Last year we reviewed the Philips Fidelio L1 headphones, a $299 full-size model that our reviewer Steve Guttenberg described as beautifully built and a true audiophile headphone that sounds sweet with portable audio devices and home hi-fi systems.
However, due to its size, the L1 model isn't suited to mobile use, whereas the step-down M1 -- true to the "M" in its name -- is.
The M1 on-ear headphones feature a fairly slick and lightweight design, as well as a notably comfortable fit. They also sound quite decent, offering clear, well-balanced sound that fans of more natural-sounding headphones will like.
Design and features
What I liked about the M1s is that they fit snugly but didn't put too much pressure on your ears. There's some memory foam in the earcups, which helps increase the comfort factor, and the headphones are fairly lightweight, though they manage to feel sturdy at the same time.
The headphone cord is detachable but it doesn't detach from the earpiece -- rather, the cord is integrated into the earpiece, but the connector is situated a few inches down the cord. The placement does make the cord a little easier to detach, but some people prefer cords that connect directly to the earpiece.
The cord is cloth-covered and seems sturdy, and what's nice is that it doesn't make any noise when it rubs against your clothing. Some cloth-covered cords do.
The cord has an inline one-button inline remote and microphone. Tap the button twice and your track skips forward. Tap it three times and it skips back. It also serves as a call/end answer button for cell-phone calls. (There are no volume controls).
The headphones fold flat, but don't fold up. A simple but nice carrying pouch is included.