Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless - Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by xero1, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. XERO1
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    http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Headphones/Wireless-Headphones/Wireless-Headphones/P7-Wireless.html
     
    https://www.amazon.com/Bowers-Wilkins-P7-Wireless-Headphones/dp/B01KLS5SIE/
     
     
    Wireless headphones are getting better and better and here's the proof.  So far, I think the P7 Wireless will be the closest a wireless headphone has come to being truly 'audiophile friendly', since it is directly based on the P7, which is a great sounding headphone, and it comes with a standard 3.5mm cable that you can use in a pinch if its battery dies.  And with the upcoming iPhone 7 ditching it's headphone jack, I thought now would be a good time to start this thread for the P7 Wireless. 
     
    They will be available on September 14 for $400. 
     
    Please tell us what you think of them.
     
  2. esm87
    I have the V moda crossfade wireless, I wonder how these will fare on sound quality, maybe I may sell some audio gear and purchase them, they look very nice
     
  3. JulesK
    I received a pair from Crutchfield, which was selling them before the "official" release date.  As much as I value performance/sound, I value being wireless more, and have been using a pair of Beats Studio Wireless headphones since when they were first released.  Given all the innovation in the last 2 years, it was time to upgrade.  My initial impressions of these headphones are:  incredibly strong and deep bass, to the point that it is almost too much at times.  Surprisingly, compared to them, my Beats sound almost bass-lite.  Despite that, the clarity and separation of the P7s put them in a different league entirely.  It is a darker sound, but with a lot of depth and clarity; vocals are much more distinct.  The other strong impression is that these will get very, very loud.  I use them with an iPhone, and past the quarter volume mark, they are too loud.  That's a little disappointing, because I would rather have more workable gradients using the volume buttons.  I cannot imagine playing these at half-volume for any length of time, as you would destroy your hearing.
     
    More impressions to come.  I think that these are a keeper, but hopefully other companies will really focus on wireless, because I think that's the future.  I'd be interested in trying the Momentum Wireless, but I do not want noise-cancelling.  I have a pair of Bose for that.
     
  4. antsin3d
    Thanks for the thoughts! I loved the wired version, hopefully these sound just as good. How is the clamp? That was about the only downside to them for me.
     
  5. JulesK

    For me, the clamp is fine.  I don't have a lot to compare them to, but they are quite comfortable to me, and I wear glasses.  The one downside to the materials (metal, leather, etc.) is that they are on the heavier side, so it's hard for me to imagine them clamping less and still being stable on the head.  Also, like most of the reviews of B&W headphones, I do find that my ears can get warm with extended use.  Been burning them in the last couple of days.
     
    antsin3d likes this.
  6. antsin3d
    Some reviews starting to filter in:
     
    http://www.techhive.com/article/3118807/consumer-electronics/bowers-wilkins-p7-wireless-headphones-review-they-sound-better-than-the-original.html
     
    http://www.pcmag.com/review/347837/bowers-wilkins-p7-wireless
     
    http://www.whathifi.com/bw/p7-wireless/review?oq=p7%20wireless&src=textfield&aq=p7%20wireless&type=review&pos=top
     
  7. antsin3d
    I got a pair and used them most of yesterday out of a Mac Pro and through a Cayin C5. Played a mix of flac and Amazon Prime and my usually wide variety of genres and artists. I'm coming off MrSpeakers Ether C's and then B&W P5 Wireless. I character of sound they're obviously tuned more like their older sibling, but in quality of sound they're more than halfway to the Ethers from the P5s. I used to have the original P7s, and I would say the new ones are a little darker, slightly less forward on the vocals, but with better detail and not as shrill in the highs. I felt that the original P7's created the illusion of detail in the treble sometimes by spiking certain frequencies in an unpleasant way. The new ones have more detail across all frequencies, especially low mids I'd say. The bass goes deeper, cleaner as well. Overall a more balanced headset, but still super fun to listen too (which is what I missed after I sold the originals). One other difference I notice is they're loosened the fit a bit, so they're more comfortable than the originals, which hurt my face when I first got them. These are much nicer while still being snug enough to do anything you'd want to do in luxury headphones.
     
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  8. kelly200269
    Gotta say I'm mightily impressed with these. Connected via AptX to my Sony DAPs I seriously have to wonder if I want to cart my Hugo around with all the wires.
    Outstanding effort from B&W IMO!

    Sent from my E6653 using Tapatalk
     
  9. SonRK
    I returned my Solo3s and Momentum 2 Wireless On Ear. And picked up the Bose QC35, but I think the Solo3s sound the best out of these 3 options.
    (I'm using an iPhone 7 so the lack of AAC support from the M2s really made it suffer)
     
    I'm trying really hard to break the cord, but I haven't been satisfied yet with the quality. Perhaps these P7s are worth a shot? $400 is probably the absolute top of my range for a pair of headphones. 
     
  10. XERO1
     
    So far, the P7 Wireless has been getting nothing but rave reviews for its SQ, with most saying that it sounds even better than the already great sounding P7.
     
    It seems like the P7 Wireless is the current non-NC wireless headphone to beat.
     
  11. obsidyen
    Looks interesting, worth an audition I think.
     
  12. GrussGott
    I'm a complete novice with a pair of PSB M4U 2s I've had for the last 4 years and decided to upgrade ... and got the Bose QC35s, but they went back, I just didn't like the SQ, so now I'm trying the P7s.
     
    I gotta say ... no SQ problem with the P7s!  They've even gotten me to download FLACs which, 2 days ago, I woulda said WTF is a flack?  Anyway, the P7s aren't "burned in" yet but here are my impressions comparing the M4U2, Bose OE SoundLink, and Bose QC35s with the B&W P7s:
     
    * Out of the Box
    These things are nice!  I don't have the blown-away impression others seem to have (maybe my sample size is less), but they're very nice.  They're MUCH nicer than my PSBs and feel in a different league when you put them on.  The P7s feel engineered for your head.
     
    * Comfort
    I'm not gonna lie: I have a huge head.  That said, these fit fine right out of the box - they're tight without hurting and I've worn them for hours.  No problems there.
     
    * Sound Isolation
    Pretty Stellar - they shut things out when you just put them on (no sound/power).  The PSBs aren't even close in this regard, but the Bose QC35s were noticeably better still - again, just putting them on, no power.  They definitely block out a lot of background noise ... a word about that.  I live in a downtown apartment with a balcony 12 flights up from dance clubs on the approach to an international airport; in short it's really easy for me to test sound isolation for all kinds of different dins.  harleys.  airplanes.  diesel trucks.  traffic noise.  club noise.  city din, etc, more on that in a bit.
     
    * Sound Quality
    Since I'm just getting going, I'll point out 3 things:
     
    (1.) I compared sound on FLAC tracks back-to-back with my PSBs (wired, amp on, no ANC) from a macbook pro connected via AptX.
     
    (2.) On some FLAC tracks (like from Bell X1 Arms or 9Bach Anain) the bass is ...  "gritty" or gravelly sounding (I'm a novice - you tell me the word) and almost sounds distorted.  I'm thinking this might be because they're not burned in yet, but I'll see.  On other tracks things sound great so it's just some bass lines, not overall.
     
    (3.) The noise isolation is awesome - if you have music playing at decent volume you really don't hear much else; yes a loud aircraft or truck can be heard, and yes you can hear clanking of dishes on stone counters, but Bose didn't stop any of that stuff either.
     
    Overall the sound is different and a little better than my PSBs, but you really have to listen for it.  For example I was comparing a FLAC of Schubert & Shostakovich - Death and the Maiden & Chamber Symphony in C Minor.  If I just switched back and forth and didn't think about it, the sound was different, but neither really better or worse.  When I really listened, I started picking up things in P7s that I wouldn't have noticed on PSBs ... like breathing.  On the P7s, all of sudden I noticed someone (conductor?) breathing - when I went back to the PSBs I could hear it, but it was much less obvious and not as clear.  And on it went with many little things in the P7 that I could then detect in the PSBs.
     
    * Do I need ANC?
    I was really looking for a "do everything" set of headphones which, for me, is movies/shows, airplane travel, some music.  With my PSBs, they do everything pretty good and I thought, given my Bose OE Soundlink experience, that the QC35s would be everything my PSBs were but with way better ANC.  No so.  The SQ was not horrible but not great - not even close to my PSBs; yes, the QC35 ANC was better, but after trying them out I started to wonder if I cared which is why I got the P7s
     
    In testing the isolation of P7s, of course it's not as good as the QC35s with the ANC on, but when the music or show was playing I could barely tell.  With both, I could hear loud trucks, planes, or clinking/clanking and voices - the Bose QC35s were slightly better at those things, but not much.  Of course where the Bose excel is the whoosh / droning lower frequency isolation.  There's no doubt it's nice to have that gone, but I really had a hard time remembering it was there.  When I put on the PSBs with ANC and thought about it, I did notice it wasn't there but I kinda didn't care.  On the QC35s, eliminating that lower frequency stuff certainly isn't worth the heavily compromised sound quality.
     
    On an airplane, there are really two places I notice a big difference: taking off and landing.  At cruise there's not much of a difference - again, it's there if I look but I forget to even look.
     
    When I add it all up: there's a few instances where I definitely would want the ANC, but overall the B&W are so good passively I don't really care.  This isn't true with the PSBs (ANC off obviously) or the Bose OE Soundlinks - with those I definitely want the ANC, but with the P7s the background noise that would be blocked by the QC35s just isn't there enough to justify the SQ tradeoff for me.
     
    * Summary
    If it were just the sound, I'd be hard pressed to say the P7s are THAT much better than the PSBs - again, this is wireless to wired -  still just based on sound, the P7s are better but not so much so I could justify it.
     
    However it's also the overall experience: the wireless, the fit, the isolation, AND the sound quality.  When you put that all together it's hard to walk away from the P7s.
     
  13. P01N7
    I'm suffering a lot from audio stutter with my P7 wireless.
     
    They're fine on bluetooth from my iPhone SE but through my Macbook Pro 2011 and Macbook Air 2015 they're horrendous. Does anyone know any fixes for this?
     
    I've put it down to sub par bluetooth versions (MBP - Bluetooth 2.1 (without AptX), Mac Air - Bluetooth 4.0 (with AptX).
     
  14. GrussGott
     
    Interesting, for my 2015 MBP, I get aptx connected and no stuttering ... I do know there's an Apple Bluetooth Explorer developer app here that I read about on CNET of some-such.  Apparently it lets you control the BT protocol and codec and force to aptx.  For me, i didn't have to do anything, my P7 just connected to aptx and I've had no troubles with any other devices.
     
    I know nothing about the app or it's location, but did download and install it to poke around, then I deleted it as I didn't need it.
     
  15. larzy
    Any opinions on how they compare to the Beoplay H7 which are some of the best headphones I've tried wireless.
     

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