Philips Fidelio M1 on-ear headphones review: Clear-sounding, comfortable headphones

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.2
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Sound quality: 7.0
  • Value: 7.0

Average User Rating

4.5 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Philips Fidelio M1s offer clear, natural sound and a very comfortable fit for on-ear headphones. They also fold flat, have an attractive design, and have an inline one-button remote/microphone for making cell phone calls. A protective carrying pouch is included.

The Bad Sound comes across a little recessed.

The Bottom Line While they fall short of delivering truly excellent sound, the well-designed Philips Fidelio M1 on-ear headphones are comfortable to wear and well-suited for day-to-day use.

Editors' Top Picks

Last year we reviewed the Philips Fidelio L1 headphones, a $299 full-size model that our reviewer Steve Guttenberg described as beautifully built and a true audiophile headphone that sounds sweet with portable audio devices and home hi-fi systems.

However, due to its size, the L1 model isn't suited to mobile use, whereas the step-down M1 -- true to the "M" in its name -- is.

The M1 on-ear headphones feature a fairly slick and lightweight design, as well as a notably comfortable fit. They also sound quite decent, offering clear, well-balanced sound that fans of more natural-sounding headphones will like.

Design and features
What I liked about the M1s is that they fit snugly but didn't put too much pressure on your ears. There's some memory foam in the earcups, which helps increase the comfort factor, and the headphones are fairly lightweight, though they manage to feel sturdy at the same time.

The comfortable M1s have memory foam in their earpads. Sarah Tew/CNET

The headphone cord is detachable but it doesn't detach from the earpiece -- rather, the cord is integrated into the earpiece, but the connector is situated a few inches down the cord. The placement does make the cord a little easier to detach, but some people prefer cords that connect directly to the earpiece.

The cord is cloth-covered and seems sturdy, and what's nice is that it doesn't make any noise when it rubs against your clothing. Some cloth-covered cords do.

The headphones fold flat and include a carrying pouch. Sarah Tew/CNET

The cord has an inline one-button inline remote and microphone. Tap the button twice and your track skips forward. Tap it three times and it skips back. It also serves as a call/end answer button for cell-phone calls. (There are no volume controls).

Editors' Top Picks

 

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Aug. 12, 2012
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Additional Features Bass Reflex System (BRS)
  • Type headset
  • Headphones Form Factor ear-cup
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
About The Author

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music and The Big Exit. Both titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, and Nook e-books.