Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones Page 2

BowersWilking_P7Wireless_Photo_InCase

Sound Quality
The B&W P7 has a gentle, tasty "V" shaped response with a slightly emphasized mid-bass and mid-treble. To my ears the only thing that rises to the level of a flaw is the bass boost is a bit mid-bass centric, and bleeds just slightly into the midrange. This is a very minor flaw and easily accommodated in listening.

Other deviations from neutral are minor and don't rise to the level of "flaw" but rather add to the character of the headphone. Me, I'm a "give me neutral with a slight roll-off in the upper treble and a 5dB bass boost below 150Hz" kind of guy, so the P7 is just a tad too bright for me. Thing is, it's close enough that it doesn't interfere with my listening pleasure...well, other than the slight bass bloom.

This is an important point I think: Once you're close enough to neutral, critiquing a headphone is more about describing its character rather than pointing out flaws. The P7 is a dandy headphone presenting itself as having a warm and lively character.

Mid-range is smooth and even. Female vocals are nicely coherent. Transition into the treble is likewise well integrated. Cymbals are natural sounding and well resolved, though just a bit grainy and slightly more emphatic than I would desire.

Imaging is reasonably well defined and stable. Slightly wider than it is deep; I'd say it strikes a nice balance between being so deep it feels too distant, and being too close and in your face. Nominal in the NASA sense—on target and meeting expectations.

Dynamic impact, like imaging, is kind of right down the middle. It's not soft or sloppy, and it's not going to knock an eyeball out. Again, nominal.

Removing the cable and listening over Bluetooth I'm relieved to say that not much changes at all. The bass gets a tad looser, and the sound gets a bit less refined when compared to being well amped over the cable. But compared to many headphones, the P7 does an outstanding job of keeping its composure when loosing its tether.

Summary
The Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless is an elegant, well built, comfortable Bluetooth headphones with excellent sound quality and good isolation. Built with leather, chromed steel, and anodized aluminum, the build quality, fit and finish is superb. A true daily driver...especially if you like English sports cars; very natty.

The overall sonic character is warm and lively. The lows are nicely emphasized, though a bit mid-bass centric and slightly invading the low-mids. Mid-treble is very slightly emphasized and is nicely resolving; cymbals are natural sounding though just a tad forward.

This is a really solid from a premier audio company and will pretty easily knock a few cans of the Wall of Fame. One note here is that I've seen quite a bit of competition in this category/price-range, and I expect the P7 Wireless is going to have its work cut out for it to remain on the WoF going forward. Good times for us listeners though, the P7 feels like the beginning of a new age of quality headphones worth the price of admission.

Video
Click here to view on YouTube.

Resources
B&W home page and P7 Wireless product page.
Head-Fi reviews, and impressions thread.

COMPANY INFO
Bowers&Wilkins
54 Concord Street
North Reading, MA
marketing@bwgroupusa.com
(978) 664 2870
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
gLer's picture

...to the wired P7? I've read reviews that it improves on it a bit, and others that claim they're virtually identical in character. One of your 'gripes' with the wired version were the non-memory-foam earpads. Are the P7W earpads different in this regard (being memory foam), in which case a straight swap of the P7 for P7W earpads should be a comfortable upgrade. On a different note, would love for you to test the new P9 flagship to read how it compares to the P7/P7W. Thanks for a brilliant and resourceful site!

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Just checked it and the pads are swappable. They are different; the new pads have different acoustic damping structure on the pad plate.
gLer's picture

Thanks Tyll. Given your comments about the "stiff" P7 pads, do you think getting a set of P7 Wireless pads for the P7 would be an "upgrade" wither comfort wise or acoustically? Could the pads be influencing the performance of the headphones?

ScaryFatKidGT's picture

They changed the pads on all of the P7's awhile ago, the originals were very hard, think a leather wrapped steering wheel.

One thing is the newer ones don't have the crazy good treble I remember.... I wonder how the pads affect that?

music4life's picture

Thanks for the great comprehensive review as always Tyll. I wanted to suggest to you to review the Sony MDR 1000x. I've heard a lot of hype about it, including that it is superior to the QC35 wireless in both SQ and NC.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
They're on the way.
bogdanb's picture

I did ended up buying a second pair of NAD viso hp50 after a 1 year brake from the old one which broke.

bogdanb's picture

published the comment by misteke
any way, I have the new hp50, seems like they have made some changes to the packaging, and I really hope on the build quality (I hope this one will last me a long time).

I started however to feel like I need a good wireless one... so yeah, I'll be watching closely future reviews of wireless headphones.

Thank you!
(3 headphones bought based on your reviews, admittedly one twice :) ) 750 euros and counting!

Token Gesture's picture

I have the Sonys and love them. I consider them to be the best NC wireless option currently avaialable. Hope Tyll reviews them soon.

Jayhawklaw's picture

How do these compare with the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless? The P7s aren't on the WOF yet so I'm wondering if they'll knock of the Sennheisers or if not, which is the better sounding HP.

norb's picture

Hi Tyll, can you please tell us why the original P7 didn´t make it on the WoF and the wireless version does? Have B&W changed the tuning, too? (or just the memory foam pads?) Why did you back then say that the original P7 model had too much bass (and therefore did not make it into the WoF) but this one with the same bass problem does make it? Thanks for clarification.

BaggedMilk's picture

Tyll's preferences have changed a tad to prefer a bit more bass, and this is also a Bluetooth headphone. It's a different category altogether from the wired P7. The competition isn't as strong.

BaggedMilk's picture

You posted this review under the "on ear" section.

RPGWiZaRD's picture

One of the few wireless headphones which actually looks like it would be measuring better in wireless mode, very impressive frequency response imo for bluetooth.

lenbell's picture

Hello tyll... just purchased the bose quiet comfort recently based on your review... how would you compare or rank versus P7?

thubes's picture

I've found your site extremely helpful as I've been trying to research for my next headphone purchase. I have a pair of ATH EW9s that I've enjoyed for a couple of years. I love music, but am more interested in investing music dollars into saving for a setup at home than headphones (which I know is probably sacrilege here). I've recently changed jobs though and am in an office setting with lots of cubes around. I want to switch to a closed back over-ear to seal out some of the sound around me and not leak to my colleagues. It doesn't need to be a perfect seal as I'd like to not be oblivious when my boss calls my name. I won't use them walking around. It'll likely be home, office, starbucks, or travel and I don't care about noise cancelling. I'm going to be using spotify premium and either my iPhone 7 (stupid lack of jack) or work computer - which is nothing special.

The idea of wireless is really appealing from a usefulness standpoint and I've done a lot of research on the p7s. I've read some disconcerting reviews on Amazon on distortion after a couple of months that I hope are unfounded. I really want to enjoy my sound though even if critical listening is not the end goal. So I've considered giving up my wireless dream and getting the Meze Classics 99 possibly paired with a simple Fiio E10k out of my work computer. Couple of questions then because I can't find a comparison, how do the Meze sound compared to the Wireless P7s? Have you heard of reliability issues with the p7s? And, if my total budget is $300 to $400 are there others you would consider?

Would appreciate any advice you're willing to share.

Thanks.

Jayhawklaw's picture

Have the P7 wireless headphones been discontinued? They're available on Amazon, Crutchfield, at Best Buy, etc., BUT on B&W's website they are not to be found except for refurbished models in the "outlet" section. If you go to the website and click on the link/tab for headphones you get the new PX, the P9, the P5 wireless, the P3 and the C5. That's it. If you go to the section for wireless headphones you, predictably, see the new PX and the P5 wireless. No wired P7 or P7 wireless. It seems odd to discontinue a fairly new and well reviewed headphone, but there you go

Yreme's picture

I’m also hunting around for an answer to this question.

X