Philips Fidelio X2HR - unexpectedly good headphone at a pragmatic price

Before I start this review, I will admit I probably had the wrong opinion about the Fidelio X2HR - it was probably due to the Philips brand and some deep-seated audiophile prejudices. It was one of those headphones which I heard that I should listen too but I mostly ignored compared to similar priced AKG, Sennheiser, Hifiman and Beyerdynamic headphones.

But, I also thought I should at least give a proper listen, so I setup a price ‘alert’ when it recently hit €80 on I thought I had to buy it and give it a go.


I have been very impressed for the past month and thought I would finally write up a review.

So in this review I will hopefully get into why I now think at this price, it is one of the best deals in all headphone audio, up their with the Hifiman HE400se and the HD6XX.

Read on to find out the reasons.

The Unboxing experience

So lets start with what you get from your €80.

The X2HR comes in a nice retail box: IMG_9643 Medium.jpeg

With lots of information on the back and sides IMG_9645 Medium.jpeg IMG_9644 Medium.jpeg

Upon unboxing the Philips Fidelio X2HR, users are greeted with robustly built headphones that are both substantial in your hand and have a feel of quality beyond the €80 price.

IMG_9646 Medium.jpeg

There isn’t many accessories but, for example, compared to the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro at least the cable is detachable. IMG_0307.jpeg

Note: The cable is connected on a single side (the left hand side) as it typical of studio monitor headphones. IMG_9650 Medium.jpeg

Build quality and accessories

The Fidelio X2HR has a very solid construction, featuring a mix of metal and minimal plastic. The headphones are durable, with no creaking from the frame and ear cups that only swivel up and down, allowing some adjustment on the head.

IMG_9647 Medium.jpeg

Size Comparison:

The Philips Fidelio X2HR is quite hefty for an open-back dynamic headphone, weighing around 380 grams without the cable. This makes it heavier compared to many of its peers, but it distributes this weight effectively across its design.

Compared to my Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro - you can see how much larger and more substation the X2HR is: IMG_0313.jpeg

The internal cup size is slightly long being an oval shape but both fit comfortable over my large ears: IMG_0310.jpeg

Also, Compared to the AKG K702 it has a considerable larger frame: IMG_0312.jpeg

But the K702 does have an similarly large cup size: IMG_0311.jpeg

And finally compared to a Hifiman HD400se: IMG_0314.jpeg

Again both headphones have a nice internal cup size : IMG_0309.jpeg

In Ear Comfort

The earpads of the X2HR are made of velour-covered, memory foam which provides significant comfort and ensures that the ears do not touch the drivers. The headband is designed with a self-adjusting mechanism that conforms to the shape of the user’s head, providing a comfortable fit without the need for manual adjustments.


This feature, along with the memory foam earpads covered in velour, ensures comfort even during long listening sessions. IMG_9648 Medium.jpeg

And due to its comfort, I even found myself using the X2HR out on long walks in the countryside, where I swapped the 3M cable for a much more managable 1M cable.

The cable provided though is pretty nice quality and has a nice cable tidy to reduce the size of the trailing cable: IMG_0308.jpeg

Overall, what you get with the X2HR as far as build quality is good for a €130 headphone (its normal retail price in Europe) but exceptional for €80.

Monitoring prices on Amazon

Ignore this section if you are just interested in the headphone, but since I have used this service a few times now I thought I would throw in a section on using to monitor headphones prices on Amazon. The X2HR is the third headphone I have bought at significant discount over the past few years by very closely monitoring price changes on Amazon.

So here is my process:

  1. Pick an Amazon store
    I typically use or store.

  2. Find the product you are interested in eventually buying
    This is not for impulse buys, this service is for long term ’targets’ so you have to be patient for price drops (obviously these typically happen on ‘Black Friday’ or during an ‘Amazon prime day’ ) but can happen throughout the year.

  3. Copy the amazon URL for the product and open the appropraite website.
    So in my case I used and for the X2HR I passed in the link and this is the graph of price changes for the X2HR. I do find it interesting that this headphone was €350 in 2017 and has slowly dropped in price:

  4. Put in a threshold for the product in my case I put €80 and enter your email address img_1.png

  5. Wait for the email alert and depending on the product buy it immediately as I find some of these price drops only last a few hours.

As well as the X2HR I purchased an AKG K371 and a Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro using this method. If you are willing to take a chance on 2nd prices it will monitor the used market also.

For example, I purchased a DT770 Pro 80 Ohm 2nd hand for €90 as you can see the 2nd prices do drop significantly: img_2.png

I find this service useful and I hope by sharing my process, this can also help you find some headphone bargains.

Sound quality

Let’s get into the real reason I think this is a great headphone for €80, its sound quality.


The Philips Fidelio X2HR shines in its bass performance, which is punchy and robust without overwhelming the music’s other elements. The bass has a solid presence with a controlled and tight response, making these headphones particularly enjoyable for bass-heavy tracks. While they are open-back headphones, they manage to deliver impressive low-end depth that rivals some closed-back models. The bass doesn’t muddy the midrange, maintaining clear separation and detail, thanks to their well-balanced sound signature.


In the midrange, the Fidelio X2HR provides a slightly recessed but warm sound profile. This slight recession helps in enhancing the soundstage and gives a sense of spaciousness to the audio. The headphones handle both male and female vocals with care, delivering warmth and coziness with male vocals and a wide, airy presentation for female vocals. The overall clarity is maintained, allowing for detailed vocal textures to come through clearly.


Treble is the area where the X2HR can be somewhat inconsistent. Some users find the treble to have peaks that can introduce sibilance, while others may notice a roll-off that softens the details in higher frequencies. This inconsistency can sometimes lead to a less smooth experience with tracks that are particularly treble-heavy or poorly mixed. However, when the track is well-produced, the treble can offer crisp and lively details without being harsh.


The Fidelio X2HR excels in delivering an expansive soundstage, often compared to listening to speakers rather than headphones. This characteristic is especially valued in open-back headphones and makes the X2HR ideal for immersive listening sessions. They offer excellent spatial separation, allowing listeners to easily pinpoint the location of instruments and vocals within a track. It is not at the level of my Hifiman Edition XS or my AKG K702 but it has a better soundstage than most of the other open back headphones in my collection.


Imaging is another strength of the X2HR, with the headphones providing a solid ability to place and separate instruments across the stereo field. While they may not reach the pinpoint accuracy of some higher-end models or even planars like the Hifiman HE400se, the X2HR does perform admirably within their price range. This makes them suitable for both detailed listening and casual enjoyment.

Specs and Measurements


Spec Details
Type Open-air, dynamic
Frequency Response 5 Hz - 40 kHz
Impedance 30 ohms
Sensitivity 100 dB
Weight 380g without cable
Cable Detachable, 3m length
Connector 3.5mm jack, 6.3mm adapter included


These measurements where taken with my KB5010x ‘soft ear’ pinna with a 771 clone coupler. All my measurements are available on my headphone measurement database:

Frequency Response

The frequency response of the X2HR is very balanced and follows the harman curve pretty well with some very slight midrange variations, a slight emphasis on in the treble region around 5K and a very typical drop-off in the sub-bass region: graph-17.jpeg

Overall I think these measurements do show an excellent frequency response
and one that you should not expect from an €80 headphone.

Note: I may have won the ‘unit variance’ lottery with this headphone.


The Distortion measurements show some possible audible bass distortion but is mostly well controlled for a dynamic driver: Philips Distortion.jpeg

Some comparisons of Frequency Response:

Since this FR is so close to an ‘ideal’ target here is the X2HR compared to my HD600 - which of course is a typical €400 so 5x time the price of the X2HR: graph-18.jpeg While the HD600 is very slightly smoother in the midrange, the X2HR does have a better bass an area where I would typically recommend using EQ with a HD600.

Here is a comparison with 4 of my open backs, in the €100-€200 range: graph-22.jpeg

All of these comparison FR’s, the Beyerdynamic DT770 pro is probably the closest but with a slightly uneven bass compared to the X2HR and a different treble peak. The HD400se has a smoother response (typical of a Hifiman Planar) but drop off in the bass. The K702 has a huge treble peak which will appeal to some (as ‘detail’) but can get fatiguing over long listening sessions. And as I said earlier I never felt any treble fatique during long listening sessions with the X2HR.

So, compared to thse similar headphones in its price range, the X2HR offers a combination of sound quality and comfort that is difficult to beat, though some may find the sub-bass roll off slightly less pronounced than in closed-back models like the K371.


Overall, the Philips Fidelio X2HR scores very highly in a price to performance ratio and therefore at a price of €80 I gave it 5 stars, making it a recommended choice for those seeking quality open-back headphones without breaking the bank.


The Philips Fidelio X2HR headphones offer a compelling combination of sound quality, comfort, and robust build quality at a price (if you are patient enough to wait) that makes them an attractive option for both audiophiles and casual listeners. Their performance in bass, midrange, and treble, along with a spacious soundstage and precise imaging, ensures a rewarding listening experience across a wide variety of audio content.