Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones review
Premium headphones that will appeal to even the most demanding audiophile
- Exquisite design
- Portable headphones
- Fantastic sound for almost every genre
- Heavy after long listening sessions
Bowers & Wilkins' P7s sit amongst the best electronics products Good Gear Guide has had the fortune of reviewing. Matching the mind-blowing achievement in design is its audio prowess; music is loud, clear and enveloping no matter the song and the genre. Wear them and you’ll discover that magical dimension where nothing else exists other than you and a song.
Price$ 549.95 (AUD)
More than three weeks have passed since we received the P7 headphones and not a day has gone by without them stealing glances and leaving us to wonder how B&W fused technology and art so effortlessly.
Beauty in the details
Leather has been liberally used on the P7 headphones. It drapes the large headband and cushions the over-the-ear cups. The cups press right up against the scalp, but much like leather shoes that take shape over time, the P7’s cups will too mould. The snug fit of the headband and cups take their toll during long listening sessions.
Sculpted arms fold inwards for convenience when on-the-go
Styled provocatively are stainless steel arms. Two small and cylindrical spokes criss-cross until they meet chamfered B&W nameplates. Petite these arms might be, but the stainless steel construction ensures they’re nothing short of sturdy. Then there’s the P7’s party trick: these sculpted arms fold inwards for convenience when on-the-go.
Pristine audio, all genres welcome
The plush headphones create a cocoon free from outside distractions with such success that, if you were to speak while wearing them, you would scarcely be able to hear your own voice. The clean sound-stage means the P7’s 40mm drivers can do wondrous things with melodies.
Some headphones skew the low end for exaggerated bass. Others don’t pay the low-end enough attention. As a result not every set of headphones can cater to all musical genres. Bowers & Wilkins’ P7s are genre agnostic. Whether you’re listening to Beethoven’s Für Elise or to Samuel L Jackson narrate Chester Himes’ audio-book A rage in Harlem, they’ll be the only headphones you need.
Mind-blowing achievement in design
ATB’s When it ends it starts again, a track kicking off with punctuating bass, progresses to the wailing vocals of Sean Ryan and then rides electronic notes, was handled with masterful tact and balance. Rarely will you need to up the volume beyond half-way — mainly because the cups rid extraneous sounds so effectively — but when we listened to this song at max, there were no signs of distortion and even fewer signs of strain. Bass was crisp, the vocals were piercing and there was just the right amount of space for the frequencies to layer without encroaching. It was the kind of balance familiar to Sennheiser’s Momentum, only from a pair of headphones that look even better.
Complex songs such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Otherside are played with gusto. The cups create enough space that it's easy to pinpoint every instrument at any time. No doubt you'll engage with tunes by tapping your foot without noticing.
Switch the genre to R&B and all frequencies continue their harmonious flow. SoMo’s Ride is one such example where the bass complements the sound-stage rather than dominating. Music lovers keen on exaggerated bass best tune the equaliser in favour of the low-end, or pursue alternative headphones from Monster or Beats by Dre.
Bowers & Wilkins' P7s sit amongst the best electronics products Good Gear Guide has had the fortune of reviewing. Matching the mind-blowing achievement in design is its audio prowess; music is loud, clear and enveloping no matter the song and the genre. Wear them and you’ll discover that magical dimension where there's nothing other than you and the music.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
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