Best DAC for Philips Fidelio X2

The Fidelio X2 is one of the most popular headphones from the brand Philips, and there is a newer version which will be the X3 but even the latest iteration is unable to beat its predecessor when it comes to sound quality. X2 has a modest price tag too and this makes it more appealing for headphone enthusiasts. The Philips Fidelio X2 is designed to be used at home due to some circumstances and a matching DAC will help to bring out the sound quality of this talented headphone.

With so many DACs to choose from which one of them shall fit the bill? We are here to prepare a list of the best DACs to match with the Philips Fidelio X2 and this will be shared with you after we have done enough research on the headphones. Your own requirements will play a big part in choosing a D/A converter too.

Sonic Characteristics of Philips Fidelio X2 and DAC Requirements

Philips Fidelio X2 looks stylish and comfortable to wear, it seems to be an ideal headphone to wear outdoors. The open-back design of the Fidelio X2 does deter this notion though. Since it is an open-back headphone, the noise isolation capabilities are subpar and you will be hearing environmental noises that will disrupt your music listening session. Sound will be leaking out of the headphones as well thus disturbing others around you and this is why the Philips Fidelio X2 is meant to be used at home. Even at home, you should find a quiet spot/room to listen to your favorite tunes so as not to annoy your loved ones with the sound leakage.

They are very comfortable to wear and you won’t feel the strain of the clamping force, there is even a hammock below the headband which is a neat design feature. The earpads of the Philips Fidelio X2 are soft and breathable, another plus point in the comfort department. This does help us to get into the mood as we start listening to our music because our minds were able to fully focus on the songs being played out and not get disturbed by any discomfort. It has a high level of clarity and this enables us to hear plenty of details which are been dug out by the Philips Fidelio X2 headphones. The music details seem to be a bit highlighted.

More Details at Amazon – Philips Fidelio X2HR – Black

It has a neutral sonic characteristic and can deliver a smooth music presentation. This headphone is usually easy on the ears but the treble might get bright at times and fortunately it doesn’t sound harsh or cringe. The Philips Fidelio X2 probably has one of the biggest projected soundstages when compared to other open-back headphones in the same price range. It is spacious and the Fidelio X2 makes full use of the space with its incredible stereo imaging and separation. The headphones’ stereo imaging has precision and it is well organized, giving us a cohesive and rich musical performance without sounding congested.

As mentioned earlier, your DAC requirements will play a part when choosing a DAC to match your Philips Fidelio X2. You might want to work on your budget first and see how much you are comfortable investing in a D/A converter. The available space on your desktop or in your listening room will be a factor as well, if you have limited space then you should go for a compact-sized DAC. How high the sampling rates you need and what type of high-res audio files you are listening to will also determine the DAC to go for. Do you need the DAC to have a headphone amp so as to drive the Philips Fidelio X2 headphone? This might not be necessary as the Fidelio X2 is easy to drive.

These are some of the usual DAC requirements to consider and you should add more to the checklist on your own. The Fidelio X2 bass performance is quite hefty and has a nice punch to it which is impressive for an open-back design headphone. The bass delivery is also well-handled and tightly delivered. It is pretty lenient when it comes to bad recordings and doesn’t outright show you the truth. This does make it easier to enjoy listening to our music when using this pair of headphones. When you have fully considered all the DAC requirements and are confident of what you need then please take a look now at the list of the best DACs to pair up with the Philips Fidelio X2.

Philips Fidelio X2 Specifications

  • Type: Open-back, Dynamic
  • Frequency response: 5Hz-40kHz
  • Impedance: 30 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 100dB
  • Distortion (THD): <0.1%
  • Weight: 380g (0.84lbs)

Best DACs to pair with Philips Fidelio X2

The Audioengine D1 is a highly rated DAC and it is modestly priced, well suited to be paired with the Philips Fidelio X2 headphones. It is a compact D/A converter with an integrated headphone amp and is more than enough to drive the Fidelio X2. The Audioengine D1 uses AK4396 DAC which can process up to 24-bit and 192kHz sample rates. It has a polished background and you can hardly hear noises, allowing us to enjoy listening to our music without distraction. This is a musical-sounding DAC and the warmish sonic characteristics will help to tone down the brightness a little and makes the Philips Fidelio X2 sound even easier on the ears.

More Information at Amazon – Audioengine D1 24-Bit DAC

Topping E30 is an exceptional DAC for your Philips Fidelio X2 headphones and is an ideal choice for a desktop system setup. The E30 has multiple connections from USB input to Optical, giving you plenty of flexibility to connect to multiple devices. The D/A converter supports up to 32-Bit and 768kHz sampling rates as well as decoding native DSD512 audio files. Topping E30 has similar sonic characteristics as the Philips Fidelio X2, it has amazing clarity and easy on the ears sound quality which matches really well with the headphones. The E30 D/A converter has high precision and great stereo imaging too.

More Info at Amazon – TOPPING E30 DAC AK4493 32Bit/768kHz DSD512 Decoder

The Schiit Audio Modius is a balanced DAC meant for desktop setup and will pair well with the Philips Fidelio X2. It uses AKM AK4493 chip and AKM 4113 (SPDIF), the USB input is using the Schiit Audio own Schiit Unison USB. Schiit Audio Modius has a very low noise background and this easily brings out the music being played. It is a D/A converter with insights and the Modius cleanly produces out music details with clarity. The wide soundstage and excellent stereo imaging of the DAC will complement the Philips Fidelio X2 headphones well. Schiit Modius has precision and can be quite analytical at times.

More Details at Amazon – Schiit Modius Balanced D/A Converter (Silver)

The FiiO K5 Pro is another brilliant DAC with a built-in headphone amplifier that is muscular enough to drive the Philips Fidelio X2 and make the headphones sing. It has a very modest price tag and brings loads of value to its listeners. FiiO K5 Pro uses AK4493 DAC chips, supports up to 32bit/768kHz sampling rates, and also decodes native DSD512 files while amplifying your Fidelio X2. The treble performance of the DAC helps to slightly smoothen the edges of the headphone, allowing you to crank up the volume without worrying about the treble getting too excited. The K5 Pro subsonic bass performance will complement the Philips Fidelio X2 too.

More Info at Amazon – FiiO K5 Pro Deskstop DAC 768K/32Bit Native DSD512

For listeners who are looking for a portable DAC where you can easily keep inside your pockets then the AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt is a fine choice to go for. This is an award-winning USB DAC, a worthy match to your Philips Fidelio X2 headphones. It is very small and you can easily keep the D/A converter once you have finished using it. Saving you tons of space. AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt has impeccable music timing and projects a spacious soundstage complementing the Philips Fidelio X2 headphones. The DAC’s wide dynamic range and shifts will help to deliver a more engaging music presentation.

More Info at Amazon – AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt USB DAC

Schiit Audio Modi 3+ is one of the best budget DACs to go for and match with the Philips Fidelio X2 open-back headphones. The affordable price point of the Modi 3+ will fit most listeners’ budgets. It has quite a small footprint and this is ideal for desktops with limited space. This is an enjoyable DAC to listen to as it slightly enhances the music presentation without sounding unnatural. Such as widening the soundstage a little and adding a bit more weight in the bass delivery. The Schiit Audio Modi 3+ delivers full-bodied sound reproduction and doesn’t add brightness to the treble, making this D/A converter a suitable match.

More Info at Amazon – Schiit Modi 3+ Delta-Sigma DAC (Black)

To Sum It Up

We suggest bringing along your Philips Fidelio X2 headphone and the devices which you might be using to playback your audio files during the auditioning of the DACs. This will help to provide you with a more accurate test result, allowing you to find out which DAC has the best sound quality. Doing a side-by-side DAC comparison will enable you to detect the difference in sonic performance and quality, this will also help to determine which DAC is better suited for you.

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