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Bowers & Wilkins P5 Mobile Headphones Reviews

Positive Reviews


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


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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A Quick Hitter in Defense of Bowers and Wilkins P5


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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Updated B&W P5 Series 2 (NEW version!!!) - modern "audiophile" fun sound!


Pros: luxurious design, solid build, replaceable cables, excellent bass and smooth sound signature

Cons: proprietary replacement cable, on-ear fit might not work for everybody

This is a review of Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 (updated 2014 version!!!) on-ear premium portable headphones.  http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Headphones/Headphones/Headphones/P5-Series-2.html   When it comes to B&W headphones, they are considered to be among the top brands combining quality and performance with a true luxury.  I think it's a very important point to make because I came across a number of other headphones with luxurious looks from a distance where upon a closer encounter you feel plastic and pleather.  With Bowers & Wilkins you will pay a reasonable premium, but you will also know exactly what you are paying for once you hold it in your...
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Negative Reviews


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


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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Pros: Style, sound quality

Cons: Build quality, comfort

I bought these in March of 2011.  They were to be "the last headphones I buy", expecting them to last at least a decade.  I'm a software developer so I wear them often and stream from my phone.     The sound quality and style is great.  I've had compliments on them in that respect.     Since they are on the ear, and not over, they do hurt the ears after a few hours.     Both the original cords were eventually damaged.  They are very weak, terrible quality.  B&W replacement cost was $100.... not exactly reasonable.    The pads are detachable to replace the cords, which is cool, but ends up being expensive.  ...
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Unfortunately a big disappointment.


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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More Reviews


Bowers & Wilkins P5 Review


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


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

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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Fantastic strait out of iPhone


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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Good sound and looks but poor durability


Pros: pleasant laid-back, warm sound; premium looks and feel; good passive isolation; comfortable

Cons: average soundstage and detail; disappointing durability

Design/durability: The P5 is a truly gorgeous headphone. The all leather/metal construction and the "timeless and vintage" make it a winner in the looks department. The construction and finish of the product is very convincing and feels absolutely premium. However the P5's durability is actually pretty far from its luxurious appearances. One of the channels going off is one of the recurrent problems these cans have. I have sent them back to B&W's customer service (which is excellent btw) several times already. And the cable feels very cheap. Fit/comfort: Clamping force is quite strong, but the earpads feel very nice and the memory foam does wonders. Overall they are quite...
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Great set with a little bit of time and patience.


Pros: Very comfortable, very nice driver definition (needs burn-in), stylish

Cons: The final audio imaging is not audiophile, but can be fixed, quite expensive

I got these at a mac store... when I heard them in the store I liked them... shows that listening in a store environment doesn't really give you the chance to focus and notice the problems a headphone set can have.  I took them home, burned them for about 24 hours with regular music... tried them on... and HATED THEM.  Oh my, I hated them so much It was a pain to listen to them... thin, too much harshness, too little bass... they sucked.  So I burned them some more with music... and the same thing.  Nothing seemed to help them.  I was disgusted by them.   So a few months passed, and they were stored at my music studio... forgot about them.  Suddenly I...
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Something different to consider for the Headfi community. Luxurious, comfortable quality product with an inoffensive sound.


Pros: Build, Looks , looks when you wear it, Sound, comfort

Cons: Thin cable, Silly purse, High high price, sound, to many top end competition

I bought an open box model B&W p5. Got warranty. But just 1 working cable. It's typically british. Luxury high end item. Like a Jaguar or Rolls Royce. Or a B&W speaker set.   Always have been intrigued by B&W. The first of many high end stereo companys (Bose don't count) getting their feet wet ín headfi gear. P7 was my initial target. But damn its expensive.399€. No where can i find it cheaper.  To be honest the sound didnt wow me when i tried it a few times.  P3 is nice. Love the different colors. but I think it's more trendy than luxurious. So it's up to the P5. At 299€. I never really considered it at all. On ears at this price...with DT1350, HD25s,...
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Not as bad as the reviews suggest

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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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.

Not for "audiophils"


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 on the go The design and durability is what caught my attention. I have enough audiophile-oriented headphones and few are portable with good build quality, comfort, isolation, and style.  I purchased the P5 "second version" for $300 at a nearby Apple...
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