Philips Fidelio L4 headphones arrive in time for Black Friday – but can they beat the Sony XM5?

Philips Fidelio L4 hands-on
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Philips has confirmed the price and release date of its latest flagship Fidelio L4 over-ear headphones and Fidelio T2 wireless earbuds – and it puts them in direct competition with this year’s heavyweights.

The company confirmed the headphones and earbuds’ price at a press event in Barcelona, attended by What Hi-Fi?.

The Philips Fidelio L4 wireless headphones are set to go on sale in "early October" and will retail for £350 / $350. 

The UK price puts them in direct competition with our current recommended flagship set, the Sony WH-1000XM5, which scored a perfect five stars in our review and currently hold the top spot in our best wireless headphones and best noise cancelling headphones Buying Guides.

The Fidelio L4 was originally unveiled alongside the T2 in February. They’re the successor to the Fidelio L3, which we gave four stars last year – and Philips claims it’s fixed most of our qualms with the L3 on the new set. 

Philips Fidelio L4, Philips Fidelio T2 hands-on

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Highlights include promises of better ANC performance; an upgrade to Bluetooth 5.3, which should allow smoother multipoint and wireless switching between devices; support for both LC3 and Sony's LDAC codecs; and an extended 40-hour quoted battery life with ANC turned on. The claimed battery life would give them 10 hours more stamina than the Sony’s, based on our testing.

On top of that, for people who like to use their over-ear headphones to take calls as well as listen to music, there’s also an extra built-in voice pick-up mic that's designed to help eliminate background noise during calls.

We’ve only had a very brief listen to the L4, but we’re excited to see how they perform when we get them into our test rooms and properly put them through their paces.


(Image credit: Philips)

For wireless earbuds fans, the Fidelio T2 will also launch in late October with a suggested retail price of £280. We’re waiting on pricing in the US and other territories.

The price puts the earbuds firmly at the top end of the market and directly rivals the Sony WF-1000XM5 (£259 / $299 / AU$419), which are a staple feature in our best wireless earbuds guide. Philips has redesigned the buds to make them 20 per cent smaller than the older T1 and also reduced the dimension of the charging case by around 20 per cent.

Like the over-ear L4, they feature a graphene-coated driver designed to reduce distortion as well as various technical upgrades, including Bluetooth 5.3, a longer 36-hour quoted battery life, and an improved ANC system that aims to reduce wind noise using bone conduction tech.

The release date for both headphones puts the new Fidelios right in line with the kick-off of 2023’s Black Friday deals season. Will we see a discount on these cans? Or perhaps the previous generation models? We shall see.


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Alastair Stevenson
Editor in Chief

Alastair is What Hi-Fi?’s editor in chief. He has well over a decade’s experience as a journalist working in both B2C and B2B press. During this time he’s covered everything from the launch of the first Amazon Echo to government cyber security policy. Prior to joining What Hi-Fi? he served as Trusted Reviews’ editor-in-chief. Outside of tech, he has a Masters from King’s College London in Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion, is an enthusiastic, but untalented, guitar player and runs a webcomic in his spare time.