Bowers & Wilkins P5 (Series 2): For elegant sound
Stunning headphones undermined by a single caveat
- Fantastic audio
- Good looks
- Sleek in-line Apple controls
- Not suited for long listening sessions
- Doesn't come with a spare cable
- More expensive than most rivals
Price$ 449.93 (AUD)
Bowers & Wilkins has taken the technology from its large P7 headphones and implanted them into its second generation P5. The headphones are designed for use with smartphones when out and about, and even though they’re a petite pair of headphones, they’re sure to please the most demanding of audiophiles.
Every angle is flattering to the B&W P5. Supple leather dresses the band and the on-ear cups. Sculpted metallic arms cris-cross in what serves as both a dazzling design trait and an ingenious resizing mechanic. Enlarging the headphones is only a matter of sliding the arms up further into the headband, or down towards your ear.
Then there’s the swivel joint, two metallic cylinders stacked on top of one another, elegantly turning the cups inwards without deforming the P5’s sense of symmetry. When its time to take the headphones off, they slide as is into the Bowers & Wilkins carry bag.
ComfortRead more: Marshall Major headphone review
Making a beautiful set of headphones isn’t enough. The hard part is making a great pair of headphones without the drawbacks. And we’re displeased to report the second-gen headphones are not without shortcomings.
On ear cups tend to press tight against ear lobes in an effort to keep noise out and seal music in. The P5’s genuine leather cups shield noises admirably, with credit owed to the taut headband which reigns in the cups.
Bowers & Wilkins has lavished the brace in cushiony leather in a bid to make these headphones comfortable. And they are comfortable, as if your ears are being gingerly cupped, until the minutes turn to hours.
After a hearty two hour listening session, you’ll find your ears hard pressed. The cupping morphs into a grind, while the supporting headband weighs heavy. Most people won’t be able to tolerate the P5 over long listening sessions, as they would Bose’s QuietComfort 25 or Sennheiser’s Momentum.Read more: Sennheiser HD8: A DJ's review
On ear headphones are notorious for generating heat. The design, coupled with the rich leather of the P5, are cause enough for these headphones to sweat.
The top-end P7s from Bowers & Wilkins are large, leather clad headphones; however, they’re destined for expensive amplifiers and comfortable lounge chairs. The P5 have to be more comfortable because people won’t be lounging around; they’ll be getting stuff done on the go.Read more: Marshall Monitor headphone review
Keeping the sessions under two hours will reap rewards for the second-gen P5 intoxicates when it comes to the playback of music. Bon Iver’s Holocene is a tapestry of musical layers, each one handled with precision and tact, from the overt guitar to the subtle nuances lurching in the background.
Armin Van Buuren’s In and out of love is a concoction of punchy bass, electro notes and harrowing vocals. The P5 plays this tune with clarity, volume and transparency. No frequency dominates the soundstage; rather, the P5 strike a balance with all.
Amp the volume to max, hit play on Daft Punk’s Get Lucky and bodied bass — the kind that too often eludes earphones — will massage your eardrums.
No matter if you’re listening to music, watching a movie or just holding a phone call, the Bowers & Wilkins P5 are suited to all occassions. The only drawback is reserved for people interested in long listening sessions as these headphones begin to irritate after use for two straight hours.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Harman ANZ relaunches AKG into the consumer market with new range
- Plantronics Expands its Award-Winning BackBeat FIT Family
- Google marries AI, hardware and software with Made By Google
- Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixelbook, Google Home Mini & Max: Everything Announced At Today’s Google Event
- Bose Upgrade Q35 for Google Assistant
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
- Apple TV 4K review
- Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPBusiness Intelligence Reporting AnalystVIC
- FTPractice Director DevelopmentSA
- FTData Centre Support Engineer -| 6mth ContractOther
- CCSenior RF Engineer - OptimisationVIC
- FTMarketing and Advertising Project/Sales SupportOther
- CCCRM Technical ConsultantWA
- FTSenior Technical ConsultantACT
- TPSenior Network EngineerVIC
- FTSenior Change Analyst, Governance & AssuranceOther
- TPService Desk AnalystVIC
- CCInfrastructure Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCIntegration SpecialistQLD
- TPPrincipal PO|PI DeveloperQLD
- TPAzure DevOps ConsultantNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- FTSenior Strategy Specialist - Direct / ConsumerOther
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Business Case - Risk & Compliance - ContractNSW
- FTPersonal AssistantSA
- FTSenior Agile Software Business AnalystOther
- FTDigital Content Manager | AEM , HTML and CSSOther
- FTUX Designer | Mobile ApplicationsOther
- CCAutomation Test AnalystNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Java Developer (Brisbane Location)ACT