This CES saw Philips announce their newest set of Fidelio cans.
NC1L look to be a similar pair to their last year model ML2. Equipped with an Apple Lightning Port, 24-bit digital music is sent from your iPhone, iPod or iPad to the headphones for the Digital-to-Analogue processing to be done onboard, allowing for much higher quality audio, than relying on your phone’s puny DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter).
So what’s new with the NCL1s? Noise Cancellation… nothing too new or original their, but harnessing the power of your phone’s power, no battery is needed. Cut the power cable! No more pesty Micro USB chargers tangling up your drawer. With the lack of a battery, these headphones should be a little lighter too. The instant concern is, how much of an impact will these headphones have on my already poor iPhone life? Luckily (according to Philips) not much. Drawing out no more than 50mA, these headphones shouldn’t kill your phone too quickly.
This is a first and interesting concept for headphone manufacturers to follow.
If needed you can always turn this feature off for a ‘listening-out mode’ (not the official name). There’s also a ‘Natural Voice’ mode, which utilise the noise cancellation tech to improve audio quality when using the headphones for calls.
Another interesting feature is the ability to update the headphone’s sound profiles without needing to splash out on a new pair. The two-way Lightning cable, means software can be pushed onto the processor inside the headphones themselves.
As with all of the Philips Fidelio line, these are certainly a premium looking and feeling pair of headphones, with a leather headband and diamond pattern finish on the ear cups themselves.
We should see these headphones arrive in Spring for €299, which is a reasonable price hit for a unique, premium set of headphones. No word on UK pricing yet.