Philips Fidelio NC1 review | TechSwitch

    Philips is an audio model going by one thing of a renaissance within the headphone market. We gave the Philips Fidelio X2 full marks just a few years again, and whereas the Fidelio NC1 would not fairly match the X2’s eloquent sound efficiency, they’re nonetheless an outstanding set of headphones for the cash.

    That being mentioned, there are newer noise-cancelling headphones out that might be value trialing for your self. The Sony WH-1000XM2 is main the trade with its variable noise-cancellation settings and Hello-Res Audio help, whereas the Bose QuietComfort 35 II packs Google Assistant into the headphones themselves.

    All that mentioned, you probably have your eyes (and ears) set on the Philips Fidelio NC1, you may nonetheless be shopping for one of many best noise-cancelling headphones in the marketplace.

    The Philips Fidelio NC1 are headphones which have been created for the frequent traveller. They arrive in a luxurious, arduous case to cease them being ruined when thrown right into a bag and likewise fold properly into themselves, so they do not take up a lot room. Couple this with a noise cancellation change and they’re virtually begging to change into your journey buddy.


    The Philips Fidelio NC1 headphones look nice. The aluminium again has a barely mottled design that appears and feels premium. I do suppose it’s a little overkill to have Excessive Definition Audio Philips NC1 written on either side of the headphones but it surely does little to detract from the manager look.

    Philips Fidelio NC1

    Philips has opted to make use of reminiscence foam for the earpads, which has been coated in smooth leather-based. This foam can be used on the high of the headscarf, which ensures a cosy match. This makes them some of the comfy headphones I’ve used. Even after extended use, I by no means as soon as felt the ‘pinch’ you get across the ear that on-ear headphones are famed for.

    A slight downside of this, nevertheless, is that the earpads sit in your ear quite than cup them. This does result in slight noise leakage (as my workmates can attest to) and typically it’s a must to readjust the headphones to place them completely in your ears. My ears have been allowed to breath, although, making the NC1’s an absolute pleasure to make use of.

    Philips Fidelio NC1

    Hooked up to the headphones is a replaceable cable. To make it possible for it would not tangle, Philips has used a rope-like materials for the cable which is flanked by a right-angled three.5mm jack at each ends. These have been gold plated for higher conductivity. There’s additionally an in-line controller and mic on the cable that lets you change between your music and cellphone calls.

    The one different factor of observe on the design is an uncovered micro USB slot located on the underside of the proper earpad and the all-important and quite distinctive ANC (energetic noise cancelling) change on the left earpad, subsequent to the three.5mm jack port.

    Philips Fidelio NC1

    For some purpose, when sporting the NC1s, I saved having to fumble round to search out the ANC change. This could be right down to my very own motor response points quite than design, nevertheless. After I did finally change it on, although, the outcomes have been very good.

    It’s because Philips has gone for a quite novel ‘elective’ noise cancelation choice. Because of this if the battery on these powered headphones does die, you possibly can nonetheless use them however with out the noise cancellation performance. Give the headphones a cost, nevertheless, and they’re going to provide up 30 hours’ noise cancelling in return.

    Philips Fidelio NC1

    I examined the ANC operate of the headphones on a two-hour flight and the outcomes have been nice. There was a noticeable lack of background hiss when the ANC was switched on and the ambient noise of the airplane was saved to a quiet minimal.

    That is all due to Philips utilizing an eight mic resolution – 4 on the skin of the headphones to counteract mid and excessive frequencies and the opposite 4 on the within to dam decrease sounds.

    To just be sure you are fully coated on a airplane, Philips has additionally added an airplane plug.


    Even with out the noise cancellation, the Philips Fidelio NC1 vary provide up some beautiful audio copy.

    Philips Fidelio NC1

    To check the headphones, I selected quite a lot of tracks that will give 7-25,000Hz frequency response an honest exercise. For the mid-range, Father John Misty’s Bored In The USA was listened to on repeat. The timbre in J Tillman’s voice sounded clear and the piano pin sharp. The NC1s provide a beautiful balanced heat sound that proves Philips’ engineers have not tried to favour bass of their positive tuning.

    To make it possible for the bass wasn’t being undervalued, although, I listened to the bass drum heavy Digital Witness by St Vincent and the low-end leanings of Get Up by Younger Fathers. Each tracks have been once more minimize with readability however nonetheless had sufficient low-end rumbling to the 40mm neodymium drivers an honest exercise.

    Philips Fidelio NC1

    I did get the sensation that the NC1 most popular pushing out music that was steeped in treble. Each TV On The Radio’s hi-hat heavy Joyful Fool and Todd Terje’s Delorean Dynamite challenged the NC1’s high-range however the headphones handed with aplomb.

    We preferred

    There’s a lot to like concerning the Philips Fidelio NC1 headphones. They’re a pleasure to put on and provide up nice sound copy. They’re additionally one of many lightest and most compact ANC headphones round.

    To high all of this off, they give the impression of being nice. The styling is premium, for these not trying to make an excessive amount of of a shouty assertion with their headphones.

    We disliked

    Typically you do neglect to show the ANC off when not utilizing the headphones. This generally is a downside if you happen to neglect to do that often, though one cost ought to final 30 hours or so.

    There was some noise leakage which might annoy work colleagues or these travelling in shut proximity to your ears.

    Last verdict

    The Philips Fidelio NC1 headphones are a positive addition to Philips’ headphone vary. They’re finest suited to frequent travellers who do not wish to lug huge cans round with them the entire time but in addition do not wish to compromise on sound high quality.

    They provide very good sound that is balanced and heat and whereas I’d like to see a wi-fi vary, the cable supplied within the combine is dextrous sufficient to not fear about it. A lightning cable model of the headphones was previewed at CES, so there may be much more innovation to come back from this vary.

    Philips has created a $260/£250 (round AU$350) pair of headphones which can be greater than value their sticker value.

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