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Philips Fidelio M2BT gets NFC upgrade, standard Fidelio M1 on-ear headphones upgraded too

Tom Morgan
4 Sep 2014
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The most affordable pair of Fidelio headphones (and its Bluetooth brother) get some welcome updates at IFA

Philips has revealed an updated line-up of Fidelio headphones, led by updated versions of two of its most popular models. The M1 over-ears were the most affordable Fidelio headphones, and now they've been upgraded to version two, while the M2BT takes one of our favourite pairs of Bluetooth on-ears and adds NFC for simple pairing.

First up, the second generation M1 wired headphones, or Fidelio M1MKII to give them their official title. Philips has been wise not to mess with a good thing, retaining the overall design and appearance of the original M1s along with the same breathable leather earpads filled with memory foam for a snug fit.

Inside, however, the lighter voice coil improves the sound precision and bass tones of the 40mm neodymium drivers. This has let Philips engineers extend the high frequencies, so you'll be able to appreciate finer details from your tracks. The new model still uses a Bass Reflex system for powerful but restrained bass; if it's anything like the original model, we're expecting the warm signature Fidelio sound with even greater precision.

The M1MKII will be going on sale from this month onwards in a range of colours, incuding black, white, and a Beats-baiting red and black combination. Whatever colour you opt for, expect to pay around €199, or £160 in the UK before tax and VAT.

The Fidelio M2BT, meanwhile, squeezes in near field communications (NFC) into the already cramped earpieces, which contain 40mm neodymium dynamic drivers, Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity and aptX suport for superior audio quality. Compatible devices will be able to pair with a tap, but you'll still be able to pair non-NFC kit manually.

A new outer headband made from rib-woven fibres provides strength and durability, but should stay flexible enough for a comfortable fit, while the ear pads are again made from breathable leather filled with shape-moulding memory foam.

"We’ve received great reactions to the original Fidelio M1 Bluetooth headphones, and with today’s introduction we’re continuing to build on that success,” Pascal van Laer, head of headphones at Philips' parent company Woox Innovations, said of the announcement. “We’ve kept the features that people told us they loved, and we’ve refined everything else to create a great-sounding, great-looking headphone that’s comfortable to wear."

It should cost €249, or roughly £190 based on today's exchange rate, when it goes on sale across Europe later this month. Hopefully we'll be reviewing both pairs of headphones in the run up to launch, to see if they can live up to the legacy of their predecessors.