Philips Fidelio X3 Review 2022

by crackler01

This is my first headphones review: Philips Fidelio X3 Review.

In addition to a really large number of wireless headphones for everyone’s taste and pocket, Philips still offers several classic models, which are connected by cable and are designed for the highest quality reproduction at home.


Philips Fidelio X3 Review

At the top of Philips’ range in the wired headphones segment is a new model, the Fidelio X3. It is known that the Fidelio series represents the upper part of the Dutch brand’s offer, and the X3 are large over-ear headphones, which visually resemble the L3 wireless model from the same series. This includes rather large round-shaped resonators, which are covered on the outside with acoustically transparent canvas by the Danish company Kvadrat, while on the inside there are massive memory foam pads lined with some kind of velvet. Philips would not be what it is if everything worked in the usual way, so instead of classic hinges, here we find round metal frames of resonators that are made along with the outer headband, and the joints are quite invisible, so it seems that resonators float in space. This solution is very attractive while retaining full functionality.

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

The aforementioned outer headband is made of flawlessly machined metal in a dark gray satin finish, with discreetly engraved manufacturer’s markings on the sides. Most of the headband is covered with quality leather from the well-known Scottish manufacturer Muirhead, and on the upper part, there is, again, quite discreetly engraved model designation. The outer headband is not upholstered because Philips has used a less common solution here – an additional headband on the inside. This inner headband is thinly upholstered in leather and is mounted on sliding straps, so it easily adapts to any head circumference. In other words, the Fidelio X3 frees the user from any adjustments: the resonators allow a slight movement relative to the receivers, while the holder allows a certain twist, so these headphones adjust to the volume and shape of the head when you put them on.

Philips Fidelio X3


In terms of technical solutions, it should be emphasized that the Fidelio X3 headphones are open-type. Namely, under the screen on the outside of the resonator there is a honeycomb grille that allows airflow, and at the same time protects the speaker units from damage. For sound reproduction, fairly large drivers are provided, which are equipped with multi-layer polymer membranes, 50 millimeters in diameter, and coated with a special gel to reduce vibrations. In order to be aimed as precisely as possible at the ear shells, the units are placed at an angle of 15 degrees, and neodymium magnets are in charge of starting them. The technical characteristics state that the nominal impedance of these headphones is only 30 ohms, which means that they are quite undemanding to start and that they will work acceptably with mobile devices if the need arises. The frequency range ranges from five hertz to 40 kilohertz, so the Fidelio X3 justifiably carries the official Hi-Res Audio certificate, which is awarded by JAS (Japan Audio Society) and CEA (Consumer Electronics Association). The total distortion is less than 0.1 percent, with a sensitivity of 98 decibels (1 mW).

Philips Fidelio X3 Specifications


  • 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


  • Detachable cable: Yes
  • Headphone socket: 3.5 mm

Here you can find -> Philips Fidelio X3 Manual

Philips Fidelio X3 Sound Test

Like most headphones designed primarily for home use, the Fidelio X3 comes without a hard carrying case – there is only a canvas bag, which can serve as a basic form of protection when carrying. On the other hand, the accessories contain two cables three meters long, which are made of oxygen-free conductors. The first cable is equipped with a standard 3.5 mm connector, while the second is 2.5 mm in diameter and allows for a balanced connection. Another advantage of a detachable cable with separate connectors for the left and right driver lies in the fact that hi-fi enthusiasts can purchase or make a higher quality cable of their choice. The accessory completes the adapter for connection to a 6.35-millimeter outlet, with gold-plated contact surfaces on all connectors.

Philips Fidelio X3 unboxed

Philips Fidelio X3 unboxed

Thanks to the low impedance, the Fidelio X3 will sound acceptable when connected to a mobile device, but its true nature is only shown in the home environment, with an adequate amplifier for headphones and lossless audio records. In such circumstances, the Fidelio X3 very quickly shows that it is a true hi-fi headphone, which provides a balanced and detailed sound. Fifty-millimeter drivers provide very defined tones, as well as a pronounced, almost silky sophistication in detail. Subtle and soft tones are present throughout the spectrum, so the Fidelio X3 will really excel during quality recordings and when playing vocals and acoustic instruments. The dynamic values ​​are very good, which is great to hear during the playback of classical music, and the headphones display quiet passages and successfully cope with rapid changes in volume.

Philips Fidelio X3 side view

The weight of 380 grams makes the Fidelio X3, not the lightest headphones we’ve come across, but the excellent ergonomics and the absence of any need for adjustment make them very comfortable to use, and especially grateful for frequent putting on and taking off. The large round pads completely cover the ear shells and are almost not felt on the surface of the head, while the inner headband, which rests on the top of the head, has a slightly stronger pressure. However, the discomfort it can cause only occurs after a few hours of continuous use, so the Fidelio X3 can be rated as quite comfortable headphones.

In the second part of the test, we used a balanced connection, and the Fidelio X3 showed that it can provide even more. The increased power at the output led to more pronounced macro and microdynamics, but we were even more impressed by the somewhat changed character of the tones and the overall reproduction. Namely, the Fidelio X3 began to bite harder and show sharper, grumpy bass. This provided the music with a solid foundation in the lower part of the spectrum, with a more pronounced sense of rhythm, while maintaining a well-balanced display. The basses were full and with a clearly displayed body and mass, and the well-balanced echo contributed to the overall impression. The tones in the whole spectrum were a shade better formed, and we especially liked the way in which the Fidelio X3 shows the decline of the individual tone – evenly and smoothly until the very end, with no signs of oscillations in the gradual attenuation.

Philips Fidelio X3 Video Review

Philips Fidelio X3 Review – Final Verdict

Although present in many fields of consumer electronics, Philips has always known how to make devices that provide excellent playback quality, whether sound or image. The Fidelio X3, therefore, proves to be a worthy successor to the X2 and defends part of the Dutch brand in the hi-fi category. Don’t be fooled by first-class materials and luxury workmanship – the Philips Fidelio X3 is a great home headset that combines lifestyle and quality playback in the best way.

Philips Fidelio X3 Pro & Cons


  • Wide-open, detailed, and confident high-resolution audio sound
  • Fairly priced given the performance
  • Comfortable, self-adjusting fit
  • Can be controlled easily
  • Nice materials, properly used


  • Bass’s response could be more assertive
  • No adapter for devices with Lightning ports
  • Not suitable for on-the-go or noisy environments
  • Lyric-heavy songs don’t excel
  • As big as a very big thing
The Fidelio X3 proves to be a worthy successor to the X2 and defends part of the Dutch brand in the hi-fi category. These are true hi-fi headphones.
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