be good, just didn’t have that around for this review.

  • Reply December 11, 2012

    Elie Imelda Rik

    How do these compare to the LCD2 sound?

    • Reply December 12, 2012

      Mike

      LCD-2 is very different. More laid back, cleaner sound, it’s a $1K vs $300 headphone.

  • Reply December 12, 2012

    Gorboman

    I was puzzled by its sound stage presentation. If I put an imaginary horizontal line through my ears, I’d described the sound stage as not symmetrical to the centre position of my ears, rather above towards the top of my ears. Did I put the ear cups not properly or something?

    Other than that, the sound reminded me to SRH-1840 but with bass which the Shure was lacking. I am one of the few who liked the 1840, but I appreciate the addition of bass in the X1. So, I’ve to say good job to Philips!

    • Reply December 12, 2012

      Mike

      I didn’t have a problem with the soundstage, other than the depth.

      • Reply December 12, 2012

        Gorboman

        It’s the way I put it on my head then.

  • Reply December 12, 2012

    shreebles

    Since you’ve reviewed both, how do these compare to the Hifiman He-300?
    Build quality LOOKS better on the Philips but I haven’t seen either in real life yet…
    Which is more comfy? Deep cups are really important for me.
    Which has better soundstage and stereo imaging?
    And lastly, which one sounds better? I like my DT990 but the treble is too harsh for my taste and with rock music they are just no fun because of the recessed mids. I like the deep bass these things produce, and I prefer fully open over semi-open any day but could be willing to compromise if the X1 are that much better.
    I’m stuck between those two and I can get them both for the same price…
    What would you do?

    • Reply December 12, 2012

      Mike

      Build quality is better on the X1.
      Comfort, Hifiman’s pads are more comfortable but overall X1 wins in comfort.
      Soundstage and stereo imaging, HE-300.
      Sound is more relaxed, more laid back on the HE-300. It’s closer to the HD650. The X1 is more upfront, faster pace, a little more treble. I think the X1 is better for fast pace Rock.

  • Reply December 12, 2012

    victoraiz

    x1 + e17 is enough?

    • Reply December 12, 2012

      Mike

      Yes, sufficient.

  • Reply December 12, 2012

    Pierre-Adrien Bernabeu

    Yeah ! was waiting for this review.
    How about the sound leakage compared to the LCD-2 ? Is it as loud outside than inside or is it bearable for the people around you ? Let’s just say that my LCD2 are banned from the living room due to that 🙂

    • Reply December 12, 2012

      Mike

      I think the leak is more or less the same as the LCD-2.

  • Reply December 13, 2012

    Gurtej Virdi

    Nice review. Any chance of a comparison with the he400? So many reasonably priced headphones makes it hard choosing one.

    • Reply December 13, 2012

      Mike

      HE-400 is darker by quite a margin. Less air. More linear from top to bottom. Cleaner sound and transients due to the planar driver.

      If you listen to a lot of fast Rock and Electronics, the HE-400 is better. It’s more forward, the presentation fits those music better and also the PRaT is better.

      If you mix in a bit of acoustics, jazz, instruments, classical as well as Rock/Electronic, I think the X1 is better.

  • Reply December 17, 2012

    Youssef

    thanks for this review. E11 is sufficient for x1?

  • Reply December 18, 2012

    Anonymous

    […] […]

  • Reply December 18, 2012

    Mike Hartwell

    Do you know if/when these are coming out in the US? It seems like aren’t really interesting the US market, given what they did with the L1 and M1.

    • Reply January 2, 2013

      Mike

      Mike, they should. Perhaps just a bit slow.

  • Reply December 23, 2012

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  • Reply December 24, 2012

    jabse

    how does the soundstage of x1 compare to the he-400’s? depth/imaging/separation, is the bass full bodied with enough impact? or more boomy sub bass… and will e17 go well with these? Thanks!

    • Reply January 2, 2013

      Mike

      More or less the soundstage is comparable. Relatively wide, not too much depth, medium imaging. Separation better on the HE400, the X1 more air.

      Bass is full bodied and has enough impact, yes.

      The E17 yes.

  • Reply December 30, 2012

    Francesco Filippazzo

    Hi, I have to choose a sound card for these headphones. Do I have to buy an Essence? Or Xonar D1 (that I already have) with an amp (Which one? Fiio E17? Schiit Magni?) Thank you

    • Reply January 2, 2013

      Mike

      Francesco,
      Sorry I have no experience with sound cards. I think the Xonar should do okay.. the X1 is not that hard to drive.

  • Reply January 1, 2013

    Barnaby Jones

    Hi Mike, great review I love the design on these. I wanted to find out if these would be fine running straight out of my iphone or computer? I know that an amp/dac would help but is it a MUST? seeing as volume wise they should be fine.

    • Reply January 2, 2013

      Mike

      Volume wise would be okay, Barnaby. Cheers.

  • Reply January 6, 2013

    George Lai

    Reserved mine for USD269 this Thursday in Singapore. Can’t wait.

  • Reply January 7, 2013

    smithj33

    Aren’t the pads non-removable? Something happens to one and you trust Philips to fix them or you just patch it up and hope for the best?

    • Reply January 7, 2013

      Mike

      Sorry? What were we talking about?

      • Reply January 7, 2013

        smithj33

        I was asking if the pads are not replaceable like the L1 and the newer ultimate ears? Doesn’t this make these somewhat disposable? I guess we don’t know how long the pads will last, but if something happened to them, what would one do?

  • Reply January 23, 2013

    Apogee

    what are these like compaired to the hifiman he400, which one has the best soundstage and which has the best bass impact.

    ps have you tried the arcam rPac

  • Reply January 29, 2013

    roval suco

    Hi Mike, excellent review.
    If you want to choose for dance, original motions, classic, pop:
    AKG K550 or FIDELIO X1.
    Thanks from Spain.

    • Reply January 31, 2013

      Mike

      Roval,
      The X1 Fidelio earns my recommendation.

      • Reply February 5, 2013

        roval suco

        Thanks Mike. Only the last question. For motion soundtracks my options are:

        FIDELIO X1.
        ATH AD900.
        AKG K701.
        What do you buy?
        Thank you very much.

        • Reply February 8, 2013

          Mike

          For me it’s gotta be the X1 out of that bunch.

          • Reply February 8, 2013

            roval suco

            Thank you.

            The FIDELIO X1.

            But with similar sound quality but closed?

            • Reply February 8, 2013

              Mike

              Don’t think such thing exists but if you are really desperate,

              Maybe the new Denon D600 or D7100 though quite different themselves.

  • Reply January 31, 2013

    Attila Sultis

    Hi,
    I’ve had the X1 for two weeks, but I had to send them back to Amazon.
    Now I’m torn between them and the HE-400.
    I loved the X1, but I don’t know if I should reach out more for the HE-400.
    I want a good allrounder with nice vocals and detail. I really like acoustic and instrumental pieces.The X1 was good for these.

    • Reply January 31, 2013

      L.

      Why did you have to send it back?

      • Reply January 31, 2013

        Attila Sultis

        Well, it had some pretty obvious sibilance, what other owners with the same albums and with more-less the same setup did not experience.
        I’m still not quite sure what was the problem, but I’ll get a refund and might try an other one…I was asking for replacement, but they did not have it in stock.

        • Reply February 2, 2013

          Mike

          Attila,
          Sounds like the HE-400 is the one you should try then.

          • Reply February 5, 2013

            Attila Sultis

            Hi Mike,
            I think that’s what I’ll do 🙂

  • Reply March 24, 2013

    Philips hodetelefoner

    […] The Fidelio X1 by Philips […]

  • Reply March 26, 2013

    jorge

    I saw ur about the author.
    LOL

  • Reply March 27, 2013

    Ardy Ar

    Mike my sound preferences seem to parallel yours,so what would you prefer for jazz and classical,the 650’s with the Bottlehead,or the X1 with the Pan Am?

    • Reply March 27, 2013

      Mike

      That’s a really tough choice, I think I’ll be happy with both.

  • Reply March 30, 2013

    GrizzlybEast

    If you were buying two headphones what would it be. He 400 and L1 or x1 and L1. I am so torn now that I found out about these between the he 400 and the x1. I was hoping that I can get some of the same qualities out of the l1 as the x1 and would be able to make a partner with the He 400.

    • Reply March 30, 2013

      Mike

      Ugh, that is a really tough question. I think with the he400, you won’t need the L1 anymore, in terms of sound signature they’re similar.

      Looking from the size point of view, it’s nice to have the L1 in addition to the full size, just so you can have something more portable, though the L1 is open back.

      • Reply March 30, 2013

        GrizzlybEast

        the only thing is that I need the l1 regardless because they are somewhat portable. So you agree. I guess then it depends on the genre. If the 400 is basically a more clear sounding detailed l1. Then a better partner would probably be the x1. I have a feeling we are mentioning the most similar headphones here. I just love detail and bass. So I guess Im leaning towards the x1 which is so hard to forget my dream of having the 400. The x1 because you said its better for acoustic music. uggghhhhh thanks so much though!

        • Reply March 30, 2013

          Mike

          Yes, looks like it’s going to be the X1 and L1

          • Reply March 30, 2013

            GrizzlybEast

            last question. will i lose detail going for the x1

            • Reply March 30, 2013

              Mike

              Not really, detail level is extremely good

  • Reply April 21, 2013

    JamesLoh

    Hi Mike, I would get my new Philips Fidelio X1 in coming weeks, my current headphone amp is Fiio E10, I would like to upgrade my amp, any recommendation?? My budget around usd200…

    • Reply April 21, 2013

      Dave Ulrich

      I know Mike said they were superb with the Fiio e9k which is $109 US.

      • Reply April 21, 2013

        JamesLoh

        He did say it?

        • Reply April 22, 2013

          Dave Ulrich

          In the comment section of the e9k review

        • Reply April 25, 2013

          Mike

          Yes I did and I replied the same just now on the other article. Sorry for the slow response. Store keeping me occupied as people come in everyday to have a chat

  • Reply May 3, 2013

    Chris Georgiev

    I’m on a budget, so my question is, using the X1 straight out of my Vaio or iPod Classic 160GB, do I lose a whole lot of potential? I understand volume wise it would be okay, but quality wise? I listen to lots of rock and metal, also classical and instrumental, so I like the idea of bass and open architecture. But without a good amp/DAC, how much do I sacrifice, and is it really worth it to spend that extra cash? Also, compared to what you list, how does the E17 fair up, quality wise?

    • Reply May 3, 2013

      dalethorn

      The laptop should drive it fine and give you all but the last gram of perfection in your sound. The iPod Classic should play loud enough if your music tracks are not extremely low volume tracks, but the older iPod Classics had a higher output impedance than newer iPods, and could sometimes have muddier bass with some headphones, in my case the B&W P5. You’ll get better results with the computer anyway.

      • Reply May 3, 2013

        Chris Georgiev

        That sounds great! My iPod is a 6th gen 160GB, so it’s the newest model. I use my SE535s with it and they sound great unamped, so my primary concern for the X1s was the laptop. I already ordered the X1s a few days ago, I’m dead set on them, so I do hope the Vaio delivers. If not, I don’t know, I may be looking into something like the E17. Is it a good match for the X1, does it tighten up the bass or is there no big effect on sound quality? Talking about tighter bass, I read about the problems with the X1’s stock cable so I’m replacing it with a V-Moda cable, hope that gives better results.

        • Reply May 3, 2013

          Mike

          I think the laptop should be able to drive the X1 to good loudness levels, but it’s just that the headphones need more than just loudness to sound good.

          I think the E07K will be a better pairing than the X1, if you haven’t ordered the X1.

          • Reply May 3, 2013

            Chris Georgiev

            I did order them a few days ago. So that something extra that the headphones need, would the E17 be able to provide it for them?

            • Reply May 5, 2013

              dalethorn

              The Headstreamer will drive the L1 OK for most cases, but I don’t know about the X1. The thing with mini-DACs like the Headstreamer, Microstreamer, Dragonfly, Audioengine D1 etc. — the USB power is very limited, so you can’t have a combination of low-volume tracks with inefficient headphones, or inefficient headphones with wide dynamics in the music, and so on.

              • Reply May 5, 2013

                Chris Georgiev

                Sounds like I’m better off using the X1s straight out of the laptop then, if indeed I’ll be getting everything but the top few percent of quality that way. Later on I might start thinking about the HM-901, it certainly looks to be shaping up quite nicely…

                • Reply May 5, 2013

                  dalethorn

                  I had the E17, OK but won’t improve the laptop much (if at all). The E07k might be better, but for the price you can’t expect a lot. I always much prefer an amp with DAC built in, to eliminate cables and keep the signal path short. Headfonia reviewed an ALO (International, maybe?) which was a combination for about $600 USD, and I’ve been looking also at the PICO DAC/amp for $500. Currently I have 5 amps – the Microstreamer, the Audioengine D1, the FiiO E12, the Decware Zen Head, and the v-moda verza. The Verza is very exciting to me, and I see there are other brands coming on-line now that support old and new Apple players, Android players, and also computer USB. If you use apple devices, that’s the way to go, but if you stick to computer USB or compatible Android devices, the ALO or PICO or something similar may be the best bet. BTW, I don’t see the point in a small portable player for high-rez files – it’s portable, yes? Just 44 khz WAV tracks are more than enough resolution for portable/outdoor use.

                  • Reply May 5, 2013

                    Chris Georgiev

                    To be honest, just flac/alac is enough. Even 320kbps. But the point of something like the HM-901 for me would be that I can use it both as a high end portable player and an amp/DAC for my laptop, and it would work great with balanced armature IEMs as well as full size headphones, either low or high impedance. Win/win for me. I’m not sure I should jump as high as the 901 though, with SE535 and Fidelio X1, and regular lossless audio, maybe the HM-602 would cut it.

                    • May 5, 2013

                      dalethorn

                      The question I have is, how much of the price is the player, and how much is the DAC and amp (i.e. how good are they compared to dedicated DACs and amps?) – it seems like you’d be compromising to get all of that in one small box, unless it’s your main source and not the computer.

                    • May 14, 2013

                      Chris Georgiev

                      So I got my X1s and I’ve been listening to them for the past few hours and…wow, I love them! Admittedly, this is my first open headphone and a brand new one so there’s the new toy syndrome, but I am genuinely blown away! The bass on these is amazing, both deep and punchy without sounding overblown, just high quality bass from top to bottom. Well, at least out of my laptop, because on the iPod it does sound a bit washed out. I can only guess what the Pan Am does to these, if they already satisfy me straight out of my laptop (though I have to keep the volume at 100% for low volume tracks). Clarity and soundstage are just as amazing and it’s even more amazing how they work so well with so much bass, I think this is something I’m hearing for the first time. I will say however that on some records the headphones benefit from some treble reduction, while others have maybe a tiny bit more bass than necessary. Pink Floyd’s Animals packs a punch I wasn’t previously aware of! And pre-90s Metallica, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, it all sounds amazing. Which is not how loudness war metal sounds, but I haven’t been able to enjoy these records (quality wise) on any headphone. Classical did not disappoint me either, it’s natural and immersive and I don’t believe the bass to be too much at all for classical music. So, what else about the X1? They’re very comfortable, they fit my head perfectly and stay in place, and build quality is great. Definitely a headphone for home use though, but I have my SE535s for the iPod so no problems there. Overall, I would fully recommend the X1 to anyone, and for people in Europe who can get this for less than €200, it’s a no brainer really.

                    • May 14, 2013

                      dalethorn

                      That’s good to hear. BTW, the more I look at the AK-120 music player the better it looks. Especially the 192 gb storage.

                    • May 14, 2013

                      Mike

                      Good to hear that!

                      The Fiio E09K is very affordable and pairs extremely well with the X1

                    • May 14, 2013

                      Chris Georgiev

                      How does the E09K/E07K combo fair up against the Pan Am though? I mean I know the Pan Am is more expensive but if it’s much better it might be worth saving up for after all.

                    • May 14, 2013

                      Mike

                      For the x1 I think the improvement in the PanAm is in the midrange, fuller body and cleaner sound. Problem is I won’t get the PanAm without the Passport and that’s more money.

                      PanAm if you want to save up.

                      Fiio if you want a budget but good solution.

    • Reply May 3, 2013

      Mike

      I would suggest you go for an easy to drive headphone. The Vmoda V100 does rock extremely well. Good and fairly decent for classical and instrumental.

  • Reply May 15, 2013

    Minh Duc Nguyen

    Got myself one and I am surprise at how good this headphone sounds. The X1 is truly a new-kid-in-the-block headphone for under $400.
    Headfiers pointed out the ohm resistant problem on the stock cable, I will have the cable replaced soon. Still, out of the box, this thing sounds absolutely great with my HPA8

  • […] people would find it easier to enjoy the X1 as it is a far less love/hate headphone than the 650. The Fidelio X1 by Philips | Headfonia .. Svar med […]

  • […] people would find it easier to enjoy the X1 as it is a far less love/hate headphone than the 650. The Fidelio X1 by Philips | Headfonia .. .. Løsøreoversikt. Jeg lytter med høyst moderate lydstyrkenivåer. Subjektiv […]

  • Reply May 31, 2013

    MathH

    It’s really frustrated how the AKG K550 gets called a great sounding alternative to practically anything. Yes, it does sound great, but I never find a word of how they sound claustrophobic and have no position, separation or space. They may have some of it depending on your interpretation, but you can’t just compare them with open sounding headphones. It’s a completely different experience. Why do people not mention this or unconsciously change the way their words refer to its characteristics? You can’t put such different headphones next to each other and say it’s all a matter of sound characteristics but none of space and positioning.

    • Reply May 31, 2013

      Dave Ulrich

      Well, a closed headphone will never sound completely like an open one. However, I found the staging and instrument separation to be fantastic on the K550

      • Reply May 31, 2013

        MathH

        Will never sound completely like one is an understatement. It should be one of the most emphasized statements in any comparison of headphones. It is a COMPLETE different.

        I compared them to the Sennheiser HD 598 in a shop and there is zero space or separation compared to them. Yes, they are separated in the sense that anything which is not the same thing is in some sense necessarily separated, but it’s not the same as being in a space, relative to each other, whcih is simply put “not the case”. To be frank, I often thought they were shoddily separated at best, and I couldn’t hear the layers in any of the clarity as with the Sennheiser, although the sound signature as such was clearer (less darkish, veiled) than the Sennheiser.

        Let’s stop beating about the bush and just call it what it is. Since when is clarity of descrition not appreciated in that context? What’s the point of it? Here I mention it and immediately I get oh-so-clever wisdom of headphone-commonplaces (saying the same thing and a row of other remarks)… If one likes it (and aprt from that they do sound good) then fine, but that’s not the same thing. It is claustrophibic sounding and if I had bought it based on reviews I would be hugely disappointed.

        Cue in the blahbah…

        • Reply May 31, 2013

          Dave Ulrich

          Wasn’t trying to sound clever. I just have a very different impression of the K550 than you. That’s all.

          • Reply June 17, 2013

            LustEnvy

            I think the K550 is a horrible sounding headphone myself. 🙁

  • Reply June 13, 2013

    George Lai

    Out of curiosity, I removed the earpads. The driver housing has 4 plugs that plug (what else?) into holes on the earpad. They are then glued together. In my case, the glue doesn’t seem to be that strong as it gave hardly any resistance when I pulled the earpads out. Though the diameter of the driver housing is 100 cm, and hence similar to the Beyerdynamics, the housing has no lip upon which you could affix the Beyerdynamic earpads. The alternative is to use the said Beyerdynamic earpads, sand down the plugs, and then just glue them on. I might still do that as the Beyerdynamic velours are a lot more comfortable.

    • Reply June 14, 2013

      Mike

      Interesting. Yes the Beyer pads are a lot more comfortable

      • Reply June 17, 2013

        LustEnvy

        But what will the swap do to the sound signature? Pad rolling isn’t always a good idea.

  • […] sound. It has gotten many raving reviews. http://www.head-fi.org/t/670318/phil…iew-comparison The Fidelio X1 by Philips | Headfonia A Big Bottom and a Lively Top: The Philips Fidelio X1 | InnerFidelity (It made it to […]

  • […] about the sound. It has gotten many raving reviews. Philips Fidelio X1 | Review & Comparison The Fidelio X1 by Philips | Headfonia A Big Bottom and a Lively Top: The Philips Fidelio X1 | InnerFidelity (It made it to […]

  • Reply September 21, 2013

    Wid

    Mike, Need cheap camp recommendation for the x1. Currently I’m using fiio E17, any other cheap amp that you can suggest? Aune T1/X1 perhaps?

    • Reply September 21, 2013

      Dave Ulrich

      Mike has said that the Fiio e9k is wonderful with the X1.

      • Reply September 21, 2013

        Wid

        I already got the e17, just wanted something different and its also for my future headphone (akg k712 or hd650)
        Something cheap and practical, so my choice is aune t1/x1 or little dot mk1/ld1. Need expert opinion for my choice here.

        • Reply September 21, 2013

          Mike

          The LD1 is not so good. The Aune is supposed to be good but I still haven’t had the chance to audition.

          • Reply September 21, 2013

            Wid

            How about the little dot mk1? Compared to the aune.
            Its easier for me to get the little dot than aune, and the mk1 is very practical like fiio

            • Reply September 21, 2013

              Mike

              I have not tried the Aune, sorry.

            • Reply September 21, 2013

              Mike

              I have not tried the Aune, sorry.

      • Reply September 21, 2013

        Mike

        Yes the E9K is wonderful with the X1. The new version with the “K”

  • Reply September 22, 2013

    breizh

    hi Mike,

    how would you compare Beyer T1 with this one ?

    Is the Beyer in a complete different league ?
    What about bass comparison between the two ?

    thanks !

    • Reply September 24, 2013

      Mike

      Clearly the T1 is leaps ahead in terms of technicalities. There is no comparison.
      Bass is fuller on the X1 but less detailed and slower.

      • Reply September 24, 2013

        breizh

        allright, thank you Mike !

        • Reply September 26, 2013

          Mike

          You’re welcome!

  • Reply September 24, 2013

    vick_85

    @daveulrich:disqus
    @headfonia:disqus

    Hi guys

    X1+HA 160D(have it). A good pairing or should I look elsewhere??

    I need a fun headphone with good bass response that doesn’t suffer with a lot of coloration, has good dynamics, and even response across the board with airy spaciousness,and the stuff in the mid-range shouldn’t get lost in translation.

    I like my headphones with ‘good’ bass, not the exaggerated kind served by beats/v-moda and other such cans. For me low bass quantity = no toe tapping=no fun.

    Bass being a tad loose what does that mean??

    Is the X1 a bright headphone??

    I’ve read on a few forums that the headphone jack tends to snap off, is it true or were they a few isolated incidents?

    The X1 will also be used by me at my work place where i have a Fiio E12 so it should work well with a not so powerful amp as well.

    My current reference headphone is the HD650 which I’m considering trading in for the LCD-2 rev2.
    How much better is the LCD-2 rev 2 compared to the HD650??

    Regards

    • Reply September 24, 2013

      Mike

      Lots of questions there.

      How do you like the bass on the HD650? The X1 has roughly a similar bass. The LCD-2 is good on the HA-160.

      • Reply September 25, 2013

        vick_85

        Thanks for he reply Mike.

        I do like the bass on the HD650.
        With electronica/hip hop its good but with rock/alternative, I feel it lacks weight/slam in the guitar & drums sections.

        Lots of people say the HD650 is a dark headphone but I don’t think so,I have the silver screen one. I feel its harsh in the treble section with some recordings & I hate harshness.

        I’m looking for a 2nd headphone which will primarily be used by me at my work place. It should be a fun headphone and it should work well with a portable USB amp/dac.

        The LCD 2 rev2 will replace the HD650 as soon as my wallet allows to do so.
        I’ve read in a lot of reviews about the LCD-2 & all of them rave about the bass, is it just the extension & definition it excels at or the weight & slam??

        Regards

        • Reply September 26, 2013

          Mike

          The LCD-2 sounds like the headphone to get yes. The treble is a little softer than the HD650. Rev 1 is even more.
          The bass part, yes on the extension and definition, weight and slam depends on the recording. But it’s one of the best now for bass.

          • Reply September 27, 2013

            vick_85

            Thanks Mike. Will go for the lcd-2.

            Any suggestions for a full size sealed headphone which will work well with a portable dac/amp.

            • Reply September 27, 2013

              Mike

              Full size sealed, I think there are many to choose from.

              Fostex TH600/900
              Denon D600/7100
              Beyer DT770, T5p

              Just to name a few.

              • Reply September 27, 2013

                L.

                And the Beyer COP!

            • Reply September 27, 2013

              dalethorn

              The B&O H6 is very efficent, easy to wear around neck when not listening due to light weight and fold-flat earcups, very comfy, looks good wearing, great sound, …. My next favorite for portable is the Senn Momentum on-ear – needs a treble boost, quality is plenty good enough for portable use, comfort is great, looks good, easy to carry around neck – without a treble boost just ignore. Great bass.

  • Reply October 17, 2013

    ro

    First of all, thanks for providing this awesome resource. Very informative with the bonus of great writing style.

    I have the X1 and they’re fine when used with the microStreamer, but if looking at the portable Theorem 720 vs. HiFi-M8, which would really make the X1 shine?

    • Reply October 17, 2013

      Mike

      Ro,
      I like the Theorem better, I think overall it’s the better unit and the one I’d go for, but I haven’t tried both of them with the X1.

  • Reply October 26, 2013

    Marc

    Mike!!

    Which would you prefer more? The Fidelio X1 on the ALO PanAm or the HD650 on the bottlehead crack? Also, do the X1 make the HD650 sound slow and veiled even when the latter is properly amplified?

    I really can’t decide between the two and there’s also the fear that Philips or Funai would release an X2… Thanks!! This site had been a great help for me so far

  • Reply November 18, 2013

    John123John

    mike.. the ear pads are too small… gg qq

    • Reply November 18, 2013

      L.

      Are you George in disguise? 😉

      • Reply November 18, 2013

        John123John

        lol I dont think so. So does this mean I will have the same comfort results from the other fidelio line, espeically L2?

        Apparently I have a monster head and monster ears.. The elastic headband exerts too much pressure. The ear pads are both too shallow and too narrow…
        Time to start looking for a HE-500 or T90~

        • Reply November 18, 2013

          George Lai

          Lieven, no it’s not me in disguise. John, I agree. The X1 ear pads inner cavity are too narrow. They can be removed if you pull them off. You can experiment by trying Alpha pads, LCD pads, even Beyer pads. The upper headband can be bent, whilst the lower headband’s elastic at each end can be snipped off. All these were in my comments on head-fi with photos. But having said all that, and despite all that, there is something about the curvature of the overall headband that didn’t suit me. So I gave them away. The L2 has even smaller ear pads. I also gave that away.

          • Reply November 18, 2013

            George Lai

            I believe the HE-500 has the same ear pads as my HE-400 (Lieven has both) and I found them too small too. My he-400 uses LCD pads. I think the T90 has similar sized ear pads as the 770/880/990 (Again Lieven has them all I think) and the pads were also too small. My 770 uses Alpha pads.

            • Reply November 18, 2013

              L.

              George is right

  • Reply December 28, 2013

    David

    Hi Mike, which amp/DAC combo do you find better for the Fidelio X1? Audinst HUD-MX2 or Fostex HP-A3? Everybody says the Fostex has a very good DAC but a rather weak amp. Is that a reason to buy the Audinst instead?

    • Reply December 28, 2013

      Dave Ulrich

      I think he might recommend the Fiio e7k/e9k combo. It will take up about the same amount of space, give your a portable dac/amp as well, and is cheaper.

      • Reply December 28, 2013

        David

        Thanks, but I need an optical input 🙂
        I did a lot of research on amp/DAC combos and the Fostex and the Audinst are the two models that I consider buying, based on personal preference. I just need to know how the two compare in regard to the Fidelio X1 from someone who used all 3 products.

  • Reply January 30, 2014

    Will

    Hello Mike, I was wondering how these compare to the Hifiman HE-400? I am picking between these two headphones, which one does EDM, Rock and Roll, Soundtracks equally well?

  • Reply April 6, 2014

    Tibor

    Hello,
    So I own X1 for a few months now and recently I bought
    Meridian Explorer to make it sound better. Aaah and how better they
    sounds now 🙂 Now I am considering to buy Alo PanAm with those Siemens
    tubes because Explorer doesn´t have enough power to drive them. So my
    question is, will that amp take me to another level of hi-fi experience?
    I will probably use the Meridian as a DAC connected to Alo. Thank You
    🙂

  • Reply August 8, 2014

    Elie Hendriks

    I have the X1 for quite some time now and I’m wondering how a tube amp would sound with it. I’ve always wanted a tube amp so reading this review made me very happy 🙂
    Now, I’ve always really really liked the look of the Woo Audio stuff so the WA6 comes to mind. Now my question is, will this be any better than the Pan Am? Because a 699$ amp for a 299$ headphone might be a little overkill for only aesthetic purposes..

    • Reply August 8, 2014

      L.

      I like the X1 (X2 is out now) but I didn’t find the WA6 to add anything to it really.

    • Reply August 23, 2014

      Patrick

      why don’t you go with the fiio e17 and the e09k? cost at the most places 299$ and you have a mobile dac and a nice little amp which fits perfectly for X1 and I hope for the coming X2.

  • […] Headfonia – The Fidelio X1 by Philips […]

  • […] Philips Fidelio X1 Review – Headfonia – Disclaimer: I received the X1 sample directly from Philips Asia. Ah, the Philips Fidelio X1 headphone. I’ve had it for almost two full months now and I’m guilty …… […]

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