When it comes to sound quality and experience, Bowers & Wilkins is one of the most popular names in the industry. Since 1966, they have introduced great quality products and built a loyal fanbase that swears by them.
The Bowers & Wilkins P7 is a mid-range headphone with a classic look and sound quality to match it. As a fan of their products, I was quite excited to try out the P7 and overall it delivered on the performance end.
In this Bowers & Wilkins P7 review, we’ll have a look at the features, performance, and available alternatives to help you decide if it’s the right headphone for you.
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- 1 Key Specifications of the Bowers & Wilkins P7
- 2 Core Features of the Bowers & Wilkins P7
- 3 Performance of the Bowers & Wilkins P7
- 4 Pros of the Bowers & Wilkins P7
- 5 Cons of the Bowers & Wilkins P7
- 6 Alternatives to the Bowers & Wilkins P7
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Final Thoughts – Is the Bowers & Wilkins P7 Worth Buying?
Key Specifications of the Bowers & Wilkins P7
|Frequency Response||10Hz to 20kHz|
|Cable Length||1.2 m|
|Drive Units||2 mm x 40 mm|
|Dimensions||9.2 inches x 7.6 inches x 5.2 inches|
|Overall Weight||2.31 lbs|
|Price||Click here to for the latest price|
Core Features of the Bowers & Wilkins P7
Design and Build
Bowers & Wilkins P7 has the same retro look they are known for. These headphones are made of an all-aluminum body for rigidity and completed with a great back finish for an all-classy look.
The P7 headphones can be folded completely, making them easier to carry and store when you’re out and about. It is around 10 inches in height and weighs less than 3 lbs.
The headphones are designed for portability and can be completely folded. Both the earpieces and the body compress and reduce the volume by half.
The headrest is finished with glossy leather featuring extra padding for giving the user comfort. The earpieces boast a smooth cloth finish to reduce sweat from getting in and improve the overall audio experience.
The earpieces have a dual cavity cushion for added comfort and padding that absorbs sweat from the ears. One great thing about the P7 is that the earpieces are interchangeable.
You can easily buy earpieces in other colors for your style and user preferences. In addition, the earpieces are machine washable which makes them convenient to use for the long term as well.
Not only can you completely fold the P7 when you’re traveling, but you can also remove the cable to protect it from damage. This feature also gives you the benefit of using a different cable if you ever need to. The sound input cable has a length of 5 ft, enough for a person to use these headphones with all types of devices at a distance.
The only major drawback in the design is that they have made the aluminum frame hinges a little too gowdy, and the stiffness of the headrest may cause some uneasiness to users in case of extended use. We’ll discuss this in detail in the performance section of this review.
Audio and Other Features
While the Bowers & Wilkins P7 does not have any out of the box features compared to other headphones available in the market at this price range, it does well when it comes to audio quality and keeping things simple.
The P7 boasts a dynamic sound driver, one of the best in this segment in my opinion. The Hi-Fi sound with the help of a focused diaphragm generates precise and low-distortion sound.
The nylon damped diaphragm and the CCAW (copper-clad aluminum wire) coil give the P7 an excellent sound output. The nylon diaphragm produces high-quality natural sound and the CCAW coils provide excellent music control with reduced heat output, giving you an immersive audio experience with minimal heat produced by the coil.
As you would expect, the headrest in the P7 is extendable for ease of use. The ear cups are connected to the headset with a set of four magnets which makes it easy to remove it.
One drawback with the features is definitely the unavailability of a wireless experience. That said, Bowers & Wilkins does offer a wireless, noise-canceling variant PX7 for audiophiles wanting a wireless experience from the brand.
Now that you’re familiar with the features of the Bowers & Wilkins P7, let’s give you an idea of how they performed in our tests.
Want to know how these headphones compare to the best in class? Check out the Bowers & Wilkins P7 vs Sennheiser momentum comparison.
Performance of the Bowers & Wilkins P7
If you’re in the market for headphones that deliver on sound quality, then the Bowers & Wilkins P7 is the right fit for you. The unboxing experience is pretty straightforward and nothing out of the ordinary.
Once you put the headphones on, you will realize that they are comfortable enough for short sessions, like listening to music while working out, or watching a movie. For long sessions, however, I would not recommend them as they’re not that comfortable.
For users that value comfort, design, build as secondary, and want performance the most out of their headphones, the P7 can be a great choice.
The Bowers & Wilkins P7 has a very refined sound and made for some great music sessions. The deep bass, crisp audio, and low distortion made a fan. Over the weekend, I watched the Dark Knight to appease the comic book fan in me and test the headphones at the same time.
One of the most impressive audio features of the P7 is the distinction in sounds. Normally with headphones in this price range, if you’re watching a movie, the background score and dialogues may seem like they’re blending.
That’s not the case at all with the P7, as every sound and detail is crisp and distinguishable, making for a wholesome audio experience.
Overall, the quality of all the different sounds was outstanding and distributed nicely. That being said, after about 80 to 90 minutes, they did feel a little uncomfortable, so I took short breaks to rest my ears and crown of the head.
Lastly, to test the durability of the P7, I wore them for my morning run. While the bass is rich, I can’t say that the P7 is a bass-heavy headphone and that’s okay. I won’t recommend them for long workout sessions, but they were able to stop the sweat from getting better than most in this price range.
In addition, the earpieces can easily be removed, cleaned, and reinstalled, providing a hassle-free experience. Overall, the P7 does really well in the sound department and is one of my all-time favorites for sure.
Pros of the Bowers & Wilkins P7
There’s a lot to like about the Bowers & Wilkins P7.
Excellent Sound Quality
This is the standout feature for me and sound quality is the main factor for you, then go ahead with the P7. These headphones provide a great sound output, whether you’re listening to music or watching a movie. Every detail and sound is prominent, giving you an immersive audio experience.
The P7 doesn’t just have a great classic look. The aluminum body and use of premium materials make it a sturdy headphone that can be used for the long term.
Though the P7 is essentially not an outdoor headphone, it does boast the padding and sweat control features that make it ideal for your walks and workouts. The dual padding on the headrest and the extra absorbable padding on the earpiece improve both comfort and sweat absorption properties.
Easy of Carrying
The P7 has a detachable cable and can be folded easily to half the size. This makes for a great portable headphone you can easily carry around when not in use.
Cons of the Bowers & Wilkins P7
The P7 does everything a good quality headphone does but there are few things which you should consider before buying.
While the sound quality is fantastic, the noise cancellation could be better. Though not the best in class, the noise cancellation is decent enough.
Not Ideal for Long Sessions
I won’t recommend using these headphones beyond 2 hours. They are not comfortable for long sessions so ideally you should take a few breaks in between to maximize comfort.
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Alternatives to the Bowers & Wilkins P7
If you feel that the Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones may not be the right fit for you, you can check out these alternatives currently available in the market.
V-Moda makes high-end audio products and their headphones range is quite impressive. The V-Moda XS is exactly what it sounds like – a compact on-ear headphone that makes it easy for you to enjoy music, watch movies, or listen to podcasts on the go.
The V-Moda XS boasts steel construction that’s also flexible, giving you a rare combination of comfort and probably the best durability in headphones. They also feature better noise cancellation than the Bowers & Wilkins P7.
That said, the V-Moda XS does come with a hefty price tag. In addition, the ear cups, which they call shields, are quite small and if you want to get bigger ones, you’ll have to shell out more money. They’re not cheap either, so if money is not a concern then this is a great option for you.
Audeze is a relatively new brand but their products feature build and sound quality comparable to the major brands in the market. The Audeze Sine is a mid-range headphone that offers great sound quality through its proprietary planar magnetic design.
Similar to the P7, the Audeze Sine has aluminum construction for sturdiness, and I would say the headrest on the Sine is better than its counterpart. The bass is tight and the distortion levels are minimal, making this a great headphone for music.
What I don’t like about the Audeze Sine is the materials. It features a plastic body that I don’t think many people would fancy given that it costs more than the P7. In addition, because of the build quality, this headphone is also not that great for long sessions.
Bowers & Wilkins P5
If you’re planning to stay with the same brand but are looking for a more affordable option, then you can find the right headphones in the predecessor to the P7. The Bowers & Wilkins P5 is a great option that boasts the audio quality you come to expect from the brand at a wallet-friendly price.
In terms of build quality, I would actually say the Bowers & Wilkins P5 is comparable to the P7. Donning a metal body and real leather finish, these headphones have the classic look and are durable at the same time. They also come in both wired and wireless configurations, giving you the benefit of choosing according to your use.
On the overall sound quality scale, I would say the P7 is better (and should be) than the P5. The bass on the P5 could be better and they don’t work exceptionally well when there’s some background sounds. Overall though, the P5 headphones are a great entry level option you should consider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Yes, the Bowers & Wilkins P7 is compatible with all smartphones, and for Apple users, these headphones offer something extra. The P7 comes with a remote that allows you to easily pair it with Apple products. This gives you the convenience of enjoying your favorite music, watching movies, and more across Apple products.
Answer: Here’s my take on this. If you’re going for a jog or lifting weights and the wire is not much of an issue to you, then these are great headphones for working out. They limit the amount of sweat that goes into them and the padding offers a comfortable wearing experience for short sessions (in my opinion, up to 1 hour). That said, there are better wireless headphones out there in this price range that are purpose-built for outdoor use.
Answer: Unfortunately, the P7 does not have an active noise cancellation feature. But it does have a noise isolation system that keeps background sounds to a minimum. So keeping this in mind, you won’t have a great audio experience when you’re in a dense environment with lots of background sound. That said, the large earpieces mean that it is very less likely for you to come across disturbances while using the headphones in the right setting.
Answer: Yes, you can easily buy earpieces, audio input cables, and more online from their own website as well as Amazon. The earpieces would require changing but not frequently as they are washable and durable than most in the price range.
Final Thoughts – Is the Bowers & Wilkins P7 Worth Buying?
The Bowers & Wilkins P7 is definitely worth buying if you’re looking for headphones that are functional, performance-oriented, and boast a classic look. The brand is known for providing a good audio experience for all types of audiophiles, and the P7 certainly lives up to the bill.
Could you buy better-looking or quality headphones in the same price range? Sure, but when it comes to sound quality, Bowers & Wilkins is a trusted name in the industry and the P7 is a great example of a headphone that doesn’t do a lot but what it does do, it does very well.
So while it comes to individual preferences, budget, and other factors, if you’re in the market for wired headphones that provide exceptional quality sound, the Bowers & Wilkins P7 is one of the best available options today.