Pros - Powerful and fun sound; good details and soundstage; looks and feels nice
Cons - Terrible build quality; overcooked bass; average comfort
This is a review of the original B&W C5. Not the recently released C5 S2.
Design/durability: The C5 feature a really unique design because of the secure loop. The finish of the earphones is very nice (metal construction), and the cable *looks* sturdy. However sturdiness isn't the strong point of the C5. Actually, I have sent them back twice already because of cable defects. Every 6-8 months, one of the channels stops working due to faulty contact, as if it were pre-programmed. Build quality is definitely not up to expectations. B&W's customer service is second to none though, but this issue still ruins customer experience.
Fit/comfort: Not very comfortable, no matter the ear tips. The earpieces are very heavy, and stick out of the ear prominently. The secure loop hurts the inside of the ear, although you can disassemble it. The silicone tips provided are stiff and hurt the ear canal easily. Microphonics are easily heard.
Isolation: Average isolation for IEMs, since these are supposed to be semi-open (which is interesting, see sound section).
Sound: This is a heavy, V-shaped type of sound. The bass is indeed very prominent and boomy and it protrudes on the mids, the mids are fine and clean, but they are recessed and often overpowered by the huge bass hump, the treble is bright and slightly harsh with average extension. Now the soundstage of the C5 is actually quite impressive. It sounds wider than many IEMs especially in this price category. Instrument separation is also neat, I guess due to the "microporous filter" and the semi-open design of these earphones. Ultimately, the C5 have a fun sounding signature with a good amount of details, but with some seriously overcooked bass. Good for some genres, not so much for some others.
Bottom line: A pair of semi-open earphones that could have been interesting, sadly ruined by poor build quality and excessive bass response.
i really want to embrace this earphone, the build quality is some of the best of all universals, earpiece is full metal and just feel solid. the loop is a good design for me. and if i don’t want to use the loop i can make it small and it work like a earbud. or take the wire out and wear it over the ear.
So i mainly listen to young female vocals, but the bass just muddy it up. male vocal sounds much better.
The bass is too overpowered, especially in the sub bass area, and the op bass extend all the way into the vocal band. The bass is slow and controlled, the quality is there, but too overpowered. I’d say that it is hard to even get this into my ear.
on phone I basically lower frequency below 500, boost 2k and 16k to my liking (poweramp)
edit: i found other solutions, i was going through all my tips, and the ue tips and comply T series seems to work well(no compress before insert) i can drop the eq now. The t500 and medium ue tips give the perfect amount of air/isolation for me. the roundish ts series also works fine but not a easy fit comparing to the T series.