Excerpt: Two years ago, Bowers & Wilkins debuted its P5 headphones , some of the best-sounding compact headphones we’d ever heard. B&W’s design for the P5s coupled a minimalist and luxurious aesthetic — complete with supple memory-foam ear pads swathed in black New Zealand sheep leather — with truly stunning audio performance. They earned a very high rating from Wired (and from most other reviewers) even though they were priced at $300.
Excerpt: You have to hand it to Bowers & Wilkins . This British audio company makes some of the best sounding speakers anywhere and they charge handsomely for the privilege. But for some reason, when it comes to personal audio like headphones and earphones, they have become somewhat affordable. They don’t charge anywhere near the stratospheric prices of some competing brands, and yet they manage to uphold a quality level worthy of their heritage.
Pros: Tuned just right for commuting, Very well built, Classy, Affordable (for B&W), Very comfortable, Foldable, Strong, protective case, Replaceable cable
Cons: Too bassy and muffled sounding for quiet environments
Excerpt: Bowers & Wilkins is well known for its renowned, exquisite speakers that have made it the respectable British brand name it is today. When B&W entered the market with its first ever pair of cans, it has made it known to all that is was a force to be reckoned with. The P3 are B&W's latest and second pair of headphones to make a splash at a more affordable price than the company's $300 flagship headphones, the P5.
Excerpt: ). Priced at $100 less than the top-of-the-line P5, the P3 shares many of the P5’s attributes, such as a removable/replaceable cable and Mylar diaphragm drivers. There are two primary differences between the P3 and P5. First, the P3s use smaller 30mm driver diaphragms as compared to the larger 40mm diaphragms used in the P5s.
Summary: The Bowers & Wilkins P3 headphones' impressive combination of design, sound quality, and features put it near the top of the class for portable headphones in its price range.
Pros: The Bowers & Wilkins P3 headphones have an impressive design, strong performance, and an iPhone-friendly integrated microphone/remote. They also come with a hard-shell carrying case and an extra "straight-wire" cable that can be easily swapped in.
Cons: They're fairly pricey and the integrated, remote isn't compatible with all smartphones, and you'll get some sound leakage from open-back earcup design.
Conclusion: The Bowers & Wilkins P3 are every bit an audiophile’s headphone. Crystal clear highs, spectacular attack and decay, uncongested midrange and bass response sufficient enough for most types of music pairs with sleek design and excellent comfort to make for a superb headphone offering worthy of a $200 price tag.
Pros: Spectacular treble response, Open, uncongested midrange, Sufficient bass for most listeners, Excellent comfort, Sleek, modern design
Cons: Slight midbass hump overplays heavy bass content, In-line controls lack tactile feedback, Very little passive noise isolation