/ Sound and Vision / Philips Fidelio X1 review. Sound with the capital “S”

Philips Fidelio X1 review. Sound with the capital “S”

Reinis Zitmanis on 16/06/2014 - 13:46 in Sound and Vision
Meet the product, I was not ready to return after testing. Fidelio X1 Hi-Fi Stereo headphones sound absolutely great, feel light and comfortable on head and yes – justify the cost.

Biggest and most talented ones in Fidelio headphone line among M1 and L1, X1 are true HiFi indoor player, delivering pristine highly detailed sound-scape. An acoustic open-back architecture eliminates air pressure build-up behind the driver and breathable velour material plus self-adjustable airy hammock all together contribute to sound quality and comfort for hours to listen. And boy, listening here means immersion in every detail of the music, rediscovering ones, you thought you know. Soft cushions, fine leather, breathable velour.. X1 feel great in your hand.. warm and quite light for the size (0.43 kg / 0.95 lbs).

Wearing them is easy and comfortable. Self-adjustable airy hammock disperses all weight and there’s no tight “my-head-is-squeezed” feel. Surrounding sound is not isolated, there’s no pressure or heat build-up. A detachable almost ten feet long Oxygen-free Kevlar reinforced woven cable ensures low handling noise and tangle-free use. Plug in (there’s 3.5mm adaptor also included), select the music you know and.. well, you thought you know :)

It’s a pretty tough job to describe the sound stuff in words. We may use something to compare with, like “wide, loud, detailed, pristine, rich, scene.. etc), so HiFi reviews are kind of subjective. That’s why compositions are used, where details are well-known and tested on other stereo equipment. There’s something to compare and thus, tell the differences.

The Sound

Very natural, yet very vivid. Every part (frequency, sound, instrument, voice) of composition has it’s place, well defined and very detailed. You can immediately identify them and separate them. The detail level is actually quite amazing. The scene is wide and dimensional. On the other hand, as all superb headphones and speakers do, X1 will show you what’s there and you will hear immediately, what’s not there. If the sound file (like pretty compressed mp3 file) is poor or decent, X1 will not solve that. Your amplifier or sound processor may do some tricks to squeeze some value of it, but Fidelio X1 are very straight. No mercy here. Poor records stay poor.

Having a good audio device and at least uncompressed AIFF’s, if not better – FLAC’s, will open a whole new universe. Rich, vivid, live and colourfull sound will immerse you for hours. X1 open construction means no sweat or heat.

X1 sound amazing both moderate and loud. Sound “opens” at quite decent level and continues all way up, as volume is being rised. One thing though, as there is virtually no sound distortion even at louder levels, you may end up listening to music really loud. And, as we know it, continuous loud listening is not good for your ears. After few hours with louder than average X1′s, you have this diiiiiiiing sound between your ears, when off. So just mind this one :)

Here's the feature list in short:

  • Acoustic open-back architecture;

  • Double layered ear-shells (less resonance and vibration);

  • 50 mm neodymium drivers for wide & precise range;

  • Genuine calf leather headband;

  • 3 m OFC woven cable (no on-cable controls);

  • Breathable velour material (less pressure and heat);

  • Memory foam earpads (long-wearing comfort);

  • Self-adjustable airy hammock with 3D mesh.

  • Pre-tilted drivers fit the ears for minimal sound reflection.

Unboxing Fidelio X1
Left to right – M1, L1 and X1


Sure! Which? Well, we should look at different “shelve”, where true HighEnd exclusive label products are. Let’s see, top ones from Sennheiser? Mmm.. may be, but try something more exclusive, like Grado RS1i or Grado SR325i.


Highly Recommended!
Philips X1 plug and adaptor


  • Frequency response: 10-40 000 Hz;

  • Impedance: 30 Ohm;

  • Maximum power input: 500 mW;

  • Sensitivity: 100 dB @ 1mW;

  • Speaker diameter: 50 mm (0.197 inch);

  • Distortion: <0.1% THD;

  • Cable: detachable 3 meter-long Oxygen-free cable (9.84 Feet)!;

  • Adapter plug accessory: 6.3-3.5 mm adapter;

  • Net weight: 0.43 kg (0.95 lbs);


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