BOWERS & WILKINS P5
- Pros: The Bowers & Wilkins P5 are exclusive headphones with rich and well-balanced sound. It includes a microphone and a remote control which is compatible with iOS devices such as iPod and iPhone. It’s large headphones provide good insulation, and a carrying pouch is included in the packaging.
- Cons: The relatively high price despite the performance. Leather pads tend to make you sweat on the sunny days.
- Briefly: The B & W P5 is not an ordinary product, it is a solid headphone with high performance in a stylish and comfortable design. Its remote control and cover make it a complete attraction.
- Loudspeakers 40mm
- 3.5mm and 6.3mm jack
- Carrying case
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Review
In recent years, Bowers & Wilkins (or B & W in short) has been offering products not only for true audiophiles but also for a wider audience with the arrival of several devices including the famous Zeppelin dock for iPod and of course its new range of headphones P3, P5, and P7.
As usual, we find a unique design which influences both retro and modern by making the headphones particularly stylish for your taste. The construction looks solid, and the pads are well padded and covered with quality leather, giving the headphones a rather luxurious look. The product is clearly in competition with those offered by Bose such as QuietComfort, which is almost in the same price range. However, unlike Bose’s actively reducing models, the P5 provides only passive isolation, although very effective but not as much as it can be with an active module.
On the head, the headphones are comfortable, and the earphones rest directly on the ears like the model Bowers & Wilkins P7 of the same circum-aural type. The large cushions allow to headphones block a good part of the surrounding noise, and the streets would seem quiet once you put these on. The effective insulation also prevents the sound leakage from the headphones. So, your subway mates are not likely to hear your favorite songs.
One of the disadvantages of closed and rather tight headphones, like the P5, remains the sensation of heat which can quickly become troublesome when the temperature begins to increase with the arrival of summer, a recurring problem with this type of headphones.
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In the packaging, there are two cables. A standard straight 3.5mm jack cable if you do not have an iOS device, and a second, boarding a remote and a microphone so you can directly manage the volume and use the P5 as a hands-free kit. A feature unfortunately reserved for Apple devices.
There is also a special adapter to connect your headphones to the outlets on the planes, as well as a protective and storage cover that helps protect the headphones while you are on the move. The headphones can fold flat to clutter your bag at a minimum, but these also pivot against your chest when you place the headphones around your neck.
After a few days of listening to “warm up” the headphones, this one revealed its full power, but one thing must be said: it dislocates. The sound is excellent once you find the right position on the ears. With these headphones on, you will rediscover many pieces, a little guitar here, a few basses there, and it is new music that you feel like listening to. The audio is detailed and rich, really a nice surprise.
The headphones highlight medium tones, which are clear and clean. Although the low priced headphones can show some limits on some tracks, we prefer P5 on a Beyer Dynamic Custom One Pro for example.
A note, however, if you have the opportunity to test different travel Bluetooth headphones, please use high-quality music, with a minimum encoding of 256kbits to notice the differences.
The microphone tests are also conclusive, with clear voices and no interference. No problems to note on this side.
In the end, we can only appreciate the Bowers Wilkins P5. Provides excellent sound performance, comfort, and good passive isolation, it allows you to enjoy your favorite tracks or to submerge yourself completely in a movie. The integration of a microphone for iOS devices is a little more convenient when you use your phone a lot.
The only negative points are the price of this beast and its tendency to quickly heat the ears, especially in summer. But this inconvenience can become an advantage in the cold winters and can protect your ears from the low temperatures.
To put it simply, a great product that can only benefit, if you have the adequate budget.