CES 2015: Philips Fidelio NC1L Takes Home iPhone Life's Best of CES Award

The Philips Fidelio NC1L on-ear headphones with Active Noise Cancellation ($299.00) made waves at this year's CES, touting a direct digital connection to your iDevice via Apple's Lightning port. Even though Apple (quietly) announced support for this headphone feature earlier last year, few companies have taken advantage of this connective potential, not even Apple's own headphone company, Beats by Dre. The ability of the NC1L to establish a direct, 24-bit, Digital to Analog Conversion (DAC) is impressive enough. Couple that with the fact that the NC1L draw power for their Active Noise Cancellation from your iPhone or iPad and it's no wonder that these amazing sounding cans are the recipients of iPhone Life Magazine's Best of CES award.

"But wait," you say, "what about the drain imposed on the precious and ever-dwindling battery life of my iDevice?" A valid question indeed. There are two things to consider; one is that the folks at Philips assure us that the battery drain that the headphones will exert on the iDevice's battery will not be significant, though obviously "significant" is a very relative expression. The other thing to consider is that when Apple introduced this feature, allowing for iDevices to power headphones, they supposedly stipulated that such connections not drain the device's battery excessively. Again, a relative term. As excited as we are about this great new technology and these headphones that are taking advantage of it, we look forward to testing these headphones out and hearing other hands-on reviews to see how the Fidelio NC1L actually perform in day to day life.

These Lightning-enabled headphones take full advantage of their direct connection to digital source to reproduce some of the best quality sound you'll find coming from an iOS device, bar none. With the added advantage of battery-free, Active Noise Cancellation you can enjoy your music with pristine clarity and audiophile-grade sonic accuracy, minus any distractions of your surrounding environment. Pretty impressive for a pair of over-ear headphones!

The new Fidelio headphones are elegantly designed and extremely lightweight with a compact, foldable design, making them perfect for use as an on the go pair of headphones. You can even make calls with them via their built-in, dedicated microphone. These are a cutting edge pair of acoustically enhanced headphones that deliver sound reproduction of unrivaled caliber, especially for an on-ear model. In fact, if I had any suggestion for the designers at Philips it would be to consider developing a passively noise isolating, over-ear model of the Lightning-enabled Fidelio with Active Noise Cancellation and bass enhancement. I'd have to imagine such a creature would be quite a force to reckon with in the ever more competitive world of audiophile headphones.

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Author Details

Dig Om's picture

Author Details

Dig Om

As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech