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Bowers & Wilkins in-ear headphones = C5 - Page 8

post #106 of 121
Originally Posted by doxaman View Post

DSCN2015.JPGBad picture, old camera, but why would the metal part of the jack suddenly warp like that?

Happened to my EtyKids...  That is covered under warranty.  Contact B&W.  If you bought from an unauthorized dealer, that could be a reason as well since they have lower quality control over things.


post #107 of 121

I bought it from an Apple Store the day they first hit the shelves, I've still got the receipt, from late summer 2011!

  I've contacted B&W, maybe I'll here back from them soon in the new year!

post #108 of 121

Here is another impression of the B&W C5s (by me):


I've owned these for 24 hours only. I have good experience with the following IEMs: Etymotic ER4p,Etymotic HF5, Shure SE530, Hifiman RE0, UE TripleFi10, Audio Technica CK-10, Klipsch S4. That's right, don't mess around, go straight towards the top tier or go for bang for the buck. No in-between. I am not an audiophile, but I keep searching for the ideal IEM b/c I listen on the go most of the time.


The First Listen


When I first put these in, I was like oh gross. A huge bass hump/overpowering, and very muddy. For what it's worth, I put alot of stock into a first listen, but that's something that I probably need to unlearn. I bought the Klipsch S4 on faith b/c people said it was so good for the money, and even tried the X10 as well. I felt that those models were again, all bass, muddy, and just unrefined. Who would want to listen to this? The C5, I feared, was headed into Klipsch S4 territory again.


But I powered through it. I quickly realized that a huge bass presence, and an even overpowering one, doesn't mean that the other frequencies are not there. This is in contrast with the Klipsch S4, which I still feel like had no other frequencies present. I found that on an iDevice (iPhone) if you change the EQ to Bass Reducer, the C5 sounds more balanced, dare I say it, almost normal. And I don't usually believe in EQs, (no technical claim to back that up); it's just that crap is still crap, and quality will remain quality with/without EQ. But it does seem like if you are able to reduce the Bass, the C5s are good because again, everything is there. What I noticed was that the bass is EASILY the most plentiful of any IEM I have ever heard, and I will stand by that statement.



The sound, probably b/c of the bass, is extremely thick and syrupy. This is most apparent if you switch to Etymotics right afterwards. By comparison, other IEMs sound thin, shrill, and weak. I can only imagine that the Sennheiser IE8 could give these a run for their money. I have never had the ability to pick out the entire bass lines, with perfect clarity. The C5s really emphasize bass to subwoofer levels. I'm not used to that. At all.



The second thing that I noticed that the soundstage is huge. We're talking TripleFi10 huge. Is it the Tungsten ball bearing dispersion? Who knows? But I immediately noticed pieces of music that I hadn't ever heard before. I think twice I have turned my head b/c I thought someone on the right knocked my door in real life. That was the music. That's a great feeling to have. With electronic music, which likes to sweep say, a synth from left to right, it's really nice. I feel like I can feel my ears following from left to right. I love a great soundstage. The soundstage is larger than any of the IEMs that I listed above. If you would like a word on the mids and highs. Singer's voices sound farther away, but I would not call it recessed? It's not in your ear, or "forward", as people call it. But I don't feel like I am straining to hear the vocals, nor would I say that they are muddy. If there's muddiness, it's b/c the bass is so heavy. The highs are there as well, and you can hear echo/reverb, but they do not sparkle as much as the TripleFi10. Then again, nothing does.




Brain Burn-in




That said, there is brain burn-in, and the C5s now don't sound so bass heavy. The sound that they produce appears to be more balanced now. I think that my final verdict is that the C5s will be a matter of taste, as opposed to a matter of being a flawed IEM. It's like some people like red wine, others white. I would recommend the C5 unequivocally to bass heads. You're not getting any more bass in IEMs, period. And for say, hip hop, the C5s seem to shine. For ballads that rely on breathy, sparkly female shimmering and reverb, the C5s actually have all of that. But it's like you have a 10th row seat for it. To me, that's different than some IEMs that would never pick up on the shimmer and reverb and the spatial cues. What I'm trying to say that with regards to the 3D effect that I covet alot, the C5s are like a darker TripleFi. Etymotics, and the Shures, and the RE0s, are not even eligible to be considering the 3D effect to me.



Overall Sound Signature


Warm, bass heavy, great soundstage, very energetic but impossible to be accused of being bright. Based on what I've read, it seems like the C5s may be similar to the IE8s by Sennheiser.




I find them to be comfortable, and this is a miracle considering my small ear canals. The C5s are, quite frankly, sausages. Big, thick, Inner Ear Sausages. These are as big as the legendary TripleFi10, which I could NEVER fit into my ears no matter what type of tips I tried. The B&Ws, for whatever reason do fit, and they fit well. The secure loop invention is not a gimmick. They secure the C5s very well. The problem is, I think that it's a very hit/miss thing. In other words, if your ears can fit and the secure loop jives with your ear shape, then you will love the comfort. But I could see how some people would say the C5s are uncomfortable. However, I fail to see how anyone could find the TripleFi10 comfortable.


What I'm going to do:

I will be returning these because I simply value treble extension, and clearer vocals than the C5 provides. I feel like the C5s are, despite everything being there, not as balanced as I prefer, even after brain burn-in (well, it's only been 24 hours).  The best IEMs I have heard are the TripleFi10s based on pure sound alone or the CK10, but I've given up b/c of fit. It does you no good to have a great IEM if you can't wear it.  Just like in the photography world, owning a great but bulky SLR is no good if you never carry it with you.  The Audio Technica CK-10 is the ticket for me right now.  Now when / if Logitech makes a TripleFi10 successor, and I have to assume that they know that they need to shrink things down, then I'll be very intersted.  But for an overall package, the CK-10s (and probably the CK100s) are the best that I have heard.


If you're at all flexible and don't have to have IEMs but want a very portable headphone, I would get the P5 in a heartbeat over the C5s, and it's not just b/c they are headphones vs IEMS, so they should sound better.  There's just no huge overpowering bass presence.




The asking price of $179.99 is appropriate.  I think that these are definitely worth that regardless of which company made them.  I think that for the basshead, the C5s will be well worth the money.  I consider them to be just short of the top tier of IEMs.  They've made the cut to get into the IEM Olympics, but they aren't going to medal.  $179 is not very expensive for IEMs these days, and there more expensive IEMs that perform more poorly.  Just like there are cheaper IEMs that perform better.  So we'll call the value proposition acceptable.

Edited by pufftissue - 1/7/12 at 2:48pm
post #109 of 121



what is your opinion after burn in pls ? as i heard / read that the sound improves post 100 hours...


Many thanks


post #110 of 121

Finally after 3 months of waiting I'm getting my replacement C5s!  Seems they were lost in transit after I shipped them to the Canadian Distributor, I waited and waited, finally e-mailed my original contact person and he sent out a new pair that afternoon!

I missed the UPS today so they'll be at my work tomorrow!  Now I have to do the burn in all over again!

post #111 of 121
Originally Posted by **** View Post



what is your opinion after burn in pls ? as i heard / read that the sound improves post 100 hours...


Many thanks


These changed a lot for me in the first 50 - 100 hours.  The bass is still slightly too much though in some areas, highs aren't that great either.  Midrange is decently portrayed but lacks slightly in timbre still.  Unless you're looking for specifically a bassy sound, I would not recommend these for the price.  Even then, I think the ThinkSound TS02 will outdo these and still be Bassy.

post #112 of 121



I just bought the C5's and the fit does take a bit of getting used to.


I'm comparing these with the S4i's that I bought today as well.


Less than 24hrs....


So far the C5's sound better than the S4i's. Better bass, soundstage, and more detailed sounds that the S4i's miss.


Does anyone have the Monster Turbines? I'm aching to get a comparison between the two.

Edited by dascoo1 - 3/20/12 at 10:49pm
post #113 of 121

Well, I managed to rip one of the silicone tips and the ear loop cable has a small slit from the sharp edges where the secure loop goes through the earphones. Perhaps I have been a little too rough, but then again, this is my first pair of high-end IEMs. This is why I don't have nice things :(


I have a problem with the comfort level. First, let me say that I have rather small ears, and that the secure loop rests on my upper inner lobe - this is different from the diagrams and pictures that i've seen, but its the only way for me to get a proper fit. My ears can get used to them while they are secured in place, but if I move the earphone ever so slightly, I can feel the pain where the secure loop rests. Other than that, it is quite secured in my ear, but I've yet to go running, gym, and cycling in them.


post #114 of 121

I'm having trouble with my replacement pair, I've managed to repair a tip as well, they are hard to remove and fragile.  I've pretty much given up on getting a comfortable fit with ANY of the stock tips, I've still got one pair of Complys left, the T400 size and the fit is improved.  I know when they don't fit well because the bass is missing, and in these bass heavy things, there's not much left! 

  I have begun to look for a reasonable alternative to these, something with good cable management and a decent fit.  I waited over 3 months to get replacements for these and I'm not too happy with the new ones.

  One interesting note: the case for the new ones doesn't have that silly divider with holes for the tips to fit through, it's just a zippered case, it also doesn't stink quite as much as the original.

post #115 of 121



The taco shell pouch doesn't have the silly divider for me too, but in their new package, I never got any of the airplane adapters. :(

post #116 of 121

Sadly, I will be returning these. I truly wanted to like them, but these earphones are not comfortable for my awkward small ears. Sometimes the bass muffles with the other details in the song, but i can say it has better bass than the Klipsch S4. It was a bit bothersome when using the controls. I found that the stock Apple earphones had a better integrated control.


On the positive side, I really like the build quality of these earphones. The thick cable presents itself as durable. Metal housings for the earphones made it feel robust and high-quality; although, I did not like the "micro porous filter" design because I thought it was a bit flashy.


I am moving on to try some Audeo's - which has ravingly good reviews everywhere.

post #117 of 121

for those interested, they can be used without the loop you know....it is within the manual whcih can also be found online.


surprised nobody mentions this.

also, the size of the eartips is fundamentally important..


just as the p5 relies on proper fit to get the sound, these require a bit of tinkering and time as well...these 

things are not a one size fits all guys..mfrs can only do so much.i


I read of all the p5 critiques, and i understand them..imat first wanted to get rid of them immediately i was so disappointed..until i pushed/squished them into my ears did i hear what they are capable of.


bending and manipulating the  all ay, hvg them fall of my head, i almost said, f$%k it...


but now i hafe them just right, and am afraid to remove them from my head now!


also, on utube is a video showing how to remove tips without tearing..recommended.need


 to pinch to create gap to raise it over sharp lip and pull off.



post #118 of 121

Have been hearing it for 1+ week, one thing I know for sure is that, for me, C5 is not suitable for classical at all...


edit: well, may due to plugging it directly in my iPhone....

Edited by xphynance - 4/11/13 at 1:36pm
post #119 of 121

Thinking about getting a Pico Slim, anyone heard it on C5?


or any other portable amps that you guys think is a great pair?

post #120 of 121

new c5 s2 is out. anyone have impressions?

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