Ahh, it's been more than a year since the last posting on this thread and, boy, have things changed mostly for the better. Plastic looks like plastic (Beats headphones) and metal looks like metal (B&W P7's). The reason why I used these lower priced headphones as examples is to point out that, even at the economy end of the spectrum, headphone design has become more truthful to the materials. Here is a bit a proof from what I've gleaned. Make your own conclusions.
Written by Jude Mansilla
Since its release, Bowers & Wilkins' P5 has been a hit, in the broader consumer market, and also with many audio enthusiasts. Overall, the P5 is a very good supra-aural (on-the-ear) on-the-go headphone--comfortable for an on-ear, with a sound that's pleasant for just about anyone, even if it wasn't particularly detailed or resolving. In other words, being one of the most gorgeous headphones ever made, having a good, smooth sound signature, and bearing the name of one of high-end audio's most well-known names, all together makes for an alluring value proposition. It sucked me in, and I still use and enjoy the P5.
If Bowers & Wilkins asked me, though, how I'd improve on the P5, I'd have several suggestions:
- Don't mess with its stunning good looks, both off and on the head.
- I love how no matter where I touch it, I'm touching either metal or leather--please don't change that.
- Don't mess with the awesome cable-groove-in-the-earpiece strain relief, so that it can continue to be cased up with its cable still installed.
- Make it a circumaural (around-the-ear) design, to make it more comfortable.
- Give it more bass control, more detail in the mids, and better treble extension. If you're feeling generous, throw in better imaging, please. High-end audio enthusiasts will thank you.
In addition to making audio products I love (I bought two of their Zeppelin Airs, and their MM-1 mini monitors for one of my main desks), I think Bowers & Wilkins can also read minds. Because they made all the changes to the P5 I was wishing for, and somehow managed to make it even better looking.
It's called the Bowers & Wilkins P7, and it's a perfectly good reason to drop 400 bucks.Thank you.
"The P7 looks fantastic, it feels fantastic, it's very comfortable and isolates very well, and it SOUNDS just beautiful. If you seek a high fidelity headphone, value both form and function and have $400 to spend on a portable, I can't think of anything I'd recommend more."
Yes, indeed. But here is a catch; Momentum costs about $319. From the same company, you can grab HD598 for about 190 bucks, or Beyer Custom One Pro for 170 bucks, or (my god I cannot believe I am using Grado as price-per-performance debate) SR-225 for 200 bucks. The sound quality gab between P5 and ordinary good headphones is so gigantic it's not even funny.
And maybe P5 is 'hit' among non-audiophile, but you can easily search this forum how harsh the reviews of P5 (a.k.a the prime example of being overpriced) Sure, P7 is actually not only listenable, but has decent sound.... but not $400 sound. I mean, at same price, I am grab either K712 or HD650 which both blow away P7, even with unamped. And there are tons of headphones sound far better than P7 with far lower price.
Yes, this is the price we pay for those premium materials used on the headphones. This is going to be so current hi-fi market where you can hard-pressed to find any customer under the age of 30's. I am so glad there are still some people/companies left that do not chase this dangerous trend.
Edited by wnmnkh - 12/3/13 at 11:35pm