Philips debuts Lightning-powered noise-cancelling headphones, no batteries required

“Last year Philips beat Apple in the race to release the first set of Lightning headphones, and here at CES it’s taking a victory lap with another pair that feature active noise cancellation,” Bryan Bishop reports for The Verge.

“The Fidelio NC1L headphones [US$299] plug directly into iOS devices via the Lightning connector, and like their predecessors use their own integrated 24-bit digital to analog converter instead of the one built into Apple’s devices,” Bishop reports. “Noise cancellation isn’t a new feature unto itself by any means, but what sets the new headphones apart is that they don’t require any batteries to make that sonic trickery work (Apple’s Lightning port is capable of providing power along with data).”

Phillips Fidelio NC1L Lightning-powered, noise-cancelling headphones
Phillips Fidelio NC1L Lightning-powered, noise-cancelling headphones

 
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11 Comments

  1. …”they don’t require any batteries to make that sonic trickery work (Apple’s Lightning port is capable of providing power along with data).”

    I would want to know what kind of battery drain this is going to be. It would seem to me that it would be a large power draw. Since the headphones are using the Lightning port, you can’t have your iDevice charging at the same time.

    1. As with the Fidelio M2L, the draw here is really the ability to bypass the internal DAC. Users on headfi.org, had been custom hacking up their iPods for a decade in order to be able to bypass the internal preamp and use a mobile headphone amp.

      For people asking questions like “why would I want this?” This product is clearly not for you. But since I have a RSA predator pocket headphone amp paired with AKG 701s, this could be an attractive replacement for the two (assuming the actual headphone drivers are well reviewed).

    1. Especially at $299.

      My 20-year-old pair of Sony MDR-7506 are still going strong and are only $99 new if I needed to replace them. And have 1/8″ and 1/4″ plugs so they work with everything.

      Only thing missing is the built-in DAC, though I’m sure I could find something suitable for less than $200.

    2. I have to agree with this statement. I’d prefer the typical headphone jack, as it can then be used with iPhones, iPads, Macs, or just other (musical) devices. This is one of those rare times where it makes no sense (to me).

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