Best wireless headphones, Awards 2013. The Philips cost a bit, but it’s a small price to pay for superb sound and Bluetooth functionalityWrite your own review
- Attractive design
- Soft headband and earpads
- AptX Bluetooth
- Neat control system
- Rich, detailed, musical sound
- Some may find them a little pricey
The Philips Fidelio M1BT headphones really come into their own when you are on the move. Having to run a cable between your portable device and into a pair of headphones leaves you open to entanglement and cable noise.
Which is where a good pair of Bluetooth headphones can come in handy. Or, in the case of the M1BTs, an excellent pair...
MORE: Awards 2013
These cans look, unsurprisingly, similar to Philips’ M1s but that’s no bad thing when you consider it’s an Award-winning formula. You get the same faux-leather lining on the headband and earpads, but here it’s in a smart, seductive-looking dark blue finish.
They’re a snug and comfortable fit, just like the wired M1s and although our ears got a little warm, we didn’t feel forced to take them off at any point.
Controls and features
Bluetooth headphones usually have some way of controlling your portable device, and Philips has cleverly built all the controls into the exterior of the right ear pad.
Press the crescent-shaped panel in to play and pause; hold it down to pair the headphones to your device, and to power on or off. There’s also a small rotating dial which has a neat little flick switch built into the right ear pad.
Push it up or down to change volume; press it in once to skip forward a track, twice to skip backwards. The controls are all smartly integrated and well thought out – it’s virtually impossible not to get along with them.
There’s not one, but two microphones in the earpad which make hands-free calls easy to handle. We had no trouble being heard in the office or out on the street.
The M1BTs are charged via a supplied micro USB cable which slots into the underside of the right earpad. A full charge takes around three hours and Philips claims it should last ten.
We dipped into them over the course of two or three days and our iPhone indicated there was still plenty of power left in the battery. If you do happen to run out of juice you’ll need to make sure you’re carrying the supplied headphone cable to make a wired connection.
Besides vanilla stereo Bluetooth, the Philips are aptX compatible so, should you own a suitable smartphone such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One, you can take advantage of the improved sound quality aptX brings.
And it’s sound quality where the M1BTs excel. They’re obviously cut from the same cloth as the non-Bluetooth M1s, as they produce a rich, full-bodied sound.
That’s no mean achievement, since Bluetooth heapdhones have a tendency to sound overly coarse and unrefined – symptomatic of a wireless connection versus wired.
But these Philips cans don’t suffer the same fate, and they sound great either way, with a ton of detail throughout the frequency range, and well-defined, focused vocals.
The M1BTs show a great turn of pace, wallowing around in the angst-ridden, emotive vocals of Rihanna’s Stay, before engaging the afterburners to keep up with the Kings of Leon’s Coming Back Again.
That’s a short, sharp, shock of a track, but there’s more than enough time for the M1BTs to show their enthusiastic, energetic side with a flurry of electric guitars and drum beats.
The M1BTs are a great way to go portable – they’re stylish, wireless, offer great functionality and sound superb. We wouldn’t leave home without a pair, and neither should you.