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  1. #1
    Active Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Sep 20 2016
    AZ Member #
    London UK

    Xenon Bulbs Review (OEM vs Philips vs Osram)

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    As the winter months come closer and the days get darker, I thought it would be a good idea to see what new xenon bulbs are currently out in the market. When it comes to xenon bulbs, they sure are not cheap but rather than finding the cheapest bulbs on eBay, which will last 3-6 months, why not invest in some good OE quality bulbs. Osram and Philips have been leading the way since the 1900s so I thought I would do a comparison on the two vs the OEM bulbs.

    The bulbs I will be reviewing are as follows:

    OSRAM Xenarc Night Breaker Unlimited

    Philips Xenon X-treme Vision gen2

    A quick comparison of the bulb differences:

    Before ordering, I reached out to Powerbulbs customerís service team to as a few questions about these bulbs. The advice received was accurate and the customer service advisor kept me updated on the progress of my order. These were purchased using a 20% off discount code (NEWBIES) which should still be active, if not a quick google search to help find a code. Osram and Philips have been tackling counterfeit bulbs so both these have an authenticity sticker to check they are genuine. Not to mention Powerbulbs are the approved distributor for both brands so you are sure to be receiving the genuine products. You also receive a free 12 months warranty with Powerbulbs should any item fail within that period, simply return them back for a replacement, not to mention the free worldwide shipping.

    Osram Genuine Check

    Philips Genuine Check

    They are both very well packaged and arrived very quickly. A quick overview of the packaging:

    I went about to get them installed and to compare the difference between all three. Below is a few pictures of the OEM bulbs.

    Standard OE Bulbs

    As you can see from the above picture, the colour temperature is warmer than the Philips and Osram bulbs.

    Philips X-Tremevision gen2

    Osram Nightbreaker Unlimited


    As you can see, both bulbs are a very good upgrade from the stock bulb, although the Philips just edges ahead in terms of colour temperature and light output. They both throw out a lot further too. Regardless of which one you go for you will see a noticeable difference at night that will help elevate the eye fatigue occurred on long journeys. Just make sure you do get the genuine bulbs, they are miles apart from the counterfeits and cheap Chinese knockoffs, which provide a false economy.

    Any question, let me know.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Established Member Two Rings Kriskrk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 19 2017
    AZ Member #

    Great writeup and comparison.

    I had this dilemma myself few months ago and was lenient towards the Philips (gen 1 that time) bit got convinced for Osram CBI.
    Output is great, reach further and more to each side, is cooler in temperature and much brighter in overall (compare to oem).

    Been told and read however that, if you choose go for Osrams (CBIís in particular) and replace ballasts to marimoto 55W D2S (assuming you went for D3S bulb) youíll get even more light. Beam will reach further, will be brighter and therefore, you will see more.

    Please, correct me if Iím wrong but it is what I got from not extensive but not quick either, research.

    I was disappointed with oem bulbs minute I got in the car on the evening/night occasion.
    Bulbs were my first mod I did on the car. Did the led fog ones before them, actually.

    Cannot be bothered to take the bumper off and remove the headlamp just to check, what type main beam bulb is and replace it later, as could not get that info anywhere.
    Access there is impossible to reach so it is definitely bumper off job for my car but if done, would gone for matching bulbs and wouldíve done the ballast upgrade also.

    Seen pictures before and after that mod and the improvement is amazing.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Audi A6 C6 4F 170 Sline 2.0 Avant LeMans in Grey
    Stage 1 remap with EGR off and DPF gutted, partly dechromed with blacked out RS honeycomb grille, standard 19" LeMans RS4 type wheels (deu to change), full led interior, upgraded Osram CBI bulbs, fog's power led's with heat sinks.
    More to come


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