It's hard to walk for 10 paces without seeing a "world's first" claim at CES, but this one from Philips is impressive – the NC1L earphones are noise-cancelling cans to make do without a battery.

That's because they connect via the Apple Lightning port to draw power from your phone or tablet - and to take a digital audio signal in order to take care of the digital-to-analogue conversion inside the earphones.

Yes, the Philips Fidelio NC1L noise-cancelling headphones also have an integrated 24-bit DAC alongside "a full chain of audiophile-grade components" and neodymium drivers. 

There are three sound modes: active noise-cancelling, open-ear listening (allows you to hear ambient noise) and natural voice (aimed at making voice calls using the in-line mic).

MORE: Read all our Philips reviews and news

They are the second pair of headphones from Philips to connect via Lightning - following in the footsteps of the M2L headphones, which were the first pair on the market to do so.

Memory foam earpads certainly sound comfortable; the headphones are also "fully foldable", which should make them nice and portable - they're certainly going to prove more portable than carrying a DAC. 

The Philips Fidelio NCL1 headphones are due to go on sale this Spring and have a price tag of 299 euros. We will confirm UK details ASAP.

CES 2015: All the latest CES news, highlights, products


FunkyMonkey's picture

No micro usb adaptor or

No micro usb adaptor or connector for android users?

Big Aura's picture

agreed - a pity they seem to

agreed - a pity they seem to be ingnoring the Android market.  Surely a relatively inexpensive way to double their target market.

utomo's picture

Micro USB Version

I believe there is huge market on Android User, I hope philips releasing the Micro USB version too

paulsag's picture


Am I overlooking something here? If you are to listen on a long journey, there is a good chance that when you get to your destination your phone will be close to being dead on battery. 

Do they include an adaper so you can charge phone as well as plug in the headphones? 

If not, it's a bit of a poor idea. Although the built in DAC is a good move. 

Andy Clough's picture

Battery charging

Philips says it has worked hard to minimise the battery drain on your iPhone, but we have yet to test this out.