Philips announces Fidelo M2L, the first-ever Apple Lightning headphones with 24-bit DAC audio

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2014
The first-ever Lightning-connected headphones for iOS devices are coming from Philips, offering 24-bit digital to analog conversion thanks to the use of Apple's proprietary connector.




The new Philips Fidelio M2L headphones can connect to an iPhone, iPad or iPod via Apple's Lightning connector, allowing not only 24-bit DAC, but also amplification within the headphones. The new Apple-authorized accessory will launch in North America and Western Europe in December, and was first revealed by Pocket-lint on Wednesday.

Digital output from Apple's Lightning connector will allow the Fidelio M2L headphones to eliminate crosstalk and interference. The over-the-ear-style headphones with breathable leather and memory foam ear pads also include two 40-millimeter high magnetic intensity neodymium speaker drivers that Philips promises to deliver wide ranging audio with dynamic bass.

"We're excited to launch the Philips Fidelio M2L, our first headphone that has a direct digital connection to your iOS device," said Pascal van Laer, headphones business leader at WOOX Innovations. :This means we can deliver an incredible audio experience today, and also opens up exciting opportunities for innovation for the future."

Apple first announced the new Lightning-enabled headphone standard at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The Lightning standard is superior to traditional 3.5-millimeter headphone jacks because it offers more bandwidth and a digital interface.


Slide from Apple's WWDC session on accessories.


Apple even allows accessory makers to build applications for iOS that can communicate with the headphones and control how they operate. Robert Walsh, Apple's manager of platform accessories, said the new Lightning headphone specification could allow noise canceling headphones to be controlled and improved by a dedicated iOS app.

Use of the Lightning port also allows headphones to receive power from an "iDevice." This would allow headphone makers to reduce bulk by removing necessary battery packs that some require to operate.

The M2L is set to be priced at 250 euros in Western Europe when it launches at the end of this year, though no American pricing has been provided yet.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    Brilliant !!

    Now can Apple please put support for DSD in their iPhone/iTunes kit !!!
  • Reply 2 of 29
    Do iOS devices even support 24-bit digital audio?
  • Reply 3 of 29
    1) WHY IS THAT HEADPHONE IMAGE 1.2 MiB?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    2) I think those looks sharp.

    philboogie wrote: »
    Do iOS devices even support 24-bit digital audio?

    Good question.
  • Reply 4 of 29

    The iDevice simply passes the digital data to the headphones through the Lightning port. It's the job of the headphone's digital to analog converter to decode the data and generate sound. The biggest limitation is there aren't that many songs available in 24-bit audio, such as those from HDTracks.com, and they are quite a bit more expensive than buying CDs (16-bit, like iTunes Store downloads, but higher bit rates with lossless encoding). However, it may be these headphones do a better job at decoding lossless 16-bit audio (such as CD rips) than using the iDevice's DA converter and the 3.5mm analog connection. I don't know if the iDevices have 24-bit DA converters. On Macs you have to use Audio Midi Setup to set 24-bit output and sample rates above 44 kHz.

  • Reply 5 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    Do iOS devices even support 24-bit digital audio?

    iOS 7 does not even support playing 24-bit audio files through iTunes, I believe. I am not sure about iOS 8.

  • Reply 6 of 29
    Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

    iOS 7 does not even support playing 24-bit audio files through iTunes, I believe. I am not sure about iOS 8.

     

    There was a rumor a while back that it would, launching with better headphones.

  • Reply 7 of 29
    The Headphones say 'Fidelio' but the headline says 'Fidelo'. Which is correct?
  • Reply 8 of 29
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,255member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

     

    iOS 7 does not even support playing 24-bit audio files through iTunes, I believe. I am not sure about iOS 8.


     

    My 24-bit files from HD Tracks play fine via iTunes. Unfortunately, no iOS devices that I'm aware of do (and I've tried).

  • Reply 9 of 29

    Come on Bose adapt your noise cancelling earphones to this, and you got my $$$

  • Reply 10 of 29
    Bose!!!! Do it now!
  • Reply 11 of 29

    This will make my MP3s sound great!

  • Reply 12 of 29
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    Do iOS devices even support 24-bit digital audio?

     

    Yes and no. I don't think (haven't tired) that you can play 24 bit music files on your iOS device.

     

    However, you can record and play 24bit audio using any USB Audio compatible device. Most music recording/production Apps for iOS support 24bit/96KHz. And you can record/play 2,4,8 or even 16 channels at the same time.

     

    So it's probably that the Music App doesn't support playing them - it has nothing to do with whether iOS itself can handle 24bit audio. It most certainly can.

  • Reply 13 of 29
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Proximityeffect View Post

     

    This will make my MP3s sound great!


    You forgot the /s.

     

    Regarding noise cancelling. The headphones wouldn't need to do this. An app could use the phone's microphone and send the noise cancelled signal to any earphones.

  • Reply 14 of 29
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member

    I'd really like something like these but wireless...

     

    Suggestions?

  • Reply 15 of 29
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    jfc1138 wrote: »
    I'd really like something like these but wireless...

    Suggestions?

    24bit over Bluetooth? Good luck with that :D
  • Reply 16 of 29
    neilmneilm Posts: 618member

    And in another journalistic triumph, AI manages to spell the product's name wrong in the headline.

  • Reply 17 of 29
    Quote:


     Use of the Lightning port also allows headphones to receive power from an "iDevice." This would allow headphone makers to reduce bulk by removing necessary battery packs that some require to operate.


    So unless I'm missing something this part sounds really kind of stupid, it's going to drain your phone because it's using this battery versus a battery on your headphones, and you can't plug in your phone because that's where your head phones are plugged in?

  • Reply 18 of 29
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    Do iOS devices even support 24-bit digital audio?

     

    The iDevice simply passes the digital data to the headphones through the Lightning port. It's the job of the headphone's digital to analog converter to decode the data and generate sound. The biggest limitation is there aren't that many songs available in 24-bit audio, such as those from HDTracks.com, and they are quite a bit more expensive than buying CDs (16-bit, like iTunes Store downloads, but higher bit rates with lossless encoding). However, it may be these headphones do a better job at decoding lossless 16-bit audio (such as CD rips) than using the iDevice's DA converter and the 3.5mm analog connection. I don't know if the iDevices have 24-bit DA converters. On Macs you have to use Audio Midi Setup to set 24-bit output and sample rates above 44 kHz.

  • Reply 19 of 29
    Originally Posted by tkrunner1738 View Post

    ...its going to drain your phone because its using this battery versus a battery on your headphones...

     

    Like all wired headphones, yes.

     

    ...and you can’t plug in your phone because that’s where your head phones are plugged in?


     

    Who... listens to their music through their phone when the thing is stationary and charging? Wouldn’t you switch to your computer for that?

  • Reply 20 of 29
    rob55 wrote: »
    My 24-bit files from HD Tracks play fine via iTunes. Unfortunately, no iOS devices that I'm aware of do (and I've tried).

    Same here. Also just tried to sync it over to my iPhone, no dice.
    Yes and no. I don't think (haven't tired) that you can play 24 bit music files on your iOS device.

    However, you can record and play 24bit audio using any USB Audio compatible device. Most music recording/production Apps for iOS support 24bit/96KHz. And you can record/play 2,4,8 or even 16 channels at the same time.

    So it's probably that the Music App doesn't support playing them - it has nothing to do with whether iOS itself can handle 24bit audio. It most certainly can.

    That's a resounding answer; thanks.

    neilm wrote: »
    And in another journalistic triumph, AI manages to spell the product's name wrong in the headline.

    "If you come here for accuracy, you have come to the wrong place."
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