on February 5, 2013
I'm gonna write a quick impression since there isn't too many information and/or reviews on this headphone, especially from a basshead.
This is just my opinion and is based on my preference. I'm a basshead but my demand for bass is not what it used to be. Bass is still my top criteria when purchasing headphones followed by curiosity. Other headphones I've owned are, AKG K550, Audio Technica M50, Sennheiser HD428, HD238, Beats PRO, V-Moda Crossfade, and many more.
To start, these are great looking headphones, they're built really good and it's one of the more durable headphones I've ever had. They are also very comfortable and are not too bulky.
I listen to mostly edm, rap, than indie rock and country. To my ears this headphone works great with all these genre of music. For rap I just turn up the bass on my FiiO E11 to 2 and it gives me enough bass and impact. Bass hits hard when the track calls for it and behaves when it don't. The bass quantity is probably a couple of notches above entry level bass for bassheads. If you're new or is still in the "Beats phase" where you want a huge amount of bass this is not the headphone for you. The bass on this headphone is more for the seasoned basshead who has learned to appreciate good controlled bass while sacrificing a little bit of quantity for quality.
The mids are pretty good for me, vocals are great and forward, but sometime it does get a bit shouty at high volume, but only on some track.
The highs could use some sparkle and this will probably be the reason why some might not like this headphone. I like warm/dark sounding headphones so this don't really bother me.
The only major issues for me would be the non-replaceable ear pads, I would really hate to trash these just because the ear pads are worn.
This isn't the best sounding headphone I've had or heard but for some reason I can't seem to stop using them. With good imaging and above average soundstage, I use them for everything, gaming, movies, music, portable, etc. This is probably the only headphone I would never sell and would re-buy if it breaks.
on July 17, 2014
I have recently spent a great deal of time trying to get the best pair of headphones I can for under £200. After extensive research I went through the following headphones before settling on the Philips Fidelio L1 headphones. You may find some of my comments useful regarding how the other headphones fared:
Philips Fidelio X1 - Absolutely superb sounding headphones! Build quality is incredible for the price. They made my music sound great and I have very eclectic taste. It was with huge regret that I sent them back due to the non-replaceable velour pads being too itchy for me. I tried over a number of days to get used to them but to no avail. I'd buy them again in a heartbeat if they had softer material for the earpads, such as that used by Beyerdynamic. To anyone who may not have sensitive skin like me, these should DEFINITELY be on your check list! Note: these are considered to be a dark headphone (one that has less treble presence than a strictly flat headphone). This is an evaluation I would agree with.
Audio Technica AT-M50X - A very good sounding headphone with tremendous detail and superb bass reproduction. Their presentation was very different to that offered by the Fidelio X1 and is a much more forward, brighter sound. Bass goes surprisingly low on these things given the size of their driver. I played some dubstep and was truly wowed by the quality of bass produced. The presentation of the sound is also more immediate due to the closed back nature of the design. I thought they were very well designed and made and had a nice studio headphone look to them. However, a slightly sibilant treble and smallish opening to the earpads that squashed the edges of my ears causing pain ended the deal. A pity, as generally they were very good.
Beyerdynamic DT880 Premium (250 Ohm version) - Got these brand new for well below the £300 mark you see elsewhere. Generally well made but well short of the quality of the Fidelio X1 headphones. Despite being very comfortable to wear the sound was totally disappointing to me and despite giving them a few days to burn in the sound was just too thin and lifeless. I also found the bass reproduction to be too insufficient for my taste. These headphones are loved by others but they were the worst sounding of the headphones I tried.
Philips Fidelio L2 - Stylish looking headphones which were extremely comfortable. The quality of the construction was very high and similar to that offered by the Fidelio X1. I'd have been happy to keep these but unfortunately the treble had a quality to it I just didn't like, despite the rest of the sound being very satisfying to my ears. As with all the headphones I tried they were given plenty of time to burn in.
Now that I have presented my impressions of the aforementioned headphones I'll explain why I like the Fidelio L1 headphones so much. First and foremost, the sound quality is just perfect for me (well almost!). The moment I put them on and played some music they sounded great. The sound was natural and unforced. Nothing was overemphasised and the high end had a lovely smooth sound to it, similar in many ways to that offered by the Fidelio X1. I guess the L1 could also be considered a dark headphone on account of this. I spent hours listening carefully for anything that may have dispelled these initial impressions and I'm still waiting after two weeks of ownership and countless hours of listening. With regards to why the sound isn't truly perfect, well, I was somewhat spoilt by the Fidelio X1, which for me is the best of the bunch. The X1 has a touch more sub-bass (approximately 60Hz and below) than the L1 which is hardly surprising given its larger driver. But as I mentioned earlier, the X1 earpads were just too itchy for me.
With regard to build quality, the Fidelio L1 is exceptionally well made and ranks alongside the X1 in this respect. There are many elements made from aluminium including the outer earcups, the gimbals surrounding the earcups and parts of the headband. The inner part of the headband is made out of brushed steel and features what appears to be laser etched details such as precise markings to aid headphone adjustment and the edition number of your headphone. A nice thick strip of brown real leather adorns the top of the headband and the underside features soft padded pleather (a plastic leather substitute). The earpads are incredibly comfortable and feature memory foam inside an outer skin of pleather that is of different quality to that on the underside of the headband and is beautifully smooth and soft. I can wear these headphones for hours with no discomfort whatsoever. The one drawback of the earpads is that like those on the X1 and L2 headphones, they are non-replaceable, which to me is one hell of an oversight. A pity. Having said that, from the looks of things these should last for years as the pleather is a cut above the stuff usually present on earpads.
A quick note about the audio equipment I use at home when listening through headphones. Aside from a variety of analogue and digital sources, my CD player (which I used for the majority of testing) is a Marantz CD63 MkII KI Signature which I run through either a Yamaha AX-596 stereo amplifier or a Beresford TC-7510 DAC/headphone amplifier. The Fidelio L1 headphones at 26 Ohm impedance are very easy to drive and sound great when rigged up to my hi-fi, my Sony MP3 player or my Moto G mobile phone.
To summarize: these are a truly great headphones and I would have been quite happy to pay £200 for them in the knowledge that there probably isn't anything out there to equal them for the sound quality they offer and their incredibly high build quality, apart from the Fidelio X1 of course! The current price of around £100 is bordering on the ridiculous and anyone looking for a seriously good sounding headphone with great build quality to match should certainly check these beauties out.
Philips, I salute you!
on January 29, 2014
Background: I previously owned the Bose AE2s and Sony MDR7506s. I gave the MDR7506s to my wife because the clamping was so severe that I could only listen to them for approximately 30 minutes before my head was throbbing. I picked up the AE2s because after the MDR7506s I wanted something comfortable and flexible. I wanted something I could just as easily listen to at work, on the plane, at home, for music, for games, and that had a mic and remote. The Fidelio L1s fit the bill nicely.
Fit and Finish: The fit and finish of these cans are among the best I have seen. Compared to the AE2s these are on another planet. The aluminum is beautiful, the housings are understated and classy, and the construction is solid. Nothing moves, nothing creaks, nothing stretches in any way it shouldn't. The construction on the MDR7506s was also good but they have more of a studio look (and sound) than the Fidelio L1s. The Fidelio L1s are extremely comfortable. I am still working on breaking them in so there is some minor clamping, nothing compared to the MDR7506s but not as comfortable as the AE2s. That being said, they provide a very good seal; I get very little leakage - I don't disrupt others at work. Also, the tangle-free braided cable is a nice touch.
Sound: The bass is good and punchy. The bass could probably be slightly tighter and deeper, but I am not too enamored with heavy bass. The bass that I get out of these headphones is great for all types of music from any source. If you are looking for headphones for heavy dubstep these may not satisfy you. The sound is somewhat dark in general; the treble is somewhat subdued (not fatiguing) while the bass is slightly more prominent (slightly loose). That being said the reproduction is very pure, similar to the MDR7506s. Even though the sound is darker, it is mostly accurate and overall very pleasing.
Conclusion: Overall, these are the best cans I have ever owned and it's not even close. That being said, the previous sets I've owned have not been as expensive, and in the case of the Bose I purchased them with comfort in mind over sound. Overall, I would say that these are top notch headphones, and at their current price <$200 they are a steal. If you are willing to spend a little more it might be worth it to look at the Fidelio L2s that are currently for sale in the EU and are on their way to the US.
on January 31, 2015
Well I pulled the trigger and have had the L1's for about 5-6 days. First the bad, the don't sound as good as the Fidelio X2...the X2 sounds like you are there, or higher end speakers in a good room. I was pretty sure of that before I pulled the trigger. Every day I listen, I really appreciate them more and more (a bit of brain burn in).
I am extremely happy with them. First....the design and resulting compromises are almost perfect for my use of these cans.
Isolation:I wanted some isolation - so with moderate volume most of the office din is drowned out...but without the complete blackout of IEM. This does it...in fact better than I expected, I can even use them while on the same couch as the kids with the TV on (you hear it in quiet passages, but music is enjoyable when on.
Sound leakage: Minor/minimal. Way less than Grados/HE-400/X2 (least of these three). No issues at all in office environment.
Non-fatiguing: No treble edginess....hours with no problem.
Form factor: Materials, size, appearance are exceptionally classy. As a manager, I wouldn't feel comfortable with plasticy or overly large cans...these are pure class (leather, aluminum, engraving, etc). My ears are relatively large and they fit without a scrunch. Form also works great for semi portable, carry with you, wear around the house. The rotating cups allow a quick drop to the neck for a short conversation with someone stepping in my office or the wife/kids. Very comfortable, while warmer than wide open cans - much less sweaty than something like the ATH-M50, works better with glasses than those as well (but not as good as the pillow than is the X2).
Also the pigtail for removal cables...this is the right way to do it for portable or semi-portable cans. While a cup port is preferred for a strictly homebound can, it can cause extreme stress if you leave the cable plugged in and toss it into a bag...not so a pigtail. Leave the cable in, no undue stress.
Sound:Tonally similar to the X2 once I put in a 3dB cut at 2kHz, very nice energy and punch, bass it controlled, tight and extends deep, nothing missing across the board until you get to the "air" in the upper end pushing these somewhere between open and closed for soundstage and openness (um...they are semi-open). Actually - the staging is better and more out of head for me than the Grado SR80s...so not as good as good open, but better than many.
The highs are actually more present than I was expecting - they are definitely not edgy, they are darker, but do have very good detail and extension. Cymbals, hat brushes, snare, all sound smooth and natural (I would even say there is a narrow band where it beats the X2). This is part of the compromise based on the design of semi-open, non fatiguing. Just hits the nail on the head for those who aren't doing short highly analytic listening, but just enjoying it.
The sound overall has great energy, nothing offensive, fun, mostly neutral with a warm tilt, bass that is fun without flabbing or overemphasis (pretty near Harman curve). They respond well to additional power - the midrange opens up, bass is tighter and distortion is well in check at moderate high volumes. They are much closer to the X2 than any of the other phones I've heard lately (Shure E4, RHA MA-750, ATH-M50, Grado SR80). I feel they absolutely shame the SR80 in every aspect but "air". I'll add some notes after I do some A/B on the M50s.
Truly an exceptional value at the current price, especially for around the home, office and semi portable.
on December 29, 2013
I was a little hesitant to get this headphones since I remember PHILLIPS for its cheap quality products of the 80 and 90s, but boy was I in for a surprise!?, the construction and materials used in this headphones are really top quality, and in terms of design nothing seems to be out of place, everything fits comfortably around your head and ears, the leathery cushions are extremely confortable and though I'm not an audiophile I can say the sound it's really amazing for a headphone set at this price range, It comes with a set of 2 (2)
fabric-lined cables, one of them with in-line remote and microphone which is great for when listening to your music and talk on your smart phone/mobile-divice at the same time (though I only tested on an apple Iphone).
Cons: My only gripe is that the inner material of the arc (possibly metal covered with the nice leather) that holds the earpieces and goes around your head is really heavy, though this seems like a sign of good design, it also (because of its weight) has the tendency to slide backward or forward on your head depending on the angle you have your head on at the moment. so if you move your head a lot or change body positions from seating to standing to lying down, you might be needing to readjust the headphones regularly.
on April 1, 2015
You cannot go wrong with these unless they just don't work for your head, you prefer a vastly different and probably unbalanced sound signature and or need them for portable use (walking around, not the best for that).
I finally went with these after auditioning several pairs of headphones for about a month and tons of exhausting research. These are excellent and for me, sound exactly the way many types (can't say all since I don't listen to all) of music should sound. The battle ultimately came between the Sennheiser Momentums and the Phillips L1's. These won me over the with actual full and ample coverage of the ears, more spacious open sound, better instrument separation, imaging and sound stage and better low end punch/bass. Pretty much better in every way. These are fun and engaging and will make you want dance/sing/shake your head, whatever it is you do to music you enjoy. They are well-balanced, with clear (not harsh or fatiguing) treble, nicely forward mids and deep well extended and defined bass - put some bass tracks on, it just sounds so good (really these things just sing with great definition at all levels of sound). I listen to a great variety of music, some of those types demoed were: lot's of electronic - Dubstep, EDM, Trance, Progressive House etc, Bluegrass, Pop, Acoustic, Rock, both female and male vocals, Indie, R&B, and more. I found myself always gravitating towards these. If you don't love listening to these phones, you might want to get your ears checked :). The design is gorgeous, one of the best looking pairs of headphones out currently imo and while they look heavy, the materials are expertly crafted to be quite light, a tad heavier than the Momentums. I much prefer the remote to these over the Senn's as well, has a nice positive action to it and I feel is more clear when fumbling with it and not looking. Even the hard case of the Momentums was not enough to sway me in the end...these just sound better...all the time. Plus the hard case's usefulness (in case you thought it would be good for portability with frequent travel) is greatly mitigated by the fact that you have to readjust the headband every time to fit them in case...aggravating to say the least but very protective. But, Sennheiser does have the win with the two-year warranty vs one-year but I figured..what are the odd's. I ended up having quality control issues with both headphones (had re-ordered Phillips due to lower price but got amazon to adjust my first pair price when the second pair had what felt like a cracked headband - so check your band for odd feeling and weird creasing of leather in unnatural ways) with more issues with pairs going towards the Senn's.
If you're concerned about the non-replaceable pads, I ultimately decided this was like the idiotic android argument (and I use android mind you) about spec wars vs. apple phones. And yet apple's phones are typically fast, fluid and efficient. Realistically, nothing is going to last forever, and unless you have a fat head that's going to compress the crap out of these earpads, once you've flexed the headband a bit, the clamping pressure is pretty light on your head, in which case I see the possibility of the earphones pads being worn out taking many many years which would also depend on your daily usage of course as well. At $300, this would perhaps give me a little more pause...but at the $117.95 I paid (amazon) and the $109 price here, it should be a non-issue to you imo.
FYI, I've read they get even better with an amp :)
For the price, these are a steal and worth far more. Enjoy, I sure am. (I also purchased some Ostry KC06 IEM's...excellent choice as well although not for bass lovers but they can be improved and they KC06a are better in this regard)
Note - If you want a great walking around pair that are feather light with basically zero clamping pressure, I can recommend the Sennheiser Momentum Over Ear (the on-ear ones are crap in comparison). It was ultimately a very hard choice between the two for me but the Phillips pretty much bested them in every sound area and because of this I always felt the Momentums were lacking in comparison. If they fit your ears / head properly (many people have issue, I didn't really) they would be the perfect on the go headphone that sacrifice very little in terms of sound.
Tested for several weeks -
Phillips Fidelio L1 (winner)
Sennheiser Momentum Over ear (2nd place, tough call)
Sennheiser Momentum On Ear (crap in comparison)
on February 11, 2015
I just strapped these on for the first time. Until now my favorite over ears were the B&W P7 and the Sennheiser Momentum. These might actually be better. Incredibly warm and natural sound. Great bass! Great everything! Comfortable. Pick these up on the cheap while you still can. A++.
on March 21, 2014
These have been discontinued, but are still available. There is nothing out there for near this amount that compares. These are closer to $300 headphones and sound like it. The build quality is also in the $300 range. They are very accurate, and can handle a lot of different types of music. With jazz they are amazing, separating and clarifying the instruments very well. when I run the EQ flat they reproduce just what was recorded. With vocalists they allow the voice to sound pure and full.piano and drums are crisp and full. Isolation from background sounds is high. They play well and loudly without an amp, but sound best with source CD material directly from a CD player. Seriously, get these amazingly low priced cans. They did originally sell for a lot more.
I just have to add that as I use these more, I appreciate the quality, and the value. They really are quality headphones, and very comfortable as well. I have to admit that I either use them directly hooked up to my CD player, which has a headphone amp built in, and a volume control, or, to an ipod with an amp. The amp I am using most lately is powered by two rechargeable AA batteries. It makes a difference how you amplify these. Straight out of a phone or MP3 player is not going to give you the best results in terms of sound, or in terms of battery longevity. I bought my first amp for travel on airplanes, and they extend the time the player's battery lasts, as well as allow me to increase the volume to better drown out ambient noise.
These headphones are not designed to be noise blocking, but they do a good job never the less. Partly because they are over ear, there is an inherent noise blocking capability, which would be true for any over ear phones.
If your only experience with headphones is with ear buds, these will open up a new world of sound for you.
on April 3, 2014
I would like to begin with by letting you know I am no audiophile, but I have seen my fair share of headphones ranging from Sony, Bose, Beats, Philips, Skullcandy, and Audio Technica. My current favorite pair are the Sony MDR-10RDC. They are a high quality noise canceling headphone and are wonderful, so if noise cancelling is something you are interested in then check them out! One way they fall behind is a slight fall in sound quality. That is where the L1 comes in...
Now I could go into a lengthy review of every minute detail about these headphones, but I think I will save myself and you sometime by simply agreeing with all the positive remarks made by the other reviews. These headphones are truly remarkable. They are built like a tank, but not too heavy. The sound is impressive as well! Below are my numerical and pro con rating for these headphones.
Very durable (even the cords are extreme duty)
Two cords included (one with mic)
Great value currently
Slight clamping for headphones. (I predict this will lesson with use as they get stretch)
My closing remarks are this. They are normally at the 300 price point, at the price they are at (122) they are superb. The amount of depth on these is remarkable. The all metal design is a huge bonus for several reasons: 1) very durable 2) has no creaking like many plastic headphones 3) adds a bit of uniqueness to them. The easiest way to describe these headphones is as a well oiled and tuned machine.
A side note about these is that they are semi open, this means they do leak some sound, HOWEVER it is extremely low for being semi open. In fact is isolates the noise better then some closed headphones I have used. If you are looking for some headphones with stellar sound quality for a very long lifetime then look no further and pull the trigger. I predict these headphones to last me an extreme amount of time. Do yourself, and your ears a favor, and get these. You will not be disappointed.
on April 20, 2014
These really are an excellent pair of headphones. Worthy of their $300.00 original price tag. At under $125.00 there simply is no comparison at that price point. Build quality and craftsmanship put most others to shame. Beats, SOL, Sony, Sennheiser, Skullcandy, Bose just to name a few. Only a select number of sets that I've owned can match(V Moda M80, JBL Sychros S700, Phiaton Bridge MS500). Classic, understated styling details with leather and solid aluminum. The auto inspired woven grilles are a fantastic touch. Super robust construction, yet very light weight. Terrific comfort and fit. One of the most comfortable I've ever tried in fact. Memory foam earpads and a nicely cushioned headband. Precise adjustments are a snap. The sound is well balanced throughout the range(treble, midrange, bass) Slight emphasis on bass, but by no means overwhelming. Very refined, polished audiophile grade sound. There are just a few shortcomings. I feel it can be a bit too laid back at times in terms of brightness and depth. Slightly cloudy and veiled. They're a little harder to drive even when amped. They seem to require more volume than many of my other sets regardless of the source. If you've only heard these I think most people will absolutely love the sound. I'm pretty picky. For design, build quality and comfort these are 5 stars. For sound maybe just a half star short at 4.5 stars for me. In addition, a lackluster cloth bag included for carrying. For the original price, a nice hard case with custom fit should have been included. These minor considerations aside, if you're looking for an incredibly well rounded pair for the price, these should be on your short list.