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Philips Fidelio X2 Review

Audiolab 6000A Amplifier


Active Member
Jan 11, 2015
Finally got my hands on older brother of philips shp 9500 and the biggest question i had in mind before i started using fidelio x2 was does it justify almost 4 times more premium over 9500.Before i get into that let me talk a bit about X2,the current model that i have is the Gibson model which has caused a bit of riot in the internet,but luckily the one i own other than glued earpads is basically the same headphone as the original.The box was larger than i thought it would be,it got a luxurious feel to it that i already read about in countless reviews i have read.What got my attention was the included cable,compared to the one provided with the shp 9500(crap) this felt like a premium headphone cable.

Build Quality
The headphone is absolutely beautiful,everything is nicely designed with no visible cable outside,Philips has possibly spent a lot of time in engineering and designing this headphone.The memory foam earpads are very nice and feel very comfortable on the head.The headband is very comfortable with enough cushion,mesh fabric supported by an elastic strap.Unlike 9500 all you have to do is place the headphone in head to get the desired fit.There is one detachable 3.5 mm cable in the left,this means you could use a bluetooth adapter like mpow or use different cable.The grill on outside is made of metal and adds to the fantastic look of the headphone.

This is one of the areas where i have mixed feeling about the X2,coming from SHP 9500 the added weight and the clamp makes me go back to the 9500 for long gaming sessions.Don't get me wrong the X2 is not uncomfortable by any means it is far better than most headphones i have used.But the 9500 feels very light and has just the right amount of clamp to be usable for extremely long sessions.Hopefully the X2 is relatively new and the clamp will get looser over time.

Windows 10 pc with Schiit modi DAC and fiio e12 amplifier with foobar.

Sound Quality
This part would have been lot more easier if i had never heard or owned the SHP 9500,i am basically a neutral head i prefer every frequencies the bass,treble and mids given equal importance.After trying to A-B test both the X2 and 9500 with music from Porcupine Tree and Amelie soundtrack,i really can't tell which headphone i like more,noticeably slight dip in the mids in the X2 somewhat lacks the emotional feel that i get from the liquid midrange of the 9500,the treble also lacks the sparkly feel of the 9500 on the X2,but the with the bass impact and the wider soundstage i can't really tell which one the X2 or 9500 sounds better with the Porcupine Tree.X2 has what i call a fun sound signature with elevated subbass,detailed mids and detailed non harsh treble that will satisfy both the bassheads and audiophiles alike.Does it justify the premium over SHP 9500,that is a question i doesn't really want to get into,in a way with way better buildquality and the sound that is great with almost every genre,movies and games the X2 is remarkably well priced.But if you are a neutral head try to A-B test the SHP 9500 before jumping to the X2.

La quai(Amelie Soundtrack)-flac

An amazing track from Yann Tierson,the number of instruments he has used in this track is beyond me,with both X2 and 9500 the track sounds amazing but with the 9500 there is that extra flavor in mids that you wish the X2 has had.I only found this after A-B testing the X2 and 9500 a number of times otherwise i really doubt anyone who is not a experienced audio enthusiast would notice.

Nights in White Satin-The Moody Blues(24 bit flac)
The wider soundstage and bass makes the X2 more enjoyable with this track,i get a feeling of surrounded by music.I lack of mid detail is not really noticeable,fantastic instrument seperation and bass really gives a emotional ride.The bass especially feel like there is a subwoofer playing.

Mountains-Interstellar soundtrack(24 bit flac)
This is one of those tracks that really pushes the headphone or speakers to it's limits,the bass which slowly rises the beat and goes near 20hz in some parts the 9500 has no chance,the X2 does a remarkable job of keeping the bass under control and don't bleed into the mids.Philips really deserve some respect for such attention to detail.

Tom Sawyer-Rush(24 bit flac)
One of my favourite songs of all time,X2 sounds absolutely great the vocals and the drums especially sounds amazing,the detailed punchy bass really takes it close to the experience when i listen to true 2.1 speakers.

Inca Steppa-Juno Reactor(mp3)
I am not going to even mention 9500,EDM is one genre where the X2 wins hands down.Bass is detailed and punchy i can't help to tap your feets to this fantastic track.

Fidelio X2 is well worth their price and more,it could do almost every music genre to perfection.If you mainly listen to classic rock and piano music,i suggest you check out the cheaper shp9500 but trust me you won't be disappointed with the X2.