Most helpful positive review
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Terrific headphones, worth every penny, but make sure to let them "burn in" before passing judgement
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)
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...