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Philips Fidelio L3 review: Over-ear headphones with excellent sound

Philips Fidelio L3 review: Over-ear headphones with excellent sound
Written by insideindyhomes


The Philips Fidelio L3 are over-ear noise-cancelling headphones that boast impressive battery life, excellent sound and exceptionally well-functioning touch controls.

Like the recently reviewed Sony WH-XB910N, the Philips Fidelio L3 are over-ear noise-cancelling headphones. They are also about the same when it comes to the list price. In retail, however, the Philips model is a lot more expensive.

  • Expert rating:

    4.5 out of 5 points

  • Advantages:

    Sound, noise reduction, battery life, smart features

  • Disadvantages:

    Relatively heavy, high price

  • RRP:

    199.99 euros

  • Summary:

    The Philips Fidelio L3 are really good headphones with only a few small negatives. We highly recommend the model!

Philips Fidelio L3 on Amazon

The Philips Fidelio L3 is a stable and robust headphone that weighs a lot at 363 grams. But despite the weight, the earcups sit really comfortably on the head. Not on par with the (extremely comfortable) Bose QC35 II, but better than, say, the B&W PX7. And like this, the Philips Fidelio L3s is flat but not foldable, making it difficult to transport – especially considering the weight).

The Philips Fidelio L3 is controlled via an unusually successful combination of buttons and touch controls. The clearly laid out and easily accessible buttons turn the headphones on and off, activate voice control and switch between noise-cancelling modes.

Use the touch controls to start and stop playback, skip forward and backward, increase and decrease volume, and answer and end calls. On top of that, there’s a very clever feature where if you hold your palm in front of the touch controls, playback will pause instantly and noise cancellation will turn off. This allows you to react quickly when spoken to while wearing the headphones.

Both the touch controls and buttons are easy to use, moderately sensitive, and easy to reach. The only thing that’s really missing is the ability to program its functions yourself.

The touch controls work exceptionally well.

Enlarge

The touch controls work exceptionally well.

© M3 / Foundry

Very good sound

The Philips Fidelio L3 app is easy to use. As mentioned, it’s not possible to reprogram the buttons or touch controls, but the app still offers useful features like the ability to control noise cancellation, set auto power off, and disable touch controls. There is also an equalizer for fine-tuning the sound.

The sound is very good, even without fine-tuning. Good bass, clear mids and crisp highs. However, it does not quite reach the class of the Sony WH-XB910N, especially the bass is weaker and less pronounced. The Sony headphones, on the other hand, have an unusually good sound.

The sound quality is high whether you are listening to different types of music, audio books or podcasts. Telephone calls are also of the highest sound quality in both directions.

The noise cancellation is also top notch. And you can adjust how much ambient noise you want to let through. This is done either quickly and conveniently using the button on the earphones or within the app.

Finally, the headphones also have a jack for connecting a 3.5 millimeter audio cable (included). We also find that the battery life is very good at up to 32 hours with noise cancellation enabled.

Philips Fidelio L3 on Amazon

Conclusion

The Philips Fidelio L3 offers excellent sound, good noise cancellation, impressive battery life and well-functioning button and touch controls. And although the headphones are relatively heavy, they sit comfortably on the head. Only a few little things prevent the Fidelio L3 from getting the top mark.

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