What Hi-Fi gives P5 Series 2 rave review

The influential What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision magazine has tested the new Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 headphone. The result is five stars for “the new headphones to beat”.

According to What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision magazine, Bowers & Wilkins has “hit the jackpot” with “a fantastic pair of cans that are hugely entertaining to listen to”. Particular praise was awarded for audio quality. High points are “how precise and articulate they sound… crystal-clear and… superb timing… Despite being closed-back headphones, the P5s sound wonderfully open and offer more than enough room for instruments to flourish. It’s a weighty sound that reveals a staggering amount of detail. The bass is deep and muscular while remaining taut and agile… The top end gives bite and attack, while still leaving plenty of breathing space for a song to reach its soaring crescendo. Voices are delivered with exquisite detail.”

What Hi-Fi notes the redesigned drivers, using techniques pioneered in P7, as a key method of delivering improved audio. But it’s not just audio quality that gets praised. The new P5 Series 2 design is also lauded: “They’re stunning… the stylish P5s feel special in every way… build quality is exquisite… luxurious and comfortable.”

If all that wasn’t praise enough, What Hi-Fi caps the review with perhaps the ultimate accolade. The magazine’s famously discerning testers sum up the case “against” P5 Series 2 as: “nothing of note”. The summary: “If you’re looking for a premium pair of headphones that look and sound the part, the new P5s should be on top of your list.”

What Hi-Fi isn’t alone in rating the new P5 Series 2. PC Mag has given them an Editor’s Choice award, saying: “They’re both extremely comfortable and output gorgeous audio with deep, rich lows and excellent definition in the highs.” And Wired says: “For the combination of sound, comfort, and style, the P5 Series 2 is my new go-to headphone.”

Read the full What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision 5 star review here. Read the PC Mag review here. Read the Wired review here.


  • Stevie G says:

    Congratulations, a deserved 5 star rating for an excellent evolution of the legendary P5. I had the series 1, and the upgrade to the series 2 P5 is incredible. Speaker and ear pad design have dramatically improved an already fantastic product.

    I have one question with regards the design changes on the series 2, the New Zealand sheeps leather statement has been omitted from the packaging and marketing info – are the headphones still using this in their ear pads and headband?

  • Steven Wilson says:

    Congratulations! Will there be another navy blue
    version of the P5 Series 2, or even the P7, made
    in conjunction with Maserati again?

  • Liz says:

    Hi Stevie

    We’re still using exactly the same leather yes. Still as comfortable as ever.

  • Trevor Banthorpe says:

    Is the cable still made of the same material? My only gripe with the series 1 is that the cable is sticky, so clings to clothing & Bags etc. Otherwise I’m chuffed to bits with them, and would consider an upgrade.

  • Peter says:

    Incredibe detail in the sound spectrum covered by these cans. In fact, I had heard instruments playing which frankly were not apparent in my Sony headphones. Bass has been significantly improved since the original P5’s and the series 5 does it without compromising the mid-range and upper frequencies. Contrary to another review which claimed that there was a lack of raw sharpness in female vocalists, the notes are clean, crisp and clear without any distortion whatsoever. Their is no compromise on quality or luxury which sound purists can fully appreciate when they put these remarkable headphones on. BIt tight at first but look forward to years of increasinglu comfort in wearing as they mould to the shape of even the most challengingly shaped head….my verdict 10/10 B&W

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