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Bowers & Wilkins P5 S2 Headphones, Black

  1. foximus91
    B&W P5 Series 2 Review - Great Portable On Ear Headphones, especially if you like the luxurious look and feel!
    Written by foximus91
    Published Feb 5, 2015
    Pros - Superb Design and Look, Amazing Isolation, & Great Sound!
    Cons - A little pricey, not true Hi-Fi, more mid-fi

    Let me start off by saying I am in no ways an audiophile and these are my first set of real headphones. For the last 5+ years I have only used Beats (Tours, 2 Solos, and 1 Studio). Recently my tours broke, though they lasted awhile, I decided to look at other headphones. I ended up replacing my tours and a pair of my Solos. I ended up getting the RHA MA750i and the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2. 
    Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2
    What is there to say, they look gorgeous and I assume that's what a lot of people say as every review In all of the reviews I have read, they all comment on this aspect, and I have to agree. Every part of it is carefully thought about and put together with high quality materials. The one thing wish it did have was the ability to fold up, but instead the ear pads rotate so they rest on you body when they are around your neck. It has a really luxurious look to it, which I like. The one issue I really have, is it was difficult to find the right and left signs (sounds stupid I know). Originally I put them on thinking that when they fold, the ear pads lay against you, but they didn't feel right. After I flipped them, they were more comfortable, but I had the impression that the ear pads rest against you, and not away from you. Really that is the only somewhat downside I can say, but none the less, they are great. 
    Design 10/10
    These are very comfortable, and I have read some complaints about the clamping being to strong. In my opinion they aren't, with wearing them for 30 min, they should feel great for those that have this issue, plus they are adjustable. Although if you wear glasses (as I do occasionally), they will begin to cause some discomfort after 2-3 hours of wear.
    Comfort 8.5/10
    Again, I cannot comment on these as I've only had these for only a week or so, but again, they seem durable. High quality material usually is. A feature that I think adds to the durability is the removable ear pads and cable. From my old headphone experiences, the first to get worn out are usually the ear pads, so the option of being able to replace them is great. Same goes for the cable. 
    Durability 9/10
    For on ear headphones, the isolation is wonderful. With them on and no music, I don't hear much around me. With music at a reasonable volume, I don't hear anything at all. Compared to my solos, they are much better in this area. 
    Isolation 9/10
    I have had a little frustration with this one. At first they sounded great until the bass came in. It was bloated and took over everything and I heard distortion (something that keeps coming up in other reviews). I keep reading that "burning in" the headphones is a complete myth, but I ended up trying it. After several hours of playing just pink noise, the difference was incredible. The bass wasn't as bloated, but still very present. One thing I have noticed with the beats is that the bass is very heavy, and the highs are more present than the mids. As for the P5s, they are bass heavy, and the mids and highs are about the same, but the more I "burn" them in, the better everything gets. I've continued burning them in with pink noise, rock, edm, classical and more pink noise. I will keep updating more as the burning in continues. I have to admit, I was expecting a little more, but overall they sound better than my beats. I plan on comparing them to my brothers Bang & Olufsen H2s, which were the other ones I was looking at with the P5s. But if I like the H2s, I may just get them both lol. 
    After about 50 hours of burning them in and just listening to them, I am happy to say they sound great. They are very pronounced, and more “alive" than neutral. The bass is very present, but not as much as Beats, and the kids and highs are there, and are very clear and not muddled by the bass. I can hear every instrument very clearly, and there is no distortion, even when played at high volumes.
    Sound 8/10 (without burn in)
    Sound 8.5/10 (with burn in)
    The P5's come with 2 cables (one for iOS devices, which has a mic for phone calls and a remote, and the other is just a regular cable), and a case. The two cables are very nice, seem durable, but the remote is too high up and it feels awkward having to reach for it when I wear it with my jacket on. The case is very nice, both in appearance and quality. Although a little big (but that's because the headphones don't fold) it seems that is will protect the headphones enough for storage of when I am traveling. 
    Accessoires 9/10
    Overall 9/10
    These are definitely high quality headphones in terms of aesthetics (design, comfort, build, and accessories). The sound is a little off, but with the more you listen the better sound. I really enjoy these, they are better than my Beats Solos. I would only recommend these for people who like the look and build of headphones and are not real audiophiles. These are what I believe people call mid-fi, if thats really a thing. But what else can I say, I love them. I constantly wear them around the house, and right now their only competition are my RHA MA750i’s. I think these are a great buy, especially for those just entering the real world of headphones and like that luxurious look and comfort.
    As for me, I am not a true audiophile as I could never truly appreciate the different sounds. I do have some hearing damage (from going to concerts, playing at concerts and chemotherapy) but I feel I can give a great general opinion. You will never see me writing a review on the Audeeze LCD3 (my dad has them and absolutely raves about them) but I can give my impressions on the more basic headphones and comparing them to Beats.