Audio Quality and Performance
For testing, I have been using the Fidelio X3’s for a few weeks now on my main PC. Which means I have been listening to o music on them while working, watching TV shows, movies, YouTube, and Twitch at night, and well as getting in gaming which has mostly been LoL and Flight Sim 2020. Overall though I have had the chance to use the X3’s in various situations and wear them for long periods of time as well.
For me, comfort is always the number 1 priority with headphones and headsets. I need to be able to wear them for extended periods of time when listening to music and working or gaming late at night. This is where the suspension style headband is key for me. I have a big head and a lot of the traditional style headphones/headsets are heavy and push down at the top of my head. The suspended leather band spreads that out better across my entire head. Which when combined with the lightweight of the X3’s here made things very comfortable. I had no issues with the headband, even when wearing them for hours. The earcups were the same as well. The large earcup size kept them completely off of my ears which is where I normally get uncomfortable. Then the velour with memory foam, which was thick, keep the inside from touching my big ears. Even with the X3’s having a tight grip, I didn’t have any issues with the cups hurting or being uncomfortable. That grip though does help keep them in place.
The size of the X3’s did support my huge head as well as my wife's small head, though they look out of proportion on her as you can see in the pictures. Then the open-air design did a better job than I expected. With most open-air headphones my ears do still get warm eventually but I didn’t have any issue with that. As you might tell from all of that, I didn’t have any comfort issues at all with the X3’s. The only somewhat related issue was with the suspension headband not sliding as smoothly as I would like which if it catches at all can tighten up later making some noise. The same happens if you move the headphones around, like if you move your head side to side and they bump into your shoulders at all.
As for the audio performance. Like I said, I tested across a variety of uses. But I started first with music and I would be lying if I wasn’t impressed right away. Frankly, while I have a solid desktop speaker setup and a few quality earbuds. I haven’t been fortunate enough to try out a proper over-ear set of audiophile headphones. So after listening to one song, I started digging through my music folders looking for songs I haven’t heard in a long time and it was like listening with new ears. The level of detail is crazy and there isn’t a ton of bass piled on top to cover things up. Though I would prefer them to have a little more bass just for my preference and I am far from someone who is cranking that up typically. I was pushing the X3’s with our Creative X7 DAC and it did leave me wondering if I needed more power. But even when cranked up there was never a hint of distortion. When turned up the bass is there and is crisp and snappy as well.
But I think the most surprising part was just how much you hear around you with the open-air design. Again, open-air is what I prefer and is what I use often. But I was surprised there wasn’t at least a little reduction in noise. Even as I sit here typing this, I can hear crickets outside while I also have music playing quietly. Now, this also means that most of the sound going INTO your headphones can be heard around you as well. So remember to be conscious of the people around you and don’t crank up anything weird or inappropriate around people you wouldn’t want to hear it.