• 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Heaven to the ears (Ex Dre Beats Studio owner + comparison)

    • Written by from Brooklyn

    Not an audiophile, but appreciate good music so hearing every note and instrument is important to me. Just sent my Etymotic Research EF2's in for repair and ran to Apple Store after and picked these up. Wanted some comfortable cans when I don't want to shove the EF2's into my ear canal. I have a pair of Dre Beats Studio at home, waiting for a new buyer. I like to compare them to ball players, the Beats are like Lebron, the P5's are like Kobe. They're both good, but Kobe is a better all around player.

    Beats:
    Pros
    - great headphones. Excellent with hip hop, pop, rock. Good with classical.
    - deeper warmer, punchier sound
    - looks
    - Hardcase is excellent

    Cons
    - Some classical music not as well defined
    - Poor build
    - doesn't work without batteries, grrrr.
    - remote mic poor sound and no volume control
    - looks
    - design will get dated quickly

    P5
    Pros
    - Sound is amazing. You can actually hear vocals! All genres shine through.
    - Built to last, feels like a heritage piece ala Dieter Rams.
    - Timeless design, looks and feels more high end.
    - Remote mic sounds much better and has volume control
    - replaceable earcups
    - low profile design, looks amazing on your head compared to the chunkiness of the Beats
    - comfortable even after many hours, unlike the Beats.

    Cons
    - The case is embarrassing, looks like a hand purse you bring to weddings and events. Functionally poor, it's a softcase as opposed to the Beats hardcase.

    Summary:
    For those deciding between the two, if you're looking for a more punchy heavy sound, go with the Beats. If you're looking for a well balanced clearer sound, go with the P5's. Let me be clear, this does NOT mean the P5's lack bass. They just don't overwhelm. The breaking point for me with the Beats was the battery consumption. They're died so many times on the train, and unless you're always carrying spares with you, you're screwed.

    The only reason I deducted a star is the poor excuse for a case. Seriously, you spend $300 and they couldn't include a hardcase like the Beats?

    Give them a week to break in. They sound tight in the beginning, but loosen up as you use them more.

    18 of 24 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic sound, Comfortable fit.

    • Written by from LONDON

    Everything I want to say about these gorgeous cans have been said by most other reviewers.

    They sound incredible. Better than any headphones I've ever used and I've owned my share of studio headphones (AKG, Shure, Sennheiser, etc.)

    Totally modular, replace the chords easily, or the headphone covers themselves.

    Super comfortable. Ultra high quality super soft leather. It drowns out the sound around really nicely. I was actually surprised at how well it achieved this.

    I was looking for headphones to replace the iphone in-ear buds. I go through a pair of those every few months and my ears are such that neither the buds nor the noise cancelling rubber tipped ones stay in my ear very well. I find them uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time and the sound quality was mediocre at best. I had been considering some other ear buds but couldn't find anything that stayed in my ears or gave me the sound quality i was looking for. I then turned to the foldable Sennheisers, but the remote/mic didn't fully support the iPhone 4 and the sound quality wasn't quite there.
    I had done quite a bit of research on the P5's and they seemed like they might be a good alternative. Then I had the opportunity to try 'em out. Within a few minutes of use I knew I would be leaving the store with a pair.

    With the high price tag I am still a bit wary about wearing them around wherever I go, but the more I use them the more I want them with me at all times.

    2 of 5 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Painful experience

    • Written by from Framingham

    Solid headphones, perfectly crafted from premium materials. The sound disappointed me, too much bass, distorted midtones. BOSE sound quality is much better in comparison. The biggest issue is the pressure applied to the ears. After 2 hours you feel like you head might explode, and your ears will hurt. Also the cable is too soft and it might broke soon, especially the connector to iPad will be a problem after a while.
    B&W needs more experience with headphones. Good first try, but I have to return these.

    7 of 29 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great sound, it is a real concert for one!

    • Written by from NIEUWEGEIN

    I am a producer and DJ and I always use my HD-25 II sennheiser headphones. But these are real DJ headphones and aren't that comfortable after wearing them several hours.

    I was looking for good headphones for my iPhone but did not want to buy headphones with lower quality. Which makes it very difficult because the HD-25 is The standard for monitoring, producing and DJ-ing in Europe (for me Amsterdam).

    Offcourse I tried the Beats Studio, but they are terrible if you are used to sharp and honest sound. Besides the fact that I think that people with a Beats are just showing off like 'ow look at my and my overpriced headphones'. :)

    The P5 just gives you that uber quality HiFi sound on the go, I enjoyed Michael Jackson like never before! The P5 look so ridiculously amazing and the fact that it is a headset makes you never want to take them off again, they are so light en comfi to wear.

    So I would say get to the store and try a Beats first and than the P5 and you know what I mean.

    13 of 16 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    a head rumbling masterpiece

    • Written by from Baton Rouge

    These headphones are a truly the best I've ever listen to and the build quality is simply amazing for a $300 product. B&W has truly made a great product that is magnificent for the price and if I may please ask those who are in the market for new headphones please do check out bose and BEATS because you will find that B&W has not only the best build quality but also an amazing pure sound. Dr. Dre's Beats will run you the same price as P5's but they are simply inferior they sound like total rubbish and will fall apart after a week of wear and tear. The only criticism I personally have for this product is that P5's could have a much more robust and overtone bass and that would be the only thing that these headphones would need to be perfect.

    7 of 13 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    Poor execution of B&W colored sound style

    • Written by from Brooklyn

    They carry some design aspects of B&W loudspeakers in being richly voiced, but the execution in this product is lacking in a variety of areas. Bass is over exaggerated and a bit slow, leading into tubby sounding mids that makes voices sound chesty and hollow. The upper mids and lower treble are shelved down until the upper treble, which is then pushed back up to provide some air and sparkle in sound. Almost as if the sound was designed to make an impressive introduction without having any real substance.

    20 of 81 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Awesome headphones, super ugly carrying case

    • Written by from San Francisco

    I love my new P5's but what's up with the carrying case?
    Maybe they redesigned it now but I got the quilted black purse with the polished chrome logo plaque. I guess it's functional but lit looks like an old lady's make-up purse.
    My wife cracks up every time she sees it.

    9 of 16 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Impressive! Just Buy Them!

    • Written by from New York

    The amazing design and sound quality of these headphones are far superior to many others I have tried before. Rich, but not overpowering or distorted bass, clear, crisp mid-range and treble, convenient iPhone/iPod remote and alternate cable, magnetic, replaceable soft leather ear pads. Don't just take my word for it, bring your phone or iPod to a store that sells the P-5, and try them for yourself. These are worth the extra money. Aren't you? You deserve the best, so just buy them!

    7 of 11 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Headphones all grown up

    • Written by from Castle Rock

    I'm not an audiophile but.... these headphones make my Bose QC3's feel like toys. All the components are solid - no plastic. The fit is comfortable and luxurious. I bought my QC3's to help with noise at work and during travel. They always felt a bit heavy and muddled on bass, and put pressure on my ears with the noise cancellation. The P5's make the sound feel natural and balanced. I'm excited about my music again. Worth every penny.

    6 of 8 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Picked over Bose QC 15 and Dre Beats

    • Written by from Conway

    I have been struggling with the Bose QC 15 and the Dre Beats for a while now. Here is the reason why I chose the P5's over the others.

    Bose
    I liked the Bose QC15's noise canceling over all the others. Bose has worked very well on this technology but let's face it... it work REALLY well on airplanes and good in the office environment. For me, the noise canceling did not outweigh sound quality for 90% office/home use vs 10% air travel. One thing I did not like about the QC 15's was the plastic-y headband.

    Dr Beats
    I loved the base in these phones and the sound quality was *good* for what I would use them for but the biggest drawback for me was the PLASTIC. The displays I have seen in audio stores and demo units all were broken. I quickly ruled these out because of the quality of the materials used. They look great new but take a look after 6-months of use. The noise canceling was just okay and no factor at all in my decisions.

    ... this brought to me the B&W P5s.

    I have had them about a week and these are the best phones I have put on my head ever. The sound is incredible and best of all no batteries for noise canceling. BTW, you don't need it in these headphones because of the design. The block out most, if not all, the ambient noise. I am about to take a trip on an airplane next week but have no doubts they will be great performing without ACTIVE noise canceling. They are SO comfortable to wear. I have had them on for about 8 hours today and really have not noticed.

    Did I mention the quality that has gone into building these? One word: superiority. Every piece of hardware on these is 10x better than anything I have compared them to.

    If you are thinking about buying these... stop thinking... do it!

    13 of 16 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Big FAN of B&W

    • Written by from Kaneohe

    I have been a bose owner for a very long time. I have B&W speakers for my home stereo and always love the sound they have givien me.

    when I first saw the P5's come out I had to give them a run. they were excellent and brought out a lot of the music that was a little lost with the bose. the bass is not as heavy as the bose phones, but it is tighter and clearer. and the P5's can go a lot louder with no distortion. the high end is a lot more distinct where I can hear the airyness of the vocal effects and reverb. these phones also bring out more of the instruments and I can discern the different instruments more easily.

    I am glad that I got these phones...another detail that i liked, besides the great styling, is that the ear pads come off so easily (just in case I need to replace them-as i did a few times already with my bose phones)

    4 of 6 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Simply superb.

    • Written by from Colchester

    My wife bought these headphones for me this Christmas (2010) as a surprise. I had previously shown interest in these and the V-moda crossfade lp headphones and she did her research and opted to go for these - I am extremely glad that she did.
    In the flesh these headphones ooze luxury and an understated retro style as soon as you open the box and it is immediately clear where your money (or in my case, my wife's money) has been spent. The New Zealand sheep leather is incredibly soft and the aluminium is tough, these are very well built and sturdy headphones.
    On the ear they are very comfortable and due to their carefully thought out design they manage to block out most ambient noise not by employing noise-cancelling technology (which I find can detract from the quality of the audio in many cases) but by simply fitting well. I have worn these for extended periods of time and have experienced no discomfort whatsoever. They fold flat for easy storage in the achingly-cool quilted carry case which is supplied along with an iphone compatible (i.e. volume control, track switching, call making etc) cable.
    Sound-wise, these headphones are, in my opinion, perfectly balanced. Trebles are clear but not too bright and the bass is strong without being muddy or overpowering.
    I am noticing elements of songs that I have listened to for years that simply could not be distinguished on the stock iphone earbuds. Suffice to say I now want to convert my entire iTunes library to lossless audio to make the most of these beauties.
    I can heartily recommend these to anyone who wants a very stylish set of headphones without having to sacrifice comfort, build quality and most importantly the listening experience. If you have the means, buy them!!

    4 of 6 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    no regret

    • Written by from Brooklyn

    6 months after buying these headphones, I still use them every day and love them. They're very comfortable and the sound is great. Also, being able to control volume and track through the mic and not having to deal with the batteries that come with noise canceling headphones make these headphones worth the money.

    3 of 5 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    B&W P5

    • Written by from Marudi

    I don't own very expensive Hi-Fi systems or headphones but i think my ears have heard enough of them to give the B&W P5s a fair review.

    Sound, the most honest thing i can say is, they would sound brilliant for some but leaves others wanting more. They are not up their with the high-end nor are they down there with the group that uses brand to market themselves(you know who they are). The highs, mids and lows come in together nicely, but it depends on the content your listening to, if you like instrumentals and vocals, these would be good enough to satisfy my taste(my taste is not easy to satisfy) and more if you're the average listener, and they give enough detail too. But lets say you are from the younger generation, with all the new sounds from more recent artists, you may find yourself wanting more, as these content requires a bit more in the lower end and the P5s don't deliver enough. Not that they don't have it, it's just not enough, and for the price we're paying,I would prefer the P5s to be a bit more of an all rounder, just because people listen to a lot of music and the genres are too diverse. Hit 2 birds with 1 stone. It's hard to be done, but they are B&W, they're one of the best. P5s will never be spacious sounding enough, because they are not real speakers and they are not open-backed, so the sound will just go straight to your brains. But in the case of the P5s, it's not too bad. Sound isolation is good enough, i still can hear outside noise but not enough to bother me, they won't leak unless you turn on your music too laud.

    Design and quality. They look great and feel great, PERIOD. AWESOMENESS

    Comfort. If you have regular sized head and ears, they will sit on your head nicely.

    Final thoughts. They sound and look great.

    Advise? Try to audition one, and make your decision from there. Do not buy something if you can't have a listen 1st. Do not depend on other people's advise, let your ears and heart do it for you. One thing is true with sound and to a lot of other things, "to each, their own".

    Hope you'll find my advice helpful.

    And of course the sound will sound better if you used it with a dedicated sound system and a lossless source. This is a no brainer.

    3 of 6 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Heavenly Sound

    • Written by from OAKVILLE

    I was looking for a pair of headphones to replace a set of Sennheisers for my daily commute. I tried these and some Grado iGr8, and these blew the Grados away. The Grados sound really good, but the bass the P5s produce is unbelievable. These headphones are small enough to carry in a back pack or laptop case, super comfortable (downright luxurious) and the sound is fantastic. I've heard things on recordings I didn't now were there, so much so that I converted all my iTunes to 256K, as the quality can now be appreciated on the P5s. Highly recommended.

    34 of 43 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Beautiful to look at and beautiful to listen to...

    • Written by from TORONTO

    I've enjoyed owning many different pairs of Sennheiser headphones over the years, but, I've always been partial to B&W's. Bought a pair of floor standing B&W's over 30 years ago and still enjoy listening to them on a daily basis. When I heard they were producing their first pair of headphones I had to go and give them a listen. I wasn't disappointed. Clear, crisp sound emanates from these beauties and that's all I hear-no white noise! And they truly are a work of art. They're expensive but worth every penny. Nicest headphones I've ever listend to.

    22 of 27 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Excellent!

    • Written by from Edmonton

    Overall I find that these headphones are superb. The audio sounds gorgeous with really nice range. They are really well designed and the finish is lovely. The leather is super soft and you can get away with wearing them for extended periods of time. A little expensive, but worth every penny. Definitely superior than the Dr. Dre Beats, in my opinion.

    16 of 20 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

    Real world scenario

    • Written by from MAMARONECK

    Bought these during the Black Friday sale and used them for a few weeks. Here's a candid real world usage report.

    Build Quality
    Simply amazing piece of metal and leather, this is one of the most beautiful looking piece of tech I've owned. Truly ingenious industrial design. Other headphones may provide better sound quality for the price, but this is simply worth getting just for the build quality alone.

    Sound Quality
    Excellent as advertised. Very true to the original sound of music. Straightforward mids with clear highs, and a strong bass that doesn't intrude more than it should. The noise isolation is just right so you could hear every instrument that's recorded.

    Great for indoors and trains,
    Mostly use this at the office and home, this almost completely blocks off the white nose system and chatter at the office and can help in giving a nice quiet time at home. I commute via train and I can say this blocks surrounding noise well enough to still enjoy the audio.

    But not on a plane
    Last week I took this on a trip from JFK to LAX. Unfortunately this didn't come close in terms of noise cancellation compared to a Bose QC2. Airplane noise was very noticeable and I had to turn up the volume to get the music to an audible level. Understandable since it's not noise-canceling, but if it would have, the Bose would have become a Christmas gift. In a quiet environment I'll use the P5 than the Bose, but I'll continue to carry the Bose on the plane.

    Even though, this still deserves 5 stars with the excellent build and sound quality. Not a whole lot more gadgets under $300 will make you happier than owning a pair of P5s.

    12 of 13 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Get your money's worth!

    • Written by from Coventry

    I spent ages searching for a decent pair of headphones & it soon dawned on me that I maybe paying in excess of £150. At first I was reluctant to part with so much. Yeah you can notice the difference between a £10 pair from your local electrical store & a pair costing 10 times as much but I find it utterly ridiculous that anyone can genuinely hear a difference between say, a £100 pair and a £1000 pair so I really think anyone claiming otherwise is full of... well, you know.

    I been extremely happy with the Monster Tour's ive been using for about a year now so i figured my first stop should be either the Monster Solo's or Studio's... The sound quality of both was great & just what Ild expected, but I quickly discovered the build of both felt pretty flimsy & after a bit more research I found a lot of horror stories from people saying theirs had snapped &/or fallen apart shockingly quickly. So between this, the fact the Studios require batteries & are so big they make you look like Princess Leia, I soon ruled these out.

    Next I happened to stumble across the Bang & Olufsen Form 2's, while browsing through their store & at first glance they seemed ideal. Beautiful design, not too obtrusive & amazing sound quality. The price was also a surprise… £130! Unfortunately I did have a couple of gripes; the ear pads are rough & really not very durable (oh & the replacements will cost you £30). Secondly they didn't have an inline remote/mic. Not the end of the world I grant you, but as im looking for something to pair up with my iPhone & MacBook it was a major flaw.

    So finally I got to the B&W P5's. I adore their Zeppelin iPod player so I was expecting big things from these. Straight from the off I knew I had a winner. With real leather & brushed metal the build quality was not only the best looking (by far) but massively superior to anything Ild ever picked up. Also, they seemed to have thought of everything. The ear pads are not just incredibly comfy but magnetic so if (for reasons that I cant fathom, given the quality) you have to replace one, it couldn't be easier. Plus, if you've ever been like me and plagued with cables/jacks wearing and snapping through vigourous use and your sound cutting in & out as a result, you'll be happy to know the they are easily replaceable. So off to a good start, but I really put these to the test while on a trans Atlantic flight & Ive got to say for about 5 hours of constant use they were perfect! Drowning out engine noise, emitting gorgeous sound & still remaining comfortable. I honestly cant fault the P5's, with just one exception. Since owning these, Ive gone back through my iTunes and re-ripped most of my collection to the highest quality so I can enjoy all the tracks the way they were meant to be listened to.

    7 of 9 people found this useful