Philips Fidelio NC1 overview | TechRadar

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Philips is an audio model going by way of one thing of a renaissance within the headphone market. We gave the Philips Fidelio X2 full marks a number of years again, and whereas the Fidelio NC1 would not fairly match the X2’s eloquent sound efficiency, they’re nonetheless an outstanding set of headphones for the cash.

That being stated, there are newer noise-cancelling headphones out that may very well be price trialing for your self. The Sony WH-1000XM2 is main the trade with its variable noise-cancellation settings and Hello-Res Audio assist, whereas the Bose QuietComfort 35 II packs Google Assistant into the headphones themselves.

All that stated, if in case you have your eyes (and ears) set on the Philips Fidelio NC1, you may nonetheless be shopping for one of many finest noise-cancelling headphones available on the market.

Philips Fidelio NC1

The Philips Fidelio NC1 are headphones which have been created for the frequent traveller. They arrive in a luxurious, arduous case to cease them being ruined when thrown right into a bag and likewise fold properly into themselves, so they do not take up a lot room. Couple this with a noise cancellation swap and they’re virtually begging to grow to be your journey buddy.


The Philips Fidelio NC1 headphones look nice. The aluminium again has a barely mottled design that appears and feels premium. I do assume it’s a little overkill to have Excessive Definition Audio Philips NC1 written on each side of the headphones but it surely does little to detract from the manager look.

Philips Fidelio NC1

Philips has opted to make use of reminiscence foam for the earpads, which has been coated in comfortable leather-based. This foam can be used on the high of the scarf, which ensures a comfortable match. This makes them one of the vital snug headphones I’ve used. Even after extended use, I by no means as soon as felt the ‘pinch’ you get across the ear that on-ear headphones are famed for.

A slight disadvantage of this, nonetheless, is that the earpads sit in your ear moderately than cup them. This does result in slight noise leakage (as my workmates can attest to) and typically you need to readjust the headphones to place them completely in your ears. My ears have been allowed to breath, although, making the NC1’s an absolute pleasure to make use of.

Philips Fidelio NC1

Connected to the headphones is a replaceable cable. To guarantee that it would not tangle, Philips has used a rope-like materials for the cable which is flanked by a right-angled 3.5mm jack at each ends. These have been gold plated for higher conductivity. There may be additionally an in-line controller and mic on the cable that permits you to swap between your music and cellphone calls.

The one different factor of be aware on the design is an uncovered micro USB slot located on the underside of the fitting earpad and the all-important and moderately distinctive ANC (energetic noise cancelling) swap on the left earpad, subsequent to the three.5mm jack port.

Philips Fidelio NC1

For some purpose, when carrying the NC1s, I stored having to fumble round to search out the ANC swap. This might be all the way down to my very own motor response points moderately than design, nonetheless. Once I did ultimately swap it on, although, the outcomes have been excellent.

It’s because Philips has gone for a moderately novel ‘non-obligatory’ noise cancelation possibility. Which means if the battery on these powered headphones does die, you possibly can nonetheless use them however with out the noise cancellation performance. Give the headphones a cost, nonetheless, and they’ll provide up 30 hours’ noise cancelling in return.

Philips Fidelio NC1

I examined the ANC perform of the headphones on a two-hour flight and the outcomes have been nice. There was a noticeable lack of background hiss when the ANC was switched on and the ambient noise of the aircraft was stored to a quiet minimal.

That is all because of Philips utilizing an eight mic resolution – 4 on the skin of the headphones to counteract mid and excessive frequencies and the opposite 4 on the within to dam decrease sounds.

To just be sure you are fully coated on a aircraft, Philips has additionally added an airplane plug.


Even with out the noise cancellation, the Philips Fidelio NC1 vary provide up some beautiful audio replica.

Philips Fidelio NC1

To check the headphones, I selected plenty of tracks that may give 7-25,000Hz frequency response a good exercise. For the mid-range, Father John Misty’s Bored In The USA was listened to on repeat. The timbre in J Tillman’s voice sounded clear and the piano pin sharp. The NC1s provide a stunning balanced heat sound that proves Philips’ engineers have not tried to favour bass of their tremendous tuning.

To guarantee that the bass wasn’t being undervalued, although, I listened to the bass drum heavy Digital Witness by St Vincent and the low-end leanings of Get Up by Younger Fathers. Each tracks have been once more reduce with readability however nonetheless had sufficient low-end rumbling to the 40mm neodymium drivers a good exercise.

Philips Fidelio NC1

I did get the sensation that the NC1 most popular pushing out music that was steeped in treble. Each TV On The Radio’s hi-hat heavy Blissful Fool and Todd Terje’s Delorean Dynamite challenged the NC1’s high-range however the headphones handed with aplomb.

We favored

There’s a lot to like concerning the Philips Fidelio NC1 headphones. They’re a pleasure to put on and provide up nice sound replica. They’re additionally one of many lightest and most compact ANC headphones round.

To high all of this off, they appear nice. The styling is premium, for these not seeking to make an excessive amount of of a shouty assertion with their headphones.

We disliked

Typically you do neglect to show the ANC off when not utilizing the headphones. This is usually a drawback in the event you neglect to do that often, regardless that one cost ought to final 30 hours or so.

There was some noise leakage which may annoy work colleagues or these travelling in shut proximity to your ears.

Last verdict

The Philips Fidelio NC1 headphones are a tremendous addition to Philips’ headphone vary. They’re finest fitted to frequent travellers who do not need to lug large cans round with them the entire time but in addition do not need to compromise on sound high quality.

They provide excellent sound that is balanced and heat and whereas I’d like to see a wi-fi vary, the cable provided within the combine is dextrous sufficient to not fear about it. A lightning cable model of the headphones was previewed at CES, so there may be much more innovation to return from this vary.

Philips has created a $260/£250 (round AU$350) pair of headphones which can be greater than price their sticker worth.

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