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Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones

75% Positive Reviews
Rated #172 in Universal Fit


Pros: Excellent audio, Noise Isolation, and good looks!

Cons: Goofy "secure loop" system, hard to clean, awkward ipod/iphone controls, EXPENSIVE, and a tiny carry pouch.

I bought these to replace my beloved A-Jays four.  I needed something with the integrated in-line ipod/iphone controls,  but with a bit better audio-quality, and some that may not pop out as easily as the JAYS.   These have a "secure loop" system which provides an adjustable cable loop that tucks into your upper ear, helping to keep the buds in place.   I personally found that the "adjustment" was just a series of markings on the cables, which would easily move up and down giving no "exact" setting for your ear.   They would stay in my ear,  but it always just felt sort of... Also, I found my ears getting quite sore after wearing them for an hour or two (not my ear canal, but the part with the "secure loop").   The noise isolation was great, and the audio was superb with rich lows, and well balanced mids . The highs were rolled off a tad too much for my taste, but overall I thing that these would cater to most peoples tastes in music.   I found, however that the audio began to attenuate over the course of a few months.  I realized that my ear wax was clogging the extremely fine steel screen mesh that covered the ports...  this was almost impossible for me to clean or rectify.  The ipod/iphone controls were also hard to find without looking, and did not provide any tactile response.   This resulted in me mis-hitting the buttons all the time.   Up would be down,  on would be off etc.  Not a very good design.  Major points however for isolation, which I found to be quite immersive, and the audio quality was fantastic before they became too quiet to enjoy. Also, the carry pouch was just a little too small.  I felt like I was crushing these, and bending up the "secure loops" every time I put them away..


Overall I was let down by this product, especially due to how expensive they were ($179).  Compared to the cheaper ($80) A jays,  they dont match as far as overall quality and comfort/ I did however enjoy their handsome design, but looks dont really count when all you want to do is listen.


Pros: build quality

Cons: bass

i really want to embrace this earphone, the build quality is some of the best in its price range. the loop is a good design for me. and if i don’t want to use the loop i can make it small and it work like a earbud.

So i mainly listen to young female vocals, but the bass just muddy it up. male vocal sounds much better.

The bass is too overpowered, especially in the sub bass area, and the op bass extend all the way into the vocal band. The bass is slow and controlled, the quality is there, but too overpowered. I’d say that it is hard to even get this into my ear.

So what do you do to make it listenable? My solution is:

use the smallest tips, let some air in and bass out.

Then on the eq boost 250 a bit, lower 1k~ all the way, and lower the area around 6.3k to cut sibilance, now the bass isn't overwhelming and much tighter, vocals are forward.and clear.

you can also cut the highs if its too bright

I don't know if you can do eq with dsd, my player can't which sucks. but c5 don't really need dsd anyway


Pros: Inline Mic/Controls for Apple Device, nice subbass, Build Quality is Excellent.

Cons: No Detachable Cable, slight grain in the treble, Loop doesn't fit in everybodies ears, Bass is loose and kind of muddies up the sound

Decent. But get the Dunu DN-1000's instead.


Pros: stays in place/maintains seal during even strenuous activity; signature natural, transparent B&W sound with a complementary bass presence

Cons: 3-button control could be easier to use

I own a pair and love them.  I am surprised there is not more online buzz regarding these.  I mostly listen to music during activity but had difficulty finding a pair of active headphones that approached audiophile quality until I heard the C5.  The sound is clean, accurate and full.  The bass is prominent without being overwhelming which is perfect for workout tunes.  The sound is also enjoyable for home listening.  This is a great all around headphone for all types of music.  The ear loop also provides a secure fit and I sometimes forget they are on.  Related to fit, I have owned other earbuds that gradually slip out and the sound becomes hollow as the seal is lost.  I NEVER lose the seal with these because of the unique ear loop designed.  I was impressed with their sound quality from the first time I tried them on and haven't heard a better sounding headphone in their price range.

Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones

Concert for one Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones with Secure Loop design

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