• 5.0 out of 5 stars

    great value by b&w

    • Written by from denver

    I've been an avid user of B&W products for over a dozen years and currently own a pair of sig 805 and 802D driven by classe Delta series electronics. When I found out the P5 was in the making, I was anxious to get my hands (and ears) on a pair. Well, I got them and here's the low down...

    built: as expected, it is second to none in this price range. I know that many have reservation about the thin cord. I actually like it as it doesn't get in the way when I'm on the go. Thick cords are bothersome and unwieldy. Because it is easily replaced, I don't care if it doesn't last a decade. Aside from this, everything else about the unit is top notch...hard to believe they can sell it for just $300.

    comfort: They are light and hugs the head very tightly. You can jog with these. Not as comfortable as bose qc15 because it sits over the ears instead of around. I think it's fine if you wear it for a couple of hours at a time. My ears are a little sore after just an hour.

    sound: I own a pair of bose qc15 and I have to admit, these blow them away in every respect. The highs are much clearer. Voices are more opened. Bass is punchy and smoother. Of course, they are not as good at noise cancellation/isolation as the bose, but they are adequate for most settings. Just remember to tweak how they sit on your head. This affects the bass if they are not air tight over the ears. So how do they compare with their audiophile products? Perhaps a little unfair to compare them with a system costing as much as a car, but here goes...as good as they sound for headphones, you can still tell they are...closed ear headphones. There is a distinct coloration that sounds like drivers mounted in a "tube." This is very pronounced in the mid range. There isn't the stage presence and air that I'm used to. The bottom line is, I'm happy with them, but don't expect them to be more then what they are and they are mass consumer grade product just like the zep.

    495 of 565 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Incredible in every sense of the word!

    • Written by from New York

    I was looking for an alternative to the bulky Monster Beats. I've owned the monster beats ever since they first came out and although the sound is very good, i found them really large and disliked the fact it required batteries. I picked these up to try out because I was very impressed with the slim size and industrial design (they are built with metal and leather).

    I am a huge fan of these Bowers & Wilkins P5 Headphones. I’m no audiophile but these headphones deliver the whole package - best sound I’ve ever heard and an amazing retro design. I was a bit worried about the discomfort of the pads pressing on my ears but after about 3 days of use, the high quality leather pads “break in” and they are really comfortable.

    I found these to be worth every penny. However, if you have a music collection with lower bitrate (under 256 kbps) I wouldn’t advise investing in high-end audio equipment.

    343 of 398 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Worth the price.

    • Written by from Tulsa

    If you are a fan of their home audio, you will love these. Very natural sound reproduction and very comfortable.

    241 of 344 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    REAL audio for REAL ears

    • Written by from Pelham Manor

    As anybody who's worked in audio production and engineering will tell you, 99% of the audio products on the market are junk. Instead of concentrating on accurate reproduction of the midtones: the vast spectrum of sound where most of the audio information is contained, everything gets thrown into the bass to make it seem "fat and wet" and most of the midrange - if discernible - is just there as a skeleton to hold together a piece of music.

    B&W is does not qualify for the junk-box test. These are reference grade headphones: flat tonal response up and down the curve, a beautiful, natural decay (something very difficult for closed headphones; the sound energy has to go somewhere!

    Put these on, and you'll realize that you've been missing 70% of the acoustic data from your audio products. Sure, they may not be as amazing as a handmade open-back, wooden-framed set from Brooklyn, but for cans that fit wonderfully, are designed for all-day comfort, never get slimy, sound amazing and have an inline mic AND audio controls — well, there's really not much more to ask for. Thank you B&W for creating a product that is worthy of it's price point, that is functional to boot, and is a beautifully designed piece of gear. I will never leave home without 'em.

    51 of 54 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Amazing Headphones

    • Written by from Denver

    By way of comparison, I previously had Grado SR225's as my office headphones. I loved the sound quality, but the foam seamed to deteriorate pretty quickly for a $$250 purchase. I bought the P5's after reading numerous glowing reviews, and I'd have to say that each one of those was pretty much spot on.

    These are perfect for the workplace, due to the noise isolation qualities. This pertains to both blocking out the environmental sounds around you, but also music escaping your headphones and bothering others. The Grado's are an open design, which means that your neighbors get to share whatever it is that you are listening to as well.

    The P5's are incredibly comfortable to wear, and I've not had the "hot ears" issue that others mentioned. Granted I'm in a nice air conditioned office in Boulder, CO, but I am usually susceptible to things like that. No problems whatsoever.

    The design is the most gorgeous one out there, and certainly puts the Grado's "Radar O'Reily" look to shame. They are sleek, unobtrusive, and just ooze quality. Better yet, I don't look like a wanna-be rapper or hip hop star sporting Dre's Beats.

    Sound quality is simply amazing, and I have actually detected certain parts of tracks that I never noticed before. This is a really cool comparison to run these through... pick a song that you know inside and out, and then listen to it with your old cans and the P5's. Crazy, right?!?!

    Anyhow, they are super spendy at $300, but they are truly worth every penny. I splurged on these for my new job, and I'm sure that I'm amortizing the cost daily thanks to increased productivity and happiness. Sure they don't do my work for me, but they make it a heck of a lot more fun to do!

    Buy em... you'll love em...

    46 of 47 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Best of the lot

    • Written by from LAS VEGAS

    After utilizing ten different headphones over the past eight years (from A-Z) the P5s are absolutely the best.

    43 of 44 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Best I've used!

    • Written by from Charlotte

    I have been using these p5 headphones for 2 days straight! I mean they have not come off my head since I got them. Now I have been through just about every pair of headphones you can imagine. I have used Bose QC15's, Beats by Dr.Dre, and a pair of Sony's I picked up a while back. Now I did like the fact that all of the other headphones where noise canceling, but they were so big and clunky. But I was surprised to find while driving with the windows down to my car I did not hear a thing! I guess the P5's rally do cqncle noise. Now for sound quality these blow the compition away! They sound so much clearer than the Beats and more balanced than the Bose.

    I would rate them in the following 1-P5, 2-Bose QC15, 3-Beats by Dr.Dre, 4-Sony

    P5 Ratings
    Sound quality 10/10
    Build quality 10/10 (all medal and leather!)
    Comfort 9/10
    Overall rating 10/10

    41 of 42 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    BRAVO!!!!! Encore, Encore! Best Headphones. I would've paid More!

    • Written by from SAN LEANDRO

    Now, I'm no audiophile but I had a pair of Sony Studio Monitoring headphones ($300) that lasted me for about 8 years, it was time to replace them. I read several reviews about the Studio Monster Beats by Dr. Dre and the Bose QC15's. After much testing I found the Dr. Dre Beats to have way too much bass and virtually non-existent highs and the mids were sorta drowned out by the overpowering bass. The Bose QC15's had excellent sound with great mids and excellent highs. Bass on the QC15's was "OK" but not very deep and unfortunately it caused distortion on any music that I listened to that had a beat to it. The biggest problem I had with the Bose QC15's was the noise canceling feature. Now, don't misunderstand me, the QC15's have the best active noise canceling in the industry but unfortunately it put a lot of pressure on my ear drums causing me constant headaches so I returned them.

    Someone recommended that I try out the B&W P5's. I never heard of them but after so many good reviews on the web I tried them out at the Apple store. Fell in love with the extra soft calve's leather ear pads and the all-metal construction that's barely found on either the Bose QC15's or the Beats by Dre. There's NO PLASTIC on the B&W's and the build quality is amazing. The sound is what made me take them home. They had the perfect amount of bass missing from the QC15's and the perfect amount of mids and highs missing from the Studio Beats by Dr Dre. Even at the highest volumes the low frequencies never produced any distortion especially when listening to rap music. I can go from listening to Eminem to Jason Mraz and these headphones sound great and there's no sound leakage thanks to the closed-back design. How can B&W charge the same amount for these cans as the Bose QC15's and the Monster Beats and have better build quality and sound than both of them? I would've paid more than $300 if B&W charged more because they are worth it. I also like the fact that the B&W's have noise isolation to dampen outside noises instead of electronically canceling noise which reduces sound quality and which caused me headaches.

    All I can say is these headphones exude class, royalty, style and quality all in one $300 package. Well worth it!!! Thank you, somebody cares about how good music should sound!!!

    43 of 46 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Pain is intense

    • Written by from Greenwood Village

    I wanted so badly to like these headphones. They look fantastic and the build quality is incredible. There is so much attention to every detail in the design of the headphones. They are lust-worthy.

    The sound is phenomenal. I will echo others who've described the sound as being warm. The bass is present but not overwhelming. I heard details in my digital music that I've never heard before. I will now be on a search to find something that delivers similar sound fidelity but with more comfort.

    Unfortunately the pressure applied by the P5s is simply too uncomfortable. The cartilage around my ears begins to hurt after about 10 to 15 minutes. Once my ears begin to hurt they are practically unusable. I have to constantly adjust them to relieve pressure. I bought them for a recent flight to Boston and while they were very good at isolating noise and producing good sound at lower volumes, my ears hurt for about a day after my flight. For this kind of money, I simply can't keep them and try to "break them in."

    57 of 76 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Concert for One

    • Written by from Bellevue

    Overall, this is just one amazing set of headphones. I highly reccomend them!

    -Amazing sound quality. It performs si well amongst a variety of genres, picking up the subtle nuances in each track like its no big deal.
    -Relatively good comfort, but for me it took a little adjustment. For those of you with bigger heads, I reccomend stretching out the headband for a couple nights. It makes it much, much more comfortable.
    -Not much at all actually. I wish blocked out a litle more sound, but for its class (as a noise-isolating headphone), it does a decent job. However, my P5's arent something I'd wear in a plane ride.

    37 of 37 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Break it in first! Almost brought it back, glad I didn't!

    • Written by from Houston

    Held out from getting these headphones for about a year since I already have the Bose OE and IE2 (which, by the way sound great, much more after a year of regular use).

    Love the looks and the entire feel of it. So much sleeker and more premium looking than the Bose OE.
    First week of limited use of maybe an hour a day was terrible. Although the treble was clear, there was no bass. Voices had great detail, but they were piercingly uncomfortable. Almost gave up and was ready to go back to the shop to return it. Thought there was something wrong. For 300 bucks, not worth the money.

    Until I remembered reading reviews which said to 'break it in' or do a 'burn in'. So I did. After about 10hrs of playing a wide range of music in moderate volume, it now sounds great!
    Different sound characteristic than the Bose. Comparatively, the P5 has a 'gentler but firmer' bass and voices are more defined. I believe this is important for extended listening. Too much bass can get tiring after a while.

    If you're thinking of getting it, please do. If you are choosing between this and the Bose OE, either is fine sound-wise. But the P5 gives you a more premium feel and a perception that you're buying something which will last, say 5yrs at least. Hopefully it exceeds that time.

    37 of 40 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Bowers & Wilkins P5 Headphones

    • Written by from Winnipeg

    So I've had the headphones for a week or two and I think I'm finally ready to write a proper review.

    Very sturdy. You wont be worried about these headphones breaking any time soon. I love the fact that these are only leather and metal. The headphones rotate flat for safe and easy storage. The metal it's self is very sturdy and the leather and memory foam are very soft and plush. They don't hurt my ears at all but then again I have a smaller head. The design is very well engineered. For many of the parts, if they break there is an easy way to remove/replace them. One thing that I'm a bit worried about is the fact that there is a cord covered in cloth out in the open right in-between the speaker and the head rest. It doesn't seem like a big problem but just giving a heads up.

    At first they don't seem like they are all they are made out to be but do not fear, they started sounding better and better with usage. I recommend to keep using them and listen to all your favourite artists/songs and you'll start to head just how amazing they are. The other good thing about these unlike the beats, the sound doesn't leak like crazy. If you have your music up really load then people directly next to you will hear music but theres no need to have your music up that loud because these headphones are fairly good at keeping noise out. By no means are they amazing but they do a satisfactory job. The headphones hit the notes nicely and there isn't any trembling with the volume up high. By the way. The base is rather good. Its not as strong as the Beats by Dr. Dre but you still get more with these headphones overall in my opinion.

    The case:
    Its nice, not great though. Doesn't offer any protection to the headphones but thats not a huge deal because the headphones are pretty tough.

    Some other things to know:
    The headphone jack is very small and will fit into most iPhone 4 cases. I have a Elementcase Vapor Nickle case and they fit like a charm and that was one of my main concerns because my iPhone is my iPod too. Last thing, the remote and mic on the cord works rather nicely unlike the one on the beats which broke for me almost right away. The remote also has a rewind feature via 3 presses of the centre button which is something I've wanted for a while.

    Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase. Definitely recommend these to everyone if you have the money. Sorry about the long review but hey, If your spending this much money, you need the info!

    36 of 38 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    B+W Sound, but requires break-in!!!

    • Written by from Atlanta

    Since most people don't know this, I wish that B+W had said this in the manual included in the box, but just like any great speakers and headphones, these do need about 10 hours or so of break-in. Just figured I'd post a review to help people out who may not be blown away at first listen.

    All great speakers and headphones need to be "broken in," where the rubber and cones and parts get a little more flexible and ready to perform. From the factory, the parts are stiff and don't move as easily to reproduce sound. A simple 10-15 hour break-in fixes all of that, though. Just leave them playing through the night when you first get them at a moderate volume. Try to use a mix of music (bass-heavy, jazz, classical, heavy vocals, techno is great if you have it - to "exercise" the drivers and everything).

    I've owned Grado 225s, Sennheiser HD 650's, and an assortment of incredible headphones, and while an open-air set of cans will always sound a little more "free" (think spacious), these are hands-down the best pair of closed phones I've ever heard. Although, I'll admit to a bias with B+W at home...

    Absolutely recommended headphones, but do remember to break them in.

    38 of 44 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Way cooler than Dre's Beats

    • Written by from Brookline

    I went to the Apple Store the other day looking for a pair of headphones in the $200-$300. As a non-audiophile, I came in with just two qualifications: they needed to look cool, and sound great. I was about to buy the wireless version of Dre's Beats (via self-checkout-why is there never ANYONE available to check you out?), when a store employee came over and stopped me. He asked me what I was looking for in my headphones, and recommended that I try out the Bowers and Wikins. He said that the biggest difference between the Beats and these was that these didn't have a single piece of plastic in them. Oh, and the sound was way better.

    I tried them on, and couldn't believe my ears. Whereas the Beats seemed to just blare out the bass, the P5's managed to bring out sounds I had never heard before. I plugged in my iPhone, and tried out different songs, trying to find any weaknesses. From Matisyahu to Kanye West to The Beatles to Miles Davis, these headphones did it all. I really couldn't believe what I was hearing. The Beats did a great job with the first two songs, but couldn't handle the rest. They are also way more comfortable than any of the Beats. I strongly recommend these headphones to anyone looking for a comfortable headphones with incredible sound.

    Quick note about style: Looking at the box, I was a little worried about how these would look. As an 18-year-old male, I guess I've been brainwashed to believe that things must be flashy to be cool. When I tried these on and looked in the mirror, I realized that I was wrong. It's hard to describe the look exactly, but these are the kind of phones that clearly will still look cool in 10 or 15 years. Beats may look cool right now (if you define cool as looking like a wannabe rap star or gangster), but true quality never goes out of style.

    33 of 35 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Vintage analog Beautiful

    • Written by from eastlake

    My headphones of choice for the past 3 years were the wildly popular Sennheiser 555. I decided i wanted to try something new. Something without an amp, smaller, closed headphone, and amazing sound!

    I Because I didn't want to make a mistake and buy a pair of headphones online relying only through reading reviews, I decided to check out the Apple Store and do some demoing of headphones there. I ended up buying the Bose On Ear's. While I am aware of the Bose hate, I was impressed by the power that came out of such a small headphone. So i bought it . Needless to say, Bose lived up to their "live sound" signature, because no matter what i played was excessive with bass. It worked well on harder songs, or hip hop, but when i played a mellow song, the bass would drowned out everything. Sounded muddy. I returned it to buy the Bose Around Ear. While these definitely had more clarity, and very comfortable, but they had very little low end, very bright and hollow sounding. My 555's sounded better. Back to the drawing board..

    Enter the Bowers and Wilkins P5'S

    I came across these gorgeous headphones. The P5's are made out of aluminum, metal, and authentic sheep leather. These scream class. They can scream anything but do they scream good sound? Lets just say, when I listen to music with the P5's they transport me into a wooden cottage in the woods listening to music plugged into a turn table. They sound very warm, almost the warmth you would get from beautiful vintage analog.Sounds very full, not hollow. Its hard to put into words. I am definitely not an audiophile, the bass these provide are not the over exaggerated bass you would get from Dr Dre's Beats or the On Ear Bose but provide a very audible punchy bass. Authentic natural sound all around. These are the only headphones I have listened to that sounds like the headphones are adapting to the music, rather than the music adapting to the headphones. Meaning that the headphones generally stay out of the way, and you get to hear the music as is. Not with extra bass, or power boost or what ever else headphones usually EQ into its signature sound. Its hard to believe that when I play Nick Drake, these are the same headphones that just blasted me out of the room playing Meshuggah. They adapt that well. No amp needed on these, just plug and play! The sound isolation on the P5's are quite good, you don't hear much of the outside world. The built in iPod volume works as advertised. Because they are on the ear designed, they did take a bit of adjusting for me because my Senn's were around the ears. Because they are on ears they employ a closed design.

    Rating these headphones I give them a solid 4 out of 5.

    Why not a 5 out of 5? Well lets just say I will be using these for many years as my headphones of choice, they are seriously a work of modern art. I love the industrial design, I love the size, I love the warm sound, I love that they sound this good without any amplification. I am going to be a real and say there is more than likely better headphones out there, ones that sound better or do something specifically better than the P5's. Personally I do wish they were more comfortable, but I think I feel that way because I am not used to on the ear type of headphone. However when you look at the sound, size, design, and price the P5's are unmatched.. For that reason is why I rate them a very solid 4 out of 5.

    35 of 39 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Top notch

    • Written by from Bedford

    Just got the B&W P5's today. After throughly researching, testing and comparing Bose, Crossfade and the P5's I can say without a doubt that the P5's are the perfect fit and finish I was looking for. Someone once said beauty is in the eye of the beholder ....to me these are beautiful. If the noise isolating worked a little better then they would be just about perfect. Let me explain: on my iPod the volume level is 0 to 16 dashes...in order to completely drown out the volume of the TV I have to have the volume up to 8-10 dashes. So that's a little over half volume which isn't bad but I like to listen to my tunes at around 5-7 dashes (more comfortable to me). I tested the Bose QC15, Crossfade LP, and with out a dought the P5's were a perfect match between sound, beauty, portability, and build quality. I almost opted for the Crossfade LP's but the P5's won out in the end. As fas as sound quality all 3 were pretty close but the P5's were the best, a very close second was the Crossfade LP, and way behind in third place were the QC15's. As stated everywhere the QC15's were hands down the best at noise canceling. But then again the P5's and Crossfade LP's are only noise isolating. I would highly recommend the P5's but if you want to save $50 and only have a 1 year warranty then I would highly recommend the Crossfade LP's.

    My ratings

    Bose QC15- 8.2 plastic feel, nice $299
    Crossfade LP- 9.5 pretty cool, very nice $249
    B&W P5- 9.7 work of art, 2 year warranty, very nice $299

    31 of 32 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Comfortable, stylish and above all else faultless sound quality.

    • Written by from Halifax

    Comfortable, stylish and above all else faultless sound quality.

    The P5's sound reproduction is warm but flat—these cans are capable of reproducing a full low-end; but only if it exists in the recording.

    As others have mentioned these headphones will reveal differences in recordings that might be masked by other headphones. If you audition them in the Apple Store, bring your own iPod device with an album worthy of the P5's capabilities—I suggest the remastered recording of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Radiohead's Kid A is also a worthy contender.

    It's not that lesser recordings sound bad through the P5's, but they won't give you an accurate idea of the their abilities.

    The binaural recordings that B&W commissioned to celebrate the launch of the P5's show them off to best effect. You'll get access to these recordings, and other losslessly encoded albums. Since you get these albums for free (and there are many albums available for download, with many genres represented), access to them has the effect of significantly discounting the price of the 'phones—that is if the music is of interest to you (Peter Gabriel's Scratch My Back is one of the albums)

    33 of 37 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    They've changed how I listen to music

    • Written by from Scottsdale

    I just have to say that they are worth every penny. Not only am I hearing things in my music I never heard before, but listening to my music with these headphones has become an experience in itself. No longer is music just for the car ride to work and back, but with these headphones, I would gladly sit for hours on end just listening.

    Insanely comfortable and the sound quality is stellar. Even though they're not noise canceling, the memory foam is so thick that you can't hear anything anyway.

    27 of 27 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Great sound... but...

    • Written by from San Carlos

    I bought these cans as soon as they came out. A bit pricey, but I was hoping for the B&W standard of sound... They don't disappoint in that area.

    My only "complaint" is that the over the ear design gets a tad uncomfortable after long listening... and that may be due to the shape of my own ears, but something to consider.

    Using them on the iPhone when a call comes in is a tad strange too, cause the mic is excellent, but you can't hear your own voice through the phones... making it hard to hear yourself talk.

    28 of 29 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Resisting these is like a rip-tide..

    • Written by from Seattle

    ..Struggle as long as you can, then relax and succumb as the waves of sound wash over you.

    Bowers and Wilkins suckered me in with the desktop computer speakers which give blindingly awesome sound. Compared with the $50 PC speakers I'm accustomed to it was a universe of difference in sound.

    It was just a matter of time before I got in my car, things got kind of hazy, and when consciousness kicked back in, I was standing in the Apple Store with a set of P5s in my hands.

    Sound Quality
    I'm not an audiophile, and don't know the lingo - but I can say that it's far easier to pick out the details in a piece of music with these over the standard earbuds you get. When I crank up the volume, it's great. No distortion, just a wall of amazing sound.

    Noise Isolation
    This is not active noise cancellation where the earphones do crazy sound wave collapsing. The P5s have thick padding, a large enough surface area to cover the entire ear, and a firm, snug, fit that keeps a lot of noise out. On a bustling street with cars and trucks in the city, you can hear your music fine without having to raise the volume much.

    What you get with it:
    They come with two cables: one special iPod cable that has an inline remote (press 4 times to go back!), and a regular cable for other players which I'm using with my Zune (though the ipod cable works with it fine, you just lose the inline remote functionality).

    The replacement method for the cables really showcases the extremely high quality and attention to detail here. To change the cable, you remove the black padded section that usually rests against your ear. I assumed it would be clipped on and I'd have to squeeze somewhere. No - it's fitted magnetically and just pulls away with a firm tug. Inside, the cable attaches to the P5s with a smaller version of the regular cable jack. The socket inside even rotates slightly out towards you when you remove the cable to make it easier to get out. Brilliant engineering here.

    Also included is a pretty nice storage pouch with a magnetic closure. Inside the pouch you can store the P5s and there's a separate little sub-pouch for storing your player. I'm not sure if I'll be using this. Seems like more baggage to carry around, but the P5s are an investment and something you don't want to get scratched and buffeted around in the main section of a bag.

    I've had them on for two hours now and have yet to rip them off and rub my ears back to life like with my old headphones.

    27 of 27 people found this useful