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Customer Review

71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific headphones, worth every penny, but make sure to let them "burn in" before passing judgement, 8 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bowers & Wilkins P3 On-Ear Headphones B&W - White (Electronics)
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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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Apr 2014, 00:20:49 BST
I find these to be too bottom heavy, lacking in depth and separation, and poor top and middle.
Look lovely, and far more class than any Beats.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Nov 2015, 13:17:52 GMT
Ca Marsh says:
The average bean can sounds better than beats.

Posted on 7 Feb 2017, 15:00:08 GMT
Mr D says:
Burning in is nonsense, you brain simply fools you into thinking the sound has changed, from the box my audio technica mx50s sound the same as they do now, if you do not like the sound, send them back

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2017, 15:10:38 GMT
Ca Marsh says:
Could I ask your qualification for your your assertion that 'burning in is nonsense'? I read that 'audio expert Tyll Hertsens' performed a very detailed study and came to the conclusion that a difference COULD be heard. Burning in is not a process I have ever been driven to try. I guess it'll be one of those subjects that will rage for ever (like the PC v. Mac debate) with neither camp ever giving way.
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