Reviewed on Aug 22, 2016 , Marc Henney, Jean-Christophe Lamontagne

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings
6.8Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
7.1Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.5Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
6.9Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
6.7Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
6.6Studio Recording
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What it is How effective the headphones are in a studio recording environment. Therefore sound quality should be good, and leakage should be minimal, to not add noise to the recording. They should also be durable for continuous and repeated studio use.
    Table of Contents
  1. Intro
  2. Design
    1. Style
    2. Comfort
    3. Controls
    4. Stability
    5. Portability
    6. Case
    7. Build Quality
    8. Cable
    9. Front
    10. Angled
    11. Side
    12. Rear
    13. Top
  3. Sound
    1. Bass
    2. Mid
    3. Treble
    4. Frequency Response Consistency
    5. Soundstage
    6. Imaging
    7. Total Harmonic Distortion
  4. Isolation
    1. Noise Isolation
    2. Leakage
  5. Active Features
    1. Wireless
    2. Battery
    3. App Support
  6. In the box
  7. Conclusion
  8. Q&A
Type : On-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The P5 Wireless are well-crafted, wireless headphones with a sturdy build and a compact easy-to-use design. They deliver a good, balanced sound quality and don't leak much. However, they can feel a little tight on your head, and they also don't prevent ambient noise from seeping into your audio.

Test Results
Design 7.1
Sound 7.1
Isolation 5.0
Active Features 7.4
Pros
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Compact, wireless design.
  • Sturdy, durable build.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • A bit tight on the head.

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P5 Wireless Amazon.co.uk CHECK PRICE Right
7.1

Design

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Score components:
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Design Picture

The P5 Wireless are stylish-looking headphones with a great build quality. The materials used in their build feels premium and the metal frame is sturdy and durable. They have a good control scheme, they're wireless and stable enough for moderate physical activity, but they're not sports-oriented headphones. However, they're a bit tight on the head and don't fold which makes them a little harder to carry around even if they're quite compact.

Style
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Design Picture 2

The P5 Wireless have a sleek and polished design. They're well-crafted headphones that make use of premium materials in their build. The headband and ear pad are covered in a stylish black leather that adds to the high-end appeal of these headphones. They have small square ear cups and a unique metal frame that's quite eye-catching.

7.0 Comfort
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What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.48 lbs
Clamping Force
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What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.79 lbs

The P5 Wireless are moderately comfortable headphones but can feel a bit tight on your head. The ear pads are well made and covered in leather, which feels good on the skin. However, they're thinly padded, that, coupled with the on-ear design makes them feel slightly uncomfortable and tight at first. You get use to the fit but they won't be the most comfortable headphones for long listening sessions, especially, if you wear glasses.

7.5 Controls
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What it is: The control scheme of the headphones; the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with, your audio device.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Controls Picture
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes

The P5 Wireless have a simple and efficient control scheme. They provide call/music, track-skipping, and volume controls. The buttons offer decent tactile feedback but they are a bit narrow, which could be bothersome for larger hands.

7.0 Stability
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What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Stability Picture

These headphones are above the average stable. The on-ear design of the P5 clamps on to your head with enough tension that they won't easily fall during physical activity. They're also wireless, which frees you of the hassle of tangling audio cables. However, they won't maintain a stable fit under strenuous conditions like running or intense exercises at the gym.

6.4 Portability
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What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Portability Picture
L : 7.5 "
W : 5.6 "
H : 1.63 "
Volume : 68.9 Cu. Inches

These headphones are moderately portable. They're compact on-ear headphones that lay flat to take less space. They will fit in most bags and larger purses, but unfortunately, they don't fold to reduce their footprint, which makes them a bit cumbersome to carry on your person.

6.5 Case
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What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Case Picture
Type : Pouch

Comes with a stylish pouch that will protect the headphones from scratches and minor water damage. However, the pouch is soft and will not shield your headphones against hard falls. The pouch design is also not waterproof.

7.5 Build Quality
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What it is: Durability; material quality; cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Build Quality Picture

The P5 Wireless like the P5 S2 and P7 are well-built headphones. They have a durable yet lightweight metal frame that's sturdy enough to withstand moderate physical stress. The ear pads magnetically attach to the ear cups and can be replaced if damaged by regular wear and tear. They're are also sufficiently dense and won't break easily from a few falls. However, the thin hinges that connect the frame to the ear cups are the weakest point of this robust and long-lasting build.

Cable
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.04 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

Comes with a 1/16" to 1/8" TRS audio cable with no inline controls and USB charging cable.

Front
Angled
Side
Rear
Top
7.1

Sound

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What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Score components:
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Frequency Response

The P5 Wireless have a good and surprisingly well-balanced audio reproduction for an on-ear design. Their bass is exciting and packs a sufficient punch to please fans of bass-heavy music. Instruments and vocals are also not left behind or pushed too forward, sounding nice and even with the mix. Sadly, they struggle a little with the high-frequencies, and their small closed-back ear cups don't create a natural and open soundstage.

9.0 Bass
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What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Bass
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.59 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
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What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.53 dB
Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.41 dB
High-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.22 dB

Excellent Bass Range performance. The response is virtually flat throughout the range, but overemphasized by just about 2dB. This results in a Bass that is even and punchy.

8.0 Mid
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What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2.5KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Mid
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.69 dB
Low-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds boxy. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.13 dB
Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and honky. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.46 dB
High-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2.5KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.75 dB

Very good Mid Range performance. The response has some dips and bumps, but most of them won't be audible. The 3dB bump in high-mid however, could slightly push the vocals to the front and project them forward.

6.4 Treble
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What it is: Frequency Response from 2.5KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Treble
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
5.42 dB
Low-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2.5KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.21 dB
Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.19 dB
High-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-8.01 dB

Average Treble Range performance. Low-treble and treble are quite well reproduced, but depending on the placement of these on-ears, there may be an increase or decrease in sibilant frequencies around 8KHz. High-treble is noticeably underemphasized which could take some of the airiness out the music.

6.7 Frequency Response Consistency
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What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
  • 100% Avg. Std. Deviation
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Consistency L Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.7 dB

5.3 Soundstage
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What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
PRTF Error
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in Pinna-Related Transfer Function of the headphones, compared to that of a loudspeaker. Whether the soundstage is perceived to be unnatural, located inside or in front of the head, is dependent on this quality. The more the headphones activate the HRTF resonances of the ear (similar to what loudspeakers do), the more the soundstage will be pulled out from inside the listener's head. This quality affects both stereo and mono content.
When it matters: When a natural, in-the-front soundstage is desired, similar to that of a loudspeaker.
Good value: <5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
7.16 dB
Openness
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What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
5.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
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What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones takes some of the characteristic of its environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.6
Correlated Crosstalk
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What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.01 dB

Poor soundstage. Due to the on-ear design and small drivers, these headphones don't activate the resonances of the ear enough to create a large soundstage. Also, with openness at 5.7, they don't sound quite open either.

7.8 Imaging
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What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Phase Response
Phase Error
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in the phase, from the ideal flat response.
When it matters: When an accurate and transparent imaging is desired.
Good value: <60°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
34.01 °
Driver Mismatch (Amplitude)
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What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <0.3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.22 dB
Driver Mismatch (Frequency)
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What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.3 dB
Driver Mismatch (Phase)
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What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <90°
Noticeable difference: 30°
:
59.92 °

Good Imaging. The amount of phase error is low but there's is a noticeable shift in the Mid Range. Additionally, our unit didn't fair great in the frequency response driver-matching test, which is most likely due to the on-ear design.

6.8 Total Harmonic Distortion
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What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.07
Weighted THD @ 100
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
13.62

Above average performance. The amount of harmonic distortion in bass and mid regions are rather elevated, even at 90dB SPL. However, there is minimal amount of harmonic distortion produced in the Treble Range.

5.0

Isolation

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Score components:

The P5 Wireless like the P5 S2, are passively isolating headphones. This means they can only block noise depending on the quality of seal you can achieve with the earpads. Unfortunately, the on-ear pads are a little small  letting a lot of ambient noise seep into your audio. They don't leak much, but poorly isolate you from your environment, which is not ideal for loud, noisy commutes.

4.3 Noise Isolation
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What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
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What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-11.17 dB
Bass
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
0.76 dB
Mid
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-9.76 dB
Treble
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-27.16 dB
Self-Noise
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What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 200Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <18dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
15.21 dB

Poor overall isolation. However, considering these headphones don't have active noise cancelling, the passive isolation provided by the ear cups is decent. Treble isolation is good but as expected, the passive isolation only becomes effective past 400HZ and does not really block any low/bass frequencies. Isolation in the mid-range is also below average.

6.4 Leakage
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What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
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What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
40.41 dB

Decent leakage performance. The majority of leakage is in the 2KHz-7KHz frequency range, which is relatively narrow. The overall level of the leakage is also decent, making these headphones perform above average in Leakage.

7.4

Active Features

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What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The P5 Wireless have one of the better power saving features for active headphones despite not having a bundled app. They will automatically switch off after 10 mins of inactivity that coupled with the already decent battery life means they rarely run out of juice when used casually for shorts burst of audio. They have an average wireless range and also support the aptX codec, but Unfortunately, they still have noticeable latency when listening to videos or playing games.

6.6 Wireless
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What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Type
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What it is: The type and version of the wireless network, the headphones use to connect to the audio source. This could either be Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: The Bluetooth version will determine how compatible the headphones are with your Bluetooth enabled devices. Typically, newer Bluetooth versions are backward compatible with older ones but may lack the additional features that more recent Bluetooth protocols provide.
:
Bluetooth 4.1
SBC Latency
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What it is: The latency for the default sub-band coding of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 170ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
191 ms
aptX Latency
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What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 130ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
167 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
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What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A
Obstructed Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
34 ft
Line of Sight Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
87 ft
NFC
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What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
:
No

The P5 Wireless have decent obstructed range but a below-average range in direct line of sight. They maintained a strong, stable connection up to 30 ft when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. However, they're not the most far reaching headphones in direct line of sight. Their audio cut out surprisingly short of some less expensive wireless models, which may be due to the thick casing of their well-built ear cups but feels a bit disappointing. They also don't offer NFC but luckily aren't too much of a hassle to pair with most devices.

8.8 Battery
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What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Score components:
Battery Type
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What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
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What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
16.26 hrs
Charge Time
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What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
1.7 hrs
Auto-off
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What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Yes
Audio while charging
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What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes

The P5 Wireless deliver a solid 16 hours of battery life with a few battery saving features that reduce how often you have to charge them throughout the day. They have a built-in auto-off timer that switches the headphones off within 10 minutes of not using them. They can also charge while playing audio so if you're on a train, plane or at your office with access to a power source then you can play and not worry about battery life. This makes them decent headphones to use on long flights or road trips and they also do not take long to charge.

0 App Support
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What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

No compatible app.

In the box

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless In the box Picture

  • Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
  • Audio cable 
  • Carrying pouch
  • Manual

Conclusion Amazon.co.uk CHECK PRICE Right

6.8Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Decent as mixed usage everyday headphones. They have a sturdy wireless design and a good sound quality. Their poor noise isolation makes them not ideal for loud environments but at sufficiently high volumes, it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
7.1Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
The P5 Wireless deliver a balanced audio reproduction that caters well to bass and instrument-heavy music. They don't have a spacious soundstage due to the small closed on-ear design, but their sound reproduction won't disappoint as long as you find the on-ear design comfortable.
6.5Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Average at best for commuting. They have a good control scheme, and they're decently portable headphones. However, they struggle to block the ambient noise of loud environments and won't be ideal if you have a busy daily commute or plan to take them on a noisy flight.
6.9Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Above-average for sports. They have a compact wireless design with an efficient control scheme. They're also moderately stable enough for jogging and some light exercising. However, they're not the most comfortable, and the on-ear pads get a little steamy when you sweat a lot.
6.7Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Decent for office use. They won't block all the ambient noise in a loud office environment but don't leak too much.
6.6Studio Recording
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What it is How effective the headphones are in a studio recording environment. Therefore sound quality should be good, and leakage should be minimal, to not add noise to the recording. They should also be durable for continuous and repeated studio use.
Decent for studio recording. They have a good sound relatively low leakage and a sturdy build quality for repeated use.
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Questions & Answers

1 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
0
As the owner of several wireless headsets, battery charge time/life are extremely important when considering Wireless headphones. Can you please include battery life and charge time information in your reviews.
We are currently testing all our active headphones for battery life and charge time. The results will be posted and scored by the end of December. There will also be a dedicated article, with the test results' table, to easily compare battery performance across all headphones.
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