I know each headphone has their own respective thread(s), but I thought it made sense to start a new one with my specific question. Feel free to publicly admonish me if you think I'm wrong :-)
So, I'm turning 30 here in a couple weeks and want a nice set of headphones. I went to the local Apple store last night and auditioned both the Bowers & Wilkins P7 and Bang/Olufsen H6. These two could not be more sonically different, in my opinion. I started with the H6, and immediately thought "Wow, these sound so *clean*". And they do, the sound is positively pure all the way through. I thought the bass seemed in appropriate in quantity and delicious in quality. Lately I've been listening to a lot of electronic music (artists like Blackmill, Pretty Lights), but I also love to rock out with the likes of Killswitch Engage, Slipknot, the screaming-thrashing kind. I threw this at the H6 and was always impressed by the purity. Then I put on "Doing it Right" from the new Daft Punk album to see how the bass handled that one low note (you'll know what I'm talking about if you've listened to it), and to my ears it sounded just right. Like...so just right that I was a little taken aback. The lower bass sounded no more or less than the not-as-low bass, if that makes sense. In other words, my impression was that the bass response was completely flat all the way down, whereas most other headphones and speakers I've listened to either pump it up to reach further, or it's noticeably quieter because you're starting to exceed their capabilities. Anyway, I was impressed. My only "issue" was that I had to jack up the volume out of my phone to get the level I'd probably be listening at. This could have something to do with being in a noisy store, though.
So then I switched over to the P7, difference in sound characteristics was tremendous. My first thought was "These things are absolutely thunderous". So much more bass presence, and after the H6 it sounded unnatural in most genres. For example in Silverstein's "The End", the acoustic guitars in the beginning just felt bloated and a little "bloomy" if that makes any sense, almost like their sound was reverberating through the earcups too much. And I could absolutely tell that the midrange was boosted, again it felt artifical, almost like those old radios where somebody jacked up the 'mids' knob just one click too many. Granted this is all coming right after listening to what I'd describe as the purest-sounding headphones I've heard, so of course anything else was going to sound unnatural after that.
The sound of the P7 was definitely more *fun* to listen to with the aforementioned genre of screaming and thrashing with its extra thumping.
Comfort was another area I thought the H6 won in. The earpads are so soft, and the headphones are so light, it just feels divine. They almost feel like the Momentum earpads, but they go around my ears instead of sitting on them. The P7 by comparison felt hard and heavy, and my ears started sweating after just a few minutes with those on. The P7 definitely looks more luxurious, but the H6 feels it.
Anyway, just my impressions. I walked in expecting to prefer the P7 in both looks and sound. I assumed B&O was just another Bose company, more marketing than sound, but these are solid-sounding headphones and I wouldn't at all feel ripped off paying full price given the sound and build.
Wrote more than I intended there. I'm curious if anybody has any impressions between the H6 and either the PSB M4U-1 or NAD HP50?