PHILIPS FIDE­LIO X1

HWM (Singapore) - - Multi-Test -

The X1 head­phones are one of Philips’ newer ad­di­tions to their Fide­lio lineup. Much like the Mo­men­tum, the X1 have a calf leather head­band to give the cans a high-end feel. The color scheme how­ever is not as co­her­ent as on the Sennheiser for ex­am­ple, though we still like the X1’s look enough for it to sit a close sec­ond be­hind the Mo­men­tum where aes­thet­ics are con­cerned.

The leather head­band doesn’t ac­tu­ally make con­tact with the top of the user’s head, that job be­ing served by a wide ham­mock of fab­ric. Cou­pled with large ear-cups equipped with mem­ory foam and a velour cov­er­ing, ev­ery­thing about the Philips X1’s fit is plush, soft and gen­tle. The head­phones may be the largest in terms of size in the shootout, but the over­all weight is hardly no­tice­able. Due to the breatha­bil­ity of the velour, over-heat­ing isn’t a prob­lem even af­ter ex­tended use.

In light of its size, porta­bil­ity is not the X1’s strong suite. Both the Mo­men­tum, with its hard car­ry­ing case, and the wire­less Evo Zx can eas­ily be packed into one’s bag. The X1 on the other hand comes with an ex­tremely long op­ti­cal fiber cable and a 6.35mm con­nec­tor plug, both of which in­di­cate that the head­phones are in­tended for more seden­tary use. An im­ped­ance rat­ing of 30 Ohms how­ever means that the X1 can still be paired and used with a por­ta­ble mu­sic de­vice or smart­phone, with­out any sig­nif­i­cant loss in per­for­mance.

Philips chooses to fit the X1 with 50mm driv­ers, the largest sported by any com­peti­tor in this roundup. Com­bined with the hard­ware is an open-back de­sign, which un­der­lines the au­dio­phile cre­den­tials of this de­vice. In prac­tice, the head­phones have lively and col­or­ful au­dio which was a plea­sure to lis­ten to. The high fre­quen­cies were given their

“TH­ESE HEAD­PHONES MAY BE THE LARGEST IN TERMS OF SIZE IN THE SHOOTOUT, BUT THE OVER­ALL WEIGHT IS HARDLY NO­TICE­ABLE.”

due as the tre­bles were warm and vi­brant. Melt My Heart To Stone was re­pro­duced with its char­ac­ter­is­tic soul­ful tone in­tact. There were still flaws with play­back; bass per­for­mance was slightly sloppy, and the mid-range could have ben­e­fit­ted from a bit more pres­ence in the over­all mix.

The shin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic of the X1 though was the re­al­ism of au­dio. The cans have a good tran­sient re­sponse, which meant that the shak­ers and al­ter­nate per­cus­sion in­stru­ments used on Ho­tel Cal­i­for­nia re­tained their unique tim­bre. With the open­back de­sign adding to the roomy feel­ing of the sound­stage, the X1 does a good job at re­pro­duc­ing the live, acous­tic track.

HEAD­PHONE TYPE

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