Philips Fidelio X3 Review

by Bruno Brozovic

The Philips Fidelio X3 headphones blew me away with their solid build and premium materials, making them both stylish and incredibly comfortable. Their exceptional sound quality and spacious soundstage make them a worthwhile investment for any serious music lover, despite the higher price.

Intro

When I first tried the Philips Fidelio X3 headphones, I was immediately impressed by their solid build and premium materials like metal and leather. The design is not only stylish but also incredibly comfortable, with plush ear cushions and an open-back structure that makes long listening sessions a pleasure. The sound quality is exceptional, offering clear, detailed audio with a spacious soundstage. While they are priced higher than some other options, the quality and performance make them a worthwhile investment for any serious music lover.

Philips Fidelio X3 Review

Construction & Design

At the top of Philips’ wired headphones lineup is the Fidelio X3. These large over-ear headphones are part of the premium Fidelio series and have a design similar to the wireless L3 model. They feature large round resonators covered with acoustically transparent fabric from Kvadrat and cushioned with memory foam pads lined with velvet. Instead of classic hinges, they use round metal frames that connect seamlessly with the outer headband, giving the impression that the resonators are floating. This unique design is both attractive and functional.

The Fidelio X3 very quickly shows that these are true hi-fi headphones.

The outer headband of the Philips Fidelio X3 is made of machined metal with a dark gray satin finish and discreet engravings. It is covered mostly in quality leather from Muirhead, with the model designation engraved on top. Instead of being fully upholstered, it has an additional inner headband that is thinly upholstered in leather and mounted on sliding straps, adapting easily to any head size. The Fidelio X3 requires no manual adjustments, as it adapts automatically to the shape and size of the user’s head.

Sale
PHILIPS Fidelio X3 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones for Recording & Mixing Wired Over The Ear Open-Back Headphones, Multi-Layer 50mm Diaphragms, Hi-Res Music Studio Headset, Premium Finishing
  • All new Philips Fidelio X3 with wide, natural soundstage and uncolored sound
  • Exquisitely tuned 50 mm multi-layer polymer (with dampening gel) diaphragms - delivers exquisitely detailed highs, full...
  • Hi-Res Audio certified. Hear the full impact of every note when wired to a high-resolution source for a lifelike...
  • Open-back design. Wide, natural soundstage with acoustically transparent Kvadrat speaker fabric. By eliminating the air...
  • Premium finishing also means responsibly sourced materials. The sumptuous black Muirhead Scottish leather covering the...

Philips Fidelio X3 Sound Test

When I received the Fidelio X3 headphones, they came in a canvas carrying bag. I wished for a hard carrying case for better protection. The package included two 3-meter cables made of oxygen-free conductors. One has a 3.5mm connector, and the other is 2.5mm for a balanced connection. I liked that the detachable cables have separate connectors for each driver, making it easy to upgrade to higher-quality cables. An adapter for a 6.35mm outlet with gold-plated contacts was also included, adding to the premium feel.

Philips Fidelio X3 unboxed

Philips Fidelio X3 unboxed

Thanks to the low impedance, the Fidelio X3 sounds good with a mobile device, but it truly shines at home with a proper amplifier and lossless audio. In this setup, the Fidelio X3 proves to be a true hi-fi headphone, delivering balanced and detailed sound. The 50mm drivers produce defined tones and a silky sophistication in detail. Subtle tones are present throughout the spectrum, making the X3 excel with quality recordings, vocals, and acoustic instruments. It handles dynamic changes well, performing excellently with classical music.

Philips Fidelio X3 side view

At 380 grams, the Fidelio X3 isn’t the lightest, but its excellent ergonomics and lack of need for adjustments make it very comfortable. The large round pads completely cover the ears and are barely felt on the head, while the inner headband rests on top with slightly stronger pressure. Discomfort only occurs after several hours of continuous use, so overall, the Fidelio X3 can be considered quite comfortable for extended listening sessions.

In the second part of my test, I used a balanced connection, and the Fidelio X3 showed even more potential. The increased power led to more pronounced macro and micro dynamics. The bass became sharper and more defined, providing a solid foundation in the lower spectrum and enhancing the sense of rhythm while maintaining a balanced display. The tones across the spectrum were better formed, and I was particularly impressed by how the Fidelio X3 smoothly handled the decline of individual tones, with no signs of oscillations.

Philips Fidelio X3 Video Review

Philips Fidelio X3 Specifications

Sound

  • Impedance: 30 Ohm
  • Speaker diameter: 50 mm
  • Sensitivity: 98 dB @ 1mW
  • Frequency range: 5 – 40,000 Hz
  • Maximum power input: 100 mW
  • Distortion (THD): <0.1% THD
  • Hi-Res Audio: Yes
  • Acoustic system: Open
  • Driver type: Dynamic

Connectivity

  • Detachable cable: Yes
  • Headphone socket: 3.5 mm

You can download & view the manual here->Philips Fidelio X3 Manual

Final Verdict

The Philips Fidelio X3 headphones are a standout choice for audiophiles and casual listeners alike. With exceptional build quality, luxurious design, and superb sound performance, they offer a truly immersive listening experience. The low impedance makes them versatile for mobile use, but they truly excel with a proper home setup. The balanced connection enhances dynamics and bass response, providing a solid foundation for the music. Despite their weight, the comfortable fit makes them suitable for extended listening sessions. Overall, the Fidelio X3 is a top-tier headphone that delivers on all fronts.

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