Bowers & Wilkins P5 On-Ear Headphones B&W - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)
About this deal
the imaging was not right, still a little muddy on all the frequencies, like if a veil was placed on the music. The one and only one possible deal-breaker is its isolation - it's almost non-existent in noisy environment, like on the underground or on buses, not to say on a flight. Regarding sound isolation, you do have to be realistic this is on-ear design which can't be compared to over-ear like P7, so you should still expect to hear outside noise though with a decent attenuation. The whole construction feel very solid, and headband adjustment is buttery smooth while still requiring a little bit of force so it doesn't slide out loosely.
Make no mistake, while pretty good too, they aren't in the same league as the P5 and aren't that much more portable given they don't fold flat like the P5s do. However, considering these headphones don't have active noise cancelling, the passive isolation provided by the ear cups is decent.For those who are looking for a reference audiophile sound or super isolation while riding public transportation, these might not be their cup of tea. Going back to P7, I can hear a lot of similarities when it comes to low end, but P5 mids sound more forward while P7 treble has more extension.
When listening to classical symphonies the P5 reminds me of my bedroom Onkyo system - a rich, warm sound, with bite and grit, but not too weighty. Value 4 stars: they're not cheap nor they're too much expensive, very good VFM given the quality of construction and overall sound.Considering that this is still the audiophile approach, I sampled the P5 with MP3 files toward the end of my listening sessions to see if these phones made sense as an upgrade for the average listener. At first Grado's seems to pull out more details but now I think they loose some body in the sounds which for me is another part of the details and they've a mid/high freq bump not so comfortable to use with common headphone sockets, don't know how things goes with dedicated amps, but I'm not interested as stated before.
Treble isolation is good, but as expected, the passive isolation only becomes effective past 400HZ and does not really block any low-bass frequencies. What seems blatantly obvious to some will be missed by others, and also everybody's taste is different. As I walked over and picked them up, I was astounded by the craftsmanship that went into designing these.However, they struggle to block the ambient noise of loud environments and won't be ideal if you have a busy daily commute or plan to take them on a noisy flight. Ther's a lot of snake oil around but electrical parameters are well known and they're not always the same. Nor are they as comfy as the cloth pads don't sit on your ears as well as the leather pads of the P5s. Reflects some of my own impressions after spending a night comparing them with the Sennheiser's and I think I'm just about to settle on the P5s.
Gently pull the cable upwards so it is no longer held in place by the plastic conduit, the cable will be at a slight angle away from the headphone. The kick drum loop on Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild" gets the perfect level of high-mid presence to retain its piercing attack, allowing it to cut through the layers of the mix with authority. After listening to the P5 Series 2, it’ becomes a little harder to recommend the P7 as a clear choice between the two.As noted the extremely low distortion means there are no nasty side-effects to using EQ to boost things.