Bowers & Wilkins P5
Bowers & Wilkins, www.convoy.com.au
Price; microphone sits a little low
If you dress in Armani suits, drive a BMW Z4 Roadster and commute to work in your own private yacht, the B&W P5s are the only choice of headphone for you.
Screaming refined elegance like a $100,000 bottle of Armand de Brignac champagne, the P5s are a magnificent piece of engineering. They combine style, comfort and crystal-clear audio into a single set of headphones.
With earpieces made out of incredibly soft New Zealand sheep leather, the P5 headphones sit majestically poised on your ears, waiting to deliver the best sounding audio on test.
Every single note of a live performance sounds perfectly recreated, with no distortion whatsoever, even at high volumes. Bass is perfectly weighted against the high and mid-range notes with a precise level of detail.
The P5s feature a rather innovative removable cable option, plugging in underneath the left speaker cushion. The design means that an errant pull won’t automatically dislodge the cable, potentially damaging it.
The three-button in-line remote is perhaps slightly over- designed, looking nice but not offering a comfortable grip when using it. The microphone also sits a little bit lower than other models, and we found we had to lift the cable to our mouth to be heard properly on the phone.
The case, which looks it comes straight out of a European fashion house – features convenient pockets for a spare cable and adaptors while offering a soft padded enclosure for the luxurious P5s.
Given the $449 asking price, you’d expect the same level of premium quality to cover all aspects of the P5s. And it does, although that won’t necessarily convince potential customers to spend that amount of money on a pair of headphones.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
Bowers & Wilkins make premium equipment at a premium price. But rarely do customers who spend the money come away disappointed, and that goes for the P5 headphones. Amazing sound, comfort and design come at a price, and B&W has shown that it’s worth it.