• 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.

    Build:
    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.

    Sound:
    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!

    34 of 36 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

  • 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.

    27 of 28 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Would be 5 star but, I can not find replacement cord

    • Written by from Sandy

    I love these headphones, the sound quality is great. I apparently do not have the most sophisticated hearing. From what I am reading, one reviewer wrote that the headphones are best for Classical, Jazz. I listen to everything from Pop, R&B, Country and most everything but heavy metal or death metal. From what I have heard from my P5's, I think the headphones can handle and provide great listening for anything I throw its way.

    Yes, the price is steep but, I buy quality not quantity and if you are good at keeping things and not destroying them quickly, I would say spend the money for a quality listening experience. If you have the money and want to purchase quality headphones, I don't think you can go wrong with the P5's.

    Here is where I want to submit my lack of providing a fifth star. My single gripe is that I caught the cord to many times on things and my control cord no longer works correctly. I have to push the one end of the cord in to get hearing in the right ear. This was my fault, nothing B&W did however, I can't find a control cord out there on the web for under $60 to save my life, to be honest, I haven't even found 1 pair even over $60. I did hear through the internet of a pair on B&W website for $60 (or close to) but, I wasn't able to link to the B&W page to look at it.

    So my gripe is that if they (B&W) want to sell great headphones, make the availability of the replacement parts available to purchase as well. The best way I can think of is to do this through the Apple Store which I purchased the headphones through.

    20 of 20 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Don't Buy if You Wear Glasses

    • Written by from Marblehead

    I loved these. The style is exceptional, and I'm not big on form. The sound is outstanding. They were just too uncomfortable. After two hours, they starated to hurt. After four hours, my jaws and teeth hurt. I had to return them. They are no so nice, that if I were a candidate for Lasik, the surgery would be worth it just to be able to wear these. I would have kept them longer to try to break them in, but my state had a tax holiday, forcing a 24 hour decision.

    36 of 53 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Good sound, questionable comfort and value

    • Written by from RYE

    I have owned the B&W p5's for about a month now, and i have to say that they have OUTSTANDING SOUND QUALITY. I own a pair of $500 Sony's which sound more or less the same as these headphones. However the main reason that I purchased these headphones was for comfort and leisure, which these headphones did not deliver. They feel wonderful over your ears for the first 5~8 minuets then become tiresome and you ears begin to hurt. B&W offers a year long free membership to their Society of Sound( a free program which allows the download of FLAC or lossless( super high quality)files.) which I believe was a nice inclusion from B&W.

    15 of 18 people found this useful

  • 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

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Really solid performance with iPhone & iPad - not on my MacBook Pro

    • Written by from Los Angeles

    I picked these up from the Apple Store and I must say, I am very impressed. The P5's produce a very rich and solid sound.

    I am not an audiophile by any means, but I do enjoy good headphones and earbuds and have invested in a few different "higher-end" pairs. For the "average" music listener, these headphones are worth the money, if you have it to spend.

    However, I have been testing them all day, and I'm not sure why, but, the P5's do not seem to re-produce the same sound from the iPhone/iPad on a MacBook Pro. I've tried a number of different genre's of music, and tested them from iPhone to MBP and iPad to MBP using the same song, and they sound different. The mid's seem really loud and the bass seems to be flat. But, switching them back to the iPhone or iPad and the sound is once again rich and full.

    I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the different power output that each device can produce and how it works with the impedance of the P5's, but there is a difference.

    All-in-all, a good investment for the right device.

    13 of 15 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Amazing headphones but has one major flaw

    • Written by from Burnaby

    I've had my p5s for a little under 3 years now, and I have to say they are amazing headphones. The sound quality can't be matched (doesn't compensate any mid frequency sounds with high levels of bass or treble), and they work great at isolating sound so all you really hear is the music. They are also quiet comfortable headphones will leather for both the ear pads and headrest.

    However it does have a major flaw in that its cables are cheaply made. At least B&W thought about this ahead and made it so that the cables (and ear pads) are easily replaceable, but I've gone through 6 of them already and going to my 7th now (my 6th one just broke, when a friend of mine tugged at cable while it was attached to my iphone in my pocket. I haven't had any problem with B&W to get replacements but still its a minor annoyance that shouldn't be happening.

    10 of 10 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Great Product!

    • Written by from Valencia

    First of all, the primary areas I had in mind when purchasing headphones was audio quality, design/build quality, ergonomics/portability and cost. I tested every headphone throughout my local Apple store as well as the one's Bestbuy had on display and in my opinion the P5's were the clear winner. The design/build quality is typical B&W. The looks are very elegant and will appeal to anyone that likes the finer things in life. The build quality is very good and should last for years as long as you maintain the fine leather. Ergonomically, I love the feel of the pads and the fit is very comfortable. The cord being on one side is a plus but I do think the controls could have been lowered about two inches but I'm sure I will get use to it. As for the sound, I find them to sound very warm with a good smooth bass. The mid's are warm as well as the highs but it could be a bit more detailed. Controls work great on the iPhone.

    Overall, it will be hard to find a better headphone for $300 that will give you quality sound, comfort and the look of elegance. I had the P3's for a few days and realized for a price tag of $200 they just weren't cutting it that's why I stepped up to the P5's.

    8 of 8 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    light weight but solid Performance

    • Written by from Anchorage

    The headphones feel excellent on the head even after prolonged wearing. The sound is great even the base is sufficient. The cable could be better, but is removable for replacement. Wish they would put the the beats Dr. Dre cable in the box instead. Maximum Volume output is excellent. Passive Noise Cancelation in the Airplane was on par with my much more expensive Sennheiser PXC 450 active Noise Cancelation headset, which will go on the block. Prior to buying the P5's I compared at the Apple Store with the Beats by Dr. Dre Studio and as much as the base is better at the Studio, the overall sound is more balanced at the P5's.

    11 of 14 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Excellent, but lacks bass

    • Written by from Bjerringbro

    I tried these and i have to say, they sound like pure awesome, but if you listen to hard rock/metal i wouldn't recommend them, becuase they lack punch/bass to heavy guitar riffs and the drums, for Jazz, classic ans son on they shold be pure awesome

    10 of 12 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Almost perfection

    • Written by from boulder

    Sound: Absolutely fantastic.

    Aesthetics: Pleasing.

    Mobility: Not good for moving around too much, but excellent at home.

    Wearability: As every on-ear headphone, they can become uncomfortable after 2+ hours.

    Overall, these are fantastic headphones, but don't plan on wearing them for more than 3 hours... they are likely to become uncomfortable, even with the fancy squishy pads.

    13 of 18 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    You can make them even better

    • Written by from Penfield

    Having owned many "studio" headphones, I have been pleased with the sound, construction quality and overall comfort of the P5s. On my MacBook Pro, they sound pretty good connected directly, but using a dedicated USB audio device like the Griffin iMic makes a dramatic improvement in definition and low end punch.

    On my iMac based home system, I use an M-Audio Transit that completely isolates the audio from computer power supply noise when you use the fiber-optic output connected to a DAC or receiver. You won't realize how much a computer contributes to the noise floor until it is gone.

    If you want even more improvement, try a small headphone amplifier. I would recommend the P5s to anyone who enjoys headphone listening and can hear the difference between OK and exceptional sound.

    12 of 17 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Stunning performance, 2 flaws

    • Written by from Waterford

    The performance of these headphones is stunning. I've heard better but that was in Sennheiser's costing over 450 quid. For the money this is the best on ear cans on the market. These have so much more sonic subtlety compared with the Dre Beats. There are 2 flaws however and how much of a problem they are will depend on your headphone requirements. 1) these are quite tight. I believe they've redesigned the ear pieces but there's not escaping the fact that these are a much tighter fit than Bose, for example, and you have to wear them for a few days before they start to get comfortable for extended listening. I stretched mine out a bit by leaving them on the top of a conveniently head sized chair back :) 2) the cable is thin and feels flimsy. B&W's C5s have an astonishingly well made and tough cable that appears from some angles like it could be carbon fibre. Something similar would be great on the P5s as the existing cabling feels insubstantial and lets down an otherwise ultra high quality product. Would I recommend them? You betcha. If I lost these I'd buy another pair immediately.

    9 of 12 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Great headphones - cheap nasty cable

    • Written by from Brooklyn

    Like a couple of other reviewers here, I love these headphones but don't understand why B&W would attach such a cheap, flimsy cable to it. I've owned my P5s for one year, and I'm on my 3rd cable already.

    11 of 18 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Good but expensive

    • Written by from Jersey City

    The sound quality is really good, seems to be a lot more balanced than the Beats and the tone through mid and high are much clearer. Construction is solid and the headphones have a cool retro vibe to them. It took me a couple of times to figure out how to sit them on my ears for best sound quality, but once I did the sound was great. Beats are awesome if you like real condensed solid bass type sound, but if you want to run through the sound spectrum these are a much better option. They're a bit expensive, that and the fact that the headphone cables a little flimsy in feel, stop me giving them a 5. But overall I rate these higher than Beats solo HD and Bose, both of which I've used.

    9 of 14 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Transparent, even, and comfortable

    • Written by from Brooklyn

    I record and listen to music more than anyone I know, and these headphones are a great representation of what you play through them. In NYC, as a music engineer and producer, it's hard to do the "car test" unless you own a car. Most of us don't, or don't always get a chance to use them. These headphones take the place of that "car test" for your mixes. I listen to them all over town... If your mix if off, they'll let you know it's not that good sounding. They're pretty noise isolating but not completely, which I dig because I don't want to get hit by a bus. They're super comfortable, streamline, built to last and sound noticeably better then ear-buds and other small mobile head-sets. They just feel nice. Like a BMW over a Honda... In my studio I've got fantastic Focal audio monitors and awesome Ultrasone headphones... These B&W P5s are another great way to listen to all kinds of music. Save your up your money, they're worth every cent!!!

    7 of 11 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Overall Pleased With My Purchase

    • Written by from hingham

    I am 16 years old and bought these headphones to wear in my dorm and at home because of the great reviews and company reputation. After using them for a few days I am very impressed with the sound and build quality but my ears do become quite sore after wearing them for more than 90 minutes (only con so far!). The carrying pouch the unit includes was a pleasant surprise and something you would expect from a high end pair of headphones. I would strongly recommend these cans over any monster product. I have been unsatisfied with both pairs of my Beats as their customer service is a joke and their headphones are guaranteed to break within a year. The bottom line is that the Bowers and WIlkins p5 is a high quality, reliable, and fantastic sounding pair of headphones that are compact and mobile, well worth the hefty price tag. You are getting what you pay for!

    5 of 8 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Natural sound headphone

    • Written by from Vancouver

    I broke my old Klipsch in-ear phone and was looking for a replacement. I want to get a mobile on-ear phone this time, so I tested drive the Bose, V-moda & Monster Beats Solo but were scared by the unnecessary heavy bass. I think I am so used to the more balanced sound headphone since Kipsch is the same kind of headphone as B&W, going for a more balanced sound. When I tested this one, I like it very much. While I am saying this is a balanced sound headphone but it doesn't mean its bass is not good. It actually procduced powerful but comfortable bass, just not the DJ type bass.

    My major concern of this headphone is comfort. It's on-ear phone and that means it will produce some pressure on your ears, especially if you are waering glass like me. I have to give my ears a break every 30 mins or so. The carrying case isn't that good too and I prefer a hard case with better protection.

    4 of 6 people found this useful