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[Amazon.ca] Philips Audio Fidelio X3 $258.70

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  • Nov 9th, 2020 5:32 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 20, 2015
75 posts
219 upvotes
Vancouver, BC

[Amazon.ca] Philips Audio Fidelio X3 $258.70

Seems like a decent price for these
14 replies
Member
Jun 9, 2019
404 posts
477 upvotes
Bought a pair. Will compare with my Sennheiser HD 6xx and report back on Saturday/Sunday, as from what I can see these roughly compete with the 6xx/58x (especially at this price!).

I predict that if the sound experience is similar, I may go with them over my 6xx for the versatility of lower impedance. They're also a bit more stylish and may have better build quality.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 20, 2015
75 posts
219 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
I purchased a pair wondering the same thing. And I agree on the stylish part Ok Hand Sign
Sr. Member
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Aug 28, 2006
922 posts
171 upvotes
Scarborough
Oomani wrote: Bought a pair. Will compare with my Sennheiser HD 6xx and report back on Saturday/Sunday, as from what I can see these roughly compete with the 6xx/58x (especially at this price!).

I predict that if the sound experience is similar, I may go with them over my 6xx for the versatility of lower impedance. They're also a bit more stylish and may have better build quality.
I have been using t he X2 for years. Not sure what has changed but X2 is way more soundstage, boomier bass and much less detail and clarity. X2 also way better for gaming if you tone down the bass.
Deal Addict
Jul 22, 2014
1465 posts
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Calgary, AB
Wondering how these will be for positional audio in games, and if they will still work with my V-Moda Boom Pro as I see they required cable inputs on both earcups.
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Dec 2, 2016
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GTA
blyndfyre wrote: Wondering how these will be for positional audio in games, and if they will still work with my V-Moda Boom Pro as I see they required cable inputs on both earcups.
https://www.mmorpg.com/hardware-reviews ... 2000119682

According to this source, the vmoda mic should work. Im just wondering if this is a worthwhile upgrade to my current SHP9500.
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Jul 22, 2014
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stebum wrote: https://www.mmorpg.com/hardware-reviews ... 2000119682

According to this source, the vmoda mic should work. Im just wondering if this is a worthwhile upgrade to my current SHP9500.
That source seems to just guess that it will work.

Just found a video here where it seems the reviewer actually tried and it won't work. Another point he makes is a ModMic won't work well either as the earcups are mostly fabric.
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Apr 6, 2003
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blyndfyre wrote: That source seems to just guess that it will work.

Just found a video here where it seems the reviewer actually tried and it won't work. Another point he makes is a ModMic won't work well either as the earcups are mostly fabric.
Yeah because of the split cable design they went with for the X3.
Newbie
Jul 23, 2015
32 posts
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Shea Heights, NL
cosmopath wrote: I'm not sure how these X3s are built, but just a fair warning about my experience with Fidelios for anyone considering these.

My X2s had the screws that were holding the earcups in place literally rip out and permanently damage the threads after what has to be the most pathetic drop in the world (no more than 2 feet onto hardwood?). Apparently this is a semi-common issue, after reading up on Reddit about it. I reached out to Philips about this since they were still in warranty and thought I could maybe get it fixed, because $200 headphones should not be breaking that easily. Just finding the right place to contact was a challenge in of itself. I finally got a hold of the company handling warranty in Canada for their headphones, and after waiting days and having to contact them again for a response, I got denied since they said they don't cover user damage (which like... is a 2 foot drop really considered notable user damage?). I tried following up and fighting this, and got ignored every single time I attempted to contact them. They wouldn't even elaborate or double down on their decision. Just radio silence.

I have purchased plenty of headphones from many brands in many different price points, most of which have experienced similarly weak drops at one point or another. The X2s are, to this day, the only headphones I've ever owned that have suffered any damage whatsoever from it.

It's a shame because I thought they sounded great and were super comfortable. But I don't think I'll be buying Fidelios again after experiencing how poorly the X2s were built/designed around the earcup area, and how frustrating customer support is here in Canada.
I have read that the plastic pins have been replaced with metal ones on the X3's but sorry to hear about your bad experience.
Newbie
Oct 22, 2014
35 posts
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Laval, QC
Thanks OP. Great find.

Decided not to buy as I already own the HD650 and the LifelongCaboose comment on reddit:
I was very disappointed in the X3.

It's no secret I also don't find the x2 that great. It was a solid sub $150 v shaped headphone but lacked alot of detail and overall technical preformance.

The X3 has a very different sound signature, it bass rolled and much brighter. Overall it sounds more like a bad version of a dt880.

Overall I wouldn't bother with it at this price or really any price. It was a disappointment.
Member
Jun 9, 2019
404 posts
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impruv wrote: I have been using t he X2 for years. Not sure what has changed but X2 is way more soundstage, boomier bass and much less detail and clarity. X2 also way better for gaming if you tone down the bass.
So the X3 sounds quite different from what you're describing. Perhaps I need to break it in more, but here are my initial impressions.

Much better build quality than the 6xx. Expected, I suppose. The 6xx is a stripped down version of the 650 that keeps the drivers the same, but nevertheless the X3 is a notch above. More metal, more genuine leather, and with the fabric over the earcups they look more stylish. The earcup padding is huge, generous, deep, and soft; a touch more comfortable than the 6xx, but less comfortable than my classic and trusty HD598. It's a subtle touch, but the cables coming out of the headphones are slightly pointed forwards instead of straight down. This is unlike the 6xx and helps route the cables a bit better down your body. All in all, at this price point you'd expect subtle changes in build quality and it really adds up. I don't own original 650s, though, so I imagine they would fare better in this category.

My favourite reference song for headphones for an orchestral piece is Coming Back Around from How to Train Your Dragon. It has a great mix of instrumentation, from rolling snare drums to beating bass drums. Towards the end there's a piccolo that flutters up and about on the high end that all quality headphones should be able to separate. And it essentially ends with a roll on the timpani that I use to reference any bass boom. For audio equipment I used a Schiit Magni amp and an SMSL M100 DAC. This is only for the 6xx which requires this setup, otherwise the X3 is easy to drive with an impedance of 30 Ohms. However, the headphones do NOT come with a short cable for portable listening to be expected, I suppose, with an open back. Would've been nice at this price point, though.

Anyway, the X3 has a bit better instrument separation than the 6xx. Soundstage is a bit bigger than the 6xx, too. But past this I was disappointed. Another review mentions a 'sibilant' quality that the X3 has which can be annoying and honestly I can see it. The snare in my reference song is way too pronounced. It's also lacking a bit in the bass department, which if you know the 6xx/650 at all is quite the failure. There's a faint bass drum which can be heard towards the end of the song and I felt it a bit more with the 6xx. The ending timpani roll on the X3 lacked the same 'oomph' as the 6xx. This persisted even after I added some software equalizer bass boost. The sibilance can be toned down by similarly turning down the high end on the equalizer, but it's still somewhat noticeable, too.

I did also compare these to my Meze 99 Noir on the same setup as above. I listened to funky songs like Wait - Chromeo Remix (Maroon 5, Chromeo) and Levitating by Dua Lipa. If you know these Meze headphones you know what I might say, they blow the other two out of the water when it comes to 'fun' listening. It has the right mix of bass and treble to make these types of songs poppy and fun to listen to. I also prefer closed back headphones for this type of music. Credit to the X3, they make a stronger attempt than the 6xx at being fun when listening to pop songs. But the sibilance kills it for me. I have to equalize it a bit, but sacrifice some clarity in the process. Comparing it again to the 6xx, the neutrality of the 6xx wins out again. The necessity of equalization, IMHO, takes away clarity and would mean I'd ALSO have to switch equalizer profiles in addition to headphones when I want to listen to different types of music.

Overall it's a bit disappointing, especially when you consider the original retail price of the X3. But I'll say this. If you don't have two different styles of headphones for music and you're looking for something that's versatile, easy to drive, and has great looks, the X3 is the one for you. Especially if you're upgrading from something <$100, these will knock your socks off with a good DAC. Unfortunately in my case, they don't unseat the 6xx from its current throne on my desk. Should be noted, however, apparently not everyone hears the sibilance. I can, but if you can't then that's a huge plus towards these headphones and may have been enough for me to make the switch.
Jr. Member
Dec 8, 2019
143 posts
203 upvotes
Oomani wrote: Overall it's a bit disappointing, especially when you consider the original retail price of the X3. But I'll say this. If you don't have two different styles of headphones for music and you're looking for something that's versatile, easy to drive, and has great looks, the X3 is the one for you. Especially if you're upgrading from something <$100, these will knock your socks off with a good DAC. Unfortunately in my case, they don't unseat the 6xx from its current throne on my desk. Should be noted, however, apparently not everyone hears the sibilance. I can, but if you can't then that's a huge plus towards these headphones and may have been enough for me to make the switch.
Just got my pair today and I have fairly similar impressions - they feel more premium and comfy than the 6XXs, and are much easier to drive. Soundstage is better, and the sound signature is much brighter. There's definitely a little bit of sibilance, especially on more aggressively mastered audio tracks. I'm using a Audioengine D1 DAC with no separate amp.

Not convinced about switching over from my 6XXs yet - probably need a few more days of listening before deciding. Also the included 3.5mm cord feels nice, but is super long - would rather them include another shorter one, instead of the inexplicable 2.5mm cord (what modern audio device still uses 2.5mm? lol)
Last edited by kevinkuo on Nov 9th, 2020 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Member
Jun 9, 2019
404 posts
477 upvotes
kevinkuo wrote: Just got my pair today and I have fairly similar impressions - they feel more premium and comfy than the 6XXs, and are much easier to drive. Soundstage is better, but I can also tell a little bit of sibilance, especially on more aggressively mastered audio tracks. I'm using a Audioengine D1 DAC with no separate amp.

Not convinced about switching over from my 6XXs yet - probably need a few more days of listening before deciding. Also the included 3.5mm cord feels nice, but is super long - would rather them include another shorter one, instead of the inexplicable 2.5mm cord (what modern audio device still uses 2.5mm? lol)
So I haven't returned mine yet. I'm going to try breaking them in for about 50h or so as one reviewer did and make another direct comparison test. Perhaps this will bring out slightly more sub bass and get rid of some sibilance. In the meantime I'm using an equalizer setting to make the compromise instead.

My guess is the super long cord is meant for desktop use. I would've liked to have seen a portable cord, which would've worked better with the useless clip that was included.

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