I am not opposed to trendy or even novelty type accessories but I find my taste gadgets leans more on the grown and sexy side. Even though I’m not against fun multi colored cans – I think I long decided to leave the obnoxiously big, multi colored over ear headphones in my sons world. I’ve owned my Bowers & Wilkins P3 Mobile Hi-Fi headphones for a bit over 6 months now and they’re still the one I go to when I’m out and about.
Style and Design
First of all, stylistically they’re impressive. The words aluminum and rubber don’t usually paint a picture of class or aesthetically pleasing but for the P3?s it manages to accomplish both. They come in a hard clam shell carrying case that is lined with what feels like velvet and closely resembles an eyeglass case. The P3?s come with two pair of cables; one with an iDevice compatible remote/microphone attachment; and another with no attachment for those people that use Android or other devices and would rather not deal with attachments they can’t use.
If you decide you want to change out the cables it’s easy as pie. You just pop off the replaceable, magnetic memory foam ear pads and voila -you’re all set. I use an iPod, iPad and an iPhone regularly and of course the remote/mic worked as any other iDevice compatible controller (tap once to pause, twice to fast forward; etc). I also used the iDevice cable with a Samsung Galaxy S III and I was able to play music and actually answer calls. I did notice a very noticeable decline in sound quality when using it to talk on the S III, however using the music player and Spotify apps sound quality was still perfection.
Sound and Experience
The custom fabric on the ear pads make them comfortable, fashionable and seemingly improves the listening experience by allowing for a more natural, true to life sound. I used these headphones to listen to hip-hop, pop and a classical music and must say there is a huge difference with these headphones when listening to live versus manufactured instrumentation. For example, listening to Intro’s – One of a Kind Love the music enveloped me. It reminded me of sitting alone in my living room stereo on full blast without distortion making me feel like I was at a concert. When I listened to Nicki Minaj’s – High School the track sounded better at 75% max volume any higher some of the digitized music felt like it was screeching. The ear pads had a slight vibration like you feel from a pair of speakers reacting to the bassline. I did notice after playing a song the second time I could play at max volume and track sounded more natural. Both pre and post “burn in” the vocals were isolated and crisp giving you a true performance type feel. The mids, lows and highs all blend perfectly and the bass does give a little “punch” but it’s not over-saturated like some cans in this price class tend to be. Even though it blends you can still differentiate what you’re listening to so if you’re a person that loves to “air conduct” while listening to your music -these are perfect for you. Some will debate about whether or not earphones have a “burn in” phase but for me I definitely felt like the P3’s do.
As I’ve said before I’ve owned these headphones for well over several months now and after all the headphones I’ve reviewed especially this month the P3’s are still my go to pair of On-Ear headphones. Granted there is a bit of a break in period and that might be a deal breaker for some, but the more you listen to music the quicker they seem to adjust accordingly.
The Bower’s and Wilkins P3?s come in either a white finish, black finish and now Blue finish – and at $199.99, they are worth the price. Perfect for working out, walking the dog or anything you can thing of doing with headphones on. After several hours of use I noticed they are not as comfortable long-term as my Roc Nation Aviators or my V-Moda Crossfades – but the upside is they also don’t make my ears sweat and I don’t look like a tween when I wear them. If you’re looking for portable, sleek and fashionable killer sound aluminum and rubber never looked so good.
Side note: The pictures don’t fully do them justice so check out the video below and stop on over to our contest post to enter to win a pair ;)