The popularity of mobile devices Apple for many years leads to the emergence of a large number of various accessories. A solid part of this market is occupied by headphones, completely different in price and form factor, but having one common element – the rectangle “Made for iPod / iPhone / iPad” on the boxes. Formally, these headphones differ from competitors without a label in the presence of those and only those components that are approved by Apple (that is, they are much more expensive than identical counterparts). In fact, inside these boxes are completely normal headphones with a plug 3.5 mm TRS (but, again, relatively more expensive).
The first model of headphones, honestly responding to the alleged exclusivity of the label “Made for iPod / iPhone / iPad”, was presented in September last year. This Philips Fidelio M2L – the first overhead headphones with a connector Lightning. And the built-in digital-to-analog converter.
Philips Fidelio M2L – price. Where is the best place to buy?
The recommended retail price of the Philips Fidelio M2L in the US is $ 149,99. At this cost, you can order it on Amazon. I would not recommend ordering anywhere else except on Amazon. Since you are less likely to find cheaper, and if you do not take into account the fact that Amazon is probably the most reliable online store, it still very often provides free shipping.
Rated performance of Philips Fidelio M2L
- Type: closed
- Reproduced frequency range: 7 Hz – 25 kHz
- Resistance: 16 Ohm
- Sensitivity: 107 dB
- Maximum input power: 150 mW
- SOI: <0.1%
- Cable length: 1.1 m
- Weight of headphones: 195 g
The line of Fidelio devices is positioned by the manufacturer as the embodiment of their latest achievements in acoustic engineering. As for sound, the question is, of course, not an easy one, but the design of the M2L differs favorably from other Philips headphones.
First of all, they draw attention to the cups, textured on them in a large cell. This pattern makes the device much more recognizable, because usually the surface of the cups is smooth or shallow.
Cups are made of plastic, and round holders, with which they connect with the headband – made of metal. These places in portable headphones are vulnerable, so we approve the choice of material.
The entire relief surface of the right cup is the button with which you can pause or rewind the track, and also include the next one. Due to such a large size, it is convenient to use. Silver ring inside – volume control. When turning, it returns to its place and sometimes makes a quiet click.
The cups of the headphones can easily be rotated 90 degrees to, for example, wear them under the outer clothing.
Fibroid M2L ear pads are not removable. They are made of textiles and leather. To avoid confusion, they are marked with large letters L and R. On the headband, the designation of the channels is also present.
The elegant headband of headphones is made of plastic, so its resistance to stressful mechanical influences is questionable. Covered headband leatherette, which provides a normal level of rigidity.
The headband has a decent size adjustment range. At first it may seem that the maximum coverage is still not enough. We are dealing with closed headphones, so the first time in them will really be a bit crowded. Nevertheless, you get used to Fidelio M2L for a day or two, and any discomfort disappears. Landing at the same time remains very reliable, which for mobile use is simply necessary. Sharp turns of the head to the headphones are not terrible.
The length of the cable is provided with a margin – it is more than enough to stretch the cord from the pocket of the jeans. Due to the rigid plastic braid, the cable flexes easily. There are fears that with active use, he will be frayed. But to confirm them, you need to use headphones for a longer time than testing allows.
A pouch is included with the headphones, in which the Fidelio M2L easily fits even when fully opened. The site says that the headphones can be folded – in fact it is not. They can only be adjusted to a minimum size, after which they will become compact, but they will not fit into your pocket anyway.
The headphones have their own DAC, and only the digital signal is transmitted through the cable. Thus, the reproduced sound does not at all depend on the dubious audiotrack of the mobile device. Headphones like the Fidelio M2L are not yet available on sale. Philips has a second Lightning model, the Fidelio NC1 overhead. In addition, the Lightning-Cable version of plug-in Reflect Aware was introduced by JBL.
For testing, we used the tablet iPad 4 (model MD513RS / A), on which the VLC player played losless-audio. In turn – with Fidelio M2L, connected via Lightning, and with Sennheiser HD449, connected through the most common 3.5 mm jack. Of course, in this unequal battle the victory was for Philips. First of all, a wider range of reproduced frequencies rushed into the ears, due to which the accents of bass instruments were better placed. For example, in some jazz compositions, when connected through a 3.5 mm jack, no double bass was heard at all, and Fidelio could reproduce it normally. The natural tones of Philips play more naturally, the upper case sounds brighter, the scene is created more clearly – in general, the difference is obvious. Philips Fidelio M2L well work out also the “closed”: sound leaks even at the maximum loudness are hardly appreciable.
Built-in DAC Fidelio M2L gets power from the tablet, which inevitably raises the question: how much use of these headphones will reduce the running time of the Apple device? To find out the answer, we reconnected the configuration described above – for a couple of hours for each headphone at an average volume level. After playing through Sennheiser, the charge level did not even move from the 100% mark. The same thing happened after playing through the Fidelio M2L. It turns out that the power consumption of the external DAC is quite small, and Lightning-headphones can be used without fear of rapid discharge.
Reviews after listening
Fans of technology Apple, as a rule, are very conservative and do not tend to change their brand. For them, the Philips Fidelio M2L will be a very convenient solution that perfectly complements the entire ecosystem. In recent generations of i-devices, large amounts of memory have become available, allowing to store many losless tracks without problems, so the arrival of a high-quality DAC in the “apple” microcosm was very useful. And if you consider that Lightning can transmit not only audio, the prospects become even rosy.
Headphones with their own DAC, connected via a digital interface, have a great future. At the moment, of course, the split in the form of Micro-USB and Lightning does not allow creating truly universal solutions. However, USB Type C is gaining momentum, and if this standard still wins, then fundamental changes in the world of accessories are simply inevitable.
Back to the Philips Fidelio M2L. It deserves attention not only the type of connection: in the active headphones also attractive design, ease of use, as well as excellent sound. You can blame the manufacturer only in the absence of a microphone. This function Philips, most likely, was saved for a more expensive version. As for the recommended price of these headphones, it is $ 160.