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B&W P5 Headphones: An Unboxing of the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Headphones - Page 47

post #691 of 699


Has anyone compared these 1&1 with the Bose QC3?


Before you guys eat me up alive let me clarify: I use the Ultrasone Pro 900s for home use via Fiio E7/E9 and Westone 2s & Monster Coppers for everyday commuting and use on the go. I do however need a good ON-EAR Headphone when traveling. I don't like IEMs for a longer period of time and my Ultrasones are just too bulky for on-the-go use.


Both seem to have decent (P5) to excellent Noise Cancellation capabilities (QC3). So: It boils down to Bose QC3 versus P5...for me at least. I can get both for pretty good prices (210 for the P5 and 160 for the QC3 - both brand new).


Any opinions?

post #692 of 699

Well for the ultimate silence, without having to crank up the volume too much I believe the Bose Q15, is one of the best and highly favored on here.


I haven't done a 1on1 comparison with these but have heard all of Bose's headphones in the past and the P5's not too long ago.


I know you said on-ear, but I think the QC15 is a much better buy than the P5's.


The P5's SQ is more like a good set of £100 phones at the most, otherwise they're rip-off value for money.


update: a lot of people find the P5's build quality excellent on the P5's, bass slightly lacking for those who listen hip-hop, RnB and rap and the like... here's one reviewer on youtubes opinion of the 2, he says the P5's SQ is better than the QC15's (however he thinks the Beats by Dre Studio are good, and they are rubbish headphones considering their price, no matter what genre you're listening to, they only sound good if you haven't heard anything better....):


the QC15's build quality however is poor especially for the price, and while it has one of the best low=frquency noise cancellation, it's not that great for voice and things like crying babies...

tbh though I cannot reccommend the P5's because I know for example the ATH-M50 is a much better headphone and it is less than half the price...


I would probably choose the Bose OE headphones over the P5's due to price, these isolate well.


I recently bought the JVC HA-S650 dual entry cable headphones, which have similar memory foam pads to that of all the Bose OE headphone designs, which isolate very well, very lightweight and very cheap £40.


However the build quality isn't great, but I've not broken it since I got it just less than a month ago, and have a 3yr extended accidental warranty which I purchased for just £10. I'd say the sq is close to the P5's a little more bass, but not muffled in any way.. Because of the fit and comfort I'm inclined to say they're very similar to the Bose OE headphones, but at a fraction of the price..

Edited by meizumintyboi - 9/3/11 at 2:22pm
post #693 of 699

Let me tell you more, even if i think this thread is quite dead I believe they are "normal" headphones. Neither good or bad. First off, you should note that the cable is no wimp (look at my picture, I could estimate around 15-20 threads per channel). I want all of you to note that there are many ways these headphones can sound bad (and I mean methods). First off, they have to be fed by a source/amp with an output impedance lower than 2, that at least should make them pleasant. It can also be of some help to change the iPhone cable for the standard one, it seems to cause less distortion. Then there's the burn-in period that makes them reach 200$ SQ (where many people got stuck at). And at last but not least the reason why there are some people who think these stand up to the ATH's ES10 while others think they compare to 100$ MDR's is because they sort of screwed up some stashes; it's not like they have bad drivers, or bad chambers, in fact it was something that can be easily overlooked... the foam pads.

Some foam pads are bent in, and degrade the sound quality on many sets, however, this can be easily fixed. Either with some clips inside to push it from the way or just cutting it out.

After this has been done these headphones sound like a 300$ price tag should. The sound will still be relaxed and the soundstage small, but the roll off, transparency and detail will improve; leaving a reasonable choice between headphones in the price, meaning that the only thing to think about anymore is sound signature.


Before you invalidate what i'm saying for either reason I think I should state that I've actually heard phones in the same category, such as the HD25-II, the beyer dt770 and the more expensive dt880

post #694 of 699

 is it only me, but when i tried them, they sounded a teeny bit "synthetic"? otherwise, good clarity and balance were pretty good.

post #695 of 699

If you think of it they may have reduced the highs on purpose to make the phones sound like speakers, since high frequency waves are greatly reduced by distance and so headphones tend to have more highs than speakers

post #696 of 699



Just purchased a s/h mint hardly used pair of these for on the move. Love the looks and the biuld quality. I have been burning them in for about 24 hours and to my ears they sound pretty good. To me they are not muffled or veiled. Base is tight, mid-band is clear and highs pretty good. To me they are pretty well balanced from lows to highs. I do not feel they are particulary warm. My Senheiser HD650 are warm. My modded wooded Grado's SR125i's are better but they are opened back and need an amp to drive them. I am definately keeping them. Will burn them in for another couple of days to see if they improve further.



post #697 of 699
I listened to the P5 today using my iPhone 5. Deep bass and reasonable quality. Was not expecting them to be as good as they were. They are dark though.

I did choose the Sennheiser Amperior as these were a lot better.
post #698 of 699
Tried them until 2 months ago.

To be completely honest, I only knew of B&W for their great speakers, so when I saw this absolutely gorgeous set of headphones, I expected nothing short of excelence.

So, I put them on and I just could not believe my ears!! I found myself inmersed in a pool of... Turned off mids, non-existing highs and a painful mid-bass response. I was just shocked that they sounded not much better than the Beats Solo lying beside them. So I went back home, googled a bit, and could not find anything but praise about this things.

I could not believe it, perhaps I didn't put them on just right? Perhaps the set I tried was defective? So I went to another iShop and gave them another try. Fiddled a little bit with positioning, tried different tracks (ALAC), and this time around was a bit better, but still didn't sound like $300 to my ears, not by a long shot. Nasty midbass hump, turned off voices, tinny and whitdrawn highs. Not my cup of tea, not at all.

Saw Tyll in his blog cutting the cushion above the driver, and that seems to clear up the highs, but it seems unreasonable to buy a set that you have to cut (and ruin its looks) for them to actually sound good.

My other phones are M50s, Klipsch X10, Amperiors and HD 238, so I might be used to more "forward" and V shaped sound signatures, but even tough -for example - the X10 have somewhat recessed treble, and have close headstage, they don't lack detail and have much better imaging + soundstage.

I guess they have their place in the "non fatiguing listening" category but I just didn't like them at all. I just hoped they sounded as awesome as they looked frown.gif
Edited by Elektrospeed - 11/10/12 at 12:34pm
post #699 of 699

When I compare the B&W P5 to ATH-ESW9, the P5 feels so congested, muddy and midbass heavy that I want to yank it off. 

But when I just listen to the B&W P5 without any comparisons.  It's sounds euphonic, intimate, rich and musical and I want to keep them on. 

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