Review: B&W P5 Wireless – A Safe Bet

But how does it sound?

B&W says the P5W speakers are designed to work like those in a HiFi speaker, with a more controlled and precise movement that should result in a giant leap forward in sound quality. The P5W was also tuned by the same expert team responsible for the B&W flagship 800 Series. Now I have never listened to the 800 series but that does get one’s hopes up.

I wouldn’t go as far as call the P5W a neutral tuned headphone but it is the most neutral wireless one I have listened to. Instead of the usual bass focus, like the H8 in example, the focus here clearly is on the midrange. Overall the P5S is fluid, balanced with a musical and smooth delivery. Sound stage is more than acceptable but depth could have been better. You get a good sense of of space but the left/right separation isn’t exceptional. The P5W does have good speed and attack keeping everything reasonably tight all the time.

Bass can go reasonably deep and has a good punch. It’s not the heavy body kind of bass as it’s all in line and never exaggerating. Bass blends in perfectly with mids. The mids are the main focus and the strongest point of the headphone to my ears. You get good detail, good body and a very musical presentation. Voicing clearly is more forward and that’s something to keep in mind if you’re not the biggest fan of that tuning.

Treble is very lively and crisp but doesn’t have the best of timbre. With lesser recordings treble can get to the harsh side for my ears. All in all the P5W is an easy to listen to headphone and it will leave you with a satisfied feeling. Sound wise there is no listening fatigue at all.

The H8, the last wireless set I reviewed, had a clear focus on bass and the P5W will definitely be pleasing to a whole lot more ears.

End Words

The P5W for sure is a wireless headphone I would recommend to the quality listeners that enjoy all kinds of music. If you’re in to R&B or dance and want pounding bass with your techno music, this clearly isn’t the pair of headphones for you. The P5W is an easy to enjoy headphone with a good balance and smooth and musical delivery. The P5W can do all sorts of music but because of the more forward vocals it can – depending on your preference – sound superb to more annoying. I myself didn’t have any problem with the more forward vocals and if the comfort for me wasn’t such an issue I’m sure I could use it for long listening session. Those wanting more bass impact better look for a different headphone because you won’t get it from this B&W set.

The B&W P5W is available for about 379€/$399, which isn’t cheap but to me it’s acceptable. If you’re looking for a beautiful and good wireless set that delivers good quality, the P5W could be the headphone you’ve been looking for. Sure you’re paying a premium for its design but the P5W will let you enjoy your music with its smooth and musical presentation. Besides from the vocals nothing really stands out, and I think that’s the beauty of this headphone: everything blends in. If you’ll keep the headphone close to your BT source, the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless is a pretty safe bet.

If you don’t plan on using the P5W wireless, you might want to take a closer look at the B&W P7 which still is the best sounding B&W headphone for me. Sure there also is the regular P5, but the P7 still kicks its ass.

So, Bowers & Wilkins, how about that P7 Wireless?

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

7 Comments

  • Reply September 2, 2015

    Eric Thompson

    So do you have any info on if these are exactly the same as the regular P5 II’s sound wise? I assume they would be.

    • Reply September 2, 2015

      dalethorn

      I wouldn’t, because the cup assembly is bigger, and getting the same exact sound is probably impossible without lots of isolation damping, which makes the cups even bigger. But, it could be better than the stock P5s2 if the larger size absorbs sonic peaks in the original design.

      • Reply September 6, 2015

        Eric Thompson

        Figured the inside volume would be the same. I always thought that the P5’s were way to dark sounding (which they were) but a lot of reviewers don’t seem to like the “II’s”.

        • Reply September 6, 2015

          Headfonia_L.

          I didn’t like the original P5 🙂

          • Reply September 6, 2015

            Eric Thompson

            I should just pull the trigger on some T51p’s

        • Reply September 6, 2015

          dalethorn

          There are a few well-liked headphones, like the P5 or B&O H6, that have gone wireless or Bluetooth in fatter, more expensive formats. None that I know of have improved things. Which is puzzling actually, since if the designers read most of the reviews on the wired editions, you’d think the least they could do is flatten out some of the worst peaks or recesses in the new editions.

          • Reply September 28, 2015

            Eric Thompson

            Orrrr shove a $25 bluetooth modual in and jack up the price $100 lol

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