• Philips S1
Our Verdict 
A capable performance, but we could do with more punch
Good clarity, precision and weight
Sounds a little too gentle to thoroughly engage
Reviewed on

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.

More after the break


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.

MORE: Best headphones to buy in 2014


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Philips Fidelio S1
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