Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Review

by Alex Chang

For any ardent lover of music and technology, the name Bowers & Wilkins is no stranger to the ears. It is a name that resonates with style, sophistication, and, above all, stellar sound quality. A step further into their rich tapestry of products introduces us to a particularly notable member of their repertoire, the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Headphones.

This product is a testament to the Bowers & Wilkins promise of delivering more than just audio equipment. It delivers an experience, a journey of the senses, and a harmonious marriage between aesthetic elegance and auditory excellence. The P5 Wireless Headphones are indeed more than just a pair of headphones; they are a statement.

My fascination with the sonic world and all its intricacies, coupled with a passion for tech gadgets, compels me to dissect the artistry behind these headphones, break down their features, and share this knowledge with fellow enthusiasts. As we embark on this journey, let’s dive into the heart of what makes the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Headphones a sensation in the realm of high-fidelity audio.

Whether you’re seeking to upgrade your current pair or simply appreciate the finer elements in sound reproduction, this review will attempt to capture the essence of the P5 Wireless. From the comfort and durability of its design to the depth and clarity of its soundstage, it’s time to uncover what sets these headphones apart. Tune in for a comprehensive evaluation of design, features, sound quality, and more, in the subsequent sections of this review.

Through this evaluation, you can look forward to a detailed assessment of these headphones from a user’s perspective, uncovering what it truly means to own a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless. The intention is not to influence but to inform, providing insights to empower your decision making when it comes to choosing the perfect audio companion.

See also  Sony WH-1000 XM5 Review

So, let the symphony of the senses begin. Welcome to the world of Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Headphones – where luxury meets auditory delight.

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless

Bowers & Wilkins P5 product information


Bowers & Wilkins, a British company renowned worldwide for its high-performance audio equipment, holds a well-deserved reputation for combining stellar sound engineering with exquisite aesthetics. However, crafting a timeline of the exact origin and creation of the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Headphones poses a challenge due to the unavailability of specific public records pertaining to these headphones’ inception.

Bowers & Wilkins, since its establishment in 1966, has continually evolved its product line, integrating technology advancements with the company’s foundational commitment to audio quality. This evolution led to a consistent focus on producing a range of headphones suited for every type of listener, from the everyday consumer to the dedicated audiophile.

The release of the P5 series marked a significant milestone in Bowers & Wilkins’ journey. Designed to blend the traditional high fidelity sound with the freedom of wireless connectivity, these headphones resonated with a market increasingly driven by mobile devices and wireless technology. The transition from the wired P5 to the P5 Wireless represented an adaptation to this consumer shift, offering a no-compromise solution for individuals seeking high-quality sound without the constraints of a wired connection.

To achieve this, Bowers & Wilkins brought together a team of skilled audio engineers, designers, and technologists. They dedicated their time to designing and testing the P5 Wireless Headphones, ensuring the product would uphold the company’s standards for exceptional sound and build quality. This culminated in the P5 Wireless, an embodiment of Bowers & Wilkins’ ongoing commitment to audio excellence, practical design, and aesthetic appeal.

While exact dates and detailed processes related to the P5 Wireless’ development are not publicly disclosed, it’s evident that these headphones are a product of Bowers & Wilkins’ rich history, dedicated engineering, and firm commitment to delivering superior audio experiences to consumers worldwide.


Year of ManufactureN/A
CompanyBowers & Wilkins
Fit TypeOn-Ear
Item DimensionsN/A
Item WeightN/A
Special FeaturesWireless, Fold-flat design
Driver SizeN/A
Frequency ResponseN/A
Bluetooth VersionN/A
Bluetooth RangeN/A
ANC ModesN/A
Audio CodecN/A
Battery LifeApproximately 17 hours
Charging TimeN/A
Quick ChargingN/A
ControlsVolume, Activation control

What is included in the delivery set?

While the specific contents of the package may vary slightly depending on the region or retailer, the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones typically come with the following items in the box:

  1. Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones
  2. A carry case for protection and portability
  3. A USB charging cable for charging the built-in battery
  4. An audio cable for wired use, in case the battery runs out or you prefer a wired connection
  5. A quick start guide and/or user manual to help you get started with your new headphones

Please note that the actual contents of the box should be verified with the retailer or directly with Bowers & Wilkins to ensure you receive everything that is supposed to be included.

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless

What about design, materials, assembly?

Design, materials, and assembly are three key factors that contribute significantly to the overall user experience and performance of the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones.

Design: The P5 Wireless headphones boast a sleek and elegant design, staying true to Bowers & Wilkins’ commitment to aesthetic appeal. Their on-ear style ensures they sit comfortably on the ears without completely enclosing them, providing a blend of comfort and auditory experience. The placement of controls on the ear cup for volume adjustment and activation of virtual assistants is a thoughtful addition that enhances user convenience.

Materials: Bowers & Wilkins has always prioritized the use of high-quality materials in their products, and the P5 Wireless headphones are no exception. The ear cups feature memory foam-like padding that’s encased in a luxurious leatherette material, offering comfort for prolonged use. However, it’s worth noting that the material could make the ear cups slightly warm during hot weather conditions.

Assembly: The assembly of the P5 Wireless headphones demonstrates the brand’s attention to detail and quality. They’re solidly built with an emphasis on durability and longevity. One remarkable design choice is the incorporation of a magnetic ear pad. Users can remove the pad to access the channel and jack to connect the audio cable, ensuring a streamlined aesthetic. While the ear cups can be folded flat for easy storage, they cannot be further collapsed, which might affect portability for some users.

In conclusion, Bowers & Wilkins has ensured that the P5 Wireless headphones reflect their brand ethos in every aspect – from design and materials to assembly. They are crafted to offer a comfortable fit, appealing design, and reliable performance, contributing to an immersive listening experience for users.

CriteriaRating (out of 10)Comments
Design8.5Stylish, sleek but might feel a bit bulky for some.
Materials9High-quality materials like memory foam and leatherette for comfort.
Assembly9Solid build, but ear cups can’t be fully folded down for compactness.

What about ergonomics and usability Bowers & Wilkins P5?

The Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless Headphones excel in the ergonomics department. The headphones’ design has been thoughtfully considered to provide a comfortable user experience, even for extended periods of use.

The headphones’ on-ear design is complemented with a generous amount of headband padding and well-padded ear cups. The memory foam-like material on the ear cups is covered with a soft leatherette, ensuring a comfortable fit. This attention to comfort is a clear indication of Bowers & Wilkins’ consideration of ergonomic principles in their design.

The headphones also feature easy-to-use controls for volume and virtual assistant activation, housed in the right ear cup. This thoughtful placement makes these features easily accessible, enhancing the usability of the headphones.

However, it’s important to note that the ear cups may become slightly warm in hot weather due to the leatherette material. Also, the labeling for left and right is subtly placed and might require a second look initially.

The P5 Wireless headphones offer fold-flat design, making them easy to carry and store. While they can’t be further broken down, this shouldn’t pose a major issue for most users.

The headphones have an impressive battery life of approximately 17 hours, depending on volume levels. This long battery life reduces the need for frequent charging, contributing to the overall user convenience.

In terms of usability, the magnetic ear pad design is a clear winner. It allows easy access to the channel and jack for the audio cable, ensuring a streamlined aesthetic and functionality.

In conclusion, the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones offer superior ergonomics and usability, carefully balancing comfort, style, and practical features. These characteristics make them a great choice for users seeking a premium, comfortable, and user-friendly audio solution.

CriteriaRating (out of 10)Comments
Ergonomics9Comfortable design but can be slightly warm in hot weather.
Usability8.5Easy to use with accessible controls and long battery life, but ear cups can’t be fully collapsed for compactness.

What about connection, control and software?

Connection: The Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones make use of Bluetooth technology for wireless connectivity. They should pair easily with any Bluetooth-enabled device. While the specific Bluetooth version is not mentioned, most contemporary devices should work without any issue. The absence of wires offers users freedom of movement, enhancing the overall listening experience.

Control: The control scheme for the P5 Wireless headphones is conveniently located on the right ear cup. It includes buttons for volume adjustment and activation of virtual assistants like Siri or Google, enabling users to perform basic tasks without reaching for their connected device. This hands-free functionality improves the usability of the headphones, especially when on the move.

Software: While Bowers & Wilkins doesn’t provide specific software for the P5 Wireless headphones, they are designed to work seamlessly with the standard Bluetooth protocols of various devices. Depending on the device you’re using, you may have access to different settings and features such as equalizer adjustments, which can be done through the device’s own music software or third-party apps.

One thing to keep in mind is the possibility of firmware updates. Some headphone manufacturers provide updates to improve functionality or resolve issues. While there’s no indication of this feature for the P5 Wireless, it’s always recommended to check the Bowers & Wilkins website or contact their customer support for the most accurate and current information.

In summary, the P5 Wireless headphones showcase a solid connection, intuitive controls, and broad compatibility with devices, providing a hassle-free and enjoyable user experience.

CriteriaRating (out of 10)Comments
Connection8.5Reliable Bluetooth connectivity, but exact version is unknown.
Control9Easy-to-use controls located on the right ear cup.
Software8No specific software, but compatibility with standard device protocols.
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless

How’s the sound quality? 

The Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones have been praised for their overall sound quality, particularly in their handling of bass and mid-range frequencies. Let’s break this down a bit more:

  1. Bass: The headphones are known for a pleasantly rich bass response. The bass is deep and well-defined, adding a satisfying fullness to the music. It’s not overpowering or muddied, which means it doesn’t overshadow the mid and high frequencies. This level of balance ensures that the bass enhances rather than detracts from the overall sound experience.
  2. Mid-Range: The mid-range reproduction of the P5 Wireless headphones is clear and articulate. This is important as much of the ‘body’ of music – including the bulk of vocal, piano, and guitar tones – lies in the mid-range. With a clear and detailed mid-range, the headphones provide a realistic and immersive listening experience.
  3. Treble: While the headphones do an admirable job with bass and mid-range frequencies, their treatment of the high-frequency range has drawn some criticism. Some users have reported a slight artificial or plastic-like quality to the treble, which isn’t present in other models like the P3 or the wired version of the P5. This aspect could affect the reproduction of higher notes and overtones, potentially reducing the overall sound clarity.

In conclusion, while the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones offer a largely enjoyable and balanced sound experience, they might not entirely satisfy those who seek a highly detailed and nuanced high-frequency reproduction. As with any audio equipment, individual preferences and perceptions can greatly influence one’s appraisal of sound quality.

CriteriaRating (out of 10)Comments
Bass9Deep, well-defined bass that’s balanced and not overpowering.
Midrange8.5Clear and articulate midrange, contributing to an immersive listening experience.
Treble7Some slight artificial quality to the treble noted by some users.
Soundstage & Imaging7.5Good soundstage for closed-back headphones but may lack some of the openness of open-back designs.
Noise CancellationN/AThe P5 Wireless headphones do not feature active noise cancellation.

What about the energy efficiency and battery life?

The Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones showcase impressive energy efficiency, with a battery life of approximately 17 hours depending on the volume level. This extended battery life is particularly noteworthy for a Bluetooth headphone of this size, ensuring prolonged enjoyment without frequent recharging.

Energy efficiency in headphones can refer to how well the headphones use their power source, often translating to longer battery life. The P5 Wireless headphones seem to manage their battery usage quite well, enabling users to enjoy their music for extended periods on a single charge.

As for recharging, it is not mentioned specifically how long the headphones take to fully charge. However, many wireless headphones of similar caliber typically take around 2 to 3 hours to recharge completely.

One crucial aspect to consider is how the headphones manage their power when not in use. Some headphones have an automatic shutdown or sleep mode after a period of inactivity, which can significantly extend the overall battery life. However, there’s no information available about such a feature in the P5 Wireless headphones.

In conclusion, the energy efficiency and battery life of the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones are impressive, ensuring that your listening experience won’t be frequently interrupted by the need to recharge the device.

Comparison & Review

There are several headphones on the market that offer similar features and fall within the same price range as the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones. Here are a few examples:

  1. Sony WH-1000XM4: Sony’s flagship headphones offer exceptional sound quality, active noise cancellation, and a slew of extra features, including customizable EQ and multi-device pairing.
  2. Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Known for their excellent noise-cancellation technology and comfortable design, these headphones from Bose also provide excellent sound quality.
  3. Sennheiser Momentum 3: Sennheiser’s premium headphones are lauded for their robust design and exceptional sound reproduction. They also feature active noise cancellation and transparent hearing mode.
  4. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT: These wireless headphones from Audio-Technica offer great sound quality and an impressive battery life.
  5. Beats Studio3 Wireless: The Beats Studio3 offer a stylish design, good sound quality, and effective noise cancellation.

In-depth Highlights:

Sony WH-1000XM4: Sony’s WH-1000XM4 are widely considered among the best noise-canceling headphones currently available. They provide excellent sound quality and impressive noise cancellation. Their long battery life (up to 30 hours with ANC on), comfortable design, and useful features such as touch controls and wear detection make them a worthy competitor. They also have Sony’s LDAC codec for high-quality Bluetooth audio and support for 360 Reality Audio, Sony’s spatial audio format.

Sennheiser Momentum 3: The Momentum 3 headphones from Sennheiser stand out with their blend of stylish design and high-quality sound. The sound profile is balanced, and there’s support for codecs like aptX for better Bluetooth audio quality. They also feature an effective transparent hearing mode, allowing ambient sound in, which can be handy in many situations. Noise cancellation is also available, and it’s quite effective, although it may not be quite on par with Sony’s WH-1000XM4. The companion app offers some degree of EQ customization as well.

Please note that while these models share similarities in features and price with the Bowers & Wilkins P5, individual preferences may lead to different experiences and satisfaction with each product. It’s always a good idea to test out headphones personally to find the best fit for your needs.

Compare with similar items

SpecificationBowers & Wilkins P5Sony WH-1000XM4Sennheiser Momentum 3
Year of ManufactureN/A20202019
CompanyBowers & WilkinsSonySennheiser
Fit TypeOn-EarOver-EarOver-Ear
Item DimensionsN/AN/AN/A
Item WeightN/A254 g305 g
Special FeaturesWireless, MicrophoneWireless, Noise Cancellation, Touch ControlWireless, Noise Cancellation, Transparent Hearing
Driver SizeN/AN/AN/A
Frequency ResponseN/A4 Hz – 40,000 Hz6 Hz – 22,000 Hz
ImpedanceN/A47 ohm (1kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on)100 ohm (passive), 470 ohm (active)
Bluetooth VersionN/ABluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth RangeN/AApprox. 30 ftApprox. 33 ft
ANC ModesN/AYesYes
Audio CodecN/ASBC, AAC, LDACSBC, aptX, aptX Low Latency
Battery LifeApprox. 17 hrsUp to 30 hrsUp to 17 hrs
Charging TimeN/AApprox. 3 hrsApprox. 3 hrs
Quick ChargingN/AYes, 10 min for 5 hrsN/A
ControlsOn-Ear CupTouch Controls, AppPhysical Buttons, App
PriceApprox. $400Approx. $350Approx. $400

How do Bowers & Wilkins P5 users describe their experience with these headphones? 

Positive Feedback:

  1. Superb Sound Quality: Users consistently praise the P5’s audio performance. They especially appreciate the rich, well-defined bass and the clear, articulate midrange. The overall sound profile is balanced and full-bodied, creating a pleasurable listening experience.
  2. Elegant Design and Premium Materials: The stylish, sleek aesthetics of the P5 have won many admirers. Users appreciate the high-quality materials, including the leatherette-covered memory foam ear pads, which also contribute to the headphones’ comfort.
  3. Impressive Battery Life: The long battery life is a key selling point for many users, who appreciate not having to frequently recharge the headphones.
  4. Comfort: Many users find the P5 Wireless headphones to be comfortable for extended wear, thanks to their well-padded headband and ear cups.


  1. High-Frequency Reproduction: Some users mention a slight artificial quality in the high frequencies, which is not present in the wired version or the smaller P3 model. These users felt that, given the premium price point, the treble could have been more refined.
  2. Lack of Noise Cancellation: While the on-ear design offers some passive noise isolation, some users note the lack of active noise cancellation (ANC) as a downside.
  3. Cost: While many users are satisfied with their purchase, others find the $400 price tag a bit steep, especially given the competition in this price range.
  4. Portability: Some users express a desire for the headphones to be more portable. The headphones can fold flat but cannot be further broken down, which may not be ideal for those who travel frequently.

Pros and cons of headphones Bowers & Wilkins P5

Positive AspectsNegative Aspects
Superb sound quality with rich bass and clear midrangeSome disappointment with high-frequency reproduction
Elegant design and premium materials usedHigh price tag for some users
Impressive battery life of approximately 17 hoursLack of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
Comfortable for extended periods of wear due to well-padded headband and ear cupsLimited portability due to inability to break down further for storage
Convenient controls on the ear cupCan become warm on the ears during hot days
Easy pairing and connection processDifficulty in identifying left and right ear cups due to discreet labeling
Streamlined aesthetic due to wireless design
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless


The Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones make a strong statement in the luxury headphones segment, successfully combining elegant design, high-quality materials, and excellent audio performance.

With their rich, full-bodied sound profile characterized by well-defined bass and articulate midrange, these headphones promise an immersive listening experience that users have come to expect from Bowers & Wilkins. The impressive battery life of approximately 17 hours, comfortable wear, and convenient controls further add to their appeal.

However, the headphones aren’t without their drawbacks. Some users have voiced concerns about the high-frequency reproduction, desiring more refinement in the treble. Moreover, the absence of Active Noise Cancellation, a feature commonly found in headphones within this price range, may be a disappointment for some. Limited portability and the tendency of the ear cups to become warm on hot days are minor inconveniences.

The P5’s high price tag reflects Bowers & Wilkins’ positioning as a luxury brand, and while this may be a deterrent for some, others who prioritize both style and audio quality might find these headphones to be a worthwhile investment. In conclusion, the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones strike a balance between luxury, comfort, and audio performance, but potential buyers should consider their specific needs and preferences before making a purchase.

Our Review

Bowers & Wilkins P5. Basic questions, basic answers

  • Are the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones compatible with all devices?

    Yes, the P5 Wireless headphones are compatible with any device that supports Bluetooth connectivity. This includes smartphones, tablets, computers, and some TVs.

  • How long does the battery of the P5 Wireless headphones last on a full charge?

    On a full charge, the P5 Wireless headphones can last approximately 17 hours, depending on the volume level.

  • Can you use the P5 Wireless headphones with a wire if the battery is dead?

    Yes, the headphones come with an audio cable that you can use to connect to your device when the battery is dead or when you want to save battery life.

  • Are these headphones noise-canceling?

    No, the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones do not feature Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). They do offer some passive noise isolation due to their on-ear design, but it may not be as effective as ANC.

  • Are the P5 Wireless headphones suitable for gaming?

    While the P5 Wireless headphones can certainly be used for gaming, they may not provide the same level of performance or features (like a built-in microphone for in-game communication) as some gaming-specific headphones.

  • Are the P5 Wireless headphones comfortable to wear for long periods?

    Many users find the P5 Wireless headphones comfortable for extended wear, thanks to their well-padded headband and ear cups. However, the ear cups may become slightly warmer on hot days.

  • Can I control my virtual assistant using these headphones?

    Yes, the right-hand ear cup of the P5 Wireless headphones houses an activation control for convenient access to virtual assistants like Siri or Google.

  • Are these headphones suitable for exercise or sports use?

    While they may be used during light physical activity, the P5 Wireless headphones are not specifically designed for exercise or sports. They are not advertised as sweat or water-resistant, so heavy perspiration or exposure to rain could potentially damage them.

Last Updated on November 22, 2023

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Alex Chang June 5, 2023 - 7:38 am

Dear readers, thank you for taking the time to read my review of the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless headphones. I’ve tried to provide a comprehensive view of these headphones, but I’m sure you might have your own experiences and perspectives to share. Have you used these headphones before? What did you think about their sound quality, comfort, and overall performance? Whether you’re an audiophile with a discerning ear, a casual listener who values style, or simply exploring your options, I’d love to hear your feedback. Your thoughts and comments could greatly benefit others who are considering purchasing these headphones. Looking forward to hearing from you all!

GamingGuru July 15, 2023 - 4:08 am

Nice review. However, I’d like to point out that, as a gamer, I wasn’t completely satisfied with these for gaming. Lack of a built-in mic and noise cancellation feature is a bit disappointing.

TechSavvyKaren September 9, 2023 - 12:16 am

I bought these based on their looks, and I must say they do sound good. But the high price tag is something to consider. Your review was thorough and fair. Thanks!

Leu January 3, 2024 - 5:17 am

These B&W P5 headphones are pretty amazing! I listen to everything from Slayer and Metallica to Miles Davis and Mozart, and these headphones have been awesome for all of it. They’ve really exceeded my expectations at normal listening levels and even after six months, I still love them just like when I first got them. If you’re into super heavy bass, these might not be your thing. I enjoy some Hip-hop/rap/R&B too and they’re great for that, but I get why they might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially if you like extra bass and treble.

The P5’s are sleek and produce sound just the way it was meant to be heard. They don’t pump up the bass or treble like a lot of other headphones, which seems cool because they’re not just trying to impress teenagers.

I’ve tried out a bunch of other headphones in the same price range and these are the most balanced. I played around with the Monster Beats which are pretty loud and have intense bass, but they started to bug me after a couple of hours. The Bose ones are nice too, but they also made my ears hurt after a while. Other headphones I tried were either too sharp in the highs and weak in the bass, or the other way around. So, if over-the-top bass is your thing, you might want to look elsewhere.

I’ve worn the P5’s for like four hours straight and they’ve been really comfy, no ear trouble or anything. They’re also good at blocking out background noise, but I wouldn’t say they’re the best noise-canceling headphones out there. It’s cool that they come with a mic for the iPhone, though I haven’t really used it much. The build quality is decent for the price. The cord and ear pads are easy to replace, which is a plus.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend the P5’s if you’re looking in this price range. If I ever lost mine, I’d go buy another pair in a heartbeat.


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