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If you're thinking of buying these, I'd advise you to rethink. Recently people have actually bought these en masse and have posted actual reviews and not just hype-building infomercials. The verdict is clear - they sound incredibly veiled and v-shaped. There's no detail and no mids, and I'm not exaggerating. The quality control is also shite.
Just curious where these terrible reviews are? I've read dozens now, and only found a hand full of bad ones and even less from people I would consider to know the difference between the ranges of headphones out there. So, if you be so kind as to enlighten us, with some links, please feel free to share those.
I can tell you from the experience of owning a pair that you are full of shit.
I am wearing my X2's right now, and totally disagree with pkaxe. The sound is fantastic, and not at all veiled or v-shaped. Cant speak to quality control over all, but mine are phenomenal in terms of build quality.
Go search in /r/headphones
Thanks OmegaWrex, though I had already read quite a few from reddit.
I just ordered the X2. I remember the original reviews, and just needed to confirm that these are in the same league, not redesigned. Generally I like the Philips sound, and their physical quality has always been good.
I've owned them for a month before returning them (thanks Amazon!). I really, really tried to like them because they're extremely good looking and feel very premium. They're also rather comfortable, though the right earcup on mine didn't seal.
Sound-wise, though... anything with mids, such as vocal stuff, had an astonishing lack of detail. Bass was clearly elevated and treble was rolled off.
I'm not a Philips hater by any means. In fact, I'm typing this while using my SHP9500 and other than the nonexistant clamp, they're brilliant headphones for the price.
I guess it depends what you mean by "redesigned". The recent Gibson version includes glued pads which are made from a different material than the original, a different colour metal on the cups and steel headband, inconsistencies in the printing (both in spacing of the lettering and the text colour) on the earcups, and extreme inconsistencies in sound between individual pairs.
Apart from that though, they're the same....
I have to say I agree with pkaxe here. While not to that exaggeration, but to a degree that was the biggest disappointment of the year after I trying my coworker's Philips X2.
A little backstory here. So I own Philips SHP9500 and also was very impressed by their Philips L1 (Again, coworker's pair) then I end up buying the L2. So needless to say, I'm a Philips fan (heck I even own their light bulb and hair buzzer, but that's besides the point).
So maybe my expectation were set too high, with all the positive reviews and I was very looking forward to see the "big sound stage" and "amazing bass". But what I end up was recessed mid and bloated bass. Funny enough I actually like the cheaper L2 better. L2 has more forward mid and tighter bass and cheaper.
So for a more forward mid and tighter bass, I'd recommend Hifiman HE-400S (same cost as Philips X2). In comparison to L2 and HE-400S the X2 just feel a bit more looser and more relaxed sound.
But ultimately when it comes to audio everyone has different preference. Not saying this is a bad product, just make sure you know your preference and what you're getting yourself into.
Philips X2 is definitely slightly V shaped (recessed mids, great if that's your preference).
If you want your forward mid (my preference) then I'd recommend Philips L2, most Grado, Hifiman HE-400S, and Bang & Olufsen H6.
Hope this helps.
Reviews have said that the sonic signature of the X2 is similar to the HD600. I have a pair of HD650 headphones so I will be doing a comparison when they arrive here. If they sound similar to the 600 series from Sennheiser, then the v-shape sound profile you mentioned could be referred to as recessed mids. They are not hyped and not in-your-face like other headphones. I have to say that the HD650 headphones were the first pair of headphones where I could accurately do a mix on headphones (dance music), compare with my Neumann and Event monitor speakers and hear that I am getting accurate results. If one can do an accurate mix in headphones, and if the X2 fits that bill, then that is pretty impressive.
I've owned HD600, HD650, and Fidelio X2. The X2 is a little V-shaped when compared to the HD600. The highs are a little more sibilant and it has much better bass (both in quantity and accuracy). It has really great bass for an open headphone. Very wide sound stage as well (not as tall as an hd650, but much wider ... almost shaped like a doughnut).
I really loved my X2s. As far as sound, they were my favorite when compared to the HD600 and HD650 (not by a wide margin), but I found them to be less comfortable. They are heavy, with not much clamping strength and the ear pads are kind of stiff and scratchy feeling. I wouldn't say they were uncomfortable, but less comfortable to me than the HD600 and HD650. I always aware of them when I was wearing them. What I really wanted was the sound of the X2 with the comfort of the HD600 / HD650.
I almost got in on this drop ... $200 is a crazy deal for these. Decided to go with the Fostex to try something new instead. Looking for even more bass as well. I'm sure you will love these cans, they're great.
What do you mean by "the right earcup on mine didn't seal."? Can you clarify?