Philips Fidelio NC1 drown out the crowds with active noise cancellation

Should Bose be worried?

Watch out Bose, the Philips Fidelio NC1 have just been announced and offer active noise cancellation with the pedigree of one of the most lauded new headphones series of the last decade.

Two and a half years ago, Philips launched the first Fidelio headphones, the Fidelio L1, intended as cans with no-compromise sound quality. At IFA 2014, Philips unveiled the first ANC pair in the Fidelio range.

As ever, Philips isn't messing about with small claims, saying they offer "best-in-class noise cancellation". These are fighting words, as the Bose QC3 and Bose Quietcomfort 15 are currently streets ahead of the competition.

The Philips NC1 use four microphones to provide active noise cancellation, which is where inverted frequencies of ambient noise are pumped through the drivers, cancelling out the racket outside.

Two of the microphones are on the outside of the headphones, and another two sit right by the drivers in order to accurately pick up low-frequency noise.

On the road

You'll get 30 hours of blissful listening out of a charge, but the Philips NC1 will also continue to play music and let you take calls when the battery is dead.

"For the first time in a pair of Active Noise Cancelling headphones we've included a smart solution that means even when the noise cancellation is off, you can continue to use the headphones for music and calls," claims Woox's Pascal van Laer. However, we've come across plenty of ANC headphones that work without battery point, so Pascal seems to be over-doing it a bit there.

Although wearing the Philips name, the Philips Fidelio NC1 are actually made by Woox Innovations, the company behind most of Philips's recent audio products.

The Philips NC1 use 40mm dynamic drivers, and use the the kind of flashy materials that make you feel a bit better about spending hundreds on headphones: metal and leather. We'd bet our paper round money it's synthetic protein leather, though, that's never been part of an animal.

The Philips NC1 should be vegan-friendly. They're set to sell for 249 Euro from October, likely to equate to £200-250 in the UK.