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Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Headphone, Overview
Are you the type of person that’s always secretly wanted to own a pair of awesome sounding cans but shudder at the thought of brazen Beats by Dre headphones (and their many copycats) sitting on your refined ears? The type of person that really, really wants all that boom and bass without the color and pomp that comes with your ‘average’ cans nowadays?
If you answered yes to any of the above then get ready to do a quick two-step of joy or a silent cheer, since that’s just the type of person you are, because Bowers & Wilkins’ P5 Wireless headphones might just be the answer to your prayers.
Design & Comfort
Classy is the first word that came to mind when I first laid eyes on the B&W P5 Wireless, the next was that these are probably the type of headphones James Bond would wear… If James Bond ever decided to wear cans that is.
Built in the classic British tradition of conservative elegance, the P5 Wireless doesn’t clamor for attention, it quietly embraces it. The black and silver colors play off each with a certain understated vibrancy.
The headband is all black leather wrapped around a metal frame that connects to the earcups.
The earpads too are all leather and are magnetically held together for easy separation in case you want to replace them or perhaps just connect the cable that comes with, assuming you can’t or don’t want to use wireless at any point.
The fact that the earpads are all leather means that comfort isn’t exactly the P5 Wireless’ strong suit, you’re bound to get sweaty ears after a couple of hours of use, especially on hot days. In addition to that, the frame doesn’t have hinges on it so it’s a little tight to begin with and because it’s metal you’re essentially bending it in order to get a better fit.
The upside of that is a pretty tight seal that almost completely shuts out background noise so I wasn’t too unhappy about the trade off. Of course, if you wear glasses you’re going to have an even tougher time dealing with the comfort levels as you’ll definitely feel the pressure from the frame.
Another upside is the 213 grams this headphone weights, which is very light and definitely gives a positive edge to the overall comfort.
Because this is a wireless headphone the controls are on the right earcup and with those you’ll be able to control volume, playback, skip forward/backward and answer calls (mic is inbuilt).
A micro USB slot for recharging is also located on the same earcup. The included cable, however, doesn’t have said controls, which is disappointing given the price of these bad boys.
First of all the sound signature is almost at odds with the design but not in a bad way. Given the emphasis on elegance, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ll get a flat response headphone. You couldn’t be more wrong.
From the get-go you’ll notice that the bass here is prominent, booming and packs a solid punch. Of course, they don’t go as far as Beats in that regard but the bass is pretty noticeable, immersive even and very easy to get lost in.
That said the other frequencies weren’t allowed to suffer to make up for the extra bass. The mids are clear, precise beauties and don’t waver at any point, while the great quality of the highs means no vocal is likely to suffer any sort of distortion even at high volumes.
All in all the sound is rich and truly premium in its quality, a feat many wireless headphones haven’t mastered yet. Keep in mind that sound quality is even slightly better when using these wired. There’s just a tad bit more clarity in the sound when I hooked these up to my DragonFly Red and O2 amp.
The Bluetooth performance is also pretty much flawless and pairing it to your phone or other Bluetooth devices is very easy. Keep in mind the P5 does not support NFC (Near Field Communication for automatic pairing) so you’ll have to pair manually, but that’s not really an issue.
I’m also happy to report that the range is pretty good and battery life lasts a solid 17 hours, which is really good any way you slice it.
Everything about the B&W P5 Wireless headphone screams premium and that my friend includes the price, unfortunately.
At a full $300, these aren’t headphones anyone can afford, although great deals can be found on Amazon! If you are the type of person who doesn’t mind splashing the big bucks for top quality stuff, then your money will certainly be well spent here.
Besides a few possible comfort issues, there’s really nothing to say against the P5 Wireless.
That said one of the major draws for these headphones is the sound quality. Simply put, it is superb and were that the only good quality they’d still be worth the price tag.
Add the well thought out design and you definitely get a headphone worthy of investment from bassheads the world over. If you can afford it of course!
Shoot me a question in the comments below!
The Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless offers Brittish elegance with booming sound for all you refined bassheads out there!