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Philips Fidelio X2HR Review (July 2024)

The Philips Fidelio X2HR are a pair of open-back headphones designed for audiophiles and music enthusiasts seeking a high-fidelity listening experience. As the successor to the highly acclaimed X2, the X2HR boasts numerous improvements, aiming to deliver even more immersive and detailed sound. With their large 50mm drivers, premium materials, and comfortable design, these headphones promise to elevate your listening experience to new heights.

This review will delve deep into the X2HR’s performance, exploring its sound signature, frequency response, and overall sonic characteristics. We will analyze its strengths and weaknesses, highlighting how it stacks up against its competitors in the premium headphone market. We will also examine the build quality, comfort, and features of the X2HR, assessing its practicality and suitability for different listening scenarios.

Ultimately, this review aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the Philips Fidelio X2HR, helping you determine if they are the perfect headphones for your audiophile needs. Whether you’re an experienced audio enthusiast or just starting your journey into high-fidelity sound, this review will offer valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.

Join us as we embark on a sonic exploration of the Philips Fidelio X2HR, uncovering its strengths and weaknesses and determining whether it truly lives up to the hype surrounding its predecessor.

Name: Philips Fidelio X2HR
Image: Philips Fidelio X2HR
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Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Philips Fidelio X2HR: A Review

The Philips Fidelio X2HR is the successor to the highly regarded X2, and it builds upon its predecessor’s strengths with a refined design, improved comfort, and a more balanced sound signature. This open-back headphone boasts a premium look and feel, thanks to its sleek black finish and comfortable earcups. The X2HR’s spacious soundstage and detailed imaging create an immersive listening experience that is perfect for a wide range of genres, from classical to rock to electronic.

The X2HR’s comfort is a highlight, with plush earpads and a headband that provides excellent support for long listening sessions. Its open-back design allows for natural sound reproduction, creating a more realistic and airy sound compared to closed-back headphones. The X2HR’s frequency response is well-balanced, delivering a smooth and detailed sound across the entire spectrum. Its bass response is punchy and controlled, while its treble is crisp and detailed, delivering a clear and precise sound without being harsh.

The X2HR’s soundstage is wide and expansive, creating a sense of depth and space that is perfect for immersive listening experiences. Its imaging is precise, allowing you to pinpoint instruments and vocals within the soundstage, creating a realistic and engaging listening experience. Overall, the X2HR is a worthy successor to the Fidelio X2, offering a premium listening experience with its refined design, comfortable fit, and well-balanced sound signature. Its wide soundstage and precise imaging create an immersive experience that is perfect for discerning audiophiles who are looking for a high-quality open-back headphone.

Introduction: A Legacy of Sound

Philips, a name synonymous with innovation and quality, has long been a respected player in the audiophile world. The Fidelio line, in particular, has carved a niche for itself, offering high-fidelity audio experiences that cater to discerning listeners. The Fidelio X2HR, the latest iteration in this esteemed series, promises to carry the torch of excellence, building upon its predecessor’s legacy with a host of refinements and advancements. This review delves deep into the X2HR’s sonic prowess, examining its design, comfort, and overall performance, and ultimately determining if it lives up to the high expectations set by its lineage.

Design and Build: A Premium Look and Feel

The Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones are a testament to meticulous design and high-quality craftsmanship. From the outset, they exude a premium feel, starting with their large, over-ear cups that are crafted from a combination of metal and leather. The headband is generously padded with soft, breathable material, ensuring comfort even during extended listening sessions. The earcups are also generously sized, providing a comfortable and secure fit for most head shapes.

One of the standout features is the use of high-quality materials throughout. The earcups are covered in a luxurious, soft leather that feels incredibly comfortable against the skin. The headband is also padded with a similar material, adding to the overall sense of opulence. The metal accents, like the hinges and the Fidelio logo on the earcups, further enhance the premium aesthetic.

The construction of the Fidelio X2HR is robust and durable, built to withstand the rigors of daily use. The earcups are held together by a sturdy metal frame, while the headband is reinforced with a metal bar, ensuring that it won’t easily bend or break. The detachable cable is also reassuringly thick and well-made, further solidifying the sense of quality.

Overall, the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones offer a compelling combination of premium materials, robust construction, and a refined design. Their attention to detail is evident in every aspect, from the luxurious leather earcups to the durable metal accents. The Fidelio X2HR is not just a pair of headphones; it’s an investment in audio excellence, offering both a visually appealing and incredibly comfortable listening experience.

Comfort and Fit: Long-Lasting Listening Sessions

The Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones are designed for long listening sessions, and they deliver on that promise with their exceptional comfort and fit. The earcups are generously sized and made from plush, breathable memory foam that conforms to the shape of your head. This ensures a secure and comfortable fit, even during extended use.

The headband is also meticulously designed for comfort. It’s made from a combination of soft padding and a flexible, adjustable metal frame that allows you to customize the fit to your head size. This prevents any pressure points or discomfort, even during prolonged listening sessions.

The earcups swivel and rotate freely, allowing for a perfect fit on a variety of head shapes and sizes. This flexibility is further enhanced by the adjustable headband, ensuring that the headphones will remain comfortable and secure no matter how you move or tilt your head.

The overall weight distribution of the X2HR is well balanced, so the headphones feel lightweight and comfortable even after hours of use. This makes them ideal for listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks for extended periods without any fatigue or discomfort.

The X2HR headphones are designed to be comfortable and secure, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality audio experience that can be enjoyed for hours on end. Their comfortable fit and thoughtful design ensure that you can immerse yourself in your favorite sounds without any distractions or discomfort.

Sound Quality: Immersive Audio Experience

Sound Quality: Immersive Audio Experience

The Philips Fidelio X2HR delivers a truly immersive audio experience that will captivate even the most discerning audiophile. With its open-back design, the headphones allow sound to flow freely, creating a spacious and realistic soundstage. This openness is crucial for achieving a natural and nuanced listening experience, unlike the closed-back headphones that can feel muffled or confined.

The X2HR’s wide frequency response ensures that every note is reproduced with incredible detail and clarity. Whether you’re listening to complex orchestral pieces or intricate jazz compositions, the headphones capture every subtle nuance and layer of the music. The highs are crisp and extended, delivering sparkling cymbal crashes and shimmering high-notes. The mids are warm and natural, allowing vocals to shine with emotion and presence. And the lows are deep and impactful, providing a satisfying punch without overwhelming the other frequencies.

The X2HR’s impressive soundstage is another highlight. The headphones create a wide and expansive soundstage that allows instruments to breathe and interact naturally. This creates a sense of depth and realism, making you feel like you’re right in the middle of the performance. The imaging is precise and accurate, allowing you to pinpoint the location of individual instruments and voices within the soundstage.

Whether you’re an audiophile seeking a reference-grade listening experience or a casual listener looking for an upgrade, the Philips Fidelio X2HR delivers an immersive and engaging sonic experience that will transport you to the heart of the music.

Frequency Response: Detail and Clarity

The Philips Fidelio X2HR boasts an impressive frequency response that delivers both detail and clarity across the entire audible spectrum. The headphones excel in their ability to reproduce high frequencies with remarkable precision, resulting in a bright and airy sound signature. The treble is crisp and detailed, allowing you to discern intricate nuances in recordings, from the delicate shimmer of cymbals to the high-pitched notes of a violin. This clarity extends to the midrange, where vocals are rendered with exceptional realism and emotional depth. Instruments in the midrange, such as guitars, pianos, and human voices, are reproduced with a natural timbre and a pleasing balance. The lower frequencies are also well-represented, offering a satisfyingly punchy and controlled bass response without overpowering the rest of the sound. This well-balanced frequency response ensures that no frequency range is overshadowed, allowing you to experience music in its full glory. The X2HR’s detailed and clear sound reproduction makes it an excellent choice for discerning listeners who appreciate a high level of fidelity in their audio. Whether you’re listening to classical music, jazz, rock, or electronic music, the X2HR will reveal the intricacies and nuances within each genre, providing a truly immersive and engaging listening experience.

Imaging and Soundstage: A Wide and Precise Soundscape

The X2HR excels in imaging and soundstage, creating a wide and precise soundscape that envelops the listener. Instruments are clearly positioned within the stereo field, offering excellent separation and a sense of depth. You can easily distinguish individual instruments and vocals, even in complex musical passages. The headphones’ ability to recreate a realistic acoustic space is impressive, making you feel like you’re in the concert hall or studio with the artists. This immersive experience enhances the enjoyment of music, allowing you to truly appreciate the nuances and textures of each track.

The X2HR’s open-back design contributes significantly to its spacious soundstage. The open design allows for air to flow freely around the drivers, resulting in a more natural and expansive sound. This also helps to reduce the feeling of being “boxed in” that can be common with closed-back headphones. The overall effect is a truly immersive and engaging listening experience that highlights the intricacies of the audio. The open-back design also means that the X2HR is not ideal for noisy environments. If you plan on using these headphones in a busy office or on public transportation, you may want to consider a closed-back option.

While the X2HR’s imaging and soundstage are impressive, it’s important to note that they may not be for everyone. If you prefer a more intimate and focused listening experience, you may find the X2HR’s spacious sound to be overwhelming. However, if you are looking for headphones that can transport you to the heart of the music, the X2HR is an excellent choice. The X2HR’s ability to create a wide and precise soundscape is a testament to its high-quality drivers and design.

Bass Performance: Punchy and Controlled

The bass performance of the Philips Fidelio X2HR is a highlight. It delivers a punchy and controlled low-end that’s both impactful and well-defined. You can feel the rumble of bass drums and the deep thump of sub-bass without any muddiness or overwhelming presence. The bass is tight and precise, allowing you to discern the individual notes and nuances in the lower frequencies. It’s a satisfying experience that adds depth and realism to music, without sacrificing clarity in the midrange or treble.

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The X2HR’s bass response is also very well-controlled, avoiding any excessive bloat or boominess. It remains accurate and well-integrated into the overall sound signature, ensuring that the bass doesn’t overshadow other frequencies. This makes it suitable for a wide range of musical genres, from electronic dance music to classical orchestral pieces.

Whether you’re listening to your favorite hip-hop tracks or enjoying a cinematic soundtrack, the X2HR’s bass performance is sure to impress. It’s a testament to the careful tuning and engineering that went into these headphones, providing a satisfying and well-balanced listening experience.

Treble Response: Crisp and Detailed

The X2HR’s treble performance is a highlight, offering a level of detail and clarity that’s sure to impress. High frequencies are crisp and extended, delivering a sense of airiness and openness to the soundstage. Cymbals shimmer with a natural decay, and delicate high notes in vocals are reproduced with exceptional precision. There’s no harshness or sibilance, even at high volumes, ensuring a comfortable listening experience. This clarity allows for a natural and lifelike portrayal of instruments and vocals, with every nuance and detail being faithfully reproduced. While some may find the treble slightly forward, it’s never overwhelming and contributes to the overall sense of spaciousness and detail. Overall, the X2HR’s treble response is a testament to Philips’ engineering expertise and delivers a truly engaging and enjoyable listening experience.

Comparisons: Standing Out in a Competitive Market

The Philips Fidelio X2HR stands out in a competitive market of high-end headphones. Its open-back design, coupled with large 50mm drivers, delivers a spacious and immersive soundstage that few other headphones can match. This makes it a compelling choice for audiophiles seeking a truly engaging listening experience, especially for classical music, jazz, and orchestral pieces.

While the X2HR excels in sound quality, it does come with some compromises. Its open-back design makes it unsuitable for noisy environments and may not be ideal for those seeking isolation. Additionally, its lightweight construction, while comfortable for extended listening sessions, might not feel as robust as some other high-end headphones on the market.

When comparing the X2HR to its competitors, such as the Sennheiser HD 660S and the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, it’s clear that the X2HR offers a distinct sound signature. The X2HR leans towards a warmer and more forgiving sound, offering a natural and detailed presentation across the frequency spectrum. This warm signature appeals to listeners who prefer a less analytical and more enjoyable listening experience, while the HD 660S and DT 1990 Pro deliver a more neutral and analytical sound, which some may find fatiguing for prolonged listening.

The X2HR’s open-back design also sets it apart from its competitors, allowing for a more natural and spacious soundstage that truly immerses the listener in the music. This is particularly noticeable with classical music and orchestral pieces, where the separation and layering of instruments are clearly defined. While the HD 660S also offers a wide soundstage, it is not as spacious or as natural-sounding as the X2HR. The DT 1990 Pro, on the other hand, features a closed-back design, resulting in a more intimate and focused soundstage.

Ultimately, the choice between the X2HR and its competitors depends on individual preferences and priorities. If a spacious and natural soundstage is paramount, then the X2HR is an excellent choice. If a more analytical and neutral sound signature is desired, then the HD 660S or DT 1990 Pro might be more suitable. However, for those seeking a warm, engaging, and immersive listening experience, the Philips Fidelio X2HR stands as a compelling choice in the high-end headphone market.

Pros and Cons: Weighing the Benefits and Drawbacks

The Philips Fidelio X2HR boasts a number of advantages, making it a compelling choice for audiophiles. Its open-back design allows for a spacious and immersive soundstage, perfect for appreciating the nuances of music. The high-quality drivers deliver a detailed and accurate frequency response, capturing every detail of your favorite tracks. The comfortable and lightweight construction ensures long listening sessions without fatigue, making it ideal for both casual and serious listening.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider. Its open-back design means that it’s not suitable for noisy environments, as external sounds will be easily audible. The headphones are also quite large and bulky, which might make them impractical for travel or commuting. Additionally, the price tag is steep, putting it out of reach for budget-conscious buyers.

Ultimately, whether the Philips Fidelio X2HR is right for you depends on your individual needs and priorities. If you value immersive sound quality and comfort above all else, these headphones are an excellent choice. However, if you need headphones for noise isolation or portability, you might want to look elsewhere.

Conclusion: A Worthy Heir to the Fidelio Legacy

The Philips Fidelio X2HR is a testament to Philips’ commitment to delivering exceptional audio experiences. It seamlessly blends its legacy of innovation with modern technology, resulting in a headphone that surpasses expectations. The X2HR offers a captivating blend of comfort, build quality, and sound performance, making it a worthy successor to the Fidelio lineage. Whether you’re an audiophile seeking a new sonic companion or a casual listener looking for a step up in quality, the X2HR is an investment that promises years of immersive audio enjoyment. Its impressive soundstage, detailed frequency response, and balanced tonal signature elevate listening to an art form, making it a standout choice in the competitive world of high-end headphones. The X2HR embodies the spirit of the Fidelio legacy, ensuring that the pursuit of audio excellence continues to resonate.

Final Verdict: A Great Choice for Audiophiles

The Philips Fidelio X2HR is a clear winner for audiophiles seeking a high-fidelity listening experience. Its open-back design delivers a spacious and immersive soundstage, revealing nuances in your favorite tracks that you might have never noticed before. The detailed treble and punchy bass provide a balanced and captivating sonic signature. While the price tag might seem steep, the X2HR’s exceptional sound quality, comfortable fit, and premium build make it a worthwhile investment for serious music enthusiasts. If you’re looking for a pair of headphones that can transport you to the heart of the music, the Fidelio X2HR is a compelling choice.

Where to Buy: Finding the Best Deal

The Philips Fidelio X2HR is a premium headphone that delivers exceptional sound quality and build. While it’s not the cheapest option on the market, its performance and features make it a worthwhile investment for audiophiles. You can find the X2HR on various online retailers, and the best place to buy depends on your preferences and budget.

Amazon is a reliable and popular option. You can find the X2HR on Amazon at a competitive price, and you can often find discounts and deals during sales events. Amazon also offers Prime shipping, which can be a significant advantage for those who need their headphones quickly.

Other retailers like Newegg, Best Buy, and Crutchfield also carry the X2HR. These retailers may offer different pricing and shipping options, so it’s worth comparing prices before making a purchase.

Directly from Philips is another option, but it’s generally not recommended due to higher prices and limited discounts.

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When deciding where to buy, consider the following factors:

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  • Price: Compare prices across different retailers to get the best deal.
  • Shipping costs: Factor in shipping costs when comparing prices.
  • Return policy: Choose a retailer with a generous return policy in case you need to return the headphones.
  • Customer reviews: Read customer reviews to get a sense of the retailer’s service and product quality.

Ultimately, the best place to buy the Philips Fidelio X2HR depends on your individual needs and preferences. By comparing prices, shipping options, and customer reviews, you can find the best deal for you.

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Alternatives: Exploring Other High-End Options

If you’re looking for other high-end headphones that might be a better fit for your needs, there are a few worthy contenders to consider. Here’s a rundown of some popular alternatives:

  • Sennheiser HD 800 S: Renowned for their exceptional clarity and wide soundstage, the HD 800 S are often lauded as the benchmark for open-back headphones. They offer an incredibly detailed and natural sound signature, with a slightly brighter treble and a slightly more laid-back bass response compared to the X2HR. However, they come at a significantly higher price point, making them a more premium investment.

  • Beyerdynamic T1 (3rd Generation): The Beyerdynamic T1, in its latest iteration, is a highly respected headphone known for its dynamic and engaging sound. It features a powerful bass response, a detailed treble, and a wide soundstage. It’s a slightly warmer and more forward-sounding headphone than the X2HR, with a more prominent midrange presence.

  • HiFiMan Sundara: The HiFiMan Sundara is a popular choice among audiophiles looking for a more affordable option within the high-end category. These planar magnetic headphones offer excellent detail retrieval, a wide soundstage, and a neutral sound signature. They are known for their excellent value proposition, providing exceptional sound quality at a relatively lower price than other flagship models.

  • Focal Clear MG: The Focal Clear MG is another contender in the high-end open-back headphone market. These headphones are known for their exceptional clarity, wide soundstage, and impressive dynamic range. They offer a more detailed and nuanced sound than the X2HR, with a slightly brighter treble and a more prominent bass response. However, they are also a significant investment.

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  • Audeze LCD-2 Classic: Audeze is known for its high-end planar magnetic headphones, and the LCD-2 Classic is a popular choice for its detailed sound, wide soundstage, and powerful bass response. It offers a more immersive and engaging listening experience compared to the X2HR, with a slightly warmer sound signature and a more prominent low-end presence.

When choosing an alternative, it’s essential to consider your individual preferences and listening habits. Factors like sound signature, comfort, and price point all play a significant role in making the right decision. Take the time to research and compare different options to find the headphones that best meet your specific requirements and provide you with the ultimate listening experience.

FAQ: Answers to Common Questions

FAQ: Answers to Common Questions

Q: Are the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones open-back or closed-back?

A: The Philips Fidelio X2HR are open-back headphones. This means they have an open design that allows sound to pass through the back of the earcups, resulting in a wider and more spacious soundstage. Open-back headphones are generally preferred for their natural and detailed sound, but they also tend to leak sound more than closed-back headphones.

Q: What is the impedance of the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones?

A: The impedance of the Philips Fidelio X2HR is 30 ohms. This means that they are relatively easy to drive, and can be powered by most smartphones, laptops, and portable audio players. However, for the best sound quality, it’s recommended to use a dedicated headphone amplifier.

Q: What is the frequency response of the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones?

A: The frequency response of the Philips Fidelio X2HR is 5Hz – 40kHz. This wide frequency range means that the headphones are capable of reproducing a wide range of sounds, from the lowest bass frequencies to the highest treble frequencies.

Q: What is the cable length of the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones?

A: The Philips Fidelio X2HR come with a 3-meter detachable cable. This is a long cable that allows for plenty of movement and freedom of use.

Q: What are the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones compatible with?

A: The Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones are compatible with a wide range of devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, desktops, and audio players. They can be used with any device that has a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Q: Are the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones wireless?

A: The Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones are not wireless. They require a wired connection to work.

Q: What is the weight of the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones?

A: The Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones weigh 360 grams. While this is a bit heavier than some other headphones on the market, they are still comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Q: Can the earcups be replaced on the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones?

A: Yes, the earcups on the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones can be replaced. This allows you to customize the headphones with different materials and colors.

Q: What are the best accessories to use with the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones?

A: Some recommended accessories for the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones include a headphone amplifier, a dedicated headphone stand, and a cleaning kit.

Q: Where can I find replacement earpads for the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones?

A: Replacement earpads for the Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones can be purchased from the Philips website, Amazon, or other online retailers.

About the Author: Experience and Expertise

I have a deep passion for audio technology and have been actively involved in the audiophile community for over a decade. My journey began with a simple desire to experience music in its purest form, leading me to explore various headphones, speakers, and audiophile-grade equipment. Over the years, I have developed a keen ear for detail and an understanding of the nuances that differentiate exceptional sound from the ordinary. I am particularly drawn to open-back headphones for their ability to recreate a wide and immersive soundstage, allowing listeners to truly connect with the music. My reviews are driven by a commitment to providing honest and insightful assessments based on rigorous testing and critical listening. I strive to offer valuable insights that help readers make informed decisions when purchasing audio equipment, ensuring they find the perfect match for their listening preferences. Beyond my passion for audio, I am an avid music enthusiast with a diverse taste ranging from classical and jazz to rock and electronic music. This allows me to objectively evaluate headphones across various genres and provide a comprehensive perspective on their performance. My goal is to share my knowledge and experience with fellow audiophiles, helping them discover the joy of exceptional sound and elevate their listening experiences.

The Philips Fidelio X2HR is an impressive set of headphones that offers a truly immersive audio experience. With their open-back design and powerful drivers, they deliver a wide soundstage, detailed imaging, and excellent clarity. The X2HR’s comfort and build quality are top-notch, making them a pleasure to wear for extended periods. While their price point is high, they represent a significant value proposition for audiophiles and music enthusiasts seeking a truly high-end listening experience.

The X2HR shines in genres that emphasize detail and nuance, such as classical music, jazz, and acoustic music. Their natural and transparent sound signature allows listeners to appreciate the subtle intricacies of recordings, revealing new layers and textures in familiar tracks. The headphones also handle bass frequencies with authority, providing a deep and impactful low-end without sacrificing clarity or detail.

For those seeking a truly immersive and detailed listening experience, the Philips Fidelio X2HR is a strong contender. Their open-back design and powerful drivers deliver a wide soundstage and a highly accurate and natural sound signature. While their price may be a hurdle for some, their excellent build quality, comfort, and sonic performance make them a worthy investment for audiophiles and music enthusiasts who demand the best.

Overall, the Philips Fidelio X2HR is a highly recommended choice for audiophiles and music lovers seeking a truly immersive and detailed listening experience. They offer excellent sound quality, comfort, and build quality, making them a worthy investment for those willing to spend a premium for a high-end listening experience. The X2HR’s open-back design, powerful drivers, and natural sound signature make them an excellent choice for genres that emphasize detail and nuance, such as classical music, jazz, and acoustic music.

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