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Bowers & Wilkins P5 Mobile Headphones Reviews

Positive Reviews

gorgonmusic

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Review

Posted

Pros: Great looks, great sound, very clear and transparent at high volume, work perfectly with iPhone 3Gs, Great build quality

Cons: $300 price tag, cord is alittle thin

Enter the Bower & Wilkins P5's !!!! I was in the apple store and they caught my eye from across the room... yes their physical design is that great.. I was amazed at the perfect design and build quality using extremely high quality materials all round with firm construction that seemed very out of place in the rowdy "pop culture" apple store. These cans look like something that you would be invited to listen to by invite only. Real high grade leather , polished and brushed chrome yes!!After a 5 minute test listen (which blew me away) _I bought them all $300 of them ...lol they are so worth it that i got the last pair they had in stock.. I realized quickly that these where designed...
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productred

B&W P5 - Good SQ (OK not the best), Excellent in all other factors.

Posted
Well, I just had a rather special experience with the P5 which results in me selling my T50p and ESW10jpns while retaining the much battered P5. Here it goes -   I haven't thought of getting the P5 after Skylab's comprehensive write-up, and other concurring views from other members. I was rather happy with my ESW10s, and later the T50p. I mostly use ER4S and Monster MDs these days, but there are times when I'd like to reach for a headphone. I just grew curious about the P5 after someone, who is a known Bose hater, asked me to try them. He himself got a little surprise with them. I didn't asked him in details and thought I'd come up with my own conclusion. Luckily the...
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Farnsworth

Fantastic strait out of iPhone

Posted

Pros: Build quality, Comfort, Design, Sound

Cons: flimsy Cord

OK, firstly these headphones aren't for everyone. They have a very warm, lush, upfront and colored sound which i personally love. They have strong crisp bass with smooth mids and clear highs. I find that this sound signature nicely compensates for my iPhones slightly anemic line out. They have strong crisp bass with smooth mids and clear highs. These headphones particularly thrive is portable use. they are some of the best unamped portable sound for the money. Using them with my iPhone has been a great experience. They fold flat and nicely fit in the included pouch in my backpack.   In addition to this, these are some fantastically built and beautiful headphones. The combination of...
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Negative Reviews

Skylab

Review: B&W (Bowers & Wilkins) P5 Headphones

Posted

Pros: A small and very attractive headphone with great isolation

Cons: A very off sonic signature with very rolled off highs and lots of midbass

B&W (Bowers & Wilkins) P5 Headphones Being a B&W speaker owner, and fan, I was eager to test out a pair of P5’s. The look of the headphone also enticed me – they are very attractive: So I bought a pair. My reason for buying these was to use them as portables, on the road, with the iQube and an iPod Classic. I have been using the Senn PXC350, and still will have to for sure on airplane trips, but when I travel another way, or when I am gone a long time, I want to have another, non-noise cancelling headphone for that. I was hoping the P5 would fill the bill. I had bought the Ed 8's for that, but decided I liked them for home use too much to take them on the road. As they...
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Lan647

Unfortunately a big disappointment.

Posted

Pros: Beautiful design, quality construction, smooth sounding.

Cons: Gets very hot very fast. A very muffled sound for this price.

First of all these look and feel like an expensive headphone. They have a nice weight to them and the leather, fine brushed aluminum and memory foam earpads all breathe quality.    They are fairly comfortable thanks to the soft pads, but the moderate clamping force coupled with the leather heats up the ears within 5 minutes.  I expected a little more for the price. They aren't really hi-fi headphones, there just isn't the resolution on offer. The sound is smooth and warm, with an emphasized bass that goes deep but lacks refinement. The treble is very shy and gives a veil to the sound, hiding away much of the detail and sparkle in the music. The elevated, loose bass...
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radioplay

Disappointing

Posted

Pros: Decent looks, New Zealand sheep's leather

Cons: Poor sound, uncomfortable, overpriced

I can't add much to skylab's excellent review. I was so seduced by the idea of soft sheep's leather against my ears that I pulled the trigger on these only to regret the decision and have to sell them. The sound is muffled and dark and without body. They get uncomfortable against your ears after about half an hour. They look (and smell) nice, but that alone can't justify $300. The people giving them rave reviews on the consumer websites have either never heard good cans or are utterly hypnotized by the B&W brand aura and can't stand the cognitive dissonance of having spent $300 on subpar headphones. Back to the drawing board, B&W!

More Reviews

DigitalFreak

Review: My Final Impressions On The B&W P5 Headphones

Posted

Pros: Comfort, Form Factor, Excellent Passive Noise Cancelling

Cons: sound isn't there for the money spent

When I first heard that Bowers & Wilkins had entered the mobile headphone market I was very excited. Anyone who knows anything about high end audio has heard the name Bowers & Wilkins. The company has a long distinguished history amongst the audiophile community with their excellent product line of stereo speakers. I've never owned a pair of B&W speakers but I have been lucky enough to hear a set and I was blown away at the sonic signature of their stereo speakers.   PROS: First lets get the pros out of the way. The build quality on these cans is excellent. They have a very firm very solid feel in your hands and if properly taken care of they will last for many...
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Prog Rock Man

Style over substance

Posted

Pros: Beautiful, beautifully made, very comfortable

Cons: The sound is mid range at best

  Popped into the Apple Shop today and gave these a right good first listen……..   SOUND     I listened to a variety of tracks from The Rolling Stones to Lilly Allan. The P5s were straight into an ipod nano. I have no idea what EQ if any setting was on. I have no idea, but suspect that the files were probably itunes downloads and so lossy. Kicking off with The Rolling Stones and Street Fighting Years and there was great rhythm, clarity and detail. The sound was quite forward and bright (the file and EQ setting?) and the cymbals sounded odd and a bit flat. I then tried some Talking Heads and this was superb. David Byrne was crystal clear and the bass and drums very good without...
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Jpfe8851

The P5s do exactly what I want in a portable, on-the-go headphone. Much more compact than Momentums.

Posted

Pros: Very comfortable for long listening in your lounge chair, plane, train or bus. Handles most genres without fatigue. And sound rates a 8.5-9/10 for me.

Cons: None really. Not cheap but hardly expensive compared to many other commercially successful phones like Beats, Amperiors or Momentums.

I'm adding my support to this often maligned headphone. I've noticed several previous critical reviews have been made by folks who've had a casual listen at the Apple Store and don't actually own a pair. That does seem to distort the overall rating somewhat since I think these are a headphone you have to have for a while to appreciate. True, there are many better sounding cans but I doubt most who have purchased did so for them to be their premium listening headphone. I am sure I am like many buyers who liked the look, found them comfortable especially with your head nestled into a high back chair like aircraft seats because you can turn your head a little without the ear cup being pushed...
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DocJeff

A Quick Hitter in Defense of Bowers and Wilkins P5

Posted

Pros: Comfortable, good noise rejection, unique tonal palette

Cons: Expensive

I have heard that some design mods have been implemented recently on the P5's, but I can't verify it at the moment. I will say this, however, in defense of a very nice set of cans. They feel great, look amazing and have a punchy yet non-fatiguing sound. There is a definite bump in the upper bass register that makes Getty Lee's bass sound like he's playing in your living room--yes I'm listening to R30 on my P5's as I'm writing this. There's plenty of bass extension on the synths and kick drums below 100 hz, and Neil Peart's cymbals have just the right amount of sizzle without being overbearing. Mids are very well balanced with plenty of detail. I own a set of Grado RS 325i's, Senn Hd...
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redrich2000

Not as bad as the reviews suggest

Posted
Just a quick review... I think the people critiquing these miss the point a bit. These are not reference headphones. But they are actually decent sound wise, not great but far from terrible. They are hands down the most stylish headphones I've seen, both on and off. They have a particularly low profile when worn. If I never went out in public I probably wouldn't use these, but for those of us that care, the sound compromise is not too great to outweigh how good these look IMO.   They are about $100 cheaper than the Sennheiser Momentum, they look quite a bit nicer but don't sound as good. So value-wise I think they are about right. You just have to decide where you fall on the...
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chrislovin

Dissapointed

Posted

Pros: looks, iPhone compatible

Cons: sound, comfort

I really wanted to like these. I pushed through the ear pain from wearing them for more than hour, I defended them from haters and then eventually I realized that I just didn't want to listen to them anymore. They are probably great as a portable can, but I just never liked them enough to keep them around for desk listening. I sold them a month after buying them and have replaced them with a pair of AKG K550's that are more to my liking for comfort and sound.
Bossatiger

Epitome of Consumer-Targeted Design

Posted

Pros: overall design (pads, comfort, looks), build quality

Cons: non-audiophile sound, mediocre (detachable) cable

Intro: From what I understand about the P5 headphones, they were not designed with the audiophile in mind. There are two "versions" of the P5: the first with the untrimmed foam earpads and the second with the trimmed foam earpads. The second had improved clarity across the range by removing the foam that blocked part of the earpad canal.  I purchased this headphone as a durable, stylish, portable, and isolating headphone to use across the streets and such. The design and durability is what caught my attention. I have enough audiophile-oriented headphones and few are portable. The "portable" closed backs are not of durable build quality, are very uncomfortable, do not isolate...
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gibbo76

VERY PLEASED OVERALL

Posted

Pros: Beautiful design, comfortable, good all-rounder

Cons: Price, finding sonic sweet spot

Firstly I'd like to begin by saying that I've owned many many pairs of high quality headphones over the years, and indeed speakers. I'll not reel them all off here, but suffice it to say I've owned (and still do in many cases) Grado, AKG, Beyer, Senheiser and Shure are just a few of the companies I've bought from over the last 35 years. I'd also like to say that obviously everybody's ears are different. What seems blatantly obvious to some will be missed by others, and also everybody's taste is different. Just look through all these reviews. Many decry the rolled-off treble whilst others say the p5's have a crisp, defined top end. How can this be? Well because as stated, everybody likes...
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NO CARRIER

Depends on what you're looking for

Posted

Pros: comfort, design, sound

Cons: cord, price

I've had these cans for a few weeks to give them a fair trial.  To keep this short and sweet.  These are one of the best sounding portable headphones you can purchase, perhaps not the very best, but one of them.  Make sure you're comparing apples to apples.  These won't compete with Grado's or similar open headphones, but for portables, they are VERY impressive.   A few things to note: These do have a very lengthly break-in period before they really warm up, especially the treble. These are very sensitive to placement on the ear.  I find putting them a little further back on the ear sounds best. It will take around two weeks...
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reeltime

Kind of mucky, but I use them often...

Posted

Pros: Comfort. Like-- you can sleep in them.

Cons: Loose low end, Treble lacks definition and soundstage.

I bought these at an Apple store after jumping around between a few display models, and they certainly were the best of the lot that they had, in both sound quality and comfort.  I didn't want to take them off, so that told me something.   What's wrong with them-- Well the mids can get mucky-- like there's a film over them.  The bass is loose on the extreme low end-- it gets really slappy in the extreme lows below 200hz.  The treble gives me the most bother.  There's a real lack of imaging in these phones-- they bowl over the transients and there's little soundstage anywhere.  Compared to my UE Reference Monitors, well, there isn't really a comparison. ...
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