Will B&W make a pair of serious headphones?
Dec 22, 2010 at 1:56 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

DjAmTraX

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Most audiophile may agree with me that the P5 by B&W is a toy for Apple fanboys.  I know I will get a lot of crap from P5 owners.  Do you guys think that the P5 was just to test the headphones market and B&W will get serious and come out with a REAL B&W headphones?
 

 
Dec 22, 2010 at 3:14 PM Post #2 of 14

tdockweiler

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Have you heard the P5? You didn't like it? I doubt it could possibly sound as good as it looks, but who knows. I did read one negative review of it in a magazine, but that's it. For some reason it doesn't look very comfortable. I'd definitely like to hear it despite what people may say about it.
 
 
Dec 22, 2010 at 3:16 PM Post #3 of 14

NumLock

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 That would be my guess. I hope they come out with some full size cans next.
 
It was wise for them to start out with some thing that was marketed towards mp3 players. It would be hard to compete with the bigger names in full size headphones right off the bat.
 
I still want a pair of 800-series speakers from them.
 
Dec 22, 2010 at 3:47 PM Post #4 of 14

tdockweiler

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Quote:
 That would be my guess. I hope they come out with some full size cans next.
 
It was wise for them to start out with some thing that was marketed towards mp3 players. It would be hard to compete with the bigger names in full size headphones right off the bat.
 
I still want a pair of 800-series speakers from them.

 
Haha, I'm still kicking myself for buying some Axiom speakers over the B&W speakers (603 I think it was?). Oh well. Now I have some boring Infinity speakers.
 
 
Dec 22, 2010 at 4:37 PM Post #5 of 14

Argyris

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Paradoxically, the shellacking these things seem to get around here will probably ensure that B&W never markets a serious headphone. They've blown their cred with the Head-Fi types with the P5, and thus it's probably unlikely anybody will take them seriously here. Suppose Bose actually released something that was worth the price. Would anybody here take it seriously anymore? An even better example is the Monster Turbines (I haven't heard them, just sayin'), which though evidently respectable, haven't done much to drag Monster's name out of the mud.
 
Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Head-Fi'ers have done anything wrong by being honest about what they think. B&W seems to be targeting the mainstream a lot more lately, as I've heard their other gear is now featured at Best Buy and other big box stores. This usually doesn't resonate well with audiophiles, and the sad reality is that there's a lot more money in pretty, trendy, poorly-engineered products than there is in true high end equipment. From what I hear B&W isn't doing so hot financially (though the source is hearsay and is probably none too reliable), so I'm not surprised they're aiming for the yuppies. They have the bux to burn, and they burn them. Continuously and indiscriminately, just so long as it's trendy.
 
Dec 22, 2010 at 4:48 PM Post #7 of 14

MayaTlab

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Quote:
Most audiophile may agree with me that the P5 by B&W is a toy for Apple fanboys.  I know I will get a lot of crap from P5 owners.  Do you guys think that the P5 was just to test the headphones market and B&W will get serious and come out with a REAL B&W headphones?


I no longer own the P5, but I tried them, along the HD-25, T50p, ESW10, ES10 and others.
 
And the result is that I certainly don't think that the P5 aren't worthy to be part of this price tag group.
 
For starters their industrial design is light years ahead of the others. B&W correctly understood what "portable" headphones should be : isolation, fold flat, replaceable cord, and the perfect pouch (neither too soft nor too thick / rigid). 
But their sound also is quite competitive to the others. They do a few things very well. For example they have IMHO a great timber accuracy that easily surpasses the others here. As a result these are the ones I prefer for classical music (along with the T50p which is great for that genre but for other reasons).
Another example : they handle decay / reverb / echo effects very very well. So they're great with percussions (better than the ESW10 for example to me).
And I could go on about the things they do better than the others here.
 
Of course they have a lot of flaws, but so do the others, and overall I really like the P5. It only is a question of compromises, and if we take into account the fact that all these headphones were supposedly designed to be portable, then I frankly think that the compromises B&W made were much more clever than the ones Audio Technica did with the ESW9 for example.
 
Dec 22, 2010 at 4:49 PM Post #8 of 14

Proglover

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Quote:
 
Haha, I'm still kicking myself for buying some Axiom speakers over the B&W speakers (603 I think it was?). Oh well. Now I have some boring Infinity speakers.
 


I have the 603 speakers for 12 years now. Can't say I'm fully satisfied, they emphasize the lows too much
 
Dec 22, 2010 at 4:51 PM Post #9 of 14

ianmedium

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Not sure, I know one thing though. If they sound like their speakers I will never buy them!
I have not found one speaker by B&W that has engaged me musically including the Nautilus range.
 
Dec 22, 2010 at 5:17 PM Post #10 of 14

Uncle Erik

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It's rare to find a speaker manufacturer getting into headphones. It might seem like a natural fit, but they're very different.

However, headphones have a lot more in common with microphones. This is why you find a lot of crossover between microphone and headphone manufacturers.

If a speaker manufacturer was serious about headphones and could commit the R&D, I'm sure they could. But it'd be sort of like starting from scratch. As we've seen, it can take years and many models to nail down a really good pair of headphones. It would be tough for a speaker manufacturer to catch up.
 
Dec 22, 2010 at 6:12 PM Post #11 of 14

DjAmTraX

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Denon makes a decent headphones (D7000). They make almost everything. I have confidence that B&W could make a better headphones. I hope they do cause I like a Natulus 800 headphones. :)
 
Dec 22, 2010 at 6:52 PM Post #12 of 14

Argyris

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Quote:
It's rare to find a speaker manufacturer getting into headphones. It might seem like a natural fit, but they're very different.

However, headphones have a lot more in common with microphones. This is why you find a lot of crossover between microphone and headphone manufacturers.


That's very true. I think the link goes even beyond technology and into market. Microphones and headphones go together because they're both indispensable studio tools. Many established microphone manufacturers were around when headphones overall weren't really that good and weren't taken seriously by the hi-fi crowd, so they instead sold them to places that used them as tools. Gradually they got better, and the world eventually took notice.
 
Dec 22, 2010 at 11:28 PM Post #14 of 14

Skylab

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I sure wish B&W would make a pair of headphones that sounded like Nautilus speakers - I've owned my N800 Signatures for 9 years, and I still absolutely love them.

But I too thought the P5 left a lot to be desired, sonically.
 

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