We reviewed the Philips L2 Fidelio in the last article and we saw that they are what they call ‘semi-open’ headphones and they are not suited for outdoor use. On the other hand Philips’ Fidelio M series headphones are meant to be outdoor performers and they are on-ear headphones unlike the over ear type Fidelio L2. The Fidelio M1BT headphones are a piece of art that delivers amazing quality sound and feels very comfortable. M1BT headphones are a result of improvements over the previous M1 model.
The build and comfort
The Fidelio M1BT’s design does not feel as premium as the Fidelio L2 although it is very rugged and meant to survive rough use. The entire frame is largely made from metal including the headband. Indeed, the metallic headband is covered by leather and foam to provide comfort to the user. The stitching of leather on the headband also adds to the appeal. Being made out of metal, we can be assured that the frame would not break while trying to fit these headphones on a large head.
The ear shells swivel to 90 degrees allowing the headphones to become flat while storing. Philips also provides a cloth bag for storing these headphones although they are definitely not very compact and take up lot of space in your bag.
Even though the M1BT headphones are made from metal, there are some plastic parts such as the ear cups and the control buttons. The ear cushions are also made from good quality Faux leather with foam underneath which helps in providing comfort.
Because the M1BT is 180 grams in weight, it feels very light on the head and added with the soft cushions and sturdy frame, the headphones fit quite snugly on the ears. The on-ear ear cups will definitely block ambient noise.
Performance and Sound
Fidelio M1BT is a wireless headphone that communicates with any device such as your laptop, smart phone or wireless enabled music players. With any wireless device the problem of battery life arises. Fidelio M1BT features a battery that can last somewhere around 10 hours depending on the use and the volume you play your music at. It takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to completely charge from ground up. Philips has also provided a 1.2 meter long cable for those who want to listen even after battery is dead, or for someone who just prefers to use cable instead of going wireless all the time.
These headphones have Bluetooth version 4.0 in them which is popular for consuming low energy thereby extending the battery life. The data rate is also quite high when it comes to Bluetooth 4.0 but unfortunately the other internal circuitry inside these headphones do not allow us to play anything more than 320 kbps. Do not let this fact put you down, because most of the music we listen today runs at much lower bit rates unless you deal with raw, 24 bit studio quality audio. Nevertheless, having the option to stream higher bit rate music would definitely be welcomed by many audiophiles.
Almost all the headphones these days are equipped with microphones and so is the Fidelio M1BT. There are external buttons to answer calls and mute speakers. There are also volume control buttons for obvious purpose. Pairing the device with any other Bluetooth device is quite easy but you will notice that the sound drops out occasionally while the audio is streaming. This can be quite frustrating and most of the times, the user needs to reconnect to the audio source device.
The sensitivity of the speakers in the Fidelio M1BT is 107 dB making them produce quite clear, loud audio. With such sensitivity, you can hear every little sound quite clearly. Fidelio M1BT uses custom designed vented 40 mm audio drivers that help deliver neutral, natural audio to our ears. We first came across the vented audio drivers while reviewing the Philips Fidelio L2 headphones. The speakers operate over 12 Hz to 25 kHz covering the entire audio frequency range and a little bit more.
Some users complained that the speakers are unable to produce the bass and the mids correctly claiming that the bass is under powered. But that does not seem to be true. The headphone speaker drivers are so high quality and sensitive, the audio file that you are playing also needs to be of equally high quality. Any little defects in the audio file that you were not able to hear on cheap, low quality headphones will now be suddenly audible on the M1BT. The details on the vocals will stun you for sure when you hear them the first time. Many a times we cannot hear every instrument that is used for producing the music track or the low amplitude highs produced from string instruments but that will not be the case anymore with Fidelio M1BT.
With moderate level of noise isolation and extreme comfort while wearing the Fidelio M1BT coupled with the amazing sensitivity of the speakers, we have a pair near perfect headphones that do not let us down. Although, quite expensive at £161, Philips Fidelio M1BT is definitely worth buying. Do not take my word for it, Amazon product page has plentiful of 5 star reviews on these headphones.
HD optimally vented 40mm neodymium speaker drivers
You get a moderate level of noise isolation and extreme comfort while wearing the Fidelio M1BT. Coupled with the amazing sensitivity of the speakers, we have a pair of near perfect headphones that do not let us down. Although, quite expensive at £161, Philips Fidelio M1BT headphones are definitely worth buying.