That's Good Manners

Six headphones from Philips in a comparison test For me, Philips is a brand that sells TVs, razors, irons, coffee machines, and LED lamps th...

Six headphones from Philips in a comparison test

For me, Philips is a brand that sells TVs, razors, irons, coffee machines, and LED lamps that you can control with your iPhone. But I've always looked for good sound from the usual suspects, mostly traditional German companies like Beyerdynamic or Sennheiser. So I went into the test a bit skeptical. Good headphones from Philipps, natural and rich sound, balanced bass, filigree treble. All window dressing from the marketing department?

Let's first look at the test candidates:

Philips recently relaunched a complete range of headphones. The lifestyle division is called CitiScape. With many different colors and models, everyone will quickly find the right headphones as a fashion accessory. For the audiophile lovers, there is also the Fidelio series, which should impress with high processing quality, technical highlights, and particularly high-quality sound.

The test setup:

With a lifestyle product, the focus should be on the benefit. So we are interested: How do the new headphones sound and does that justify the price? Sound, detail reproduction, ergonomics, appearance, equipment, and processing quality are all tested.

For the test, I listen to songs from a wide range of genres in a quiet environment: pop, rock, house, techno, acoustic, singer/songwriter, and classical music. All in all, a selection of favorite songs that have accumulated over the past few years and that I all know very well. These include all-time favorites, such as the live version of Hotel California by the Eagles, chilled-out house sounds by Marek Hemmann, and current charts.

All headphones were first tested on the iPhone since the largest target group plays music primarily with mobile devices. With a good preamp or sound card, however, you can get a lot more out of the headphones in terms of level and detail reproduction.

Here are the headphones in direct comparison:

Philips O'Neill "Stretch"

+ very comfortable fit

+ circumaural, good isolation from external noise

+ overall very good sound, albeit very bass-heavy

+ iPhone / iPod control

- bass is too much in the foreground

- material quality could be better

- cable not detachable ( detachable, but short cable sits firmly in the housing)

Philips CitiScape "Down Town"

+ very comfortable seat (huge, soft cushions)

+ good isolation from outside noise

+ stylish, jeans look on the bracket

+ very good ergonomics, ear cups hung very flexibly

+ flat cable for less cable clutter

+ good bass & treble, overall very Balanced

+ iPhone/iPod control

- Mids are slightly under

- Cable is not detachable

Philips CitiScape "Foldie"

+ Sits comfortably on the head, light, foldable

+ On-ear, not enclosing

+ Basses are okay for the size, but a bit flat overall

+ Deep basses perceptible, but not too obtrusive

+ Cable is detachable

+ Generally good sound for on the go

- highs are a bit sharp

- mids are slightly under

- ear cups cannot be rotated

Philips CitiScape 2 (retro look)

+ Sits comfortably and lightly on the head

+ On-ear, not enclosing

+ The basses are okay for the size, and low tones are also reproduced

+ Detachable cable

+ Good sound as "always with you" headphones

- the highs are quite obtrusive, the mids go under

- ear cups cannot be rotated

- ear cups cannot be pulled out far

That's good manners

Philips Fidelio M1

+ good wearing comfort, supra-aural, no fatigue when listening for a long time

+ high-quality workmanship (leather & aluminium), solid weight

+ very good ergonomics

+ detachable cable (but not on the ear cup)

+ iPhone / iPod control

+ good active isolation from external noise

+ very good general sound, very balanced

+ good voice reproduction & treble, rich and deep bass

+ resolves even fine details spatially well

- slips slightly on the ear

- needs powerful playback devices (quite quiet on the iPhone)

Philips Fidelio M1WT

– like M1, only with Bluetooth


After several hours of listening pleasure, I have to say that I am more than pleasantly surprised! The competition can brace itself against some Philips products! Especially the M1. You rarely get so many headphones for so little money. The lifestyle series CitiScape not only looks fresh and modern, but you also really get something on your ears!


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