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Bowers & Wilkins P5 portable (ProAudio Monitors) Review

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 


Ok so i have only been on this site for a short while but I am an audiophile!

i bought the Senheiser 238s some weeks ago.. and modded them per a member of this boards advice and was happy with their sound. But those are what i would call "beginner cans" they sound good but have many glaring weaknesses that caused me to conclude that i would need to graduate to a real reference quality head set..

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 for ipod/iphone even the packaging style is similar and the inline controller/mic is very similar to the apple one.

So when you open the box you smell and feel quality.. these things are packaged meticulously as if they were sent straight from heaven.. velvety formed cradle under which is the silken pouch that has your alternate cables, adapter and user's manual etc. That pouch then becomes your transport case but i swear it looks like some sort of Versace gotur accessory...lol
Ear cushions are magnetically attached to the driver housing. these things fit on your head and ears like a sonic glove. but they are sized perfectly and exquisitely designed such that people around will wish they could wear them in public too.. you will not look like a DJ or a crazy person .. you will look like a conosur of mobile sonic experience..

So ok how is the sound?????

first of its hard to divide my description into highs mids and lows cause these cans defy what you are accustomed to.. to be honest the whole sound is perfectly unified, transparent, warm full, balanced, precise , controlled. Sound stage is very high up and true to life. instruments are very natural and true to life sounding with no peaks or brightness at all.. These cans have alot of headroom that leads to a loud but relaxed sound that has to be heard to be believed.. They are very very sensitive too so if its in the recoding you will hear it just as a true reference monitor should be....
These cans make me happy cause i have a very eclectic taste in music so i need speakers and phones can do what the song calls for when its time to do it.... If a song wants to be rendered at 25 Hz in some parts then these will do it with tight and accurate precision. while keeping the vocals and highs as crisp and clean as they need to be.. THERE IS NO DISTORTION AT ALL!!!

So in conclusion these cans are the best looking and sounding $300 set i have ever witnessed.. they make iphone/pod sound fantastic i would recommend..
post #2 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorgonmusic View Post
these cans are the best looking and sounding $300 set i have ever witnessed.. they make iphone/pod sound fantastic i would recommend..
Honest question: which other $300 sets have you had experience with?
post #3 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
Honest question: which other $300 sets have you had experience with?
Kinda what I was thinking too....









You know, after seeing the "ProAudio Monitors"...I thought it was created by the same guy:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/new...ed-amp-478906/
post #4 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorgonmusic View Post


Ok so i have only been on this site for a short while but I am an audiophile!

i bought the Senheiser 238s some weeks ago.. and modded them per a member of this boards advice and was happy with their sound. But those are what i would call "beginner cans" they sound good but have many glaring weaknesses that caused me to conclude that i would need to graduate to a real reference quality head set..

They are very very sensitive to if its in the recoding you will hear it just as a true reference monitor should be....

In addition to addressing joker`s question, could you also mention what "true referance monitors" you have had experience with?
post #5 of 59
Thread Starter 
well I listened to some sonys shures panasonics, technics, bose etc but those were not portables.. i guess at the end of the day you can go hear them than form your own conclusion... I will admit i am new to teh headphone thing but am quite familiar with high en hifi components for home stage and car..
post #6 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by javajive View Post
In addition to addressing joker`s question, could you also mention what "true referance monitors" you have had experience with?
i heard some rotels on a tube amp they were big and ugly and too flat for me..

yes you guys know more than me and so on but you should really go give these a listen
post #7 of 59
Thread Starter 
I am very interested in hearing a review on these from one of you guys..
post #8 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorgonmusic View Post
yes you guys know more than me and so on but you should really go give these a listen
It wasn't really a dig at you. It's just that there is a big difference between me saying "my new Klipsch S2 sound amazing" and "my new Klipsch S2 sound like $1000 stage monitors", especially if I have not compared them head-to-head with $1000 stage monitors. Sonic memory is a deceitful thing.

The HD238 is one thing and it's a decent (though not great) headphone for what it costs ($60 or so?), but there is a wide gap between that and decent $300 cans.

I appreciate the review as these are still brand new cans and any info is scarce.
post #9 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorgonmusic View Post
i heard some rotels on a tube amp they were big and ugly and too flat for me..

yes you guys know more than me and so on but you should really go give these a listen
Thanks for your answer and review. Its not a question of knowing more but more of trying to find out what you have heard so we, well at least I, can use that as a point of referance if it is also something that I have heard especially when making a claim that a pair of 300 dollar HP are at "true referance" level which IMO would make them the world`s first and only at that price point.

PS
If you think we`re tough, you would have received a much rougher reaction if you had posted your review on the full size can forum!
post #10 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by javajive View Post
Thanks for your answer and review. Its not a question of knowing more but more of trying to find out what you have heard so we, well at least I, can use that as a point of referance if it is also something that I have heard especially when making a claim that a pair of 300 dollar HP are at "true referance" level which IMO would make them the world`s first and only at that price point.

PS
If you think we`re tough, you would have received a much rougher reaction if you had posted your review on the full size can forum!
lol.. i know .. nah you guys are cool... and i get what you are saying... I guess i did over do the praise a little.. but it is scary how good these sound, you dont have to play them loud to hear everything but they can go very loud if need be.... really. "true reference" is a stretch but is there was such a thing as a portable "reference" set this would be one.. I have spent lots of time in recoding studios with custom Wilson Audio sound monitor systems so i guess i use that as my point of comparison when i hear any sound reproduction device..
post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorgonmusic View Post
lol.. i know .. nah you guys are cool... and i get what you are saying... I guess i did over do the praise a little.. but it is scary how good these sound, you dont have to play them loud to hear everything but they can go very loud if need be.... really. "true reference" is a stretch but is there was such a thing as a portable "reference" set this would be one.. I have spent lots of time in recoding studios with custom Wilson Audio sound monitor systems so i guess i use that as my point of comparison when i hear any sound reproduction device..
I don't think it's right to compare speakers with headphones...especially when they are Wilson Audio....
post #12 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
It wasn't really a dig at you. It's just that there is a big difference between me saying "my new Klipsch S2 sound amazing" and "my new Klipsch S2 sound like $1000 stage monitors", especially if I have not compared them head-to-head with $1000 stage monitors. Sonic memory is a deceitful thing.

The HD238 is one thing and it's a decent (though not great) headphone for what it costs ($60 or so?), but there is a wide gap between that and decent $300 cans.

I appreciate the review as these are still brand new cans and any info is scarce.
I often dreamed of a show car audio system with Mcintosh DACs amps EQs and Klipsch monitors.. but im not rich enough for that yet..lol

Yeh modded sen 238s are good but not loud enough and lack headroom which causes early distortion and the bass often causes the vocals to quiver and they have sibilance issues that means they need constant Eqing....


PS.. on n=thing that many on here will criticize about the B&Ws is the cord they us a very thing cord but they made it so you can change the cord easily (plug jack in the headset to remove) if you chose, which is great
post #13 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by m11a1 View Post
I don't think it's right to compare speakers with headphones...especially when they are Wilson Audio....
lol... i guess..

by the way i had a 4000 watt car system that used all ElectroVoice studio monitors... i guess i was cheating since no car speaker could compete but that was a very fun system
post #14 of 59
I think gorgonmusic is simply enjoying music from his P5
post #15 of 59
gorgonmusic - thanks for the review and I hope the earlier replies don't run you off the forum, you seem to have taken them in good spirits.

Hopefully you'll also have learnt that there is a certain expectation when posting a review, specifically when making claims about levels of audio excellence reached...

Again, thanks for taking the time to share what you thought.
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