Fidelio X2

Philips Fidelio X2

Following the X1, Philips released the X2 (and later the X2HR, though it’s almost identical to the X2) as its new midfi flagship model.
Build is nice, although velour pads can catch dust easily. Comfort is rather good although some people might not like the clamping (above average). Super easy to drive.
Philips developped the Fidelio X serie in order to compete with the usual midfi “kings” : Sennheiser HD650, AKG K701 and Beyerdynamic DT880.

○ Release : 2014
○ Current status : Discontinued
○ Type : Over-ear / Open-back
○ Measured weight : 390g
○ Impedance : 30 Ohms
○ Sensitivity : 96 dB/mW
○ Average used price : $120-160

I’ve owned the Fidelio X2 at the same time as other midfi open headphones : HD600, HD650, AD900X, K712, DT880 and Hifiman HE400i. To me, the Philips had the most fun sound profile, but was the least technically capable in the group.

It exhibits a boost in the bass, between sub-bass and mid-bass, giving good amount of quantity to most notes, but without real physical impact – bass is a bit muddy, and does not offer very low-end (20-50hz) extension.
Midrange is honest, but a bit blurred by the treble ; there is annoying peak around 8-9 khz with poor resolution and resonance. Overall sound is warm / slightly V-shaped.

Where I find disappointment is in the technicalities ; the Fidelio X2 simply sounds grainy and a bit “low-fi” for its original MSRP price ($299). Slightly boomy bass, unrefined harsh treble don’t help with the resolution. Hopefully, it sounds very wide and open, though not having superb dynamics and attack.

I still think the Fidelio X2 is a decent recommendation for people looking for a fun, bassy open-back with ease of use : it’s not hard to drive, very comfortable and with solid build quality. Folks wanting a “reference” sound should avoid this Philips and look for a pair of HD600 or DT880.

Measurements & Resources

The measurement is close to what I hear, except in the upper-midrange. I wasn’t really bothered by any 4-5 khz edginess. Midbass is a bit too emphasized relative to the midrange, and lacks sub-bass. Treble is quite bad, with a proeminent mid-treble peak around 8-9 khz.


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