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Is B&W P5 worth it?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by heitormazzola, Jan 17, 2013.
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  1. heitormazzola
    Hello, I'm new to the forum, so I'm still a Dummie on headphones.
    I have a Bose AE2 and since I saw the P5 I've been thinking if it's really worth it for 300 bucks if I paid 150 on the AE2s. I don't really care for noise isolation. And I wanted a headphone for home use and the sound quality is on the top of what I want from a head-phone. For it's price, is it one of the best that I can get or should I stay with my AE2s?
    Sorry, if I'm saying something stupid or anything.
  2. ToastyWaffle
    Since you only care about sound quality they aren't quite worth it. When looking for sound quality you typically want to steer clear of "designer headphones". What I mean by this is headphones that are meant to be more of a fashion accessory. Think Beats by Dre, Skullcandy, etc. Now don't think that the P5 is as bad as Beats, but it does go for looks over sound. Quite similar to Bose actually, it has good sound quality, but you can get better for the price.
    Now if you want other suggestions for great headphones under $300 you should tell us your sound preferences, or if you don't know just tell us what genres of music you listen to.
  3. heitormazzola
    Thanks! I like headphones that have good bass (But not like Beats, that has bass but sounds like **** and everybody pays a fortune for it), but I like jazz and classical music that the highs are important. I'm listening to Led Zeppelin and all of a sudden I change to Louis Armstrong. So I can't say what are my preferences, I prefer a headphone that gets it all for a good price. I heard that Quincy Jones made a headphone, is it nice?
  4. obobskivich
    Personally the P5 aren't anything special if the looks and isolation don't do anything for you - especially for $350. Compared to the AE2 you'll give up soundstage, detabably give up isolation and comfort, and probably a little extension. The AE2 are a good all-around headphone owing to their fairly smooth and rolled-down top-end - they play nice with everything. If you want to upgrade from them you have a number of options depending on budget and preference - but you'll have to be somewhat more specific as far as what you want.

    As far as "Quincy Jones made a headphone" - I'm not sure how to respond to that. Quincy Jones has licenced his name out for a number of AKG products that've been re-branded as "Quincy Jones Edition" headphones; the Q701 is the "top" of that range, and is derived from the K701. Very different sound from the AE2, and they're not suitable for mobile use - really depends on what you would (or wouldn't) change from the AE2 as to whether or not they'd be a good fit. If you're looking for a bassy headphone, they probably won't deliver though.

    Personally if I had to pick a "luxury" headphone (like the P5), I would (and did) pick the Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9; better mids, better fit, I just like what they do with the music better (and they cost less). Less isolation and more fragile though, but I don't use them for mobile applications - life is good. However if you're talking about comparing either of those to the 701, that's another story altogether - the 701 have a much larger soundstage; flatter, dryer, and more analytic overall sound; and different fit (they're around-ear, and open). It makes them a different beast altogether - personally I like them, but I think there are better options as "forks" from the 701 (the 701 are a really good entry into high-end, and do a little bit of everything relatively well, but master nothing) - if you want a faster headphone, a more lively headphone, a better staging headphone, etc there are options. But that comes down more to preference than anything else.

    Overall I think the AE2 are a good candidate for the all-around kind of use you're after, but there certainly are headphones that would represent an improvement in one way or another. I don't think the P5 would be that headphone though - the ESW9 would be a better choice there imho, or the AE2's bigger brother, the QC15. Otherwise from that, the K701 aren't a bad choice, but you'll give up some bass impact; there's also some JDM imports I'm partial to suggest, and depending on how much you feel like spending, some American exotics.
  5. mastershake2393
    The DT 1350 is really stylish, yet it has an amazing sound.
    Personally my favorite portable as of late.
  6. heitormazzola
    Thanks obobskivich! The ESW9 caught my attention, do you think it would feel like a big upgrade compared to the AE2 for me?
  7. obobskivich

    It's tough to say. I like the ESW9 and I like the AE2, but I don't consider one to be out-and-out better than the other. They're fairly different, and I think you'd probably notice a lot of change with the ESW9 against the AE2 (whether or not that's an "improvement" is up to your ears). The biggest difference will be the change in soundstaging, and then the ESW9's darker and more mid-driven tonal balance (whereas the AE2 don't really emphasize anywhere). The ESW9 have excellent mids and voicing; IMHO ESW9 sweeter and more engaging with vocal pieces, but the AE2 will do better with larger ensemble or surround material. Bass response is about on par, the AE2 dig a little deeper - the ESW9's top-end feels richer, but it's still toned down; brass and strings sound natural but somewhat subdued, so they never clash or pierce.

    They compliment each other well enough and I think you could certainly get into the ESW9 alongside the AE2. But I'm not sure if you'd say "wow, these are >twice better! I'm glad I laid out the $300!" - then again, diminishing returns and all that. I'm much more comfortable saying ESW9 over P5 for this though. Basically it'll just come down to whether or not you like their presentation (neutral they are not); if it jives with you, you'll like them, if not, you probably won't be as psyched up about them - but I don't think they'd be offensive to anyone (it'd more of a dislike of their coloration, but they don't do anything really fatiguing or awful with the sound). Oh, and the on-ear fit; if you aren't used to on-ear headphones that might take some adjustment as well.
  8. heitormazzola
    Thanks! Could you tell me other head-phones that you recommend (Only if you want)? And I think the soundstaging is important because I like to play games with the headphones, but music is my priority.
  9. obobskivich
    Honestly the AE2 are some of my favorite headphones for gaming - basically if I were in your shoes, I'd just worry about music listening, knowing that the AE2 will do a good job with gaming and movies. :)

    Other headphones I'd suggest:

    Bose QC15
    Kenwood KH-K1000 (these are JDM imports; get them from AudioCubes)
    and if you're into acoustic music (Led Zeppelin and Louis Armstrong certainly qualify imho), Grados (like the SR-225 or 325).
  10. Mani ATH 87
    I think I'm one of the few people that actually likes the P5. Though I think the P5 is a bit over priced, I did like what I heard when I listened to it. I've listened to it on a few occasions and liked it each time. I don't have an iPhone though and was not particular on the design of it so I've never bothered to consider buying it.
  11. GREQ
    P5 was the most underwhelming price/performance ratio I've ever listened to.
  12. obobskivich

    I can completely empathize with this - it's one of those things you try out, and go "yeah, it's cool but..." - they aren't a bad headphone, but...*sigh* :xf_eek:
  13. LinkPro
    I haven't tried the P5 for a while, but I did try the P3 the other day with music from my ipod, and they were straight up awful. All the mid-high frequency details that are so obvious on all my other cans become muffled and incredibly hard to discern, at first I thought that pair on display was defective. The Harman Kardon CL next to it sounds quite a bit better at the same price.
  14. jayp266
    I completely agree with a lot of the comments above. I have the P5's and when i got the Amperiors i thought i was wasting my time on the B&W pair. The sound was muffled, detail was lacking and the bass did not sound controlled...nowhere near the sonic superiority of the Amperiors. So i listed them on eBay....A few days later, something niggled me at the back of my mind and i wanted to unbox the P5's again to marvel at the feel, comfort and beauty! I put them on and wore them on my commute to work and then left them on all day at work. I loved every minute with them wrapped around my noggin.
    I think these are great for casual listening and feel like i can just relax and let the world melt away around me. Tyll summed it up perfectly in his review. There is a strange attraction to these that you just can't let go of even for all it's technical flaws.
    For home listening, i would definitely go for something more sonically refined than the P5's.
    Erling likes this.
  15. KCxSmacker
    no.... ^_~
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