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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars112
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Price:£169.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 8 February 2013
I got these headphones to replace my Bose OE2i headphones, which i sent back due to a faulty cable. I had heard a lot about the Bowers and Wilkins brand and felt I should give them a shot. I am going to compare these with my OE2is as I feel a lot of people may be considering these two

To start off with, unlike the Bose OE2i, which arrived in very cheap plastic packing, the P3s come in an Apple-like box with a picture of the product on top. Already looks like quality. When you open the box, you see the white hard case, and the presentation straight away makes you feel like this is an expensive product (as it is). Inside the case, the headphones are folded with the default wire being the iPod/iPhone compatible cable. There is an additional cable at the bottom of the box without the remote for non-Apple devices. The cables can be switched very easily, by gently lifting the earcups off (which are magnetically aligned and held)

Build quality/Looks:
When you take the P3s out of the box, and unfold them, once again you feel like this is an expensive product. The quality feels fantastic, and the twisted metal and brushed aluminium finish is just exquisite. The magnetically held and aligned earcups are also beautifully put together. It almost feels like the P3s are worth £170 for the build quality and looks alone. These are probably the best looking headphones out there: very elegant looking, without being brash such as some artist inspired ones. I would say the only downside would be the cable itself, this does feel slightly flimsy. In addition it comes out of both cans, which some people may not like, but I do not really notice.

Despite the great looks and the build, the key feature definitely has to be sound when buying headphones at this price. I must admit here that when I used the P3s on the first day, I couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed by the performance. However, after reading some forums, I left the headphones plugged into my laptop for a few hours with music playing at about half volume. This was to let the headphones "burn in".
Now, the sound quality is simply sublime. I can hear bits of the music which I never heard before, even with my OE2i (which I thought were amazing), and everything sounds crisp and sharp, but there is no compromise on the bass; this gently caresses your ears at the required moments, instead of drowning out other bits of the music. These are much better than my OE2i headphones were, and I feel like the extra £20 was definitely worth it for the sound alone.
Noise cancelling is obviously not a feature of these headphones. In general though, the level of cancelling is adequate on most streets, and also on the quieter trains. You can hear music fairly loud on about 70% of the iPhone volume. On the noisier trains such as the Jubilee line and the Victoria line,you may need to turn the volume up to 85-90% of the iPhone to cancel enough noise out. At work I am OK to play my music at 50% volume, still loud enough for a good experience, but does not disturb my neighbours

I mainly use these headphones for commuting and using at work. Given their size, and the fact that they fold up into a case makes them very portable. They also look great on the street and The sound quality is exceptionally good for portable headphones, and the build quality terrific. If you are after a great looking pair of good sounding portable headphones, look no further. These are worth the money and more. As I mentioned though, make sure you burn them in before passing any judgement on them...
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on 24 June 2013
From opening the Amazon box to unpacking them, everything about these headphones says "Quality". I do agree with what has previously been said, that these phones take a little time to 'bed-in'. At first they felt a little bit tight on my head and sounded a little bass heavy, but over a few days they settled and now feel and sound great.
Worth every penny.
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on 28 June 2015
I really love these headphones and use them almost every single day (when they're working). So why the low score? The problem is the headphone leads, which seem to fail on me every 2-3 months. I've literally gone through 7 cables in the 18 months I've had them. They always seem to fail in the same place, around the jack. They start by cutting out if you don't have the cable positioned just right, then they go mono and finally stop working altogether. I've had several replacements from Bowers & Wilkins, but each one suffers the same fate. If you're only using them on occasion you may get more use of of them than me. However if you're looking for a good set of headphones for everyday use, I'd avoid these unless you;re happy paying £30 every couple of months for replacement leads.
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on 12 November 2012
I've always had a problem with those awful earbud things supplied with the iPhone so have never really used it's 'iPod' capabilities. I'm a bit of a hi-fi snob too, and didn't really consider 'electronic' music to be worth listening to. Wrong: these B&Ws really do bring out the best in MP3s and make them sound more than acceptable.

The balance is neutral, verging on the lean, so none of the terrible bass-heavy thickness of Beats and similar variants. Just fantastic quality sound. That's before you even consider that they are a quality piece of kit, and look great!
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on 1 November 2013
Having owned Both Beats Studio and Beats Solo HD headphones I feel like a fool for not buying these earlier. It has vastly superior sound quality with really deep warm bass that you associate with high end hi-fi systems. Don't think twice about buying these, buy them now!
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on 2 May 2013
I find the B&W slightly more comfortable than the AKG451 for continoius listening pleasure. The B&W have a softer laid back sound as opposed to the slightly brighter but more dynamic sound of the AKG451. At around £50 the AKG's are a superb bargain and if you can afford the B&W at around £130+ it is worth getting both. You will not be disappointed with either they are both different and at the same time very good headphones for serious listening.Some people say that the B&W's reveal more detail than the AKG451 but I have to disagree . The vocal sound on the AKG sparkle with extra clarity than on the B&W. If the AKG451 were as comfortable as the B&W they may of held their original price of £130. AKG have pushed the boundaries to achieve a lively set of cans that you either love or hate whereas B&W have opted for a safe sound that pleases the masses.
It is misleading to say one is better than the other because it depends on your mood and the type of music you are listening to that determines the right headphones to put on. Since these two reveal different aspects of the same music they compliment each other really well.
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on 12 August 2013
Arrived quickly and earlier than advised. The sound out of these is better than headphones you buy for £250, highly recommend them
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on 7 January 2014
I did not purchase from Amazon as price went up after Christmas, However these headphone are great they do need to be run in as the ones that I tried in John Lewis had a better sound quality to them leave connected to sound output on half volume for five hours. If is there is a down side the case is quite large.
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on 22 January 2013
I will start by breaking the headphone review into categories that I believe headphones are comprised of. 1. Style 2. comfort 3. build 4. sound 5. price. This will be a long review but in my opinion these are worth it.

So number 1 the style, I have to say the p3's are some of or possibly the best looking headphones on the market today. They are classy and elegant without being too look at me. They ooze premium quality and you don't see them every where you look which in my opinion adds to the appeal of these headphones. The only other headphones that look as good are the B&W p5.
Comfort. These I will admit were not the most comfortable headphones out of the box, but after wearing them for about a week they have become very comfortable headphones. I think this is due to the memory foam padding the units use. They don't clamp your ears to your head causing discomfort, they seem to sit comfortably without any pain after prolonged use. I have to wear glasses for using laptops and reading and I enjoy listening to music whilst doing this, they are surprisingly comfortable with glasses which I have found issues with other brands of headphones of this type. Also to note the headbands are so comfortable it doesn't actually feel like you are wearing them at all.

Number 3 build. Well they are simply amazing with one minor issue. The one issue I have is the wire connection to the 3.5mm jack, it seems a little flimsy, I don't think it will an issue but I thought that I would mention it. However don't let this put you off from buying these. Now the good points the wire input in to the headphone itself is brilliant, this is due to the connection being inside the headphone pad. This makes the connection very secure. You have to remove the ear pad to change the wires. These are joined to the headphone unit with self aligning magnets which is simply brilliant. The swooping metal connection between the headphone and band looks amazing as well as being very functional. The materials finish is 1st rate and I have not a bad word to say on how they feel.

4. Sound this is for me the most important part of purchasing any audio equipment. I will start by saying that like with all speakers and headphones I allow time to allow the speakers to run in. By this I mean playing the headphones at about 1/2 volume for approximately 15 hours, doing this allows the drivers to loosen and produce smoother sounds. So the sound is simply a masterclass in balance between the bass, mid and highs and well they are amazing which I expected nothing less from B&W. The bass is not overpowering but its there when its needed, not like the artist inspired headphones that add bass to any sort of music whether its there or not. These mids are clear and not clouded by the rest of the range and as Ive mentioned they just blend and balance everything superbly. I listen to a wide range of music and they haven't put a foot wrong yet. The one minor issue is that if you have crap quality music these headphones will not flatter it and cover the poor quality up, you will hear it. This just means that the headphones sound like how the music was intended not with audio trickery of some of its other headphone rivals.

Finally to the price, yes they are expensive but if you love music, wont some beautifully crafted headphones then I suggest these. The have a premium price tag but they more than make up for it. They are not perfect but they are damn close.
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on 14 January 2013
I spent a good deal of time researching headphones, primarily to use in the office as my ears get tired of the in-ear ones if wearing them for a long time. Having been a long time fan of B&W speakers (owning some 600 series speakers and a Zeppelin) I was keen to give their headphones a chance and the existing reviews seemed to confirm what the press has been saying, that these are a decent sounding, good looking choice for this price bracket.

So far I have used them for around 10 hours and on the whole I am happy. Firstly they look great, I think the design is timeless and they look expensive. Comfort wise, they aren't bad, but I do find they can slip a little on my ears with the pads not really gripping, this isn't a problem when sat at my desk but on the move was noticeably annoying. This is especially true as I find them to be quite sensitive to where they are placed on your ears to get the best balance of sound, moving them about can change it quite a bit.

So on to the sound which is the most important consideration with this product, I listen to a broad range of music from acoustic works from artists like Passenger and Ben Howard to a range of dance music and a lot in between. I would say that on the whole its good, vocal reproduction is very clear and mid tones excellent, however it does sometimes seem like the highs and lows are a little lacking, the highs in detail which can seem absent and the lows in presence which is not always as full as you might expect (again especially when on the move). They definitely appear to favour the vocal/acoustic mix rather than dance music which in particular when on the move can sound a bit flat.

By no means a poor sound and maybe one that will improve as the headphones get more run-in but if I'm honest they don't 'wow' me. However all things considered they are a good overall package and the build quality and aesthetics certainly make them attractive.

Edit 16/01/13 - I think the sound has improved on these as they've warn in a bit and the sound seems more balanced now, In-ears are probably better for commuting but these work great in relatively quiet places with a nice balanced sound.
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