Is there any other Great White North?
Interesting, when registering the P7 I got a 3 month subscription to B&W's Society of Sound, where I can download Apple Lossless/FLAC16/FLAC24 files. At least they get that they should only have lossless available for download :) It's just not a very big collection though.
Geez, the sub-bass on these cans extends really deep. Deeper than the Momentum. I'm hearing bass-lines on some electronic tracks that I haven't heard before. And doing an A/B with the Momentum, yeah, more sub-bass. And still it doesn't drown out the rest of the music, so it's very well controlled.
I've only tried them through my Fiio amp so far, either as a DAC from my laptop, or strapped to my iPod classic using LOD as an amp. And I don't have an iPhone. Haven't tried them straight from the iPod yet. Might try that later.
And yeah, the bass will calm down a bit with burn-in. At least, that was my experience.
Included case less protective than KEF M500 case but more discreet and compact. Design is a bit "man bag" though
Depends on usage. Some days do not require portability and isolation of IEM. And portable full size design helps keep ears warm in winter, which IEM cannot do
Another thing is that I am pretty much done with messing about buying £300 IEM (this is based on 1plus2 demo). I totally get walking around in discreet high end IEM when they sound that damn good But no-way you would take a high-end full size outdoors, so again this portable full size class serves that purpose if you cannot or do not want to wear IEM
So I suddenly had an urge to buy some classical music, so I bought the Air album by Johann Sebastian Bach, violin by Anne Akiko Meyers and performed by the English Chamber Orchestra, in 24/96 FLAC.
The first track, a very well known composition, suddenly popped up in the back of my head out of the blue, but I had no idea who the composer was. But my mother could help me with that over the phone, as she is well versed in classical music. I sort of produced sounds from my mouth that sort of sounded like what I was hearing in my head (haha, it was very funny) and eventually she was able to point me in the right direction :)
Anyway, I got it from HD Tracks and downloaded it and listened to it through the P7 and also compared it to the Momentum. I think this performance clearly demonstrates the differences between the P7 and Momentum. First of all, I can clearly hear a wider soundstage in the P7, vs the Momentum where all the instruments sound like they're placed physically closer together. There is just more air to the sound in the P7. And also there is more depth to the instruments and the sound of the violin just sounds fuller somehow. Not that it sounds thin on the Momentum or anything, but the P7 just renders it more nicely, quite stunning I might add. Just ever so slightly more detail which adds to that sense of resolution. And the cello (I think it's a cello) in the background that gives this subtle bassline is also very nicely rendered. And again that sense of 3D space, I'm really visualizing the cello being behind the violinist, who is standing up front in the spotlight. All these layers of sound gorgeously positioned and rendered. That's not something I hear on the Momentum. It is almost like listening to speakers, just that fuller sound with a wider soundstage, whereas with the Momentum I feel like I'm just listening to headphones.
I've done a pretty extensive comparison with the Momentum and can share a few thoughts. I've had the P7 a few days now and they're settled in, I've had the Momentum for several months and they've been my go-to portable-ish headphone. I have slightly smaller than average ears and have always felt that the Momentum were designed specifically for me. They completely cover my ears while at the same time covering as little area as possible, so they feel cooler than alot of the larger over-ear headphones. I realize this means they won't work for larger ears, but for me they're perfect. I say all that so that when I compare the P7 you have some reference.
Since the Momentum fits me so well, its hard to imagine another headphone being more comfortable, and to that extent the P7 are no surprise. The P7 are VERY comfortable though, and for those with larger ears I have no doubt that the P7 would be the more comfortable choice. For people with small-to-average ears though, the Momentum offers three distinct advantages:
1 - I mentioned it above, but the fact that these cover less area makes them feel a bit cooler, obviously since they're covering less skin.
2 - The Momentum have some type of cloth material on the inside of the ear pads, which I think helps them breathe and keeps things nice and cool.
3 - The Momentum are extremely light, I don't know the weight of each but they certainly feel lighter than the P7.
I give the edge to the Momentum for comfort, to me the Momentum are just lighter and cooler than the P7. But again there's the caveat of the ear size. The complaints of the cup size in the Momentum are well documented, and for those that find the Momentum too small the P7 are a great alternative. For me though, the Momentum just 'disappear' once I put them on.
The P7 certainly 'feel' more substantial than the Momentum, but I actually think build quality is the same on both. I certainly wouldn't go throwing either of them around because they're both so nice looking, so in that respect neither are as versatile as something like the HD-25. In terms of material, I"m generally not a fan of plastic at all (my two smartphones are an iPhone 5S and an HTC One) so in theory I prefer the all metal construction of the P7. However, the plastic on the Momentum appears to be of a high quality and looks quite nice. I also understand that their use of plastic leads to them being so lightweight, so I'm ok with that compromise.
The cables on both are fine, some will complain about how thin they are but they've worked well for me and given the portability of these phone I'm ok with a thinner cable. The one advantage the Momentum has though is that you have the ability to adjust the angle where the cable plugs into your device from 0 to 90 degrees, or anything in between. I find this feature very useful and wish more companies would do this.
First let me say that, overall, I still prefer the sound quality of the Momentum. There are areas where the P7 are better though, and depending on what you like the P7 may be a better choice. The one area where the P7 is a clear winner is soundstage - the soundstage on the Momentum is fairly good but the P7 prove that a small portable over-the-ear headphone can have a very good soundstage. I tend to listen to alot of movie scores, and this certainly more apparent with these and with classical music - you can just hear more space around the instruments and a better sense of width. So if soundstage is your highest priority then I'd give the edge to the P7.
The bass on the P7 is nice once it settles down. That's another area where some may prefer the P7 over the Momentum, as at times the bass can sound just a tad loose on the Momentum. The bass on the Momentum has a more organic sound to it while the P7 feels a bit tighter. The negative way of describing these attributes, respectively, would be 'loose' and 'mechanical' sounding.
The treble on the P7 can be a bit peaky at times, and in this respect the headphone is a bit of an anomaly - it has a somewhat dark sound overall and yet still has a treble that can have peaks at times. Given the treble presence, I expected the P7 to have more detail than the Momentum, but found the opposite to be true. Even though some parts of recordings are more present on the P7, the mix sounds better and more consistent with my higher end setups (HE-500, HD800, HD600) on the Momentum. Without a reference I could see some preferring the P7 but when you have a few references things change, at least for me.
Overall I just found the Momentum to have a more even, natural sound to them. Although much less so than the previous models, the P7 still have a colored sound to them. That sound may work well for alot of people, but for me the flatter response of the Momentum are preferred.
I have to say though that hearing the P7 makes me realize that the Momentum still isn't all I want in a headphone. My perfect portable can would be the soundstage of the P7, some aspects of the bass from both, and the neutral sound of the Momentum. I'm going to be keeping both the Momentum and P7 for now though, until such a creation is brought to market.
Thanks for your impressions :) Glad to see that we're hearing similar things in the P7, although I personally prefer the sound signature of the P7 to the Momentum, it's overall a bit more exciting and dynamic to me and I like the bigger soundstage :)
I agree with you on the part that the P7 has a somewhat dark sound, yet a somewhat present treble, which is a bit unusual (usually a stronger treble goes hand in hand with a bright sounding headphone).