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B&W C5 Series 2 - Worth the price of upgrade?

  1. jnorris
    I currently own the original B&W C5 and have a sort of love/hate relationship with them.  I love the clarity and definition of the highs, but I hate the horribly bloated, murky low end.  I have tried on many occasions to acclimate to them with no luck, they are just too bassy.  If I don't seat them firmly in my ear canals, the bass lessens but becomes indistinct.
     
    My question is this:  Is the Series 2 enough of an upgrade to warrant purchasing them, or are they just more of the same?
     
    Also, I just picked up the RHA MA750i and really like them.  Can anyone compare the MA750i and the C5 Series 2?
     
    Thanks so much for your input!
     
  2. blazer78
    Based on my brief audition with them, the C5 S2 are cleaner than the C5 (less bass bloat), but still have a significant amount of bass. If the C5's were too bassy for you, perhaps the C5 S2 are not the right choice for you either. Regarding comfort, I cannot really say as I have only used both for a short amount of time, but I'm not so certain those stiff earloops would be comfortable after hours of use, maybe if they were covered in memory foam or something [​IMG]
     
  3. jnorris
    Thanks for your thoughts, blazer.  I've listened to the C5 extensively and did not find the ear loops uncomfortable at all for long sessions once I got used to them.  I went through similar periods of adjustment with many IEMs that dictate how they are to be worn (Shure SE215, RHA-750i, Sony EX600 and of course the B&W), but eventually I got acclimated.  And I do hate memory foam...
     
  4. blazer78
     
    Ahh I see. They did do a good job of keeping the the earpieces in my ears, but I would have imagined that the loop resting on the thinner parts of the ear wouldn't be too comfortable. I guess they can be adjusted for a "looser" fit. [​IMG]
     
    The C5 S2's are available at Apple stores though, so you can give them a try, and return them within 14 days if you have any issues =)
     
  5. Seismic
    I gave the B&W C5 S2s a listen and maybe its just that I've gotten accustomed to the signature of less bassy headphones but its a bit hefty on the low end for my taste. This is even after they were updated to de-emphasize the bass from what I understand. Not to say that the highs and mids aren't clear but there is some serious boom on these little things. They are obviously on the warmer side of things so things like movies sound amazing. I've listened to all kinds of music with them (pop, jazz, latin, country, classical) and overall they do really well, especially on long listening sessions. They do a great job with instrument separation and staging is really good. I did not experience any fatigue or discomfort form the secure loop either so that was a huge plus (over 6 hrs straight). My other headphones are some B&W P7s and original P5s, Viso HP20s IEM, Bose SoundTrue Over the Ears, Bose Freestyles, Jaybird BlueBuds X, UE 4000, UE 350vi and some Klipsch R6i (not my fave, hardly use it). I love the comfort and isolation from the C5 S2s but I think my HP20s have a bit more definition in the higher register. The sound of the C5 S2 almost reminds me of the original P5s. I haven't listened to the P5 S2 just yet, therefore I cannot say how they compare. I can see myself using these for movies more than anything. I'm not sure if these are going to be keepers, however, because they are so comfortable and fun, I will have a hard time letting them go. Almost forgot, I work in an office environment and I tested the sound leakage. My neighbors were not disturbed at all when I had the C5 S2 at 50% or 60% on my iPhone 6 Plus. Only when I really cranked things up at uncomfortable 80% or 90% is when they started to hear some music. I would not hesitate to recommend these if this is the sound you're looking for. They really are good and well worth the upgrade. 
     
  6. Seismic
    So I did some very crude EQ settings to experiment with the sound a bit, try to follow along with my units of measurement (experimentation after all). I lowered the bass at 60Hz and 150Hz a couple of notches, then raised the mids around 400Hz quite a bit about 3 or 4 notches, since they originally reside somewhat on the background. I was afraid this would ruin the staging or affect the spaciousness of the original signature, but I don't think it did. Then at 1KHz I went up again about 2 notches in the high mids. With the highs I really went crazy and cranked it up at 2.5KHz about 3 notches and at 15KHz I went all the way up as much as I could before detecting sibilance. I felt the vocals moved more towards the foreground, the lows became nice and tight, and I really feel like the sound opened up. The headphones have really good instrument separation as it is, and these settings may have just highlighted that more. The adjustments really brought out the sparkle in the higher notes of the music that I felt were lacking in the original signature. What did I learn from all this?... that B&W know exactly why they tuned the C5 S2 with their lovely warm sound signature. To lessen and almost eliminate listening fatigue while still keeping great ambiance and lively fun tone to the music. After messing with the EQ settings, it really helped me appreciate the sound of these IEMs. Probably made me like them more. 
     
  7. tiohn
    I haven't heard the original C5, but compared to the RHA 750i, I think the Series 2 has less bass. It's just about right for me, where the 750i could get overwhelming at times. I like them a lot, possibly more than my SE535.
     
  8. jnorris
    Funny how we all hear things differently. The 750's bass is just about right for me, whereas the original B&W C5 bass was massively overpowering. I can't believe that the series 2 would be that far in the other direction. Maybe you didn't have them situated correctly? They do have those odd-shaped tips.
     
  9. BestEarCN
    C5 S2 has less bass than the original, though I have had only a very short time with them. I would say the bass is between xba-h3 and re-400. And original c5 has more bass than xba-h3 I think. C5 S2 has a perfect distribution of low-mid-high for me, feel the "kick" yet doesn't distract me from the vocals; has detail yet not fatiguing or bright. 
    And, I do enjoy them better than the p5 s2, the p5s2 sounds a bit hollow or laid-back for me, warmer? (didn't pay much attention to it though, coz I know they are uncomfortable)
     
  10. lionheartea
    I will say the difference between these two verisons is less than you change the eartips
     
  11. lister
    Never tried the original B&W C5, but the C5 Series 2 sounded very nice.  I think most people misunderstood the tune of these buds.  B&W tune this bud very well following the Target Response Curve, and it sounds really musical at low to mid volume.  It's not fatigue, but gives you a nice punch at the low end and sparkle at the highs.
    Certain headphones are made for listening at low volumes, and others are for higher volumes.
     
    The only problem with the C5 S2 is the comfort, because of the secure ear loop.  Maybe the loop can be removed, and the buds would still stay in place. I haven't tried it yet.  The housing of the buds are plastic, so it's not that heavy after all.  Adding to the fact that they come with longer silicon tips, the buds should stay put very well in the ear.  The length of the silicon tip is more than 1/3 the entire length.  So I'm not sure why B&W still include the loops in the series2.
     
  12. dlayman
    Wow, that's a lot of EQ'ing.   I don't think I'd keep a 'phone that I had to make that many adjustments.  In fact, I only have one IEM that I EQ at all, Steelseries Flux Pro that I cut just a couple decibels in the upper mids.
     

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