- Pros: Offering excellent comfort and features, the Philips has enhances the model M2BT with second generation. The sound performance is very good both in wired and Bluetooth mode.
- Cons: If you have a big head, it may be that the headphone tightens you a little. Also, if your phone does not support aptx, you will not get the best out of this new model.
- In Short: The Bluetooth headset market continues to grow, and this second generation Philips is a good example. The Fidelio M2BT is powerful, comfortable and complete.
- Bluetooth and NFC
- Loudspeakers 40mm
- Storage case
- 10 hours playback time
Phillips Fidelio M2BT Review
The Philips Fidelio M2BT (check discount price) is a wireless headphone designed for people who also want to wear their headphones in town, rather than only at home.
When looking at the value for money, it is a good alternative to the Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear and the V-Moda XS, with the difference that the model reviewed today offers a powerful Bluetooth connection. Philips also seems to have fixed certain malfunctions present on the previous model, the Fidelio M1BT.
Read our reviews on other Bluetooth Headphones:
Design and comfort
The Philips Fidelio M2BT is a supra-auricular headphone, the kind you can wear anywhere, even if you are over 30 years old or a little bit of belly or more hair on the skull or all three at once.
It is devoid of style or not suitable for a young audience, but the black design of the Philips Fidelio M2BT does not give it the aggressive look of some more stylish headphones (yes, it is clear to the Beats Wireless).
The appearance and design of the Philips Fidelio M2BT are top of the range. The frame is made of metal and the arch is covered with a fabric with a texture similar to the atria.
Comfort is also a success, despite some reservations. In order to keep the Phillips Fidelio M2BT in place on the head, in case of jogging or gym, the tension of the arch is relatively strong, but the pressure is skilfully distributed on the pair of atria in beautiful synthetic leather and foam with shape memory.
The softness here is similar to that of the B & W P5 headphone, but with a much safer tightening. We felt a little bit of discomfort after a few hours of use: maybe the ear cups might be even thicker, but that would likely compromise their grip. It’s all about balance.
This design also offers very good acoustic insulation. The M2BT is among the best super-ear headphones to block outside noise, making it perfect for public transport and the gym.
Features and functionality
The Philips Fidelio M2BT has more features than your usual headphone, including wireless features, because, in addition to Bluetooth, it has NFC and aptX technology. The NFC is used to pair the phone with the headphone without getting lost in the menu. I found it very easy to do the configuration manually, although holding a phone next to the headphone in public is just a somewhat strange experience … Yet this is where you want it, and it’s optional.
AptX is much more important. It is a codec that offers much better wireless audio performance than the default Bluetooth codec, called SBC. A wireless headphone is not really serious without aptX (we generalize, the Parrot Zik 3.0 offers excellent performance without aptX).
There is also a 3.5 mm jack that allows you to connect a standard cable if you no longer have a battery, use a source such as a conventional iPod or simply if you do not want to use the wireless option. The cable is covered with fabric in a solid and pleasant way.
All manipulations are carried out on the headphone itself. There is a controller that allows you to take calls and change the volume on an Android phone, or control the music on an iOS device. There is also a microphone at the bottom of an atrium, acting as a calling microphone.
Note, however, that the controls and the microphone work only in wireless mode, and therefore not with the cable.
There are important sound benefits to connect the Fidelio to wired mode, if you do not have aptX compatible phone (many still are not, including the iPhone 6). Without a wired connection or aptX, the bass seems to be a single note which is not really refined, and the treble are rough and tiring.
If you use a non-aptX phone, the sound quality does not really match the asking price for the M2BT. This is not really surprising, as even at its best, Bluetooth does not offer a high-quality audiophile experience and where the aptX offers just a satisfying compromise most of the time.
However, if you only have the standard Bluetooth SBC codec, the Fidelio M2BT headphone still makes sense: design is good for running and the gym, where wireless transmission matters much more than a true high-end. This is certainly not atrocious, but it just is not worthy of its name, Fidelio.
All this changes in wired mode or via an aptX device. The treble flatten and the bass lose that unrefined character. The Philips Fidelio M2BT suddenly becomes the expected headphone for this price.
The Philips Fidelio M2BT has a very warm tone, providing a lush, natural sound and not tiring to the ears. It is a pleasant sound that, in partnership with a beautiful and large sound stage for a supra-auricular headphones, reaches a superior dimension. This is something that is rarely seen in a headphone of this size, especially a wireless headphone.
While the lower end of sound – low and low midrange – is entitled to a boost from the Philips Fidelio M2BT, the sound balance is otherwise very good, providing a fairly natural tone. This is something needed to produce realistic sounding voices.
The detail of treble could be improved, however. While we find the level of detail of the whole is quite correct, those who seek the most delicate sound ‘hi-fi’ possible without cost concern would be better to turn to another product … although we admit that no wireless headphones comes to mind in this range.
If we had a lot of problems connecting by testing the original M1BT, all we have to complain about with the M2BT is a little flutter of the signal during the first moments of connection to some phones. And this is may be due to phones, because there are always two players in any Bluetooth exchange
The battery life is approximately 10 hours, which is enough for a week of daily light use (for traveling perhaps), or for a couple of days in sustained use. The Philips Fidelio M2BT uses the same micro-USB charging socket as the Android and Windows phones, so that unless you are an iPhone user you will have no trouble finding a replacement charger. A cable is of course provided in the box.
Considering that you will probably want to continue using the Philips Fidelio M2BT when the battery will be dead, it will not be complicated to recharge day to day.
However, there is another thing to consider, and again this is the limitation of Bluetooth technology. When you do not use an aptX device, the sound shift with the Philips Fidelio M2BT is really very bad, watching movies via streaming Netflix or downloading is no longer really a pleasure. The de-correlation lips-lyrics is simply too shocking.
The latency of the Bluetooth standard is between 100 and 200 milliseconds and, judging by our tests, the M2BT is at the very end of the range. However, this is greatly improved by using aptX, and of course, there is no noticeable lag using a wired connection.
If the M1BT was a good headphone, but not perfect, the Philips Fidelio M2BT (check discount price) is a refreshing improvement. Although the major change is the addition of NFC technology, we have also been much more satisfied with both Bluetooth performance and sound quality when used in wired mode or with aptX device.
If you do not really want or need it, do not be fooled, Philips Fidelio M2BT is not for the Bluetooth that you will pay. A headphone like the Audio Technica ATH-M50x offers a sound that is at least as good.
However, if you really want Bluetooth, this is one of the best choices at this price. Its proud appearance, decent comfort and sporty design make it a versatile M2BT.