Philips undercuts Sony and Bose with new ANC headphones, reveals Fidelio X3

Philips undercuts Sony and Bose with new noise-cancelling headphones, reveals Fidelio X3
(Image credit: Philips)

The IFA spotlight may be shining strongest on new OLED TVs at Philips' stand, but multiple pairs of headphones have also been launched by the company.

The most interesting pairs are the Fidelio X3 open-back over-ears – successors to the five-star Fidelio X2s  – and the PH805 wireless noise-cancellers that, priced €179, undercut the pricier, premium competition from the likes of Sony, Bowers & Wilkins and Sennheiser.

The X3s (below) look rather different to their predecessors, swapping a metal mesh earcup design for a Kvadrat cloth and introducing a Scottish leather headband. Philips has focused on improving high frequency detail for this model, which will be available in January for €349.

(Image credit: Future)

The PH805 (€179, pictured top) utilise Philips’ Advanced Digital ANC technology, with four microphones (two feed-back microphones inside the earcup and two feed-forward outside the earcup) promising to cancel over 95 per cent of background noise.

Bluetooth 5.0, touch controls and 30 hours of battery life complete with fast charging are all on the menu, as is the frequently common Awareness Mode that allows you to amplify your surroundings so you can hear, for example, plane announcements.

The ear pads are made from memory foam, and the 40mm drivers inside can supposedly cover a frequency bandwidth of 5Hz to 40KHZ, too.

They look rather familiar (don't they, Sony?), and Philips says the 235g-heavy PH805s are one of the lightest models in the over-ear wireless noise-cancelling market.

(Image credit: Future)

Those models aside, Philips is also expanding its true wireless earbud offering with new pairs, one of which are the ST702s (above) that, uniquely, clean themselves using UV technology once placed in their supplied charging case. They boast 18 hours of battery life (6 in the buds, 12 in the case), Bluetooth 5.0 and a waterproof, sweatproof design to IPX5. Pricing and availability to be announced.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.