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B&W P5 Headphones: An Unboxing of the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Headphones - Page 3

post #31 of 699
Not sure if want....

Here's to hoping they sound good.
post #32 of 699
Just showed up in the US Apple Store. $299.95:

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Mobile Headphones - Apple Store (U.S.)

Jeff
post #33 of 699
I actually like the look, but would never buy anything that has marketing that goes a little something like "ipod.... blahblah on the go! ipod... blah blah.... iphone... blah blah ipod iphone one the go lifestyle iphone apple ipod iphone... blah blah blah our signature attention to detail... blah blah iphone."

I mean... seriously. Did they ever look around and notice, that most people with a portable *don't* have an iphone, ipod, or anything apple related? Why not just make all the black on the phones white and call it a day? I am not saying they would not sound great with an ipod, perhaps even amazingly great, but the ipod nano is not the "best" DAP, in size, price, and in the freedom to actually simply move your music around. Maybe I am biased, but I actually did not know until about a year and a half ago that you needed itunes just to use one. I thought you only needed itunes if you wanted to buy music, that, at the time, was DRMed, and when I plugged one in after they removed DRM, I dropped some mp3s on the drive that got mapped and couldn't find them on the player. Yeah, old news to everyone in the world, but I honestly booted a virtual machine to make sure itunes didn't wreck my collection's tagging and structure, and waited forever for a simple copy of some songs, and most of them would only play for 30 seconds and then stop.

I bring this up for a very valid reason. As an audiophile in the area of speakers as well, I know for a fact that crap like that would never be tollarated. I mean, put the CD in, press play, enjoy. Set the record down, lower the needle and enjoy. Simple right? It makes sense, why do you think SACD was never widely accepted? *You* (as in anyone but a select few Sony must approve of) can't make one! SACD sounds great, but between a really good redbook player, a nice vinyl rig, and... a pair of coveted B&Ws, many were within their audio nirvana. That whole ipod ipod iphone ipod thing gets to me, because it tethers what may be a very fine product to a specific brand that likes to make things annoyingly inconvenient to use, for a market that really *really* hates restrictions. Maybe the skullcandy crowd has been saving their money, and just waiting for the next thing since the beats turned out to be, well, you get the idea, but personally this speaks of, perhaps a growing trend: Loss of interest in good 2 channel music. B&W is expecting many a 256k aac file to be played through these. Not a *bad* lossy file, but not something you would put through a set of B&W floorstanders, or bookshelves on weighted stands, with some rather well engineered equipment sitting between.

I hope B&W does not create a trend where it is forgotten that the ipod is not the reference system we would rather hook something like this into. It doesn't have to be an apple advert to be made to work with a portable player as well as a home system. Many audiophiles do DIY, also, to an extent, because we are, by nature, obsessive, however, again, it speaks to a gap in market understanding. Don't tie your flagship to something really proprietary, even if just some marketing copy.
post #34 of 699
Waiting for a full review, I hope function follows forms, they are awesome...
post #35 of 699
The apple website says that they are noise isolating but from their looks it seems that much noise would leak.
But the mic is nice if they do sound good. That would be one of the rare good headset
post #36 of 699
Yashu,

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and sure, we all get annoyed when a brand we love makes a business decision we disagree with. That being said, I disagree with lots of what you said and think that B&W is making a smart play here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yashu View Post
I mean... seriously. Did they ever look around and notice, that most people with a portable *don't* have an iphone, ipod, or anything apple related?
Come on, that's a joke right? Apple portables are everywhere. They dominate the portable space from a marketshare perspective and are doing very well in the smartphone category. If a company were going to target a specific brand to piggyback off of in the portable space, Apple is by far the best choice. Volume plus perceived luxury (by general consumers, NOT the audiophile crowd) makes them a great partner in this space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yashu View Post
Maybe I am biased, but I actually did not know until about a year and a half ago that you needed itunes just to use one. I thought you only needed itunes if you wanted to buy music, that, at the time, was DRMed, and when I plugged one in after they removed DRM, I dropped some mp3s on the drive that got mapped and couldn't find them on the player. Yeah, old news to everyone in the world, but I honestly booted a virtual machine to make sure itunes didn't wreck my collection's tagging and structure, and waited forever for a simple copy of some songs, and most of them would only play for 30 seconds and then stop.
And yet Apple still dominates the space. Maybe you think that B&W should have been going after the audiophile niche, but that's a far smaller space. They can easily make up in volume here what they lose in pricing (assuming that an audiophile targeted model would be more expensive). As it is now, the B&W products in Apple stores are the luxury audio accessories sold there. Yes, B&W has competed in the audiophile space for years with speakers. But, if I were entering the portable market now, I'd rather be looked at as the luxury brand and known to general consumers vs. one company amongst many known mostly by audiophiles only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yashu View Post
I bring this up for a very valid reason. As an audiophile in the area of speakers as well, I know for a fact that crap like that would never be tollarated. I mean, put the CD in, press play, enjoy. Set the record down, lower the needle and enjoy. Simple right?
And yet music server and streaming solutions continue to expand even amongst the audiophile crowd. I'll take the convenience of jumping around my lossless collection any day over disc switching. But even if I wanted to stay simple with a CD transport, both solutions work equally well with my floorstanders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yashu View Post
It makes sense, why do you think SACD was never widely accepted? *You* (as in anyone but a select few Sony must approve of) can't make one! SACD sounds great, but between a really good redbook player, a nice vinyl rig, and... a pair of coveted B&Ws, many were within their audio nirvana.
But if SACD had reached the kind of market penetration that Apple portables have, would B&W have been foolish to crosspromote with it? As long as SACD is where it is and Apple products are where they are, your analogy can't hold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yashu View Post
That whole ipod ipod iphone ipod thing gets to me, because it tethers what may be a very fine product to a specific brand that likes to make things annoyingly inconvenient to use, for a market that really *really* hates restrictions. Maybe the skullcandy crowd has been saving their money, and just waiting for the next thing since the beats turned out to be, well, you get the idea, but personally this speaks of, perhaps a growing trend: Loss of interest in good 2 channel music. B&W is expecting many a 256k aac file to be played through these. Not a *bad* lossy file, but not something you would put through a set of B&W floorstanders, or bookshelves on weighted stands, with some rather well engineered equipment sitting between.

I hope B&W does not create a trend where it is forgotten that the ipod is not the reference system we would rather hook something like this into. It doesn't have to be an apple advert to be made to work with a portable player as well as a home system. Many audiophiles do DIY, also, to an extent, because we are, by nature, obsessive, however, again, it speaks to a gap in market understanding. Don't tie your flagship to something really proprietary, even if just some marketing copy.
B&W hasn't limited their product, but you seem to take issue with the fact that they have associated themselves with a company who has. Given the success that Apple has had and continues to have in the portable space, I have a hard time seeing this strategy as a bad idea. Is it a departure from what they have done in the past? Perhaps. But every new market you enter presents unique challenges and you have to assess those on a case by case basis. In this area, I think B&W is making a smart move. I'm pretty sure the powers that be looked at the digital media space and decided that going after more general consumers was going to be more fruitful than targeting audiophiles. They had a unique opportunity to enter a well established market with a brand name that has clout. Do I know it will definitely be a success? No. But the fact that the Zeppelin is still on display in Apple stores almost 3 years after release while most competing products are rotated through makes me think that they are selling pretty darn well.

Jeff
post #37 of 699
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawat View Post
The apple website says that they are noise isolating but from their looks it seems that much noise would leak.
But the mic is nice if they do sound good. That would be one of the rare good headset
B&W will be selling an active noise cancelling model at some later date.

Jeff
post #38 of 699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ypoknons View Post

But wouldn't you want B&W to tackle the home audiophile market as well, with the same attention to detail and build quality? Of course we'll have to see how these sound first.
I wonder if they will work backwards. IOW, establish themselves at the lower end and have the division profitable to then support funding of development new models with higher price points and lower expected volumes targeted at audiophiles. They may not, but I could see it later on. I think this is the smart move to start from though.
post #39 of 699
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgbyhkr View Post
I think B&W is making a smart move. I'm pretty sure the powers that be looked at the digital media space and decided that going after more general consumers was going to be more fruitful than targeting audiophiles.
This means they can no longer rely on speaker sales alone. Thus, they are marketing a potential mass market product they can sell for $300 (because of their brand name) to the audiophile with an ipod (yes I know that's an oxymoron) and make a tidy profit on each one they sell.

It's the same as when Grado entered the headphone scene when CD replaced the vinyl LP in the mass market. They could not depend on phono cartridge sales alone to survive. And they are doing nicely selling both.
post #40 of 699
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgbyhkr View Post
I wonder if they will work backwards. IOW, establish themselves at the lower end and have the division profitable to then support funding of development new models with higher price points and lower expected volumes targeted at audiophiles. They may not, but I could see it later on. I think this is the smart move to start from though.
I agree, it's a good business decision. The revenue streams are more certain and probably larger overall in this segment. B&W can secure the Apple store as a retailer and attract casual buyers, and success depends not only on technical ability but design and marketing, which B&W is good at. A home audiophile design would be a less certain project to take, as success hinges on technical ability, which requires R&D and talent, the market is already somewhat saturated between Beyer, Senn, Grado, Denon, AT (and AKG and Denon depending on price point) and the market size is smaller though the margin is probably higher. It's not going to be worth it, for B&W or us, if they don't have anything new to bring to the table.

Still, I think it's entirely possible, and despite all this business speculation I'm still very interested in the how the P5 performs.
post #41 of 699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
This means they can no longer rely on speaker sales alone. Thus, they are marketing a potential mass market product they can sell for $300 (because of their brand name) to the audiophile with an ipod (yes I know that's an oxymoron) and make a tidy profit on each one they sell.

It's the same as when Grado entered the headphone scene when CD replaced the vinyl LP in the mass market. They could not depend on phono cartridge sales alone to survive. And they are doing nicely selling both.
To that point I'll share what my local B&W dealer told me. He's one of their top 10 dealers nationwide and he said that B&W expects the speaker market to shift away from floorstanders and bookshelves year after year. That's why they've pushed harder into custom in-wall solutions because of the growing preference for that vs any type of visible speaker. Seems like they are trying to keep up with the pulse of the market rather than fight against trends.

Jeff
post #42 of 699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ypoknons View Post

Still, I think it's entirely possible, and despite all this business speculation I'm still very interested in the how the P5 performs.
I am too. I had an unbelievably brief listen to them last Fall (prototypes) and they sounded pretty good, but I need a far more extensive session. I've shifted away from over the ear designs as I never take them with me vs. IEMs that I always have when I am out. That being said, maybe a travel friendly design like this would work. I'm willing to give them a shot.

Jeff
post #43 of 699
Quote:
Originally Posted by yashu View Post
I actually like the look, but would never buy anything that has marketing that goes a little something like "ipod.... blahblah on the go! ipod... blah blah.... iphone... blah blah ipod iphone one the go lifestyle iphone apple ipod iphone... blah blah blah our signature attention to detail... blah blah iphone."

I mean... seriously. Did they ever look around and notice, that most people with a portable *don't* have an iphone, ipod, or anything apple related? Why not just make all the black on the phones white and call it a day?
Agreed. It's not like Apple has mass penetration or anything. They should have sided themselves with the much lauded brands like Creative, Cowon and Zune. Those are the brands people think of first when portable audio is discussed. iPod...pffffft!!
post #44 of 699
Looks fantastic. I think it's around 250 quid in the UK, which is reasonable.
post #45 of 699
I wonder if yashu will respond?
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