Philips Fidelio M2L
Hit the road, Jack! These cans connect over Lightning
£173 Manufacturer Philips, philips.co.uk
Frequency 7Hz–25kHz Impedance 16 Ω Weight 195g
These headphones don’t plug into the usual 3.5mm jack, but instead connect to an iOS device’s Lightning port. But before we get to that, let’s talk comfort and sound.
These headphones are not for purists who prize neutral reproduction. However, for many, the warm, rich-but-restrained sound will be welcome. More money would buy you headphones that aren’t as slurred at the bottom end, with more detail in the top, and with a little more presence overall. But in general, while a little high, the price is reasonable for the performance.
The materials Philips has used feel good, though there is a little play in the components that stop the headphones short of feeling totally premium. They’re generally comfortable, though we found them a little tight, especially when wearing glasses. The cable is irritatingly sticky and stiff – a tangle-tastrophe.
The headphones’ Lightning connector means you can’t use them with your Mac, though many of us mainly use cans with phones anyway. A bigger issue is that with them connected, you can’t charge your iPhone.
Sound is passed digitally to the headphones to be converted via DAC. In theory this means less interference, and support for higherquality sound. But the latter needs specialist apps – and we’re dubious the drivers have the chops to make it worthwhile. The upcoming NC1L model has active noise cancelling that draws power from the phone. Lightning makes sense there, but not really here. Christopher Phin
They look like ordinary headphones, but they only work with recent iOS devices.