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B&W C5 quick review - Page 2

post #16 of 18

I travel a lot, enough to use flyer and hotel points to acquire my HD800 (I added SAA cables and the Anaxilus mod) and HD650. When I fly, I usually use my ER4s, with custom molds on either an imod iPod tethered to a 2stepdance amp or a modded A&K 100 with same amp. The ER4s need a good amp and are the best isolation from airplane noise I have heard. The sound is extremely neutral from my portable rig I really do enjoy it. I consider this my reference portable setup. 
Last month my wife and I was walking around a mall, and we got to a store that sell headphones, love the store because they let you listen to everything! They will even open something new, just so a customer could listen to them. My wife was looking for a set of cans, for her computer. She went from can to can until she found what she liked. I wanted to play too, so I was listening to the in ears. 
I told the kid at the store, I want to hear the best of your in-ears, but I do not want to know what brand or model, a blind taste test. I even took off my glasses off. Pulled out my A&K 100, tethered to its amp, from my pocket, I asked if I can use my source. The kid smiled and said, wow, what's that?  I let him have a test drive, as my wife was going was listening to everything. Finally a large assortment of IEMs in plastic zip lock bags was in front of me. I listening to some Dr. Chesky HD recordings, Classical, Rock, Female vocalists and more. 
I wasn't looking for reference, neutrality or anything fancy. I was looking for a quality pair that had good isolation and was just simply enjoyable. Having a good set of quality headphones to compare from at home, makes my taste challenging, but I wound up buying the B & W C5's  They fit well, had the best sound of all I tried, good isolation. Now they are not ER4s with custom molds, but are exactly what I wanted, a set of IEM that make me want to dance with the music, fun.  Solid detail from highs lows and mids, without any over extension, good detail, average stage, expectable ambient noise isolation and exceptional cable noise isolation. They have more base then my ER4s or more boom, less killer highs, but overall very nice. 
The ER4s are still the most isolated pair I have, it kills the sound of children crying, makes the rumble of a jet a mild hum. The C5 sound good on my phone, iPad, computer, iPod, A&K100 alone and amped, best amped. The tips are fiddly and must be sized correctly, the cable loop thing is good, and I had no discomfort from them.
My wife and I both bought new toys, and we are both happy with our purchases. With one exception, I could have gotten the C5 for flyer points too, Oh well it was fun thing to do with my wife and that is priceless. You could spend a lot more for a lot less.   

post #17 of 18

To me they sound engaging and fun. I am never disappointed when I reach for them. I also quite enjoy the P5's. I listen to those at my computer every day. I tried the P7's and didn't care for what I heard and that surprised me. I'm pleased you discovered the C5 the way you did. I have been driving my C5's with a Fiio X5 and I really like the combo

post #18 of 18

I've been giving some C5s a go for a while after leaving them to burn in and I have to say that, with a little bit of EQing, I'm really enjoying the results. 

 

I'm not an audiophile by any standards, but I have a reasonable recent history with headphones - Shure SE215 to get me started, then quickly up to UE Triple.Fi 10s (of which I still have 2 pairs, and I love the sound, but they are so uncomfortable for me - Considering getting remoulds done), and the Sony MDR-1R over-ears, which are my general go-to, but they are rather on the large side for walking around. 

 

I should also say that I owned a pair of B&W P3s as well and had a similar feeling about them - They needed EQing to bring out the (very recessed) treble, but once you did that they were great. 

 

The C5s sound really punchy, but still relatively tight. The bass attack isn't as sharp as on the TF10s, but it is deeper I think. The mids and highs are nice and detailed, but do need a little bringing forward on the EQ (Though not as much as the P3s). The over all performance once levelled out somewhat feels pretty tight to me. Expressive, but never out of control. They certainly feel dynamic and have that punchy feel to them which tends to make rock/pop "feel" more enjoyable. 

 

I can see myself having a relatively long relationship with these - They certainly won't be the only headphones I use, as I still think that the MDRs have a better over-all quality for the moment, but for train/plane travel, these should do nicely. 

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