Excerpt: Bowers & Wilkins has a tendency to make the most incredibly unique audio products in the world. First we took a look at Bowers & Wilkins' highly regarded P5 headphones early this year and liked them so much that we've given them our Editors' Choice award. Since then Bowers & Wilkins has introduced the C5 , the in-ear headphones so differently designed that you would naturally think the $180 price tag is all about the looks. Exactly how good these are?
Summary: While the Secure Loop design may not be a perfect fit for every ear, the Bowers & Wilkins C5s are among the best-sounding earphones in their sub-$200 price class.
Pros: The Bowers & Wilkins C5 earphones offer clean, detailed, natural sound with tight bass. They feature an integrated microphone with navigation controls for cell-phone use, and an eye-catching industrial design with an innovative adjustable Secure Loop keeps the earphones securely in your ears.
Cons: The Secure Loop design isn't universally comfortable (doesn't work well in all ears) and the in-line remote is designed to work only with Apple iOS devices, not Android smartphones.
Conclusion: We think B&W did a pretty great job with their first venture into the world of earphones. These canalphones have class, style and a sound that is consistent with B&W’s standard of excellence. Be prepared to wrestle with the security loop and provided eartips to get the right fit and feel but, above all else, buyers must be careful to ensure a proper fit in order to get the best sound the C5 have to offer.
Pros: Revealing, open sound, Uniquely Secure Fit, Lightweight with resilient Cable, Two included adapters
Cons: Security wire may cause comfort issues for some ears, Achieving proper fit is somewhat involved, Poor tactile feedback on iPhone control
Conclusion: If you are looking for premium headphones for your iPhone, the Bowers & Wilkins C5 are certainly worthy of consideration. The combination of comfortable fit and excellent sound quality make them a pleasure to use. The design is a little quirky and the "secure loop" didn't really offer us any great advantages, but at the same time we didn't suffer any drawbacks from it either - having failed to use it any great purpose, we largely ignored it.