For years I’ve listened to my music at work with those little in-ear headphones. And I was perfectly happy with them. Until I got my hands on the Philips Fidelio L1 a few weeks ago. A world of difference! The clear sounds blew me away. Big pro is that even with the volume down, you can still enjoy all aspects of your music.
The quality of the sound is excellent and crystal clear, thanks to the High Definition neodymium- drivers. Each music variety displays well and with subtle music such as jazz all minute details are audible. When listening to Dance music, the bass drums ‘vibrated’ less than they did with my old in-ears, but only with a windows application. When combined with an Apple product, bass intensity is easier to adapt.
Design and use
The design is elegant and minimalistic, very sophisticated. The headphones features can be adapted in every little detail to perfectly fit your head. The over-ear ear shells are very comfortable, even after a long while, with minimal sweating. The materials are durable, but the headphone is still light in weight. There are 3 cords, which can be couples, so the length of the cord is adaptable. One of the cords comes with a remote for an I Phone. It works like a charm, but only combined with Apple.
According to Philips, the Fidelio L1 is the ideal headphone for on the road, but for me, it is too big for that. The chocks of for example stepping disturb the music. The carrier bag is very pretty, but seems a little poor as protection.
Interaction with your surroundings
Despite the semi-open back architecture of the ear shells, a passer-by will not notice any music escaping the Fidelio L1. Even with big bass drums, the isolation is perfect. For the listener, the isolation to the environment is perfectly balanced. Little to no noise enters, except for loud noises such as a phone ringing or your boss yelling.
Pros: Stable and comfortable ear shells, great sound quality, no noise outside the ear shells
Cons: Quite pricey (+-250 euro), quite large, bass drums tend to get a bit lost
I was given the chance to test the new Philips Fidelio L1 For "The Insiders". I had been looking for a new headphone set to replace my old In-ears. It needed to comply with a few demands:
1) I do not want to be disturbed by the chatter noise of my colleagues when I'm being all focussed at work and
2) I don't want toe disturb my colleagues with my music when I’m listening to noise they don’t like.
3) I also don’t want to have that fatigue feeling, which one sometimes can have after using those in-ears for a long period. And
4) the headphone set has to fit within my backpack, along with all my other stuff.
The L1 looks great, it really does and has really handy features, like the connector-plug close to the headphone, and a cable with a volume and pause-button. A second cable with a removable big-plug, twistable ear shells for transportation and (also important) a sublime sound. It looks really nice with the black and aluminium parts and the fine Italian leather. The head mount fits really good without a pressing feeling, and is easily to adjust to the correct size without sliding back to the former position. The cushions are made of memory-foam and fit very well around the ears, where they seal off the background noise better then I expected. The connector which is about 10 cm below the left shell is made to release tension on the cable if necessary. Mounted in one of the two included cables is a three-button-usage which supports Apple devices for volume and pause. This three button usage in the cable is actually more. It controles the volume. Can make your music pause and continue and can make you skip a track forward.On the backside there is a small pinhole size microphone.
After having used the headphones for several full days now, I must say I didn’t feel any discomfort, unless I must admir my ears are getting warmer after a couple of hours. But I like to think that goes for all over-ears headphones. I did not receive any comment from my colleagues about my taste of music and I wasn’t disturbed by background noises. I must admit hearing things in the music of which I didn’t now they were there, it is like experiencing the music again, and that is something I really like, like the music is being surrounded inside my head.
I am originated in the primal years of portable music devices, and I am used to headphones being as small as possible, so for me this is an unusual large format for a set of headphones. However, compared with the headphones available on the market at present day, the Philips Fidelio L1 fits quite perfect. The L1 is said being perfect for on-the-go as well as good to use at the office or at home. Being on a bike, I think it blocks too much of the traffic noise to navigate safely, but while using transport transportation, I think it is good to use for blocking neighbour noise, where as your neighbour don't need to get bothered by your music.
- Great sound experience
- Comfortable and easy to use
- Nice and solid finish
- Everything seems to be just correct
- 3 button usage mounted in the cable
- Very complete set
- Maybe leather is not the best material if you are using this device on your bike, in the pouring rain.
- The soft travelbag might not be the best protection
My conclusion: a nice device, with a lot of good properties. For users who, like myself, don’t have an absolute hearing this is a very good headphone.
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