Bowers and Wilkins have a strong reputation when it comes to audio and have satisfied audiophiles for years with their premium speaker systems. The P3 over-ear headphones are positioned as a more affordable alternative to the B&W P5 Series 2 and P7. The question now is will these headphones live up to B&W’s reputation?
B&W has built a completely new custom drive unit specifically for the P3. It features a specially damped diaphragm using technology from the company’s loudspeaker designs. That together with the new venting system they achieved uniform airflow around the driver to lower distortion and promote a clear, more natural sound.
The headphones come with two swappable cables; one regular and one with an inline mic and controls for iPhone. It’s worth mentioning that cable controller functionality is designed for iPhone, so if you’re using an Android device it’s better to stick with the regular cable.
In a era where portability is so important, the headphones fold up into a neat compact size and come complete with a hard-shell case. The ear cushions are changeable and made from appropriately dense memory foam which moulds to the shape of your ears and for a comfortably snug fit.
We’re quite impressed with the unique aesthetic of the P3’s design. The P3’s soft-touch hard case screams of quality before we even see the headphones. Just like the photos, the overall stripped-back look of the headphones give them a clean, lightweight look and feel. Visually, the P3 is a refreshing departure from the obtrusive styling of many other over-ear headphones on the market.
The headphones have the solid build quality that you’d expect from a high-end product, and to top it off, they’re finished with a premium “bespoke fabric” and brushed aluminium detailing to give it a tastefully luxurious aura.
The P3’s are far from just a fashion accessory. The sound quality is truly impressive. Sound delivery is well balanced with a good tight bass, and vocals are expressive with a rich tone. Using the headphones felt like the bass, mid and treble were somewhat separated from each other, providing a high clarity, layered sound. The closed back design keeps noise leakage to a minimum thus maintaining an immersive listening experience even in noisy environments such as subways. There are other headphones on the market that deliver more emphasis on the low end, but even so, the P3’s still deliver a crisp, clear sound over a variety of different music.
It’s difficult to find fault with the B&W P3 Headphones. They’re sexy, comfortable, lightweight and deliver a sound quality that’s hard to rival. If you’re on the hunt for some new cans we’d strongly recommend you consider the Bowers & Wilkins P3’s.