Gadgets

Ears-on with Philips Fidelio M1 headphones

Purchasing a set of Philips headphones was once akin to picking a Volvo over a Ferrari, or settling for the cheese board over the triple chocolate éclairs: a safe, assured option, but so very dull.

Good: Amazingly comfortable

Bad: Lots of leather

Price: £160-£165

Then last year, Philips launched the Fidelio M1, a sleek pair of jet black on-ear headphones for £160. The thoroughly unPhilips-like new comers bagged themselves What Hi-Fi’s 'Best Portable On-Ears' and a string of other awards. Like nipple tassels on Angela Merkel, the Fidelio M1s had managed to make the reliable technology of Philips quite sexy.

The newly released ‘Les Mans’ (orange and black - £160) and ‘Le Blancs’ (you don’t need help with that one - £165) crank the Fidelio M1’s style up to 11. The pair of ‘Les Mans’ that we reviewed were beautifully built: the lamb skin leather and memory phone ear-pads make for a very comfortable fit.

The Fidelio M1’s 40mm drivers deliver a very impressive quality of sound: bass is large, precise and punchy, while mid tones sound deliciously warm. The only disappointment came with a subtle hiss on higher tones that snuck in when tracks were played on the louder side of bearable. The inline mic (compatible with most smartphones) performed very well.

We were very taken by the Fidelio M1s. Although their new models are very pretty, it’s their sound quality that you’ll be struck by, handling the tones of solid rock anthems or hideously busy electro tracks with balance and poise.

You can buy the Philips Fidelio M1 headphones here