For many, when they think of Bowers and Wilkins, one thing comes to mind—their flagship P5 headphones. These premium, travel-friendly headphones have wowed consumers and celebrities alike with their top-notch sound quality and stylish design. It’s a good enough product to impress even the most finicky audio enthusiasts. But, it’s been a while since they’ve come out, so it’s about time for a bit of an overhaul with the introduction of the P5 Series 2 headphones.
Fortunately, everything you have come to love about the original P5 headphones is still very much intact with this 2nd generation. That includes the generous use of leather around the headband, the sturdy metal frame, and comfortable ear cups. But, one significant change when it comes to design would be the grille pattern of the ear pads. The other would be the drivers that power this baby. The 2x 40mm drivers now sound even crisper and deeper than before. And, thanks to some of the same driver technology used by the P7 headphones, the P5 Series 2 headphones are beautifully balanced without bleeding your ears on bass.
We tested our Bowers and Wilkins P5 Series 2 review model with different types of genres. The higher the bit rate, the better the performance—it’s then that you can truly hear how the Series 2 headphones burst to life. The sound is pretty balanced, as it leans more to the mids and highs and is not drowning in bass. It also performs well with Spotify and other streaming services. However, you do have to turn the volume up in order to really hear all the details clearly, otherwise it sounds a bit empty with no body.
These headphones are just as comfortable as you remember, too. The physical design hasn’t changed all that much, which is fine by us. The P5 Series 2 headphones really do end up giving you the best of both worlds—you get part of the premium audio performance of the P7 headphones in the smaller, travel-friendly form factor that you’ve come to expect from the P5 headphones. Hard to complain about that.
After a couple weeks with our Bowers and Wilkins P5 Series 2 review model, we don’t have much negative to say. Everything you liked about the first generation is still here. That includes the design and the accessories, including the slick carrying case that can easily double as an evening bag if you tried. Listeners will look slick and rich in these headphones, and the better sound performance only enhances their appeal. On some songs, though, you will find yourself turning up the volume to really experience the full body of this headgear. And, if you have hi-res files, these headphones will gobble them up with love. So if you loved the originals, then know that the Series 2 has only gotten better. The P5 Series 2 headphones retail for $299.99 and is available now.
The Good: Same great design with a high-end luxury appeal, ear cups have been redesigned for better air flow and comfort, the addition of the same drivers currently in the P7 headphones mean the P5 Series 2 headphones sound even better than they look, high bit rate audio files sound amazing
The Bad: You’ll find yourself turning up the volume to really get the full effect of what these headphones can do on music streaming apps