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Philips Fidelio T1 Review : New Rival To Beat In The Earbuds Division | Tech Reviews

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Philips Fidelio T1 Review : New Rival To Beat In The Earbuds Division | Tech Reviews



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The headphone market is in iron health. According to Grand View Research , in 2020 it had a total value of 34.8 billion dollars, a large figure that, according to the forecasts of this consultancy, will increase to almost 127 billion dollars in 2027 . An annual growth forecast of 20.3% is not within the reach of all markets, and is certainly too sweet a treat to pass up.

Pros & Cons

  • Its finish, its design and its ergonomics are outstanding
  • They have fabulous overall sound quality
  • Its active noise cancellation rivals the best
  • For their battery they fight without complexes in the first division
  • The leather of the case is delicate, so over time it can degrade and become ugly
  • The touch interface will sometimes force us to repeat the touch to trigger the effect we are looking for

Philips is one of many consumer electronics companies scrambling to develop a presence in this market, and this year it’s putting all the meat on the grill. A little over two months ago we thoroughly reviewed their Fidelio L3 over-ear headphones , and we really liked them . More than we had liked most of the latest proposals of this brand that we have had the opportunity to analyze.

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This has caused us to have received the Fidelio T1 that you can see in the cover image of this analysis with a mixture of curiosity and expectation. This is your letter of introduction: they are completely wireless ( True Wireless ) electrodynamic in-ear headphones equipped with the latest revision of active noise cancellation technology developed by Philips engineers.

They are a high-end proposal, and this vocation leaves its mark both in its price (they cost 300 euros) and in its finish and sound performance. Here’s a little spoiler: they are some of the most luxurious headphones we’ve ever tested, and their overall sound quality is going to allow them to put up a good fight at the high end. However, with this description we are only scratching the surface because its acoustic design and noise cancellation technology have some very juicy surprises in store for us.

Philips Fidelio T1: technical specifications

HEADPHONE TYPE Electrodynamic completely wireless (True Wireless) noise canceling earphones
BATTERY Lithium polymer
60 mAh (headphones) and 650 mAh (charging case)
CHARGING CASE DIMENSIONS 8.49 x 5.15 x 3.24 cm
PRICE 299.99 euros
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This well-executed finish catches the eye and is convincing to the touch

Before going any further, it seems important to me to attribute a peculiarity to these headphones: they are much more beautiful when you have them in front of you, live, than in the photographs. Not even the images that Philips itself publishes on its website do them justice. Honestly, these are the nicest in-ears I’ve reviewed so far. And also some of the best finished.

However, Philips has not been careful only with the headphones; the charging case is also gorgeous. It is made entirely of aluminum, and its machining is impeccable (I have not found the slightest defect no matter how hard I have tried to find one).

In addition, as you can see in the following photo, the upper part of the cover that allows us to remove the headphones is covered with a sheet of Muirhead leather that gives it an elegant and sophisticated look. Of course, this material is somewhat fragile because it degrades if we expose it to sunlight for a long time, to heat or humidity (the manufacturer himself admits this without hesitation).

The charging case incorporates a 650 mAh lithium-polymer battery , and each earbud naturally has its own battery with the same chemical composition as the charging case battery, but with a 60 mAh capacity. In the next section of the analysis we will investigate the autonomy figures offered by these Fidelio T1 both without using the charging case and using it.

As you can see in the photographs that illustrate this analysis, the headphone enclosure is also machined entirely from a really nice brushed aluminum that is very pleasant to the touch. Aluminum is heavier than the polycarbonate used by most headphones, but not enough to negatively affect the ergonomics of these Fidelio T1s.

In addition, the included interchangeable foam pads are very soft and adapt well to the contour of our ear canal, so we can use them during long listening sessions in a comfortable way. In my tests, I used them during marathon sessions and I hardly noticed the fatigue derived from the mechanical stress imposed by ergonomics when it is not well resolved. But is not the case. In terms of ergonomics and construction, these Philips headphones have come out very well.

They like them in combat, but what places them in the first division is their autonomy

The apps that wireless headphone manufacturers offer us often have a profound impact on our experience . After all, we must use them to act on active noise cancellation, environmental sound control, or simply to check the battery status of the headphones, and even the battery charge level. integrated in the case, among other options.

The ‘Philips Headphones’ app is available, as usual, for both Android and iOS devices , and it ‘s up to the task . It is intuitive, it is easy to find the function that we want to modify and it has everything that users usually ask of a tool that should help us get the most out of our headphones. It has nothing that makes it stand out, but I don’t miss anything relevant either.

These Fidelio T1 have a touch interface, so we can carry out many operations without having to resort to our smartphone. By touching the surface of the headphones we can act on the reproduction; receive and end calls; turn ambient sound pickup on and off, etc. The sensitivity of the touch surface is not perfect because on occasion I have been forced to repeat the touch to get the effect I was looking for, but it is something so rare that it hardly has an impact on our experience.

Each of the headphones incorporates an array of three microphones strategically distributed in the enclosure with the purpose of picking up our voice with the highest possible precision during calls. And yes, they do. I’ve tested them on the street, in windy conditions and heavy traffic noise, and even in these aggressive conditions it’s possible to have a reasonably comfortable phone conversation. Headphones not only manage to pick up our voice by discriminating it from ambient noise; they also clearly give us the voice of the person with whom we are speaking.

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A note that is worth not overlooking: these Fidelio T1 implement Bluetooth multipoint technology , so we can simultaneously link them with two devices, such as an Android or iOS mobile phone and a laptop. To switch between one and the other, we just have to start playing content on the device that is not sending the sound to the headphones at that moment, and the connection will immediately give it priority. It is not necessary that we manipulate the intra-auriculars.

Let’s go now with what is undoubtedly the real Achilles heel of many headphones with active noise cancellation: autonomy . Battery life is conditioned by the use we make of noise cancellation or ambient sound treatment, by the sound pressure level at which we like to listen to our music, and also by the type of content we play. This explains why it is impossible to obtain a definitive figure.

With noise cancellation enabled with maximum attenuation and a moderate sound pressure level, the autonomy of these headphones ranges between 8 and 8.5 hours.

In any case, with noise cancellation enabled with maximum attenuation and a moderate sound pressure level to protect the health of our ears, autonomy ranges between 8 and 8.5 hours . And these figures are really good. In fact, they are slightly higher than the Sony WF-1000XM4 , which is one of our current references, in our analysis, which in this area places the Fidelio T1 in the first division. In addition, the case allows us to fully charge the headphones up to three times.

They make themselves respected as it is commanded: brandishing their sound quality

To test its sound quality, I turned to Poweramp , a free music player for Android that gives us the flexibility, versatility, and level of control we need for our tests. Here you have the complete list of the musical cuts that we have used in our test bench. We have chosen these songs above all for the high quality of the recording and the sound recording , although we have also tried to represent the widest possible range of musical genres:

  • ‘Stir it up’, de Bob Marley (FLAC 24 bits y 96 kHz)
  • ‘You make me feel like a natural woman’, de Susan Wong (FLAC 24 bits y 96 kHz)
  • ‘Redbud tree’, de Mark Knopfler (FLAC 24 bits y 96 kHz)
  • ‘Autumn in Seattle’, de Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio (PCM 16 bits y 44,1 kHz)
  • ‘Spanish Harlem’, by Rebecca Pidgeon (PCM 16-bit and 44.1 kHz)
  • ‘You’ve got a friend’, de Susan Wong (FLAC 24 bits y 96 kHz)
  • ‘Wasted time’, de Eagles (PCM 16 bits y 44,1 kHz)
  • ‘Vivaldi – Flute concerto in D’, Chesky Records (PCM 16 bits y 44,1 kHz)
  • ‘Stimela’, by Hugh Masekela (PCM 16bit and 44.1kHz)
  • ‘Lush life’, de Billy Strayhorn (FLAC 24 bits y 96 kHz)
  • ‘Afro blue’, de Mongo Santamaria (FLAC 24 bits y 96 kHz)
  • ‘April in Paris’, de Duke/Harburg (FLAC 24 bits and 96 kHz)
  • ‘No sanctuary here’, de Chris Jones (FLAC 24 bits y 44,1 kHz)
  • ‘Under the boardwalk’, de Mighty Echoes (PCM 16 bits y 44,1 kHz)

Everything we’ve seen so far has prepared us for what, in my opinion, is the most important quality of these headphones: their overall sound quality . I don’t want to be overly enthusiastic, but honestly, I’ve thoroughly tested them for three weeks, and not in a rushed way, and they sound fabulous. In fact, their audiophile pedigree requires recordings to be of a certain quality if they are to deliver their full potential.

From above they go very well because they resolve the treble with detail and without aggressiveness. In fact, one of the most interesting features of these Fidelio T1s is that they deliver a consistent and not at all shrill sound in most musical genres. They go well with progressive rock and pop, but also with classical music and jazz, among other genres. In addition, they reproduce the midrange, the voices, naturally, and, above all, with great credibility. The cut ‘Stimela’, by Hugh Masekela, is especially complex due to its dynamics, and also due to the peculiar voice of this interpreter, and these headphones have executed it with a good note.

However, I have expressly saved the best for last: its bass. And it is that, in my opinion, the characteristic that allows these headphones to beat all the wireless models in their price segment that I have tried so far is the way they reproduce low frequencies thanks to a certain extent to their architecture of two ways . His bass is voluptuous and detailed. It is authoritative, but at no point does it mask the rest of the audible frequency spectrum. In short, it is addictive.

In any case, we still have an important section that we have not yet investigated: the performance of its active noise cancellation . I have verified how they deal with the inhibition of the noise emitted by a car engine, by the traffic when we walk through a city, by the friction that occurs between the wheels of a train and the rails, and I have also verified how they attenuate the voice human, among other test scenarios.

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The best result is obtained when the cancellation algorithm is forced to suppress constant and persistent ambient sounds , such as the noise of a car engine. In this scenario, these Fidelio T1s play in the same league as the Sony WF-1000XM4 and the Technics EAH-AZ70W , something that is not at all within the reach of many in-ear headphones. When the noise is heterogeneous and has a variable intensity, the effectiveness of the cancellation is reduced, but, even so, it manages to attenuate it enough so that we can enjoy our music or any other content that we are listening to quite placidly.

Philips Fidelio T1: The opinion and note

These headphones aren’t cheap, but they’re worth the money. As we have seen throughout the analysis, they are very well finished, they have a careful design and Philips has solved their ergonomics very well. In addition, their autonomy places them among the best in-ear headphones with active noise cancellation, and they offer us codec support at the level of what high-end wireless headphones should offer us.

On the other hand, their noise cancellation allows them to fight without complexes in the first division, and their overall sound quality, as we have just seen, is fabulous. In fact, they have the best low end I’ve ever heard from a headphone of this type. Still, they have room for improvement. Small, but they have it.

The leather of the case is beautiful, but it is also delicate, so it can degrade if we do not treat it with care. In addition, the touch control is not infallible, and sometimes it forces us to repeat the touch to achieve the effect we are looking for. In any case, these two handicaps do not tarnish the experience that these Fidelio T1 offer us. I recommend them to any enthusiast who, yes, their price fits.

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A full time tech enthusiast with a passion for writing. Religiously follow everything new happening in the tech world and share my two cents with my audience here.

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