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  • [GIVEAWAY] Bowers and Wilkins P5 Headphones

    We've been looking at awesome audio equipment lately. Today's review is of a shining example of mobile hi-fi - the Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones.


    Bowers & Wilkins, or B&W as they're generally referred to, have been around since 1966 making high-end audio equipment. Back then, it was John Bowers and his buddy Roy Wilkins, handcrafting speakers in the back of an electronics shop. They're a British company, based in Worthing, England (West Sussex) - and really, if you aren't already familiar with B&W, you probably aren't an audio enthusiast.

    In the Box

    The box is a matte black with a photo of the headphones on it (B&W's clean design ethic starts at the box, finishes on the ear), and inside has the P5s as your first view, nestled in a black molded bit of packaging. Underneath, you're given a carrying bag (which was a little ritzy for my taste - kinda Louis Vuitton with a diamond-shaped design on it).

    There is also a 1/4 inch adapter and a separate cable which doesn't have the iPod/iPhone volume/mic inline. The default cable for the P5s does work as a mic, and has plus/minus buttons for volume - feel free to take a call on these. In our testing, calls sounded fine on both ends. Nothing to write home about - it's still talking with headphones - but good quality.


    Building off their knowledge of making the best of iPod/iPhone music (although, honestly, these are great for anything you're listening to), the makers of the Zeppelin Air dock (which we'll be taking a look at coming up next week) decided it was time to get into headphones as well.

    The P5s are brilliant pieces of design. A strong metal faceplate on the back keeps the sound in (and out), and the brushed metal compliments the black of the New Zealand sheep leather used through the device (what? yah, New Zealand sheep). Solid metal encased in more sheep leather makes up the headband, which was smooth to expand and contract. The earpieces are memory foam, again covered in sheep leather. I don't know what they feed the sheep in New Zealand, but they make very soft leather.

    Wearing the P5s was extremely comfortable. B&W advertises these headphones as being made so you can "listen longer" - and they delivered on that promise as well. While they're heavy enough you know they're quality, I never got that fatigue you get after a while of listening with some headphones. You know the feeling; after an hour or so you suddenly feel you have to keep adjusting your phones, or your ears are getting too warm, or too pressed against your head... just uncomfortable. The P5s were easy to wear for a full afternoon of testing, and sounded good the whole time.

    Two 40mm drivers deliver 50mW of sound with distortion below 1%.


    These are probably the best over-the-ear headphones I've personally used. I have a pair of Bose's QC3s which I'd previously used while flying, which do a great job of noise-canceling (and of hiding the battery necessary for that), but I loved the P5 sound even more.

    Accuracy of sound is the goal here - as with any high end audio. You won't hear bass maxed in your ears, nor "enhanced" treble. The P5s very clearly do a swell job of recreating the sound you would have heard in the studio, and thus are much easier to listen to for long periods of time.

    Noise isolation means you're hearing very little ambient noise - and are able to hear nuances in the recordings you probably missed with your old headphones (unless you've been rocking some top notch ear gear). These are not noise canceling - those are two different things. Noise canceling headphones need an external power source (battery) to generate a frequency which trick your ears and essentially cancel out a lot of mid-frequency sounds (airplane engines, ocean roar, etc). They also require you to have your volume very high to hear quiet passages of sound. Noise isolating (which the P5s are) basically seal off the ear from outside sound (some by being in-ear, these by forming to the ear with memory foam) and only allow a small amount of ambient sound in. The P5s are passively powered (by your device, not an external source), and give you much more clarity in the subtleties of your audio recordings. This also gives your ear less fatigue, making it easier to listen longer.


    If you use headphones a lot and dig high end sound, buy these headphones. That is all. They'll be my new in-flight pair, and marry a beautiful design ethic to incredible sound reproduction. All in a comfortable fit.

    They're $299 on Amazon.com (ok, so that's $300) - Bowers & Wilkins doesn't retail items on their own site.

    We're giving these a 4.5 leaves rating - one of our highest. Great job, B&W - these are some amazing headphones.

    Of course, we're also graced by B&W to be able to give away a pair of the P5s to a lucky reader. Leave a comment below, then grab some more entries to the giveaway through the various options in the widget below. We'll pick a winner on Tuesday!

    This article was originally published in forum thread: [GIVEAWAY] Bowers and Wilkins P5 Headphones started by Kyle Matthews View original post
    Comments 198 Comments
    1. skippyuk1's Avatar
      skippyuk1 -
      these bad boy looks the dog dodars but i've never won anything in my life so i don't think they will be coming this way!!
    1. wolfwolf's Avatar
      wolfwolf -
      I love this pairs of headphones. I think it's better than Bose!
    1. Shamow101's Avatar
      Shamow101 -
      Quote Originally Posted by rion_j View Post
      stunning headphones! Would love to have a pair
    1. mattjg's Avatar
      mattjg -
      hmm i could really use a pair of these

      i would love a pair of these
    1. DaveCaro's Avatar
      DaveCaro -
      Gorgeous set!
    1. soNburst's Avatar
      soNburst -
      send it
    1. *T*'s Avatar
      *T* -
      $300 headphones? Count me in!
    1. mADMAN8's Avatar
      mADMAN8 -
      Matt, I would really really love this giveaway prize.

      I can not tell you how impressed I am and how thrilled I'd be if it were mine!

      I didn't win the 600million mega jackpot

      But this would be a fantastic conciliation prize
    1. kakata's Avatar
      kakata -
      They look vintange......goooood!!!
    1. xTorch's Avatar
      xTorch -
      They do look beautiful!
    1. Robearl2x's Avatar
      Robearl2x -
      Go ahead and "Make my day". Great looking head phones!
    1. Doble-U's Avatar
      Doble-U -
      they look really good
    1. ventodivino's Avatar
      ventodivino -
      i buddy of mine has a pair of these, they are amaaazing quality... much better than standard headphones. would love a pair myself!
    1. whateverman24791's Avatar
      whateverman24791 -
      these are sick
    1. Rafles21's Avatar
      Rafles21 -
      Look better than the Skullcandy headphones I currently have.
    1. epignosis567's Avatar
      epignosis567 -
      cmon cmon cmon!!!! i swear i want them more than the others! pick this guy<-- i'll make a youtube review of them and promote modmyi too!
    1. xxjpegxx's Avatar
      xxjpegxx -
      These headphones look amazing!!
      I would rock these :-)
    1. DarkXShadowX21's Avatar
      DarkXShadowX21 -
      I've been using over the head headphones for a very long time! I've always enjoyed the highest source of quality listening when it came to having good headphones. I honestly, have never seen headphones with that memory foam that molds your ear! I read that and it was pretty surprised! I would love to own a pair of these one day. The chance to have cushioned sound mold around your ears for high quality and comfort sounds promising for me to do what it takes to win a pair of these! I have a lot of jewelry in my ears! As in, I have industrial piercings, orbital piercings, conch, and then they are stretched to 00G. If I could have some headphones to really foam over all of that on my ears so nothing is clanking around on the inside of my currents ones, that would be fantastic!! I'll be letting all my friends get a shot to give them a listen and explain to them exactly how I got my hands on a nice pair of quality headphones! I would brag even more about MMI more so than what I do now I love MMI and everyone who is apart of it! We all work together and make great days turn into reality with one another! We all have each other's back and that's what this is all about! Family is giving away headphones to another lucky family member of the community! Whoever wins, I would like to give a congrats in the early stages of this!! Have fun everyone and take care!
    1. driveby's Avatar
      driveby -
      great headphones, would love a pair!!!
    1. p_zubin's Avatar
      p_zubin -
      Its like the Aston Martin of headphones, British built, British class!