Bowers&Wilkins new flagship the P9!

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by redogfizbal, Sep 6, 2016.
  1. GrussGott
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  2. GrussGott
    Well Said!
  3. AWille
    Hi there! I’m a new member of the forum, although I passively read especially this thread since almost its beginning.
    I own the P9 since April this year and I am very pleased with it! My preferred headphones in the past were from Beyerdynamic, I started with a DT880 and was pretty satisfied with it, but only at home, of course. The factory store of Beyerdynamic is close to my home, so I was able to listen to some of there “higher end” headphones like the T1 or T5p, but could not make a final conclusion. Then, in late 2016, I was able to test the P9 at a local store and it was love at first sight and also more important at first listening! About a half year later I finally bought it and what should I say, I love it!
    I mainly use it connected to my Denon DA 10 DAC and my iPhone 7 plus and this combination is outstanding in my opinion. Compared to the Beyers it has a warmer and more “musical” touch and of course a richer, deeper bass and I like this. From what I’ read in this thread, you either like it a lot or not at all, but this is probably because of its special tuning.
    I contacted B&W support and was told, that the lightning cable is supposed to be sent out to customers in December this year, but we will see...
    JoePR31 likes this.
  4. GrussGott
    Yeah, unfortunately I'm in the don't like it camp as the mids are much to recessed for me, at least via the Mojo and TOSLINK to a macbook pro optical out, and I'm a HUGE fan of the P7W and have the wired P5s as well.

    The P9 sub-bass is great and the soundstage is a bit larger, but nothing even close to, say, an HD600 which you can get for ~$250, granted that's an open back. I delayed getting an open back because my prime listening is in a shared room but I discovered that at what is my normal listening level nobody has complained yet : ) And given the P9 is somewhat open, I would recommend that anyone put that $600 into a portable (or desktop) DAC / amp. For the same cost as a P9, one could buy a Schiit Mimby, Jotenheim, and Senn HD600! Or for a fully mobile solution you could get a Chord Mojo and still have $100 in your pocket. For me, I returned the P9s and got the TH-x00, the Senn HD600s and it's still cheaper than the P9s with the hefty discount I had. I just couldn't come close to justifying the cost.

    Anyway, not trying to bash the P9, I just think there are so many better sounding cans for so much less ... but the key word is "I"; if someone likes the sound versus others, then it's a beautiful and high quality HP.
  5. bifeo001
    Bowers wilikins p9 is a wonder headphone and I just Just wish I could get the lightening connector so I can listen to it with my iPhone X. Oh well if any one is interested in getting a bowers Wilkins p9 let me know. But if the lightening connector comes soon then I might reconsider so pm quickly before I change my mind.
  6. GrussGott
    A follow-up for anybody that loves the P7W sound and is hoping the P9 improves on that - for me it doesn't and didn't as the mids are much too recessed. The answer is the Fostex Th-X00 which is like an ultra premium P7: super comfy, and OMG the sound ... if you like the P7, get the Th-X00. You can get two pairs and still have $100 left over compared to the P9. I'm not hating on the P9, they just didn't work out for me, but they are very nice.
  7. larzy
    I disagree, when I got the P7W it changed a lot for me and all my previous headphones sounded ****. I was curious to try the P9 and they took the bar even higher.

    That is not to say that the P7W aren't good because they are extremely good. Just don't listen and compare them to a pair that is even better. For me I used the P7W on the go and had great audio quality. Whilst at home I would use the P9's and be spoiled by their awesome sound.
    I ended up selling them and bought the Sony 1ZR's - but again - comparing these the Sony even won. But could I have lived with the P9 sound and quality. Probably, but I was on a journey to find the best sounding headphones and wanted to invest in the best solution for me.

    Today I have the Sony for home listening and on the go I just got the Bowers & Wilkins PX, which I haven't had a chance to try out enough.

    Don't know the Fostex - are they the Massdrop version of Fostex TH-600?
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
    JoePR31 likes this.
  8. GrussGott
    Yes and they are stellar... Kind of a fun version of the HD6x0, but obviously closed vs open. The fostex will be my edm & fun home rig, the hd600s my detailed analytical rig, and the p7 for travel.

    But hey we all hear what we hear so ymmv. I did really like the P9 but just couldn't handle the missing middle... For me the fostex is the p7 upgrade
  9. gLer
    +1. When I got the P7 I thought it was the pinnacle of the type of sound I liked - punchy bass without too much bleed and perfectly detailed highs. Mids were great too. When the P9 was released I did an extensive A/B between them and the P7, and for all its power and soundstage, I couldn’t believe they recessed the mids even more than the P7 (which is one reason I moved to the P7 from my previous V-Mods cans). The P9 also didn’t improve on the P7 comfort that much, which is to say that for premium built headphones (among the best I’ve ever seen) they weren’t as comfortable as they could be, for me.

    Fortunately a few months later I chanced on a great deal for a Fostex TH-X00 and the rest is history. It gave me everything I got from the P9 (insane bass quality and extension, soundstage, imaging, detail), only without any bleed, with far better comfort, and for less than half the price! Heck I sold my P7 and bought the Fostex with the same money.

    So long story short, if you enjoy the warm, full, deep, detailed B&W house sound but don’t want to pay as much as an LCD for the “premium” tag, try the Fostex. You can buy that with an Audio-GD NFB-11 amp/dac or a Multibit Schitt Stack for less than the price of one P9 and have a vastly superior desktop sound system for many years to come.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  10. msp
    Hallo all, I guess that we all hear different.

    I started with the P7, after some time I upgraded to the TH-X00, and was actually not in the marketed for a change.

    But during a visit in a store where both the P7 and P9 was on display I gave the P9 a try, I could compare them to the P7 that was next to it, to my ears the P9 is well worth the extra money, to be honest the P7 sounds metallic compared to the lush full sound of the P9 (and TH-X00).

    Some time passed and I finally went back to the store with my TH-X00 and Mojo, I was there for around a hour comparing the P9 and the TH-X00.

    I procured a P9 and sold the TH-X00.

    The TH-X00, is somewhat cheaper than the P9, when you live in Europe you also have to pay taxes on top of the 400USD it cost, hence the price comes a little closer to the P9.

    Have a nice weekend, I hope I get time to listen to some good music this weekend.

    JoePR31 likes this.
  11. forestitalia
    Fostex x00 and P9 are quite different, is a matter of taste and kind of music you listen, you may prefer one than the other or both.
  12. GrussGott
    For me, much of my music is EDM, some rock, a lot of female vocalist stuff, and a little bit of jazz and older Sinatra. Where the P9 excelled was in sub-bass and little bit in the soundstage, although I wouldn't say it's anything near an open back and only somewhat larger than, say, the P7 so for me that really wasn't a factor. By comparison in closed backs, the cheaper Aeon Flows are WAY more comfortable and much more accurate with a much larger soundstage, although to me you give up almost all of the bass (that is, they're accurate, they have bass, but only exactly as much as is called for). The P9 also added some accuracy up top over the P7 and is overall a larger headphone, although not much more comfortable than the P7 (I'm one that gets the headband pressure), and have some exaggerated bass, which is great, but at the expense of those missing mids.

    With all that said, that's why I'm more doing a 2 or 3 headphone solution rather than going for the all-in-one. For my ears the P9 didn't excel at any one thing (fun, accuracy, soundstage) except sub-bass. The TH-x00 has some sub-bass but not near the P9 levels.

    Again, not hating on the P9, we all hear different and have different preferences, so I'm drawing the comparison with the P7 and what I like about them and pointing out that the TH-x00 are the linear extrapolation of the P7 while the P9 went in another direction (not better or worse, just different).
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  13. Slim1970
    I had the TH-X00 Purple Hearts with the Dekoni fenestrated pads but have since sold them. The P9's are every bit as fun sounding as the TH-X00's headphones to my ears. The P9's do what the TH-X00's can do but with more refinement. The P9's also works with a wider variety of music. Not only can the P9's do EDM but they have the imaging and instrument separation to make listening to classical music just as enjoyable. They are both V-Shaped headphones. But the mids on the P9's are not as recessed as the TH-X00 PH's to my ears. The P9's have better bass definition and the bass is tighter. The bass on the TH-X00's is much looser and not as controlled to my ears. The treble on the P9's is not as glaring as is it on the TH-X00's either. The Dekoni pads I had on the TH-X00's did help tone down treble and make them a better listen. But I still felt the P9's sounded better.

    The TH-X00's are a cheaper alternative but they present music differently than the P9's. The TH-X00's are the more comfortable headphone. Choosing which one sounds better will come down to personal choice.
    JoePR31 likes this.
  14. GrussGott
    Yeah I should've pointed out that I have the mahogany, which do sound different from the purple heart or ebony. One track I've been using to test headphones is Erykah Badu's On & On - it's got some delicious sub-bass, bass, good vocals, and this knocky instrument that, on many headphones will hurt your ears (I'm looking at you aeon flow closed). This song sounds great on the th-x00m, good on the p7 but there's bass bleed and bloom, the p9s deliver that great sub-bass but miss the mids and vocals, and the aeon flows miss almost every single thing. The HD600s are really interesting with this track as they walk right down the middle: nothing missing but nothing exceptional. For my ear the HD600s are excellent with classical, jazz, and vocalist work (eg Diana Krall)
  15. Slim1970
    Cool, I was thinking about picking up another pair of the TH-X00’s. If I were, I would probably choose the mahogany version or just go with the E-MU Teaks. I got rid of my TH-X00’s when I got the D7200’s, which probably fits into TH-X00/Fostex sound you’re describing. Either way, I still feel like the P9’s best them in dynamics. The P9’s are just so lively and that’s what I love about them over the Fostex variants outside of TH-900’s. The TH-900’s are just in another category to my ears.

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