Philips Fide­lio M2L

Hit the road, Jack! Th­ese cans connect over Light­ning

Mac Format - - KIT RATED -

£173 Man­u­fac­turer Philips,

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.

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