The Fidelio X2/27 is a relatively new variation of Philips’ popular X1s, although with a few design tweaks and a sound that boasts more neutrality, which should please audiophiles. This updated pair proves a very solid addition to the mid-range sub-$300 studio headphones market – let’s take a closer look to see what’s new.
On the face of it, the Fidelio X2s are very similar to the X1s in design, although subtle changes have been made to ensure upgrading is worthwhile. With simple dark aesthetics and a quality aluminum build, the X2s are sophisticated and flexible, but feel very robust.
Comfort plays a big part in this pair, with a self-adjusting hammock headband featuring a 3D mesh construction for a lightweight but accurate fit. There is also a pair of replaceable deluxe memory foam earpads covered with breathable velour, making for a snug fit that remains cool and comfortable even after a few hours of heavy studio work. For a sub-$300 pair, the materials and overall construction of the X2s are applaudable.
Under the hood, the X2s are fitted with relatively powerful pre-tilted 50mm neodymium drivers for a strong and immersive sound, with layered motion control diaphragms. These multiple layers (comprising polymer diaphragms and dampening gel) help absorb and reduce exaggerated frequencies, offering a smooth and flatter frequency response (5 to 40,000Hz).
The X2s also have a relatively low 30-ohm impedance, so they are pretty easy to drive. Included in the box is a detachable 3-meter OFC low-impedance cable with a handy cable management clip, and a standard 1/8” (3.5mm) to 1/4” adapter.
The tech and design of the X2s combine to deliver a crystal clear and very realistic sound. Bass is strong, while mids and trebles are smooth and accurate, with good separation. Everything feels very well balanced to create an all-round pleasing sound.
The open-back design is superb for offering a spacious sound, although – due to the construction of open-back cans – these phones are only suitable for use in a quiet studio or home. While the sound is exceptional, the X2s are not completely flat compared to some other headphones in this price range – but they are not far off. Regardless, this pair feels very well-suited to monitoring, mixing and critical listening.
Even at around $300, the whole package makes the Fidelio X2/27s a very good value prospect – style, comfort, durability and sound. While not completely flat, these offer a very satisfying sound with wonderful attention to detail. Ultimately, they are one of Philips’ best headphones, period.