This left me in a loop of suspense and excitement, as I have always been greatly appreciative of the premium products that Bowers & Wilkins construct, as well as a frequent headphone fanatic (see my other reviews here).
The P7 is based upon the same aesthetic design as its little brothers; the P5 and P3 – this time however, being an over-the-ear concept, tempered with luxurious dark leather features. Although, the P7 is considerably larger in stature than other premium over-ear headphone models, they are still easily portable due to their ability to fold up (fitting snugly in to the carry-case provided). The P7 comes with an anti-tangle cable, optimised for use with Apple products, with a built-in microphone and remote. Like all Bowers & Wilkins products, the P7 sounds impeccably brilliant.
I first began to test the strength of the P7 using Gabrielle Aplin’s ‘Dreams’ (featuring Bastille). I often use this song to assess audio equipment, because it consists of a lot of alternating frequencies – a deep bass line, soft white noise, and somewhat low and soft vocal from Bastille, as well as Gabrielle Aplin’s higher pitched and more intense verses. The P7 brings this song to life, immediately providing a beautifully smooth vocal response to Bastille’s soft introduction, all the while juggling the boomy bass drum and higher piano-note being played in the background of the vocal. Gabrielle begins to sing and the backing track picks up, the intense kick-snare pattern of the drum beat is not lost behind against her voice, and vice versa – the P7 dissects these two elements in a way I have not heard from any other pair of headphones, they seem to make every note, instrument and frequency perfectly audible, but do not compromise the way these elements have been mixed.
Next, I switched to a more up-beat track from American singer/rapper ‘Deuce’, titled ‘I Came To Party’ which was released earlier last year and features Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy. This song utilises thick guitar licks, a heavy drum pattern, delicately dirty synthesiser riffs and intense vocal. The P7 reproduces these elements almost flawlessly, although does seem to focus more so on the low-end aspects of the song (which is not necessarily a bad thing, at all). The contrasting sounds between Travie McCoy’s cool and smooth rap, and Deuce’s loud and intense chorus vocal may throw lesser headphones off slightly; however the P7s have no issue with blasting these choruses out, with no added distortion or impurity, while verses remain crystal clear with transparent-like detail – every T, B, and S is easily audible from both artists.
Finally, I played Mike Posner’s explicit track ‘Shut Up’, which was a collaborative effort from Posner and EDM giant Flux Pavilion. This track employs predominantly low-frequencies, with most of the higher aspects being either a vocal sample or Posner’s actual vocal. This track has been at the top of my ‘Favourite Tunes’ playlist for a while now, and the P7 really did the track justice. During an extensive listening session with the P7s, I was able to pin-point and pick out exciting sonic elements to the track that I had not previously heard (such as a twinkly-style synthesizer riff towards the back of the mix, heard in the bridge). Similarly to the Deuce track, Mike Posner’s vocal T’s, B’s and S sounds are so audibly clear that it almost feels as though I am sat in the recording studio with him. This unbeatable clarity, combined with the response to Flux Pavilion’s now seemingly liquid bass-line – the P7 makes this one of the most spine-tingling listening sessions I have ever experienced with this track.
To conclude, the P7 headphones are some of the most sonically superior headphones I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. They’re firm and tight when placed on your head – but at no point during my extensive listening sit-down did I begin to feel fatigued or uncomfortable. The soft and voluptuous leather ear-cups and headbands, along with the delicately brushed metal backing and clean ‘twisted’ metal connecting the cups to the headband, makes the P7 an aesthetic pleasure, complete with the classy attitude a Bowers & Wilkins product should have. The only real qualm I can think of against these particular headphones in a totally unbiased view, is that they do focus more so on the low-end than other headphone models – but as previously said, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, personally, I prefer the bassier contribution these headphones bring.
We have a demonstration pair of these headphones, as well as many other premium brands and models, available at our show-room in Hereford. Phone on 01432 354921 or visit us in-store for your chance to try them out