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Philips Fidelio X1 headphones
Philips launched a number of new headphones at this year's IFA trade show but the top of lot were the Philips Fidelio X1. The company's new flagship pair are open-backed, leather-clad cans meant for the best in home-listening. We got hands on with a pair to see how they hold up.
The Fidelio X1's immediately look like a premium product. Managing to find a good balance between contemporary and classic, the structure of the headphones is all metal while real calf leather adorns the headband, and a supersoft velvety material covers the earcups. It all feels solid and like it has been put together with care.
But it's when you put these headphones on that you really begin to appreciate them. Those earcups are just so soft and cushioning. Normally I find my glasses make a lot of over/on-ear headphones rather uncomfortable rather quickly but here there was no discomfort whatsoever.
What's more, the steel band-sprung headband does a great job of holding the 'phones securely, unlike say the Grado PS1000.
As a pair of home-listening headphones, the X1's aren't exactly brimming with features. They don't fold flat, don't have wireless capabilities and perhaps most crucially of all, don't have a modular cabling so if you run over your cable, you're stuffed (we're yet to clarify with Philips what cable replacement policy is). The cable also terminates in a 6.35mm (1/4inch) jack for Hi-Fi use rather than a 3.5mm one for portable player use, though you can of course use a converter.
Sound Quality and Wrap Up
The Philips Fidelio X1 are positioned at the top of Philips headphone range, putting them above the impressive M1 and L1. As such sound quality is absolutely top notch, at least so far as we could tell standing at a fairly noisy trade show stand. The overall vibe is similar to the L1's slightly warm sound, with strong but natural sounding bass, luscious mids and accurate highs. They were instantly likeable. But, that's as much as you'd expect for a pair of headphones set to cost several hundred pounds.
We'll be back with our final thoughts when get a pair in for a prolonged listen and find out final street pricing. For now these definitely look like a pair of headphones to keep an eye out for if you're seriously into your audio.