Philips set to add upmarket Fidelio X1 model to its headphone line-up

Philips is expanding its high-end headphone offering with the introduction of the £270 Fidelio X1, due in the shops next month.

The new model, which the company says 'builds on over 50 years of heritage in headphone acoustics to extend the Fidelio qualities of outstanding sound reproduction', is an open-back design aimed mainly at the home listener.

The Fidelio X1 uses specially-developed 50mm drivers, which are handpicked and matched, and feature a central vent to emphasise midrange and low frequencies.

Philips says these drivers' 'larger diameter but lightweight design allows both extended and controlled bass while a radial pattern in the diaphragm prevents break-up to give a transparent, uncolored mid-range and treble', and that their 'motor assembly features high power neodymium magnets and a lightweight, optimised voice coil to ensure wide dynamics, balanced crisp bass, transparent midrange and precise high frequencies'.

The double-layered machined aluminium ear-shells are designed to minimise resonance and vibration, and the company says the open-back architecture ensures 'a wider dynamic range with extended – but tight and solid – bass plus a highly detailed treble while still providing the Fidelio’s hallmark natural, smooth voicing.'

The drivers are mounted within the housings using a tilted plate to align them with the natural angle of the ear-canal, and the headphones have been designed to be comfortable for extended use.

'Acoustically selected' memory foam is used beneath the breathable velour ear-pad covers, and a lightweight breathable 'hammock' is used to ensure grip on the head while remaining cool and comfortable.

The Fidelio X1 comes with 3m oxygen-free copper cable, with Kevlar reinforcement and a woven cover, terminated in a 6.3mm jack. A 3.5mm adapter is provided, and Philips says the low impedance of the headphones means they're also suitable for use with a smartphone or tablet.

Follow on Twitter

Join on Facebook

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.