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Bowers & Wilkins P5 Mobile Headphones Reviews


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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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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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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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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Depends on what you're looking for


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


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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B&W P5: Love at second sight...


Pros: Overall sound, look, easy to drive, good noise isolation

Cons: difficult sweet spot for best sound, needs lot of break in, cable quality, maybe a little bit more detailed on top?

FIRST: don't believe any reviewer who listen to the P5 only few hours or a couple of days, they need minimum 60 hours of break in to start sounding decent, at 100h they sound ok. At first they're so closed in like listenin' with a big and heavy curtain in front of your head, no detail in any frequency, no dynamic, just ugly sound with boomy bass and not even punchy. I was shocked the first time I hear them, "who could ever buy this crap?" was my first impression.   SECOND: pjoliver182 mod http://www.head-fi.org/t/576341/b-w-p5-modifications is essential and the cheapest and easiest upgrade to gain bass detail, dynamic and better definition in any freq. Just add a little...
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