P5 headphones from Bowers and Wilkins set new benchmark
By Darren Quick
September 5, 2010
Bowers & Wilkins (B&W;), the company that boasts the distinctive Zeppelin iPod dock, Nautilus and Panorama amongst its line of high-end speakers, has made its first foray into the headphone market with its P5 Mobile Hi-Fi Headphones. With a slim design and great sound reproduction that provides warm bass and stunning clarity through the mid-range and high-end, these headphones would have to be the most comfortable – and amongst the most impressive – headphones I’ve ever wrapped around my noggin.
The P5 features specially developed neodymium magnets and optimized mylar diaphragms along with a closed-back design with rigid metal faceplates and sealed earpads that isolate the sound, while preserving just enough ambient sound to make them perfect for listening to music on the go. To ensure comfort the P5 headphones feature an adjustable headband and earpads (padded with memory foam no less) crafted from New Zealand sheep leather that is soft and supple (which we can most definitely confirm), yet durable and hardwearing (which we’ll take B&W;’s word for).
The headphones come with two cables. A standard 3.5mm jack cable and an MFI cable, which provides track switching and volume control of an iPod or iPhone along with a microphone to allow for calls or voice control. The earpads are magnetically attached so they can be quickly removed to swap between the supplied cables, which plug into a concealed modular jack.
Measuring 180mm high x 150mm wide x 60mm deep (7.08 x 5.9 x 2.36 inches) when in use, the P5 headphones also fold flat to a depth of 35mm (1.37 inches). They weigh 195g (6.88 ounces). They boast a frequency range of 10Hz to 20kHz and are available for US$299.95. That might sound pretty steep for a pair of headphones, but after giving these baby’s a listen at IFA 2010 I can only say it will be money well spent.