Philips Fidelio S1 review

A capable performance, but we could do with more punch Tested at £70

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A capable performance, but we could do with more punch


  • +

    Good clarity, precision and weight


  • -

    Sounds a little too gentle to thoroughly engage

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We’re big fans of Philips’ Fidelio range.

So when we learned that it was being expanded to include earphones, we became quite excited.


The S1s don’t disappoint. Their sound is clear and precise. It’s agile, but there’s a good degree of weight and a fullness to vocals.

These buds are nicely balanced; low-end extension is decent, the midrange is clear, and the top-end is pronounced.

It’s a gentle presentation, however – easygoing and amiable rather than outright attention-grabbing. Some might wish for a bit more engagement.


When it comes to design, there’s a bit more going on than we’d expect from a Fidelio product. But we think it looks smart.

There’s a tangle-friendly flat cable incorporating a mic unit with a single button; the earbuds have a half-in-ear design – the tip points into the ear canal, and the body sits just outside.

The tip is quite shallow, deliberately trading noise isolation for a less invasive fit. It’s a bit fiddly, but fairly comfortable.


All in all, the Philips Fidelio S1 is a good performer with a sound that’s pleasant and amiable, but doesn’t quite grab the attention like its main rivals.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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