Philips is a company that makes quality hardware in many areas of consumer electronics. Audio is one of those areas, unfortunately Philips does not come to mind when we speak of audio gear in spite of them making superb headphones. We are all so obsessed with Dr. Dre, Monster, Bose and all the other popular brands that we often ignore the companies that really put great engineering to make their product high quality. Philips is not that unpopular, although it deserves a lot more for their quality products.
The new Philips L2BO Fidelio headphones come with unique design which is very strong and sturdy. The mesh on the back of the speakers is what catches our attention first. According to Philips, the mesh helps in providing a balance in air pressure, which in turn helps in producing better sounds.
Speaking of the headphone speaker shells, they are made from aluminum with a nice black finish. The actual speakers on the inside are designed in such a way that they produce a balanced sound. In the usual speaker design, the entire thing is sealed with no actual air flow or vent for stabilizing pressure between the diaphragm and the magnet. When the diaphragm moves rapidly, the movement gets damped because of the pressure built up as a result of sudden movement.
In case of Philips drivers, there is a tiny hole in the middle, which allows air to vent out when pressure builds up or allows air to gush in when pressure drops. This helps in reproducing sounds the way they were recorded originally. The overall speaker diameter is 40 mm according to the Philips Fidelio data sheet.
Driving our attention back on the external looks, Fidelio has a premium feeling headband. The material used on the headband is the same thing that’s used on the steering wheel of F1 racing cars. You heard it right! Whatever it is, the texture definitely looks nice the construction seems that it would really last a long time.
A common problem for all the people with big heads is the worry whether the headphones would fit on their heads. Fidelio headphones can extend out a lot. They can also bend quite easily and yet feel sturdy. Even the reviewers claimed that they had no problems wearing these headphones on their large heads.
The foam on the ear shells is soft and takes the shape of your ear without causing your earlobes to bend. This kind of foam is often called memory foam. According to reviews on Amazon and YouTube, users of Philips Fidelio were definitely pleased with the way it feels and claimed that they could wear it for hours without any discomfort.
Fidelio L2 somewhat stands along side the Fidelio X1 which was the previous generation top notch headphones whose place has now been taken by the Fidelio X2. The L2 model is meant to be used indoors because of the semi open design. The major drawback of the X1 model was that it did not sound that great at high frequencies and also the bass was too thick according to some users. Philips took the feedback and tuned their drivers to fix the issues. The L2 model has now becomes an almost perfect headphones for anyone who loves perfect audio. The sensitivity being at 105 dB is way too much. You would probably need to keep your music volume at 10-20% and still hear loud enough sound. Increase in sensitivity also lets us hear the minute details in the music that we often miss out on cheap headphones.
The driver frequency range starts at 12Hz and ends at 25 kHz, which covers a lot more than the audible range. When it comes to actual performance test on human ears, these headphones can deliver a completely flat response over the audible range, ensuring that the lows, the mids and the highs hit our ears at equal levels. In spite of several improvements, the bass is still a little bit thick. Nevertheless, the audio output is quite neutral and natural.
A disappointing thing about these headphones is being semi-open. You cannot really use them while traveling and expect them to isolate all the noise in the environment. For an outdoor version, Philips has the Fidelio M series, which is entirely closed and wireless based on Bluetooth technology. We will have a look at the M series in the next article. Another disappointing thing being that you cannot replace the ear cushions. One might end up buying a new pair of headphones just because the ear cushions wore out. Philips should have made it replaceable just like they did with the X2 model.
Being available at £166 from Amazon, Philips Fidelio L2 headphones are worth buying. You will definitely enjoy listening to music with such high quality headphones. You can also purchase them from Philips directly but end up paying more.
Frequency response: 12–25,000 Hz
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Sensitivity: 105 dB
Maximum power input: 200 mW
Distortion: < 0.1% THD
Speaker diameter: 40 mm
3.5 mm audio cable: Yes
Audio cable: with mic and pick-up button
Adapter plug: 3.5-6.3 mm
Storage pouch: Yes
Philips L2BO Fidelio Headphones
The Fidelio L2 are strong, long lasting, natural sounding high quality headphones available to us at a very reasonable cost.