Review Bowers&Wilkins P5: “adult” headphones for the iPhone and not only
Today in our lab is another model of headphones British company Bowers&Wilkins, with the products which we have managed to meet before. Model Bowers&Wilkins P5 relates to overhead type headphones, whereas before we considered folding (road) and plug-in models. Generally, headphones of this company at the moment divided only by type, but the sound quality, style and the number of original design features they are all equal.
Interestingly, all produced by this company of headphones, including a monitor Bowers&Wilkins P7, positioned as a good choice for the owner of the iPhone or iPod. While in brochures and leaflets here and there mentioned that these products belong to the equipment of class Hi-Fi. However, not a hindrance, because the same model of headphones you can listen to on the road and sitting comfortably in a cozy armchair. Let’s see how things are going with this “universality” Bowers&Wilkins P5.
Headphones come in a large black box of thick, like plywood, cardboard on which is printed a lot of different information about the product. Inside the box is a cradle, covered with a soft synthetic fabric, which are the earphones themselves. It looks very impressive.
In addition to the headphones in the box we found an additional audio cable adapter with 3.5 mm plug 6.3 mm Jack, case for storage and transportation of headphones and a small handout. As in the case with the model Bowers&Wilkins P3, an additional cable is no remote to control the mobile devices of Apple.
As for the cover, it is made from two layers of fabric with soft filling between them and quilted. He looks for everybody. Rather, he is like a women’s purse than a case. But it is convenient, practical (except for its light color), fast to open and close due to magnetic lock, and also securely keeps headphones on the road. Headphones themselves the case is placed in polulegenda — facing emitters. Along with headphones in case no problem comes with the player for which is provided inside a pocket of soft material.
|Frequency range, Hz||10-20 000|
|Max. capacity, mW||50|
|Sensitivity, dB/V at 1 kHz||115|
|Price, RUB.||13 500|
Appearance and ergonomics
Model Bowers&Wilkins P3 is available in two colors — black and beige. We got the second option. The color is nice, but still not for everybody. Anyway “male” it certainly will not be called, but the beautiful half of humanity it may be to your taste.
Those who are already familiar with folding headphones Bowers&Wilkins P3, the design of the model Bowers&Wilkins P5 can cause a sense of deja vu. They do have a lot in common. It concerns the tricky bends of the wire holders, the shapes of the cups and their design with removable ear pads. But if the model Bowers&Wilkins P3 headphones soft parts covered with a cloth, then Bowers&Wilkins P5 is fully established on the contrast of cold metal and very soft delicate skin. The latter, according to developers, is not taken with the first cattle farm, and once owned the new Zealand sheep. Leather-covered headband and are covered with cups and ear pads. Headphones not only look impressive, but impeccably made. Taking them in hand, not even knowing the manufacturer and the price, you immediately realize that this is clearly not a simple serial trinket. You will hardly find many people who pass by a display of Bowers&Wilkins P5 and not to keep eyes on them.
Cups Bowers&Wilkins P5 have the case closed design and are the pride of the developers. Case each Cup is made of milled aluminum and the outside is partly covered with leather. The ear pads are made removable. They are mounted exactly the same unusual as the model Bowers&Wilkins P3 on the magnets. Magnets are chosen so as to prevent accidental removal of the ear pads. It is a pity that the supplied headphones with no replaceable ear cushions because the ease of dismantling itself suggests about this.
However, using easily collapsible design of the magnets, the developers pursued an entirely different purpose. They needed to hide in an aluminum casing connector for audio cable. Metal housing has figured cups milled groove for installation. Each channel is strictly connected to its connector. To confuse them, but the plugs have corresponding symbols that prevent this. As the model Bowers&Wilkins P3, the connector can be rejected at a slight angle for easy connection. Well located in the Central part of the radiator is closed from accidental damage synthetic mesh.
Over the ear pads, the developers have labored clearly not hour and not two. Quite a complex, stacked structure, a system of air channels and the cleverly thought out geometry of the soft panels, allowing your ears to feel comfortable in these headphones are worth the money. Sound ear pads the Bowers&Wilkins P5 penetrates only in the center. Closed skin edges play the role of the sound barrier as the penetration of outside music and outside noise interference. Ear cushions filled inserts o-shaped foam with memory effect, which theoretically allows the headphones to adjust to each owner individually.
Headband and the cups holders are made of metal. The upper part is covered with soft foam, covered crudely stitched skin. Coarse stitches in this case — it is not a marriage of the manufacturer, as element of the decor. Holders cups are made exactly the same as the model Bowers&Wilkins P3: the same major metal components from a rotary mechanism, the same smooth and moderately tight, adjust the length of the temples. Due to the lack of a discrete running and marking the length, the headphones cannot be adjusted in a second, but you can adjust as accurately as possible. The possibility to fold the Bowers&Wilkins P5 is not available, but placing the headphones in the pouch the Cup can be rotated at 90 degrees and thus reduce one of the dimensions.
Bows are made of fairly thick curved in a special way the steel wire and bend them randomly is not possible. Even with substantial effort, you are unlikely to inflict damage that will require to drop on headphones something heavy, so that the structural strength to worry just not worth it.
Both cables supplied cause the most pleasant experience, despite the fact that they can easily become tangled. They are as soft, have a durable rubberized coating and the minimum possible dimensions straight connectors to connect to audio equipment. Cables differ from each other only by the fact that one of them has a remote volume control and play songs, compatible with most modern mobile products from Apple.
Overall for the design and originality of design model Bowers&Wilkins P5 deserves a solid good. In any case, it is indifferent she will not leave anyone. Maybe someone these headphones seem too pretentious, but in this case, almost every design element has its practical sense, which speaks of a long and painstaking work on this model.
Experience and sound quality
First headphones were tested in a multiple pocket media players, including iPod touch, and iPad Air. Have been involved in this first cable with integrated remote and then were compared the sound with second audio cable supplied without remote control. This comparison was done because when testing the model Bowers&Wilkins P3 were found to have significant differences in sound quality with these cables. There is nothing surprising in the fact that with the model Bowers&Wilkins P5 picture exactly repeated. The installation of the cable without the volume control makes the sound more vivid and juicy. If to draw an analogy with vision, when you change the cables have the impression, as if lifted any veil that accurately discern image details. These changes occur across the frequency range. Obviously, we are not talking about the defect of a particular instance of the cable, and spoke about the shortcomings of the design of the remote control.
The “volumetric, ambient, and pervasive” sound pattern, which we observed in folding of the model Bowers&Wilkins P3, invoices Bowers&Wilkins P5 no. Rather, it is quite differently presented. We can say that the sound of these headphones is much more straightforward and clear. The sound detail is very high at almost all frequencies, except maybe the most extreme ranges. Bass is quite deep, dynamic, but without the bright color, though not boomy.
Also another interesting fact is that the strict Bowers&Wilkins P5 different sound with different players, which speaks about the full potential of these devices. Naturally, the defects in MP3 files, these headphones also reveal quite well. As for home audio, the pleasure of listening to music you will surely get and in this case, but uncover all the technical possibilities of the Hi-Fi still will not work. Just features these headphones mostly for mobile audio equipment. But this does not mean that you should not use Bowers&Wilkins P5 with a home amplifier. The sound in this case will be high.
For sound insulation from external noise, and transmission of sound to the outside, the model Bowers&Wilkins P5 you can put a solid GPA or even slightly higher. Well headphones isolate the user from talking, to substantially extinguish the cries and the noise of the city transport, soften annoying sounds of the subway. While some part of the penetrating from the outside of the frequency range is isolated completely, but some remains. The same applies to the reverse process. The people around you can hear some noises that produce headphones, but to understand the music among them impossible.
To the convenience of wearing the Bowers&Wilkins P5 has no complaints, but to give such positive feedback, we had to deal with these headphones. The fact is that before you talk about comfort, you must first hold them on the head with different adjustments. At first it seems that they are generally uncomfortable, but we should just move the Cup to the side, as feelings can change to the complete opposite. And just getting used to them, after a while you understand exactly how the model should sit on the head for each head landing strictly subjective! The beauty of the Bowers&Wilkins P5 that they can adjust for any user. Just need a little bit of patience.
Bowers&Wilkins P5 is quite universal headphones for those users who want to get the most out of your media player. And the best sound source for them may be not even an iPod, the more that cable with a remote control for it is still better to keep as a spare. Like other previously tested model Bowers&Wilkins, these headphones can be called omnivorous for a variety of musical styles, although the sound of all three tested in our test lab models were completely different.
All the main advantages of Bowers&Wilkins P5 is shown below:
- quality case and an additional cable in the package,
- the original design,
- two colors to choose from
- impeccable build quality and materials
- metal and leather are the main materials
- metal cups and the strength of the structure as a whole,
- a lot of original technical solutions
- the possibility of replacing the cable.
Noticed shortcomings — just not too high quality cable manufacturer with remote controller, which introduces distortions in the sound picture. Cost headphones Bowers&Wilkins P5 is rather big, which also can be attributed to the shortcomings of this model, because if we folding Bowers&Wilkins P3 to find the competitors will not be easy, simple invoices Bowers&Wilkins P5’s full of them. To attract a potential buyer can only sound, which in this case deserves very high marks.