Headphone Review: Philips Fidelio L1

[IMG]Philips | Over-Ear Headphone | $300

Philips was able to offer a high quality sound for an affordable price with their CitiScape Downtown headphones. Being on of the most balanced headphones I’ve heard, I was curious to what the Fidelio L1, flagship model would offer. Despite the less balanced sound, I was pleasantly surprised.  Read on to find out why:

Specifications

  • Driver: 40 mm Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 12 Hz – 25 kHz
  • Impedance: 26 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 105 dB

In the Box

  • Philips Fidelio L1 Headphones
  • Cables (1 with 3-button remote and mic, 1 standard)
  • Carrying Pouch
  • ¼” Adapter
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There isn’t much included with the Fidelio, luckily, their sound does justify the price.

Design

The Fidelios are designed around a more professional look that attempts to not be flashy or obtrusive. For the most part, it does well succeeding in this aspect. Up close, many little design aspects are included, from the weaving over the vent to the ridged housings. Subtle embossed on the dark brown, stitched headband is the Philips’ name. Hints of metal sparkle nicely to show off some more of the Fidelio design.

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The L1s offer a beautiful design constructed of the finest materials.

Design: ★★★★★

Audio

As I said in the introduction, the Fidelio headphones offer a sound that is closer to a V-shape, but still quite enjoyable with a good mix of musicality and technicality. A warmer midrange with good dynamics couples with an impactful low end and sparkly top.

Bass

The low end focuses mainly on the lower-bass regions right between the mid-bass and the sub-bass. This creates a very boomy sound that is actually quite controlled most of the time. It does, but rarely, ever does become a little too blown. The bass smacks are thick while the texture subtly shows itself through time. A small punch is present, but only when absolutely needed. The bass features a fun sound while maintaining good quality.

Bass: ★★★★½

Mids

The midrange is generally warmer with a bit more focus on the lower-end of the mids. This produces a lush vocal region, but with just a hint of sweetness to make vocals have a nice shine to them. The mix creates good overall dynamics. Clarity is well pronounced overall, but could be a little better. Same goes with the detailing; while most details are there, the smaller aspects seem absent. Sound stage is improved due to the V-shape though. The mid-range remains smoother and more inviting and enjoyable to listen to overall.

Mids: ★★★★½

Highs

The high end focuses mainly on the higher highs. That said, they product very good splash and sparkle without the need to fatigue the listener. As with a warmer sound, the lower highs aren’t as well pronounced, but still shine through very nicely. This, along with the extension can both be done slightly better. Separation is beautifully done as well. Sibilant recordings, however, are not helped by the Fidelio. The high end adds a little energy to the headphones without destroying the lush, inviting midrange.

Highs: ★★★★½

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

The Fidelio L1s are made of tough materials that make them seem that much better built. Although it can do without it, Philips has included a nice pouch with the headphones. For this price, I would rather have a hard-case over just a pouch.

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The included pouch may not be needed due to the great build that is already on the headphones.

Like stated, the housings use strong materials to keep it together. The metal screws along with the metal framework keeps the moving joins feeling string and stiffer instead of loose and wobbly. The housings that protect the drivers also feel very firm and overall just strong.

Besides making the headphones have a stronger professional feel to it, the headband’s construction is also very tough. Leather covers the inner construction that is robust due to the metal framework within. It feels very sturdy while remaining flexible as well. The headband has a strong, robust feeling to it that I rarely see.

Coming out of the headphones is a short 6” cable. Cable extenders with a remote and mic, as well as a standard cable are included and can be daisy chained on to create a long cable. The able is braided thickly and doesn’t tangle.

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The cables can be daisy chained to each other to create a 6’ cable.

The headphone jack, is made of metal like much of the headphones and its connectors. A strong strain relief sticks out of each one with an ample thickness and length. However, I would’ve rather had an angled headphone jack over a straight one.

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The headphone jack has a strong build quality overall.

Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

If there is one thing, outside of sound, that Philips can do time and time again, it’s comfort. The Downtowns were one of the most comfortable headphones to ever touch my head, the L1s are no different. Large foam pads are filled with memory foam to conform to your face over time. A nice amount of padding is placed in the headband to also keep you comfortable for hours.

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Thick, foam-filled pads ensure the utmost comfort.

Comfort: ★★★★★

Value

These headphones are priced around 300 dollars. They offer a beautiful design, strong build, as well as outstanding comfort. The audio quality is nothing to laugh at, although you can find the same quality at a slightly lower price. I’d say they are priced competitively. The entire package as a whole does make the L1s worth it, the fun, inviting sound mixed with the hours of comfort ensure you can enjoy them for a long, long time.

Value: ★★★★½

Final Thoughts

Philips has proved themselves in the audio industry once again. This time around, with their flagship model L1 headphones. Their respectable, fun sound signature infuses well with good technicality to create a musical experience. It is a headphone I can definitely recommend in the future for anyone looking for a fun sound at the 300-dollar price point.

I’d like to thank Justin for the headphone loan.

Overall Score

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Philips Fidelio L1

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks Justin for the product sample.

 

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