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Bowers & Wilkins P7 - over the ear headphones - Page 49

post #721 of 1254
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

 

It was on (at zero volume) and I plugged them in and pop on both drivers. Thankfully Ultrasone fixed them for free...but still...when they mention the magic smoke on their website...they ain't kidding. 

 

Its good to hear that Ultrasone took care of you, never heard of that happening before with the Lyr. I've never heard a peep out of mine while plugging in any headphones, but I have a Zdac that always makes a bit of a nasty noise when plugging in any headphones or IEM's. Parasound said it was safe, but it can freak ya out a bit so I always make sure to have the volume all the way down before inserting the plug. Glad to hear that you didn't lose a nice set of headphones over the incident!

 

I contacted Schiit Audio, and they said that there shouldn't be any issues using the B&W's with the Lyr BUT they said that they hadn't tried that combo...I won't know for sure until I try and if there are any issues I can simply use them with another amp. 

Take care.

post #722 of 1254
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLJTech View Post
 

 

Its good to hear that Ultrasone took care of you, never heard of that happening before with the Lyr. I've never heard a peep out of mine while plugging in any headphones, but I have a Zdac that always makes a bit of a nasty noise when plugging in any headphones or IEM's. Parasound said it was safe, but it can freak ya out a bit so I always make sure to have the volume all the way down before inserting the plug. Glad to hear that you didn't lose a nice set of headphones over the incident!

 

I contacted Schiit Audio, and they said that there shouldn't be any issues using the B&W's with the Lyr BUT they said that they hadn't tried that combo...I won't know for sure until I try and if there are any issues I can simply use them with another amp. 

Take care.

It happened with another Ed.8 owner and from what I remember a D7000 owner.  Just be careful. 

post #723 of 1254

So, about the KEF's—why is it that they're the only 'on-ear' headphones that get compared to over-the-ear headphones? Are they that good? No one seems to mention anything about losses when listening to the on-ear design.

post #724 of 1254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimichanga View Post
 

So, about the KEF's—why is it that they're the only 'on-ear' headphones that get compared to over-the-ear headphones? Are they that good? No one seems to mention anything about losses when listening to the on-ear design.

Yes, they're that good and next to the P7s, my favourite portable headphone (non-IEM).  

post #725 of 1254
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

Yes, they're that good and next to the P7s, my favourite portable headphone (non-IEM).  


What's your favorite IEM? Any that come close to the sound quality of the P7 or M500?

post #726 of 1254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 


What's your favorite IEM? Any that come close to the sound quality of the P7 or M500?

I don't really use IEMs anymore...my two favs that I used to own were the SE535 and W4. I do have a pair of Bose QC20i for travel and like them quite a bit...the RHA750s offer some of the best bang for the buck there is out there.


Edited by MacedonianHero - 12/19/13 at 8:06pm
post #727 of 1254
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimichanga View Post
 

So, about the KEF's—why is it that they're the only 'on-ear' headphones that get compared to over-the-ear headphones? Are they that good? No one seems to mention anything about losses when listening to the on-ear design.

Yes, they're that good and next to the P7s, my favourite portable headphone (non-IEM).  


Mine too
post #728 of 1254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimichanga View Post
 

So, about the KEF's—why is it that they're the only 'on-ear' headphones that get compared to over-the-ear headphones? Are they that good? No one seems to mention anything about losses when listening to the on-ear design.

For me they set the bar for what's possible with on-ear closed headphones. I've owned and heard a ton of headphones of that type, and none have managed to sound anything like the M500. On-ear closed headphones are capable of the crappiest sound out there. It seems to be very difficult to do that kind of design well, and Kef knocked it out of the park.

post #729 of 1254

I posted this on the NAD vs. P7 thread:

 

The cups on the NADs are smaller than the P7s. The P7s fully "circumnavigate" my ears (although my attached lobes get pressed a little). Feeling a bit better about the NAD fit today. If I nudge my ears up, sort of into the fold between the pad and the driver, it gives my lobes a break and also kinda flattens out my ear (effectively spreading the contact with the thin cushion over the driver grill). So I'm not getting so much localized pressure on the part of my ear that sticks out the most.

 

I'm still concerned (and perplexed) by the bass on the NADs. One of the tracks I use to test bass is "Fire" by the JHE. Yes, it's a nearly fifty year old recording but the heavy bass riff that opens the song is helpful to me in determining the extension and effectiveness of the bass. I was shocked to hear how the NADs handled this. It sounded "out of control" and overblown. The P7s handled this with less bloat and more detail. The "shock" came from having read all the comments about the P7s bloated bass and the NADs supposed neutrality. Again, I'll see if the bass settles down after some more burn. I do agree that the treble is more neutral than the P7s and I like it better. Even though the P7s have improved with time, they still have occasional harshness in the treble.

 

So this is becoming a real horse race, as to which one I prefer. Right now they both have pros and cons.

it's either keep one or send 'em both back!

...or, heaven forbid, keep 'em both!?

post #730 of 1254

I don't understand how one would call the bass of the P7s bloated. It's fast, it's tight and it's very detailed. 

post #731 of 1254

In regards to the bass response variation we are getting on this thread.  I did do a little subjective listening myself as well as looked at some interesting data that Tyll has on his own objective measurements of the P7.  I'll go over the objective data that Tyll has first, then go to the subjective experience.  This should clear up, or at least give some reason why, the bass response is subjectively variating on this thread.  The objective measurements show it too!

 

Tyll made a statement on Innerfidelity in November in a comment made on his November update.  He stated that he received the Bowers & Wilkins P7 (as well as a few other headphones), but just wasn't able to get a good measurement of them for some reason.  His statement is made here.  I have a feeling it has to do with the placement of the headphones in relation to the ear.  Tyll also goes on to make statements in his final review of the P7 that he had trouble getting good measurements with the P7 because of the bass.  He suspected it was due to the seal it had with his dummy head that he uses to measure with.  

 

Quote: Tyll's Bowers & Wilkins P7 Review (Measurements)
 I experienced quite a bit of difficulty getting these headphones to seal on my Head Acoustics measurement head, as a result I got quite a bit of low frequency variation in the raw measurements. I measured these headphones a few times (due to some unrelated problems in my system during distortion measurements) and on other occasions I found the drivers to be better matched. I suspect the difference in bass response between channes is more a function of headphone seal than actual driver missmatch. My sense in listening testes was that they readily achieved a good seal on my head.

 

I would actually agree with him on this as well.  Depending on placement on your own head, you can get stronger and weaker seals due to the way the pads are with the P7.  His measurements that he has provided of the P7 also show that the seal can cause a difference of 6 dB (possibly more) in the bass.  So while his measurement's left headphone had relatively neutral bass (in reference to the 1k), his right measurement showed a 6 dB bump in the bass.  This could easily account for the differences everyone is hearing in the sound.  Additionally, the 30 Hz square sine waves show that the time domain characteristics of the right headphone seems to look a little more bloated and big in contrast to the left (there is a possibility that I'm reading the sine wave wrong).  I personally feel that those measurements can account for the differences in subjective analysis we are seeing on this thread.  

 

 

Personally, I do feel that the seal has a lot to do with how we perceive the bass response of these headphones, I will agree fully with Tyll on this, his measurements kind of show it.  I'll also go further to state that the positioning of the headphones, in reference to the ears, will make a large difference as well.  This will also affect the seal the headphones have on the ears.  As Tyll states in the review, the headphones aren't utilizing memory foam and the pads constantly try to get back to their original position.  That said, without the proper positioning on your ears, you will get a different seal.  

 

I've found that it's quite easy to break the seal while the P7 are on my head.  Jaw movements tend to break the acoustic seal quite easily.  Playing around with placement on my ears, I found that the further back the headphones are on your head, the tamer the bass becomes (I felt the same way with the P3 as well).  Additionally, the pads may not be memory foam, but they will soften up with use.  Just like any material, if you exert enough force on it for a long time, it will deform.  The pads are the same way with the P7.  They aren't memory foam, so it'll take much longer for this to occur.  That said, you might get sound change with time simply because the pads are changing themselves. I've also found the pressure that the headphones create to lessen with time.  This leads to the comfort issues I had when I used them straight out of the box to really suppress themselves (I've got no issues with comfort any longer).

 

Hopefully this information makes at least a little sense, but Tyll's measurements do show variation in measurements (those drivers are not as mismatched, he states that in his review).  


Edited by tinyman392 - 12/25/13 at 3:13pm
post #732 of 1254

I've been looking at the recent attempt to grade article here, http://www.head-fi.org/t/696362/the-state-of-the-flagships . Since we got metrics for the P7 (http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BowersWilkinsP7.pdf), I went ahead and tried my best to grade it the same way. Feel free to counter anything.

 

1. Pass. Does well in bass.

2. Pass. Good below 0.8% THD on frequencies outside sub-bass. Though would fail at 90 dB, but his test states using 100 dB.

3. Pass. I'll give a pass since he states not exceed. One side is right on the 1% THD mark at 30 Hz, while the other is at about 0.8%.

4. Fail. Not very sure on this but there are dips from 50Hz to 200 Hz and major ups and downs in the treble region. Let me know if you disagree here.

5. Pass. Once again kinda hit by the dips mentioned in the previous one. Since they are small and I wasn't sure whether to even hold it against the P7 in the previous assessment, I'll pass it here to make up for the previous fail. Let me know if those dips cost points here.

6. Fail. Midrange is 0 to -5 dB. The air level treble goes -25 dB and beyond at times.

7. Pass. There's a bump or two in the impedance graph, but nothing like the Edition 10. The TH900 also got a point taken off here for having 2 distinct bumps, but the bumps were much more discerning, especially the second one when compared to the P7.

8. Pass. This one is a toss up. The graph shows some imbalance, but people here have attributed it to the pads and the mannequin not giving a proper seal. I'll give it the benefit of doubt.

9. Fail. It's closed.

 

Score : 6/9 - Can be considered lower end flagship level according to the author of the grading system.

 

Not bad. On par with HD650 and DT880. Considering it lost a point just for being closed, it has one point up in objective metrics over those. Also on par with the closed TH900. Now I want the metrics for the KEF M500 so I can run it through the same tests and see how it measures up. :D

post #733 of 1254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimichanga View Post
 

So, about the KEF's—why is it that they're the only 'on-ear' headphones that get compared to over-the-ear headphones? Are they that good? No one seems to mention anything about losses when listening to the on-ear design.

I don't know that they are THAT good.  I will say that they're probably the best on-ear I have listened to.  They certainly don't suffer from the common discomforts that befall most on-ears.  So I think without the typical issues of that category, it is only natural to compare them to all other mid-level portables.  I'll have a pair shortly to give a more comprehensive listen to though, so more to come.      

post #734 of 1254

As I mentioned before, I now have both the P7 and the HP50. What surprises me is how my experience (so far) deviates from Tyll's observations.

 

He left the P7 off the "wall of fame" due to:

• The "bass hump" (I noticed it on some tracks but see below...)

• The comfort (I didn't have much of a problem with the comfort; somewhat subjective)

• The cost (relative; the construction seems worth it, compared to other sets)

 

The HP50 did make it to "the wall".

• Surprisingly, I found the bass on the HP50 to be more problematic than the P7. It seems even broader and more intrusive, especially on some tracks.

• The comfort is pretty good, due to the lightness of the 'phones, but it fits a bit more like an on-ear, since it doesn't totally encapsulate my ears.

• Yea, it's a C-note cheaper. No "Emma Peel" leather and chrome, but the materials make it lighter.

 

My main problem with the P7 (as I've mentioned several times) is a curious "spike" in the upper mid / lower treble area.

It only shows up on some material but it's unpleasant. It's like an occasional note jumps out of the mix, with a piercing jolt.

I haven't seen others mention this, so maybe it's just me?!

I can detect the emphasized notes on other cans (using the same source and material) but they don't "jump out" like they do on the P7.

 

Some EQ can make these two excellent headphones sound more alike.

I'm still trying to decide between the two, although I'm (somewhat reluctantly) leaning towards the HP50s...

Somehow their upper end retains some sparkle without the intermittent spiking...and I can always attenuate the bass if needed.

post #735 of 1254

Oops. Hit the button twice. Mea culpa.


Edited by dlhen68 - 12/26/13 at 4:47am
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