The Philips Fidelio X3 are open-back headphones designed for neutral listening. They're well-built and comfortable, and their open-back design helps create an open and speaker-like soundstage. They have a neutral and balanced sound profile, but their treble response is a bit uneven, and they're lacking a touch of low-bass. Like most open-back headphones, they aren't very versatile, but they're still a solid choice for neutral listening at home.
The Philips Fidelio X3 are disappointing for mixed usage. While these headphones have an open soundstage and a balanced sound profile that makes them ideal for neutral sound, they aren't very versatile. Their open-back design lets in a lot of background noise and also leaks some sound, so they may not be ideal for your commute or working in a noisy office. They don't have a microphone, and they're too bulky for sports.
The Philips Fidelio X3 are very good for neutral sound. They have a very balanced, neutral sound profile, especially in the mid-range, so vocals and lead instruments are accurately reproduced. Their open-back design creates an open and speaker-like soundstage. However, their treble response is a bit uneven, and they're lacking a bit of low-bass.
The Philips Fidelio X3 are poor for commute and travel. These bulky over-ears have a very comfortable fit, but they aren't very easy to bring on-the-go. Due to their open-back design, they don't block out background noises like bus and plane engines or the chatter from fellow commuters, and they also leak a lot of sound.
The Philips Fidelio X3 are inadequate for sports and fitness. These bulky over-ears are stable enough for casual listening, but they aren't designed for the gym and may fall off your head during more intense movements.
The Philips Fidelio X3 are poor for office use. They're comfortable enough to wear through an eight-hour shift without a lot of fatigue. However, due to their open-back design, they let in a lot of background noise and they leak a lot of sound, which can be distracting.
The Philips Fidelio X3 are wired-only headphones, so they aren't suitable for wireless gaming.
The Philips Fidelio X3 are adequate for wired gaming, though they don't have a microphone, so you can't use them to communicate with your teammates. They're very comfortable, and they have low latency thanks to their wired design. However, they're lacking a touch of low-bass, so action-packed scenes may lack thump and rumble.
The Philips Fidelio X3 don't have a microphone, so they aren't suitable for phone calls.
The Philips Fidelio X3 have a simple, sleek design. They're a bit bulky, but like the Philips Fidelio X2HR, they have a leather headband strap to help distribute their weight for a more comfortable fit.
The Philips X3 are impressively comfortable. Thanks to the leather headband strap, they feel light on your head, and they don't clamp too tightly. They're well-padded, and you should be able to wear them for long listening sessions without a lot of fatigue.
These headphones don't have any controls.
These headphones aren't very portable. They're large and bulky, and they don't fold into a more compact size.
The Philips X3 have an inadequate fabric pouch. It's made of a very thin, soft fabric, which may protect against light scratches but can't really protect the headphones from hard falls. The pouch also doesn't close fully, which is a bit disappointing.
These headphones are very well-built. They're mostly made of plastic, with cloth and fabric covering the ear cups, leather on the headband, and a leather strap. The materials and the hinges feel solid and durable. However, the headband is a potential weak point, as the leather strap seems like it could break after a lot of use.
The Philips Fidelio X3 are acceptably stable. They move around a bit on your head. While they shouldn't fall off your head during casual listening sessions, they aren't intended to use at the gym, and they may fall off during high-intensity movements.
The Philips Fidelio X3 have a very neutral, well-balanced sound profile, making them suitable for a wide range of audio content. Like most open-back headphones, they're lacking a touch of low-bass, which may be disappointing for fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM. Their treble range is also a bit uneven, so higher-frequency sounds may be piercing or dull.
These headphones have an amazing frequency response consistency. Their audio delivery should be consistent regardless of their fit, seal, and positioning on your head.
These headphones have good bass accuracy. The range is quite even, but like most open-back headphones, they have an underemphasized low-bass range. As a result, you don't feel the deep thump and rumble from audio.
These headphones have amazing mid accuracy. The range is even and balanced, so vocals and lead instruments are clear and present in the mix.
These headphones have fair treble accuracy. Low-treble in underemphasized, which can hurt the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments. Mid-treble is overemphasized, so sibilants like cymbals can be sharp or piercing.
The Philips Fidelio X3 have fair peaks and dips performance. The dip in the low-bass results in a lack of deep thump and rumble, while the slight peak in the high-bass adds a boomy quality to the mix. The peak in the mid-mid and high-mid can add a forward, boxy, and punchy quality, while the dip in the low treble hurts the clarity of vocals and lead instruments. The peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants sharp and piercing.
These headphones have excellent stereo imaging performance. Their weighted group delay falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in a tight bass and transparent treble. The L/R drivers of our test unit are well-matched in amplitude, phase, and frequency response, so objects like footsteps and instruments are accurately placed in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our test unit, so yours may perform differently.
The Philips Fidelio X3 have a good passive soundstage performance. Thanks to their open-back design, they have a spacious, open, and speaker-like soundstage. Audio seems like it's coming from speakers in front of you rather than inside your head.
These headphones don't have any virtual soundstage features.
These headphones have a good weighted harmonic distortion performance. Even at higher volumes, audio reproduction should be clean and pure.
These are the settings we used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when using these settings.
Like most open-back headphones, the Philips X3 have a terrible noise isolation performance. You can hear background noises like voices, bus and plane engines, and the hum of nearby AC units.
These headphones have an awful leakage performance, which is typical for open-back headphones. Even at moderate listening volumes, people around you can hear your audio.
The Philips X3 don't have a microphone.
These headphones don't have a microphone.
These headphones don't have a microphone.
These wired-only headphones don't have a battery.
These headphones don't have a dedicated companion app.
These wired-only headphones aren't Bluetooth-compatible.
These are wired-only headphones.
These headphones come with a detachable TRS cable to connect to any device with a 1/8" jack. There's also a TRS cable to connect to a TRRS 2.5mm jack, and a 1/8" TRS to 1/4" TRS adapter.
You can plug these headphones into your PC or PS4 controller, but you can only receive audio since they don't have a microphone.
You can plug these headphones into your Xbox One controller, but you can only receive audio since they don't have a microphone.
These headphones only come in one color variant: 'Black'. If you come across another version of these headphones, let us know in the discussion section below.
The Philips X3 are comfortable, well-built open-back headphones designed for neutral listening. Like most open-back headphones, they block out very little background noise and they leak a lot of sound. While they have a very neutral and balanced sound profile, some listeners may find their treble range is a bit uneven. See also our recommendations for the best open-back headphones, the best headphones for music, and the best audiophile headphones.
The Philips Fidelio X3 and the Philips SHP9600 have very similar performances overall, and they're both very good for neutral sound. The SHP9600 are more comfortable, and they have a more balanced treble accuracy. However, the Fidelio X3 are better-built, and they have more accurate bass and mid ranges. Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other.