Mobile Hi-Fi Audio, B&W P5 Review

Listen we’re family right? Can I share something with you? They’re called the P5 Headphones from Bowers & Wilkins. You’re probably familiar with their goods. I’ve reviewed them here and here and only had good things to say. The P5 is no different. It’s ultra-lux, sounds good, and has a built-in mic/volume control for the iPhone! I’m not even gonna make you wait til’ after the jump. I’ll tell you now the P5 is awesome. There, I said it. Ambivalent? Hit the jump.

I’m going to keep this review short and sweet. There’s only so much you can say about headphones. No matter what a manufacture does, there are a few pre-reqs that separate a good pair from an excellent one.

Does the company have a history in audio? Yes, B&W are known the world over for their audio equipment. Up until recently, they mostly catered to the audiophiles but the good thing is consumers like us reap the rewards – rich audio for a fraction of the cost.

Feel good? Oh yes! It’s padded and covered in supple leather. The build quality is excellent and everything moves with just the right amount of tension – a hallmark of superior craftsmanship. It’s luxurious without being tacky or forced – simply effortless and even from afar, the design stands out among a sea of brand names.

Sound good? Put a check mark next to that box too. The sound is vibrant and you can really hear the difference with lossless audio. B&W calls it “natural sound.” The range is superb. Highs, lows, mids – all sound clear and intelligible. I especially love the way the ear pads are designed. They kinda cocoon your ears to provide noise isolation. No software based wizardry here, just really good industrial design.

Can you seal the deal for me? I sure can! The iPhone and iPod compatible built-in mic/volume control is a boon. The design is pretty much a clone of what comes packed with the Apple branded earbuds but worlds apart in terms of audio reproduction. You can even hear the difference when making phone calls.

B&W always nails it when it comes to providing a luxury audio experience without having to sell a kidney to pay for it. At $299, the P5’s are comparable with other higher end headphones in the market but small features like New Zealand leather and full iPhone/iPod compatibility make it a smart buy anyone looking to experience hi-fi audio on the go. Hear sound the way it was meant to be and look chic while doing it too.

What we loved:

  • Beautifully designed by Native
  • Superb craftsmanship
  • Compact and comes with case
  • iPhone/iPod compatibility
  • Ultra-luxurious with leather and metal accents
  • Cord is just the right length
  • Priced to move at $299

What could be improved:

  • Perhaps a white one?

Designer: Bowers & Wilkins and Native Designs (Buy it here)

20 Comments

  • woo_woo says:

    Don't like the design, to much leather, the metal work looks and is flimsy. I would be scared placing them in my bag. To many wires etc to get caught up and bend. They don't fold flat well.
    Testing them out in the shops the sound is great but just a shame how bulk they look on your head.

    • @tranism says:

      It does fold flat and comes with a case. The wires around the metal work are corded so it can't tangle. And how does something look "flimsy"? It is very well built. In fact everything we're used from B&W is superior in build quality. If you compare it to other headsets in this price range, they're even bulkier. e.g. Pioneer, Bose, Sennheiser and made of mostly plastic which I find to be even less durable.

  • woo_woo says:

    Don't like the design, to much leather, the metal work looks and is flimsy. I would be scared placing them in my bag. To many wires etc to get caught up and bend. They don't fold flat well.
    Testing them out in the shops the sound is great but just a shame how bulk they look on your head.

    • @tranism says:

      It does fold flat and comes with a case. The wires around the metal work are corded so it can't tangle. And how does something look “flimsy”? It is very well built. In fact everything we're used from B&W is superior in build quality. If you compare it to other headsets in this price range, they're even bulkier. e.g. Pioneer, Bose, Sennheiser and made of mostly plastic which I find to be even less durable.

  • kevin says:

    is this made in uk at least? Tell me it isnt made in china

  • kevin says:

    is this made in uk at least? Tell me it isnt made in china

  • E-rock says:

    Made in China. Don't let that scare you, though. They sound, feel, and look great! They do not compare with my strictly-for-home-use AKG K701's, but for a portable rig, they are incredible.

  • E-rock says:

    Made in China. Don't let that scare you, though. They sound, feel, and look great! They do not compare with my strictly-for-home-use AKG K701's, but for a portable rig, they are incredible.

  • Txema says:

    How is possible that B&W charge us 299$ for a made in china headphones?…. I will not buy them.. neither BOSE QuiteC 15 (also made in China).

  • J9 says:

    Why only an iPod/iPhone cable? The majority of phones sold now are Android, Windows, or Blackberry. They should support microphone standards on these majority platforms.

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