Bowers & Wilkins P7 – the verdict from the press

P7 reviews

Bowers & Wilkins designed its first over-the-ear headphones to raise the bar for mobile sound quality – but can audiophile critics hear the difference?

In short: yes! Consumer and hi-fi technical press alike are smitten, it seems, with the P7 Mobile Hi-Fi approach to headphone drive units, design and style.

The P7 headphones have already picked up awards including What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision‘s “Best portable on-ears £300+” 2013. The serious sound bible also said: “They represent the height of headphone performance at this price level.” PC Mag gave P7 an Editor’s Choice Award, saying: “It’s a fantastic, handsome headphone”, while P7 gets another Editor’s Choice Award from Digital Trends, saying: “P7 match their elegant and graceful design with a luscious display of clarity, power, and dynamic expression.”

Online technology specialist sites love P7. iLounge said they were “Recommended”: “Beautiful, comfortable, and sonically effortless to enjoy”; while “Will Turn Heads, Delight Ears” was Mashable‘s Mashable Choice award verdict.

“They tick every box for comfort, design, and – let’s not forget – sound quality” said Pocket-Lint‘s 5-star review. “Perhaps the first and most impressive thing when taking the P7 pair out of the box is the feel … then you put them on and things get even better,” continued the review, concluding, “we’re genuinely very impressed.”

About.com said: “If you crave a more dynamic, detailed and exciting sound, get the P7 … I prefer the P7′s comfort, form factor and styling.” And technology specialist magazine T3 considered P7: “A class-topping combination of premium materials and durability, comfort, timeless style and phenomenal sound quality.”

Mainstream media have also been effusive about P7. Forbes said: “Sound and look great. Definitely worth checking out.” and The New York Times said: “The aural precision is pretty amazing; it’s like sitting in a sound studio.” “A pair of headphones that is in a masterclass of its own,” said Chip Chick. And Shortlist‘s verdict was: “The P7s are unlike anything we’ve ever tested before: these aren’t headphones, but headspeakers, generating improbably tight sounds. Every aspect of their tone is close to perfect.”

Wired.com called the build quality and materials “exquisite” and praised the fact that they’re user serviceable, so cables and ear pads can be swapped out in seconds. It concluded P7s “sound great and they’re classy. But they’re also an investment. Continue to treat them well, and they’ll likely continue to delight your ears for a very long time.”

P7 has also garnered great reviews around the world. For example, Auriculares-HIFI.com says the headphones are “exceptional for daily use… without any doubt a serious option for use at home.” The reviewer was also pleasantly surprised that the high-end headphones didn’t attract attention on the street.

Meanwhile Spanish site Old & New Sound praises P7’s sound insulation that makes them “a great candidate… for use outdoors and busy areas” and says that the sonic performance “exceeded my expectations.” And Soynadie Periodismo Urbano calls them “portable headphone royalty.”

7 Comments

  • Roger says:

    I have a pair of P7 and agree that they are beautiful objects made of superb materials.
    i can’t make up my mind about the sound. When I first bought them I thought they were rather edgy and piercing but this is often the case with new phones. Now after three months use they have settled down to a more even sound which i would describe as good, even very good, but not outstanding.
    They fit quite well with a firm pressure round the ears and it would be unfair to call them uncomfortable. However, `i wouldn’t describe them as particularly comfortable either.
    My main comparison is the Ultrasone Edition 8 which is admittedly a lot more expensive. However the Ultrasones are far more comfortable , sound better in being both transparent and relaxed, and are equally luxurious in build, indeed, in my view, even better.
    At a more comparable price level I find the Sennheiser Momentums more comfortable and with a more relaxing sound. Their build is attractive but not in the P7 league.

  • Rick says:

    I have owned a lot of different headphones in my life. I have never found quality and sound that comes close to the P7′s. The price is high. But i have paid more for less quality in the past. I would’t give these up for any price. I can’t express how pleased I am with these, for the proper words haven’ been invented yet.

  • Kent Andersson says:

    Well earned reviews I have to say! A question regarding the adaption to the huge Android market though, are there any plans to make a headset cable that works with Android devices. First and foremost the microphone?

    Keep up the good work
    /Kent

  • alexander santostefano says:

    As a top-end B&W user, i thought that they felt the need to jump on the band wagon and produce a set of “cans” to compete with the likes of Denon, Sony, Bose,Sennheiser, and just about everyone else trying to show they could upstage the ‘Dres and the other mass produced junk out there. Well put on a pair of 7′s and you truly are placing mini speakers on your ears. The word headphones doesn’t do them justice. So much so that i find myself listening with them as much as with my “straight” 804Ds. Good job B&W.

  • Marco Robertini says:

    Ottimo prodotto la p7, penso proprio che me la comprerò , del resto ho acquistato pure l’ A7 Bower & Wilkins e sono veramente entusiasta e soddisfatto…. Complimenti!!!!!

  • Michael Gattus says:

    I’ve had my P7′s for a bit over a month and I enjoy them a great deal. I got them to replace a worn out pair of Grado RS-1′s (version one) that I’d had for around twelve years. I was originally going to get Sennheiser HD-650′s, but a good friend at my local hi-fi shop insisted I A/B the P7′s against them and I’m certainly glad I did. The P7 has an amazing soundstage without the “in your head” presentation that the Sennheisers produced. They also have a much more musical tone, very comparable to my “home” cans, a pair of Grado GS-1000′s, just on a smaller scale. The imaging and timbre reminds me of my Totem Acoustic Mani-2′s, which have a very special place in my heart and are a very unique speaker. Overall, I couldn’t be happier for my $399 – I was offered a discount on new RS-2 version 2′s and the HD-650′s that put them all at the same price point. I chose the B&W cans without hesitation.

    These cans sound great running directly from my iPhone 5s and absolutely amazing playing lossless audio from my lapto or CDs through a Musical Firelity Tri-Vista 21 DAC into my M1HPAP headphone amp. Very highly recommended.

  • David Sebastian says:

    J’ai rien à dire du Bower & Wilkins Un mot du vrai haute de gamme!
    A tout les possesseur du P7! j’aimerais savoir si c’est normal que du côte droit on écoute seulement l’aigu dans se vidéo de Spliknot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRNYp1IiUuE

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