The Best Headphone Albums Ever

P5 Review: “How do they sound? In a word – brilliant”

There’s something very special about listening to music on headphones. A sense of closeness to the artist, and, of course, with the right headphones, just enough isolation from the hustle and bustle of the outside world to make listening a real pleasure.

And while a great album is always a great album, sometimes a particular recording will lend itself to the intimate atmosphere of a great pair of headphones. Whether those headphones are connected to your home hi-fi or to an iPod for listening on the move, the experience can transport you.

We’d love to know what your favourite headphone listening pleasures are. Whether it happens to be on a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P5 mobile hi-fi headphones or something else.

Here’s a selection of ours just to get you started.

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
Read about it here.

Richard Buckner – Devotion and Doubt
Wonderfully recorded, simple guitar and wonderful voice.

David Crosby – If Only I Could Remember My Name.
Gloriously produced, and wonderful on headphones.

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – I see a Darkness
A great hi-fi album full stop. Wonderfully intimate recording.

Massive Attack – Mezzanine
If your headphones can do great bass, this is a must-have recording.

What’s your favourite headphone album?


  • itay berger says:

    Beck – Sea Change
    Dr.Dre – 2001

  • Bill says:

    As I was reading this, as the Peter Gabriel album downloaded, I had my faithful Grados injecting Jeff Beck into my brain… P5’s could do it better though ;-)

    I’d strongly recommend his Live at Ronnie Scotts album and the standout tracks for me are “Cause we’ve ended as lovers” and “a day in the life”
    The Doors “Riders of the storm” rates just as high
    Something to place the instruments would be the Pat Metheny group with Letters from home
    Try “Spring aint here” and see if the bongos are above your right eye.
    A final suggestion would be Steevie Wonder Innervisions “Living for the city” is 3 dimentional

  • Sanit says:

    Quadrophenia – The Who
    Forever Changes – Love
    The Boatman Calls – Nick Cave

  • coddyboy says:

    i agree with your choice sanit, of quadrophenia with the waves featuring during the disc adding incredible atmosphere and having the whole thing explode in to ‘ love reigns o’er me ‘ very well chosen

    my three tracks.

    band of gypsy’s-jimi hendrix..with the greatest guitar solo ever put to disc on ‘ machine gun ‘ i’ve left the couch moist a few times over that one which is the most emotional scream of anguish and frustration.

    here comes the flood-peter gabriel and frobert fripp, typically on the robert fripp album ‘ exposure ‘ from 1970 which is patchy but between the pooey bits is sensational, but also other versions.

    and let me not forget ‘starless’ from king crimson’s red album and ‘great deceiver’ 4cd box fripp has got a great way with a guitar but my god his social skills when i met him in stockholm after the crimson gig were sullen and churlish and even then i’m being polite, crimson has meant a deal to me my entire listening life and i wanted to say something brief along those lines but he wasn’t having it..i read a lot of quite spiritual things that come from mr fripp on dgm and his recorded works but it is easier to throw down a few lines than to live by their example, why can’t he be like adrian belew, a lovely man.

  • bsmall says:

    Anything by Leonard Cohen.
    It’s not the technical quality of his albums but the experience of having him inside my head. Cohen is one of the few performers I admire who I do not want to see in concert.

  • tzed says:

    I doubt there’s an album that doesn’t sound good on good headphones :-)
    Here’s two of my faves:
    Loveless – My Bloody Valentine
    Lazer Guided Melodies – Spiritualized

    I recently upgraded to a pair of AKG K-271 cans, I didn’t know what i was missing.

  • Kevin Allen says:

    Well, I bought a pair of P5 headphones at the Apple store in Kingston on Friday and walked home along the river listening to Kraftwerk’s “Tour de France Soundtracks”. That was pretty good.

    Earlier today I was listening to Bowie’s “Young American’s” & “Low” which I have heard countless times over the last thirty + years and really enjoyed through the P5s but Scott Walker’s “The Drift” is simply stunning through them.

    Have to agree with tzed’s opening line though.

  • Andrew Price says:

    My P5’s arrived on Thursday last week and I’ve been thrown into a world of turmoil and change, as I now will re-import all my music in lossless format rather than the 192 bit ACC I was using for space reasons. I’ve solved those with a new ipod and a bigger hard drive.

    The best albums I’ve listened to since then are On an Island by David Gilmour, Gwyneth Herbert and Charlie Winston – both of those are available on the download pages. Gwyneth sounds great on Nataliya and My Mini and Me, and “kick the bucket” just sticks in your head – music for the music rather than the sound.

    I also went out and bought Bonnie Prince Billy – I see darkness -and really wished I hadn’t – not my type of music.

    I am looking forwards to next year when my new home is built and I can set up a nice listening area – some B&W 803’s look like they would make a great start.
    See what buying a pair of really nice headphones can do to you!

  • Kevin Blanc says:

    I recently enjoyed those:

    Very nice:
    Kings Of Convenience – Declaration Of Dependence
    La Roux – La Roux

    Marc Collin Featuring Valente Bertelli & Katrine Ottosen – Two For The Road
    Yello – Touch Yello

    I listened on my HD650 powered by a Benchmark DAC1, a highly recommended combination, the DAC1 is very impressive. Still waiting for the P5 in the US…

  • Phil says:

    Can someone please let me know when the P5’s will be available in the US?

  • Simon OW says:

    Too tough for a definitive list, but these spring to mind…

    Beirut – The Flying Club Cup
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

  • John says:

    Some of the best albums I’ve listened to on both hifi and headphones are:

    Massive Attack – Mezzanine – already listed but worth a second mention
    Parov Stelar – Coco
    Fleetwood Mac – Rumors
    Cinematic Orchestra – Man With A Movie Camera
    The Eagles – Hell Freezes Over (especially Hotel California live)
    Tori Amos – Tales of a Librarian (greatest hits) – The piano sounds beautiful on a good system especially as you can hear the strike of every note.

    Headphones: Sennheiser PXC450s
    Hifi: Roksan Kandy K2, Linn Majik DS, Bowers and Wilkins CM5’s

  • andy says:

    i have to agree with itay beck sea change is just wonder full on headphones :)
    and i personaly realy enjoy dj shadows endtroducing on headphones .

  • andy says:

    oh i would like to add my personal favorite track onto this :D

    dear prudence by the beatles

  • Fabien says:

    the best listening experience with the P5 goes with:

    * Jan Garbarek – Twelve Moons
    ” Manu Katché – Playground
    * Tomasz Stanko -Dark Eyes
    * Kanye West – 808s Heartbreak
    * Dire Straits – Private Investigations & Alchemy

  • Kevin Allen says:

    Kevin Blanc?

    Are you the Kevin Blanc who worked with Yello? I watched the Touch Yello DVD this afternoon. Amazing.

    I’d love to see it on a big screen here in London.

    Anyway, I also had a listen to Touch Yello via the P5’s and you’re right, it is awesome – and that’s not a word I use a lot.

  • blessingx says:

    Let me recommend the Head-Fi / HDTracks Headphone System Test Album…

    Really though it depends on the phones (and associated equipment). Whats sound great on a Grado may not on a Sennheiser, Etymotics, JH Audio or Stax.

    Looking forward to hearing the P5s at some point in the future.

  • Simon H says:

    Any thing by Tunng, but especially Good Arrows and the latest, And Then We Saw Land. As an audio professional, the quest for great sounding music is never ending for system tuning, but Tunng’s music has remained as first choice for 4 years now.
    Also, Talk Talk’s 1986 album, The Colour of Spring is an amazing recording, and headphones eally bring out the space and energy that was captured in the studio.

  • deus says:

    where to get B&W headphones, apple store is not available anymore!!!! quick!!!

  • Gorillamonk says:

    One of my favorite bands is Nine Inch Nails and I ALWAYS test a pair of headphones with them. There are so many sounds layered on a track and some so subtle that if your NOT using at least a mid level set of headphones or, you’d never be able to appreciate them. Their experimental album GHOSTS is has a great supernatural feel.

  • Peter S says:

    Just got my P5s.

    First album I listened to was U2’s Achtung Baby. Not sure why, it just seemed like the right thing to try them out with. And i must say, both the headphones and the album sound fantastic to me.

  • Craig Ryder says:

    Thomas Dolby’s ‘The Flat Earth’ has some great headphone moments in particular Screen Kiss, I Scare Myself and the title track. Roddy Frame’s Surf also works well for different reasons: in contrast to The Flat Earth’s expansive sound Frame’s close mic’ed vocals sound extremely personal.

  • Alex says:

    Pink Floyd – WIsh You Were Here
    Telefon Tel Aviv – Fahrenheit Fair Enough
    Nick Drake – Pink Moon
    Tom Waits – Rain Dogs
    Radiohead – Kid A
    Tool – any LP
    DJ Shadow – …Endtroducing
    Portishead – s/t

    these are a few of my favorite things…

  • Den says:

    The Beatles ‘Love’ Album.

  • Tim says:

    Are the P’5 headphones going to be available anywhere else besides apple stores and….i.e bestbuy

  • Robert Phillis says:

    Just this second finished listening to Off He Goes by Pearl Jam (off the No Code album). I have always “quite liked” the song, but my P5’s have just given it a depth, detail and meaning I have never heard before – definitely a track for the private world of headphones!

  • lomaxs says:

    life’s the same living in stereo, life’s the same except for my shoes
    american beauty
    if i could only remember my name has the best production of any lp i ever heard
    stage fright and big pink
    blonde on blonde, nashville skyline
    buffalo springfield
    since the evolution of digital and the ability to make anything perfect it’s interesting how that fragile analog has held up. the lines weren’t quite as fixed in some ways………….

  • M. William Griffiths says:

    Vincent Gallo- When
    Joao Gilberto- Amoroso
    Colin Blunstone- One Year
    Velvet Underground- White Light/ White Heat
    Syd Barrett- The Madcap Laughs
    YES- Tales of Topographic Oceans
    Bohack- It took Several Wives
    Frank Zappa- Hot Rats
    Charles Mingus- Mingus Plays Piano
    The Beatles- Abbey Road (Mono)
    Jackson C Frank- Jackson C Frank

  • Kevin Allen says:

    The latest issue of Wired (UK) says, on page 82, that the P5s are available from Bowers & Wilkins for £225.00.

    Bowers & Wilkins own site shows that they are available for $299.95 from Apple US – which the Financial Times currency converter tells me is £200.12 in real money.

    Either of those are better than the £249.95 I paid at the Apple store in Kingston.

    The MM-1 speakers are $499.95 on the Apple (US) site which works out at £333.96 as opposed to the £399.95 that Apple UK charge.

    Why are goods from a British company more expensive for British buyers?

  • Pat Stephensen says:

    Some really fine picks from the posts above.
    A couple of my favourite CD’s are:
    Murray Head -Say it ain’t so
    The Strawbs – Hero and Heroine

  • Dennis Daye says:

    Just got my P5’s today; great sound..but different listening experience to my Sennheiser IE8’s (mobile) and Sony MDR SA5000’s (home). Initial impressions- very good- build quality excellent!
    Fav album- Electribe 101- Electribal Memoirs (1989)- haunting, atmospheric electronica with soaring vocals of Billie Ray Martin- I’ve never tired of listening to it :o)

  • Tony Hampton says:

    Tool – (any)
    Radiohead – Ok Computer
    Fleetwood Mac – Rumors
    Massive Attack –

  • Neale Watson says:

    Pink Floyd Ummagumma
    With my Grados

  • Edward Davies says:

    @Kevin Allen

    Sales Tax is a big factor. US prices don’t include them, UK prices do. Add the UK’s 17.5% to the US prices and you are a long way to the same price. £333.96 (US Price) + 17.5% = £392. US sales tax varies from state to state.

    Personally, my favourite tracks on my P5s are:

    AC/DC: Back in Black
    KanYe West: Welcome to Heartbreak
    Laura Marling: Devil’s Spoke
    Massive Attack: Teardrop

  • Geoff says:

    Without a doubt, my favourite headphone album is

    Rock Action by Mogwai

    Absolutely stunning

  • Ivan says:

    Where I can get these? I currently in mexico, dose de itunes store UK ships internationally?

  • Hans-Jürgen says:

    …just listened to the outstanding Grindhouse modo caine album on my Koss portapro

  • Thomas says:

    Roger Water – Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking, and of cource his first Soloalbum called The final Cut – performed by Pink Floyd, both with the Holophonics sound effects from Zuccarelli Labs.

  • dalethorn says:

    Based on the artists and tracks listed here, it’s clear that only an app like the original Napster will ever be satisfactory for searching for new music. When I searched for a track I liked, Nap would list all the people who had it. From that list, I could see what else all of those people were listening to, and expand my collection thus. Nobody can do that today, and nobody can “recommend” new music – the only way is to find actual users who enjoy the same music I do (mostly indie girlrock – none of that folk music or canned stuff please).

  • Lawrence de Martin says:

    “Axis/Bold as Love” – Eddie Kramer was listening to Joe Meek and had to do him one better. The old-school hand style flanging works way better on cans than boxes.

  • Jens DK says:

    Extract/rip the sound from The Wall (the movieDVD) if you want something special. You really don’t need the pictures close your eyes, lean back and the pictures will appear on the backside of your eyelids… Grace Jones “Slave to the rhythm” or “Hurricane”. Pearl Jam “Binaural” ( good experience. My equipment: Grado SR 60 Prestige series powered by Cayin & Spark

  • Jasper says:

    Heather Nova -> The Jasmine Flower. Recorded with just a microphone and laptop and later just slightly produced instead of the overproduced albums nowadays. Makes you feel like the singer is really under your skin. Not a perfect clinical recording but a perfect headphone album!

  • Guy says:

    Sylvie Lewis Translations
    Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon
    Susie Arioli That’s For Me

  • Thomas Nielsen says:

    Two albums immediately spring to [my] mind: Kyoji Yamamoto’s Electric Cinema and Michael Schenker Group’s Live at The Budokan. Neither album is of particularly good sound quality but I have always loved lying on the floor listening to these two at sound levels that has probably been the direct cause of the past 20 years of tinnitus.

    On the other end of the spectrum is Oscar Peterson’s Night Train. It has exceptionally good sound quality (except on Hymn to Freedom) and an incredibly tight atmosphere. Perfect for that in-head-experience of headphones.

    Oh… and thumbs up to the rest mentioned here. Perhaps I miss Brett Anderson’s Wilderness in the comments above, so lets put that in for an honorable mention, shall we?

  • Carsten says:

    Mike Oldfield – Amarok!!!!!!! Be careful…………
    Dire Straits – Brothers in arms
    both with Sennheiser HD 600, hopefully later this year with the new P5.

  • Hubsi747 says:

    Miles Davis-We Want Miles
    Dr. John-Duke Elegant
    Van Morrison-The Healing Game
    Ahmad Jamal-Digital Works
    Bryan Ferry-Dylanesque

  • davide miele says:

    anuna “deep dead blue”
    angelo branduardi “il ladro”
    steve roach “the magnificent void”
    portishead “dummy”
    michael brecker “michael brecker”
    jeff buckey “grace” (remastered version)
    gregorio paniagua – atrium musicae de madrid “tarentule tarentelle”
    peter gabriel “scratch my back” and “up”

  • Bob Schaffert says:

    For me it has to be John Martyn’s One World. There’re a number of stand-out tracks to which it’s impossible to sit still but, for pure atmosphere, it has to be the title track. It was recorded outdoors at night next to a lake, and John’s echoplex, leaving the chords hanging endlessly, is truly the work of a man at his creative peak. You can pick out the sound of geese in the background with the water lapping, and Steve Winwood’s moog weaving it’s magic throughout is a delight. In the words of Ralph McTell “If that dosn’t move you, there’s something wrong with you”.

  • Max Keller says:

    even for a simple student

    Fleetwood Mac – Big Love (from The Dance)
    Shawn Mullins – And On a Rainy Night

  • Konstantine says:

    Uriah heep Demons&Wizards
    Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
    Julianna Raye Dominoes (But better sound on good speakers)

  • hajo says:

    This are my favourite headphone recordings

    Andreas Vollenweider Behind the Gardens
    Andreas Vollenweider Caverna Magica
    Georg Danzer Tour’ 79
    Frank Zappa The Best Band you ever heard i your live
    Miles Davis Kind of Blue

  • gregory taylor says:

    Yes, the superannuated hippie in me still loves “Welcome to the Machine” and “Dark Side of the Moon,” but I would also suggest David Tudor’s “Neural Synthesis” – the head-transfer disc is norhing short of jaw-dropping. Young Mr. Gabriel’s “Security” holds its own, as doe “Kid A.”

    But might I also humbly recommend:

    The newly remastered “Red” from King Crimson (DGM)
    The divine reissue of Keith Jarret’s “Sun Bear Concerts” (ECM)

    or (for those of you who love hurtling metal
    Jonty Harrison’s “Évidence matérielle” on Empreintes DIGITALes

    and finally, if you’re under a hundred billion years old,

    Thomas Feiner/Anywhen’s “The Opiates” (Samadhisound)

    We now return you to your usual listings…. :-)

  • Bruno Ribeiro says:

    The Wedding Present – Bizarro
    Cocteau Twins – Blue Bell Knoll
    Jacques Brel – Quand on n’a que l’amour
    Serge Gainsbourg – L’homme a téte de chou
    Pink Floyd – The final cut

  • Mike Beever says:

    Crash Music For Film Vol. 2 16bit
    Crash Music For Film Vol. 4 24 bit

    Sonic Candy!!

  • Michal says:

    My recommendation:

    Roger Waters: Amused to Death – A wonderful music production, a forgotten Q-Sound system

    McCoy Tyner: New York Reunion – a Chesky Jazz classic

  • Robert Cooper says:

    The best album for me on headphones is Traffic – John Barleycorn Must Die.
    Steve Winwood sounds even more spiritual than usual on this album and the quality of the musicianship in the group was at its best for this one (although it was never in doubt).
    My particular favourite track is Empty Pages because its Jazzy feel sets my endorphins running and I become at peace with the world.
    A good set of headphones is essential to make this possible and I look forward to the chance to listen to this Album through some P5s.
    Unfortunately, for me the budget may be against me but I can dream.

  • Patrick R. Singler says:

    Buika with Niña de Fuego. Fantastic fragile, but powerful emotion.

  • Steve Kelly says:

    My faves are:

    Olivia Tremor Control – Black Foliage Music (actually designed w/ headphones in mind)

    Can – Tago Mago

    Belle & Sebastian – The Life Pursuit

  • Bob Pratt says:


  • Dave Ferguson says:

    Another insane question. I’ll give you my top three and then tomorrow say, “Yeah, but…”

    1) Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel (3)
    2) Sarah McLachlan – Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (Legacy Edition)
    3) Zero 7 – Simple Things

  • Kenny McHardy says:

    Beatles – Abbey Road
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    King Crimson – In The Court Of The Crimson King
    Jellyfish – Bellybutton
    Porcupine Tree – Deadwing
    Peter Gabriel – So

  • George Lynn says:

    Chris Rea : The Road To Hell

  • cse says:

    TALK TALK “spirit of eden”

  • Brandon Carson says:

    Pink Floyd: The Wall — with the lights out.

  • Fred Morrison says:

    Pink Floyd……… Meddle
    Radiohead……. Amnesiac

  • Lewis Cluett says:

    Cheryl Dilcher – Butterfly

  • Peter C Ross says:

    Portico Quartet – Knee deep in the north sea
    Dave Mathews Band – Live at Piedmont Park

  • Paul Perton says:

    Tom Waits: Nighthawks at the diner
    Pat Metheny: Travels (double CD) – almost thirty years old and still a standard
    Oscar Peterson: Waltzing is hip/Satin doll (from Exclusively for my friends Vol 3) – sixteen minutes of svelte, sublime jazz


  • Dave Stewart says:

    I’d love to hear my fav’ album on P5’s but before I tell you what the album is, tell me (as I asked sales two weeks ago) why is the P5’s RRP $US299, 351 UK pounds – but here in Oz, AU$499? Looking at most on line currency converters, $299US is $AU 314, not $499.
    Who’s making the killing here? By the way, I’m getting the prices of the relevant Apple iShop’s in the respective countries.

    It doesn’t look like you’re going to sell many P5’s in Oz, unless they’re grey imports.

  • Martin Wilson says:

    Ebehard Weber – The Following Morning (sublime bass playing)
    Bill Frisell – Bill Frisell with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones
    Bill Evans – The Paris Concert – Edition One and Two
    John Mayal – The Tirning Point
    Madeleine Peyroux – Bare Bones
    Me’Shell Ndegeocello – The Sprit Music: Dance of the Infidel
    Nick Drake – A Treasury
    Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Paul Motion – Live at Lugano

    Finally – anything by Keith Jarrett or Radiohead

    When I get my P5’s I will make a definitive choice from the above!!

  • Gnome113 says:

    Miles Davis – Round About Midnight
    Scott Walker – Scott 2
    America – America
    Marvin Gaye – Trouble Man
    Stevie Wonder – Innervisions
    Lonnie Liston Smith – Expansions
    George Duke – The Aura Will Prevail
    Klaus Schulze – Moondawn
    Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

  • Simon Pearson says:

    I am currently using a set of Shure SE210’s. I love the way they slip into my ear canal and instantly dampen all the noise around me. Once music is playing (and it doesn’t need to be that loud), all that external noise pollution ceases to exist.
    My favourite album to listen to is David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane.
    I used to play it to death on its original release and thought I knew every note on the album. When I heard it for the first time with my SE210’s, I was totally blown away.
    What I heard was a new rich texture of interwoven sounds balanced with perfection, each layer complimenting the others with orchestral dexterity. I still go back to it and marvel in awe at (what I consider to be) a work of pure genius. I’m interested to see how it sounds on a pair of Bowers & Wilkins.

  • Greg Williams says:

    Melissa Etheridge: Fearless Love
    K.D. Lang: Recollection
    Coco Montoya: I Want It All Back
    Keb’ Mo’: Slow Down

  • francesc orriols says:

    Selling England by the Pound-Genesis
    The Snowgoose-Camel
    The Sound Of Sight-Ray Martin & His Orchestra
    Close to the Edge-Yes

  • zarduc says:

    I suggest Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells 2 :great variety of instruments,good quality recording
    I always enjoy this album on my actual earphones
    Waiting to get a chance to test it on this B&W P5

  • Magic32 says:

    Just for the “Sound”:
    Dire Straits – On every street
    Toto – Kingdom of desire
    Pink Floyd – The Division Bell
    Just for the Sound and everything else:
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon, of course….

  • Boris says:

    For the slightly ‘harder’ division:

    Avantasia – The Scarecrow
    -The Wicked Symphony

    Both albums are brilliant on nice headphones – the first one might be something for enthusiasts of great recordings (won some awards for that if I am not mistaken).

    Or try:

    DOMMIN – Love is gone


  • perfect in piha says:

    Anything by kiwi boys PITCH BLACK or Paddy Free

    or Fat freddys drop superb!!

  • tompoll says:

    I vote for Radiohead’s Amnesiac.

  • Nick says:

    “Beyond a Missoury sky” by Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden

  • Steve says:

    Ys – Joanna Newsom

  • Olaf Barthel says:

    Joe Jackson – Body and soul
    Livingston Taylor – Ink
    Donald Fagen – Morph the Cat
    Ana Caram – Blue Bossa
    Bob Belden – Black Dahlia
    Martin Pearlman, Boston Baroque – Vespers of 1610
    Ensemble Galilei – From the isles to the courts
    Tierney Sutton – Unsung heroes

    The last three albums were recorded with binaural stereo microphones, and are particularly well-suited for headphone listening.

  • Nick P says:

    If youve not heard of this…download it!

    Rae and Christian : Northern Sulphuric Soul.
    sounds amazing on the Zepillin too

  • Le Fist says:

    My current fave is Caribou’s new album, Swim. I especially like the track Sun. Very clever.

  • Dogfish63 says:

    Not in any specific order:
    Babble – Ether
    Grateful Dead – Aoxomoxoa
    Laurie Anderson – Bright Red
    Eno/Byrne – Life in the Bush of ghosts
    Eno/Budd/Lanois – The Pearl
    Adrian Belew – Mr Music Head
    Niyaz – Nine Heavens – deluxe version
    Todd Rundgren – Any and all of his solo stuff
    Richard Souther – Illumination – Hildegard Von Bingen – The Fire of the Spirit
    Kate Bush – any and all of her stuff

  • Paal says:

    My best headphone album is Bruce Cockburn Live – Fantastic soundstaging and sound.

  • Ian says:

    David Sylvian – Manafon
    but yeah, I’d also go with Bush, Eno/Fripp, or Laurie Anderson

  • Jamson says:

    in the B&W list: Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon, of course

    my list:
    no. 1 Elisabeth Karsten – Flux
    no. 2 Music by Mark Isham – Romeo is bleeding
    no. 3 Jacques Loussier – Baroque favorites


  • Jeff says:

    Changes everyday but currently the ones rocking my P5 the most are:

    Cat Power- The Greatest
    Cocteau Twins – Heaven or Las Vegas
    Kate Bush – Hounds of Love

  • Chris George says:

    My Life in a Bush of Ghosts by Brian Eno and David Byrne
    Rhythm and Stealth by Leftfield
    Moaning Ark Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
    A Night in Paris by Diana Krall

  • Jacob says:

    What sold me on the P5’s: Pantyraid-The Sauce. Sounds absolutely incredible on my P5’s. The clarity and imaging are superb.

    Some additional albums that I really enjoy especially through the P5’s are:

    Cinematic Orchestra-Any studio album
    Miike Snow-Miike Snow
    Minus The Bear-OMNI
    Velella Velella-Fight Club EP
    Elbow-The Seldom Seen Kid

    Thanks all for the input I found a few new artists based on recommendations here. Very pleasantly surprised at the quality of the David Crosby album recommended by B&W. The track “Cowboy Movie” is wonderful and is produced very well in my opinion.

  • Raymond Berry says:

    The Cure ‘ Pornography ‘. It was a type of album that they haven’t recorded before or since this landmark 1982 album.

  • Selwyn says:

    Living in Australia, it has been a slight logistical challenge to get my hands on some P5s. They’ve arrived and to do this properly, I’m adjusting the quality of my favourite albums before breaking in the cans.

    Previously mentioned, but OK Computer and basically anything by Radiohead (NPR has a great podcast of one of their concerts which I’m keen to experience with ‘phones)
    Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest.
    Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (Both the orchestrated and piano versions)
    Jamie Cullum and Nikki Yanofsky have some great arrangements that’ll get a guernsey too.

    Having always used the standard issue Apple headphones, I’m looking forward to a quantum leap in experience and depth.

    Previous posts have mentioned the price in Australia as being exorbitant – gotta agree. I know this is not the forum for this, but I’m not recommending these to my friends at AUD prices.

  • maso4 says:

    Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms. Awesome.

  • Kevin says:

    great thread! my suggestions are:

    Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
    liked this album so much, named my dog after it.

    Arcade Fire – Funeral
    tons of instrumentation!

    Sigur Ros – Ágætis Byrjun
    this is one of those albums that makes you feel enveloped by music

    Radiohead – Hail to the Thief
    this particular album makes very good use of both sides of the headphones

    thanks for all the good suggestions here, i’ve found a ton of new bands to geek out over.

  • Ron D'Angelo says:

    DSOTM, Steely Dan: Aja, Sgt. Pepper, Donald Fagen: The Nightfly, Jamiroquai: Dynamite, Incognito: Who Needs Love?, Alan Parsons: Try Anything Once, Tower Of Power Direct, Miles Davis: Decoy, Vienna Philharmonic: Mahler 5, Donald Fagen: The Nightfly, The Eagles: Hotel California, any Chick Corea solo piano CD, Pat Metheny: Secret Story, Toto IV

  • andy bourne says:

    Cafe del mar 16 currently taking me to a place of peace and tranquility. Waiting to get my p5s very soon

  • Jason Underhill says:

    Pink Floyd – The Wall
    Peter Gabriel – Scratch My Back
    Lord of the Rings Soundtrack
    Hayley Westenra – Odessy

  • Stuart Dunne says:

    David Bowie – iSelect
    The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper (mono) – like listening to this album for the first time
    Roxy Music – Flesh & Blood – i’ve always preferred this album to Avalon

  • Karljohan says:

    I just got my P5 headphones. Listened to Peter Gabriel’s “Scratch my back” in the store prior to buying them. Was surprised when I went back online to register my headphones, found out I got 3 month free membership of Society of sound. And to see that they have the same album as recommended and downloadable in flac 24. I love this…….

    Would be great if B&W could make an app so that I could play the flac music in my Iphone swell….

    Other cd’s I play when on the go:

    Suzanne Vega, Songs in red and grey, and all the rest
    Tori Amos, Abnormally attracted to sin, and all the rest
    Massive Attack, all of them
    Madonna, Confessions on a dance floor
    Pink Floyd, all of them
    Björk, all of them
    Aimee Mann, all of them
    And then some……

  • Charlie holmes says:

    Just got my p5’s…awesome! Looking forward to them being broken in properly.

    Gary Go – Gary Go
    Imogen Heap-Ellipse
    Ludovico Einaudi-divenire
    Cinematic orchestra- ma fleur
    Postal service-give up

  • Tyler says:

    Grizzly Bear – Yellow House

    end of story.

  • Christian says:

    Marillion – Brave
    Yes – Tales From Topographic Oceans (Remastered)
    Sting – Soul Cages
    Diana Krall – A Case Of You (Live) from the Live in Paris album.

    So many details to discover on these.

  • Dave says:

    I see many of my favourite albums have been listed above. But my favourite headphone listen, in its hi-fi recording quality and heart-wrenching emotion is:-

    Bruce Cockburn – Life Short, Call Now


  • Gordon McLean says:

    No question,the supreme experience,above all others:

    King Crimson,In the Court of the Crimson King,(1969);21st Century Schizoid Man and Moonchild

    Steppenwolf,Steppenwolf 7,(1970);Renegade and Ball Crusher

    The Who,Who’s Next,(1975),Bargain,Behind Blue Eyes,and Won’t Get Fooled Again

  • Steve B says:

    Hard rock, but the dark and sparse variety – light up a pair of cans with
    -Tool 10000 days
    – OSI Blood.
    Like slo-mo napalm in sound, just brilliant.

  • Buttcheeks says:

    There are so many fantastic albums to choose from but one I’ve been listening to is L T J Bukem ” journey inwards” . The other is from the society of sound “speed caravan”

  • Nicholas says:

    Miles Davis- ‘In a Silent Way’ For the space of it, just superb..
    & Radioheads ‘Kid A’ Like the album was made for P5s..

  • Ricardo says:

    Well that’s a difficult Question but for me will be

    Bjork – Post

    Pink Floyd – The Division Bell

    Thievery Corporation – Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi

    Kenny Burrel – Kenny Burrell Essentials

    Radiohead – Ok Computer

  • Heather says:

    Led Zeppelin – Mothership
    Arcade Fire – Neon Bible

    Love my P5’s :)

  • anon. says:

    the antlers – hospice

    memory tapes – seek magic

    four tet – rounds

    the knife – silent shout

    thom yorke – the eraser

    arcade fire – the suburbs

    animal collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion

    Caribou – Swim

    Boards of Canada – Music Has The Right To Children

    radiohead – com lag

  • Bobc says:

    I have the “Inner Sound of the ID” record which I bought in the early 70’s. It is the best headphone album I’ve ever heard.

    All the other albums listed are very good, just not as good.

  • BRIAN says:

    Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (The Ultimate Edition) 2009

  • charlie says:

    Aphrodite’s Child 666 (regarding the era : 1971)
    Vangelis : Blade Runner

  • eric b from says:

    Dave Mason-Alone Together

  • Dorset Pete says:

    Any Hawkwind Album.

    e.g. “In Search Of Space”

  • Altec Lansing BXR1220 says:

    Bowers & Wilkins P5 is a headphone.Sound quality of these headphone are really superb.It will not create any affect to your ear.

  • neal says:

    Billy Thorpe, Children of the Sun.

  • scott gloster says:

    Skydiggers – self tittled (Leslie in particular)
    Holly Cole Trio – Temptation
    The Who – Quadrophenia (if only I could get that album in better than CD quality . . . . )
    Pharoah Sanders – The Message Home
    Jarrett – Koln Concert
    Great Lake Swimmers – Bodies and Minds
    Fred Eaglesmith – Dusty

  • andy hagan says:

    Lots of great suggestions here. My small contribution to the forum as follows:- (use Grado SR325s and occasionally the cheaper (but more comfortable!) Grado SR60s)

    Radiohead – In Rainbows
    Massive Attack – Heligoland
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    Air – Talkie Walkie & Love 2
    Royksopp – all four of them
    The XX – X
    Beyond the Missouri Sky – Charlie Haden & Pat Matheny

  • nella says:

    Pink Floyd surely…”Dark side of the moon” unforgettable!!!!!

  • LoFi High says:

    Try something You don’t know:

    Funki Porcini – Headphone Sex, Plod, ON
    Grasscut – 1 Inch/ ½ Mile
    Rainstick Orchestra – The Floating Glass Key in the Sky
    Tosca – No Hassle
    Amon Tobin – The Foley Room
    Daedelus – Love to make Music to


  • Fred says:

    Radiohead – KidA

  • patlin says:

    My top 3 headphones albums:

    Depeche Mode – Ultra
    Yello – Touch Yello
    Interpol – Interpol

  • Stephen L. says:

    Goodbye and Hello- Tim Buckley
    Astral Weeks- Van Morrison
    Bryter Later- Nick Drake
    Foxbase Alpha- Saint Etienne
    Contra- Vampire Weekend

    That is a good start….

  • SB22 aka Dave says:

    How about the Jellyfish record Spilt Milk? There is so much going on and with a good pair of open back headphones (currently using the Sennheiser HD238) the sense of space is dizzying at times.

  • Dirk ''DaKieker'' says:

    My favorite headphones albums:
    – Frankie goes to hollywood – Welcome to the pleasuredome
    – Brookly Bounce – Restart
    – Def Leppard – Rock of ages
    – Dire Straits – Brothers in arms
    – Eagles – Eagles MTV Special night (especially Hotel California)
    – Pink Floyd – Wish you were here

  • Max says:

    Tracey Chapman, Give me one reason

    Sounds really nice and is really grooovey

  • Marianne says:

    The Gorrilaz are amazing with the headphones on!

    My all time favourite is Wish You Were Here though.

  • Andrew Fawcett says:

    Some Great recommendations here. Anybody fancy compiling them into a playlist (iTunes, LastFM or the like)?

  • keith jurow says:

    If I had to choose one “headphone” album, it would be The Way Up by the Pat Metheny Group. The sound quality is superb, but also, there are so many little nuances that are missed when listening in the car or elsewhere where there’s ambient noise around. The second one I’d recommend would be Imaginary Day, also by the Metheny Group. Both albums are sonically exceptional.

  • Eric Nino says:

    Gorillaz – Plastic Beach [Rhinestone eyes, White Flag]
    Armin Van Buuren – Wall of Sound, Cut and Run
    Jimi Hendrix – Little Wing
    Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird
    Tool – Sober
    Bob Marley – Is this Love

    Just to name a few, if not this list will not end. :)

  • micjackz says:

    “Like Children”-Jan Hamer, Jerry Goodman Anything by early Genesis and/or Peter Gabriel, “Meddle”-Pink Floyd, too many to mention.

  • Gopal Venkat says:

    Le Noise – Neil Young

    Hitchhiker is fantastic

  • Jens (not DK) says:

    Norah Jones – Come Away With Me (the SACD version)

    Exceptional detail and texture, unbelievable dynamics. Possibly the best demonstration ever of why high resolution music is a good idea.

    Incidentally I read above a guy in Mexico wants to get the listed albums on iTunes. Don’t. Apple likes to charge you a full fat price for half fat (i.e. compressed) music. It’s in their power to take the music distribution revolution they themselves created to the next step and distributing better-than-CD music. Step up Apple!

  • Antonio says:

    B.B. king – Blues summit

    Jorge Aragao -Da noite pro dia

    John Mayer -Continuun

    Waterboys -Room to Roam

  • Robert B. Schulein says:

    Hello from Bob Schulein,

    I found many of the recommended recordings engaging and encourage more coverage of this topic by B&W.

    In an effort to bring binaural sound into the mainstream and in essence create a true 3D audio art form, my research has shown that the synergy of sight an sound is a very powerful force in creating convincing “you are there experiences”.

    I call the results ImmersAV Technology meaning the creation of an immersive experience using sound and sight (Audio and Video).

    An additional element of production that I have found to be important is to present the video image from the perspective of a “you are there ” listener.

    I have lectured on the subject around the world and at the Audio Engineering Society

    I have produced a number of representative examples that may be viewed on You Tube.

    For a 10 minute introduction to the technology with demonstrations, please visit:

    All comments encouraged and welcome.

    Thank you

    Bob Schulein

  • Peter Binovsky says:

    Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms (SACD).

    I like listening to Mark Knopfler .He is amazing.

  • Renan Cesar says:

    Pink Floyd – Atom Heart Mother Suite

    Buddy Guy – Buddy´s Baddest

    Jerry Lee Lewis – Mean Old Man

    Chico Buarque – Construção

  • Renan Cesar says:

    Oh, there is another one.

    Rolling Stones – Stripped

    Excelent sound quality

  • Frode Gundersen says:

    Mr. Bungle – California.

    Analog recording, many different musical styles mixed together, many layers of sound.

    Their Disco Volante sounds good on headphones as well.

  • Apollo Joseph says:

    Hello All,

    most albums sound great on these headphones but if you want to appreciate the phones more, try out any instrumental music particularly any of Chris Botti’s albums and you will note their distinction. The trumpet never sounded any better if i can say so.

  • Ivan says:

    Pink Floyd – Dark side of the moon
    Depeche Mode – Violator
    Led Zeppelin – IV
    David Bowie – The man who sold the world
    MGMT – Congratulations.

  • Sam Smith says:

    Eric Clapton – Change the World & Blue Eyes Blue
    Dire Straits – Telegraph Road
    Muse – The Resistance
    Eva Cassidy – Fields of Gold
    and many more!!

  • scott says:

    Yes-Close to the Edge
    Jethro Tull-Thick as a Brick
    Jackson Brown -Late for the Sky
    Steely Dan-Aja

  • Simon says:

    Floyd – Dark side of the moon
    Floyd – Wish you were here
    Jethro Tull – Broadsword & the Beast
    Eric Clapton – Pilgrim
    Norah Jones – Come Away with Me
    Enya – The Memory of Trees
    Enya – And Winter Came

    Ok its more than 5 but its a tough call……:)

  • Craig says:

    Kid A–Radiohead

  • Mark Pulliam says:

    My #1 favorite is the Tron Legacy soundtrack.

    Other great ones are:
    Radiohead-In Rainbows
    Ladytron-Witching Hour
    Andreas Vollenweider-Book of Roses
    Steve Roach-On This Planet
    Toumani Diabate-Symmetrical Orchestra

    (For what it’s worth, my current favorite headphones are AKG K550.)

  • rafael says:

    As other mentioned before, Kid A is great…

    some albums that surprisingly no one mentioned:

    – Dave Matthews Band – Crash (speccially the song “Say Goodbey” ….great soundscape…
    – Dave Matthews Band – Before These Crowded Streets
    – Alice in Chains – Unplugged
    – Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
    – Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
    – Leftfield – Leftism (for those who like electronic)
    – Anything from Nine Inch Nails, specially The Slip, The Fragile

  • Mark Pulliam says:

    Since my last post, I have switched to the P5s. To me, it feels less like a lateral move than a genuine upgrade. Not only are the build quality, isolation, looks and comfort superior, but so is the sound (which surprises me given that my AKGs are classified as reference cans.

    Oh, and here is a new release to add to the best listening list: The Haunted Man by Bat for Lashes.
    An absolute masterpiece from start to finish.

  • Greg O says:

    Eels -Electro Shock Blues

  • Martin says:

    Em:t 1194 – Woob
    Em:it 3396 – Russell Mills – Undark
    Murcof – The Versailles Sessions

    I have yet to hear the Yello Touch album but I’ve also heard the sound is supposed to be superb.

  • menard says:

    “Destroyed” moby

  • herve says:

    lso frank zappa

  • herve says:

    lso frank zappa ;lather zappa

  • Rod says:

    Muddy Waters : Folk Singer
    Hugh Masekela : Hope
    David Munyon : Pretty Blue
    John Mayer Trio : Try
    David Bowie : best of bowie
    Truly wonderful albums.
    They will impress for various reasons
    but the roots of music are touching and
    something humanity can be very proud of
    and B&W for how we listen to it.
    P5’s and soon to be CM10’s ?

  • Macmvn says:

    Avalon-Roxy Music

  • Matt Watson says:

    I like:
    TESLA-What You Give
    EAGLES-Hotel California (LIVE)
    ALICE IN CHAINS-Nutshell (Unplugged)

  • Svein Ihlebekk says:

    Pink Floyd – DSOTM
    Frank Zappa – Lumpy Gravy
    Rush – Moving Pictures ..esp the new HD downloadable.
    John Coltrance – Ascension
    Dukes of Stratosphere – Any
    Tangerine Dream – Pergamon

  • Steve C. says:

    DD Bridgewater, ‘How High the Moon’ from the Live in Paris recording.
    Should sound like you are IN the nightclub.

  • Steve C. says:

    …also Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is outstanding on great headphones!

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