Customer Review

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Philips throw away headphones?, 2 April 2014
This review is from: Philips Fidelio X1/00 Hi-Fi Stereo Indoor Headphones (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I have been reading, with interest, the very favourable reviews and comments concerning the build and sound quality of the Philips Fidelio X1 Headphones.
However, no one seems to have mentioned that, as far as I understand from Philips, neither the Headband Cover or the Velour Ear cups and perhaps even other spare parts, are replaceable.
If this is true, and bearing in mind that in my experience certainly the Ear Cups alone on Hi Fi headphones with average use require replacement every 2 to 5 years, and if I am right then it would appear that Philips may have, in effect, produced a very fine product but with a seriously overall limited life expectancy.
Certainly I would expect a pair of headphones for this price, and quality, to be an investment that are able to last much longer than this.
Based on headphones that I have owned from manufacturers including Beyer, AKG and Sennheiser etc I have always been able to purchase and fit replacement Ear Cups, and indeed almost any other spare part, as required.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Apr 2014 22:54:21 BDT
As these are designed for home use only and are very well put together I wouldn't worry about the ear pads needing replacing after two to five years. Giving them a 3 star review after reading about them is a bit odd.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2014 15:44:54 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Apr 2014 15:47:33 BDT
There was a lot of truth in what HM Westley wrote however - Philips have always been well respected in the headphones world and it's frustrating that replacement parts cant be sourced for these headphones. I guess its all about making money these days and we, the buying public, just have to replace the whole lot instead of ear pads etc...

Posted on 3 Apr 2014 22:20:05 BDT
Are you two mental!? These aren't Grado cheapo foam pads they will last many years at least ten, that's 18 pounds a year. Infact they should last a lifetime as they don't touch your ears and aren't an overly tight fit. If this is putting you off buying the best value open backed cans available you need to stop worrying!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2014 13:52:17 BDT
Mark Westley says:
Gentlemen, thank you for your comments in reply to my review.
Firstly Mr Wilson, I feel it somewhat hurtful that you challenge my mental state when all I have done is bring to your attention a potential problem with the Philips X1 Headphones.
Perhaps I have not put my point of view clearly enough.
As a former Hi Fi Retailer and Audio Engineer ( I am retired now), I have seen and used many different makes and types of headphones and now, as it happens, for my own use, prefer the circumaural (over ear) type as per the X1's
You are quite correct in saying that this style of headphone does not touch your ears, however, as the ear cups do rest against your hair/head, I have found that they can, over a period of time, wear and discolour, presumably due to contact with the oils and hair on the skin. This seems, in my experience, to be more obvious on the Velour type of pad as opposed to the leatherette design.
The amount of time taken before the cups need replacing is largely up to a number of variables, eg amount used, type of skin/hair of the user, robustness of the cup itself and, of course, depending on just how particular the owner is.
The reason I have commented on the Fidelio X1 in particular is as follows:
1. This is not a cheap, disposable headphone, that most of us could afford to throw away after a few years use but is, in fact, Philips's top of the range, ie their best headphone.
2. This headphone is listed at £270.00 which while I admit by Hi Fi standards is a fairly middle of the road priced item of it's type, this is nevertheless a lot of money to many of us.
3. I would suggest that Philips have probably spent some time developing and designing this product and have in most respects produced a good value, high quality product.
4.I do not think, however, it unreasonable to expect that when I, or anyone else, spends their hard earned cash on any piece of equipment, and in this case a pair of Hi Fi headphones, that not only should it be manufactured to an acceptable standard and sound good but that parts that are likely to wear out/fail within the acceptable life span of the product, can be replaced/repaired.

Just to be sure, I contacted Philips again and asked whether the Fidelio X1 ear cups, or any parts, could be replaced by either themselves or the customer. Their reply was a little strange but said that Philips do not keep spare parts for this product. When I repeated the question again, their reply stated that Philips would not be able to repair this product but then suggested that I could try and remove the Ear Cups myself! Surely if a customer tried this the headphone could be damaged and the warranty would be null and void.

Finally, if anyone is interested, I listened to the Fidelio X1's, be it all fairly briefly, but for my taste, still preferred my truthful AKG's.

Anyway, that's all I want to say concerning this matter.

if anyone feel inclined to add their own constructive comments in response to mine, and please not rude or aggressive, I would value them very much.

Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2014 14:50:22 BDT
What model are your AKG's?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2014 17:23:44 BDT
Mark Westley says:
Hi Justin,

Firstly, I am not a wealthy man but know what live music sounds like (especially classical and solo) so I have to be very careful what equipment I end up with on cost, sound, build and backup.

So this may surprise you but I lived with the relatively inexpensive K550's for quite a time but am now trying the K612's which to me are a very definite step up for not much extra money.

I spent some time listening to the K712 which I found slightly better balanced than the K612 especially noticeable in the bass definition and they simply ooze quality but I just couldn't justify or afford the fairly large price difference between the two.

I have used a number of different headphones over the years including various models, apart from AKG, from Beyer and Sennheiser and others but the main reason I have ended up with these AKG headphones is that, apart from being, in my opinion, incredible sound and build per £, is just how clean and natural they sound plus superb comfort and manufacturer back up.

This does mean, of course, that if your source material is a bit iffy, then the sound you get is the same and I realise that not everyone likes the rather truthful nature of the AKG sound and I can understand people going for the smoother, sometimes easier to listen to, Sennheiser or gentler Philips sound but I just like to hear it as it is, warts and all!

Hope that helps.

Mark

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Apr 2014 14:40:30 BDT
Thanks Mark that's a great help. I actually ordered a pair of the Philips Fidelio X1's on Saturday so fingers crossed they sound good...

Posted on 19 Apr 2014 11:59:34 BDT
MRB says:
This was my only con comment as regards the Philips Fidelio X1, as regards my evaluation of these headphones. Fantastic build and sound but would like to have replaceable ear-pads for such a fantastic headphones. I cannot understand that such a well constructed headphones would become absolute because the ear-cups need to be replaced!
.

Posted on 6 May 2014 08:05:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 May 2014 08:07:17 BDT
Having a number of pairs of Top branded headphones including these which have daily usages I am amazed you only get 2 to 5 years out of them !? My oldest pair being Audio Technica not only perform perfectly but, look / are in A1 condition after 19 years ! Obviously the youth of today don't treat / look after their goods ?
Yes, it is a ' downer ' that replacement parts aren't available but, in the 40 years plus of headphone usage I have never had to replace any parts.............perhaps my collection will be on an Antiques Show in 2050 ?
These are still Excellent headphones in every respect - I've had mine for 7 months - no sign of wear & tear - I use them daily for pleasure & Reviews of music etc !

In reply to an earlier post on 7 May 2014 12:31:05 BDT
Exactly my point, just enjoy them, they are superb - lifes to short!
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