The Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2 are well-designed, eye-catching and compact headphones with a good audio reproduction. They have a sturdy and durable build quality. However, they're uncomfortably tight at times and don't block much ambient noise. They also sound a bit tinnier than the P5 Wireless or P7.
- Good audio reproduction.
- Stylish and compact design.
- Durable build quality.
- Poor noise isolation.
- Slightly uncomfortable and tight on-ear fit.
The P5 Series 2 are sturdy and stylish on-ear headphones. They have a durable metal frame and dense, well-crafted ear cups that won't break easily from a couple of drops. They're lightweight, compact, and stable enough for jogging but not for intense exercises. Unfortunately, they're a bit tighter than the P5 Wireless, which coupled with their on-ear design can get slightly uncomfortable during long listening sessions, especially, if you wear glasses.
The P5 S2 are well-crafted headphones with a premium build quality. The headband and earpad are covered in a smooth black leather that adds to the high-end appeal of these headphones. They're compact and look a bit sleeker than the P7. They have small square ear cups like the P5 Wireless and a unique metal frame that's quite eye-catching.
The P5 series 2 are moderately comfortable on-ear headphones. They're lightweight but feel a bit tight due to the light padding on the ear cups. They clamp the head a bit more than the P5 Wireless but on the upside, the padding is covered with a plush leather that feels good on the skin. They won't be the most pleasant headphones for long listening sessions but they're comfortable enough to not cause any pain or soreness.
The P5 S2 have an above average control scheme hat provides call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. The buttons have a decent tactile feedback with a dip in the middle of the inline control module for the call/music button. However, the shape of the inline controls looks dual sided which can take a little time to get used.
These headphones are moderately stable. They will stay in place during casual use and mild physical activity. However, they are not meant for running or strenuous exercise. They're a bit tighter on the head than the P5 Wireless, but unlike the wireless version, the cable can get hooked on something and pull the headphones of your head.
The P5 S2 like the P5 Wireless are fairly portable on-ear headphones. They're compact and lay flat to take less space. They will fit into most bags and larger purses, but don't fold to reduce their footprint, which makes them a bit cumbersome, to comfortably carry on your person.
The P5 S2, like the P5 Wireless and the bigger P7 model share the same sturdy metal frame and dense ear cup design that's robust and durable. The materials used in their build quality feels premium and should withstand regular wear and tear quite well. They won't get damaged by a few drops. However, the metal frame connects to the earcups with a relatively thin hinge, which could get damaged by heavy physical stress.
- 100% Avg.Temp.Difference
The P5 S2 deliver a quality audio reproduction that sounds exciting if a little tinny. Their bass is punchy and doesn't drown the instruments and vocals. The mid-range however, is slightly skewed pushing lead instruments a bit forward while also lacking the warmth that the P5 Wireless provide. This gives them the slightly nasally and tinny sound quality compared to the wireless model. Soundstage is also not the best due to their small closed ear cups.
Very good and even sounding Bass Range performance. The response is virtually flat throughout the range, but low-bass and high-bass are a little underemphasized. This has a small negative effect on the thump and warmth of the Bass.
Good Mid Range performance. The response is mostly flat, but with a 10dB tilt favoring high-mid. This will project vocals/leads to the front of the mix, but sounds a little harsh and nasal if overdone.
Average Treble Range performance. Low-treble and treble are well reproduced, although the position of the headphones on the ears may increase or decrease the sibilance and airiness of these headphones.
- 100% Avg. Std. Deviation
Poor Soundstage. Due to the on-ear design and small drivers, these headphones don't activate the resonances of the ear enough to create a large Soundstage. Also, with openness at 6.4, they are not open enough to have a signifcant effect on the Soundstage.
Average Imaging. There is noticable phase shift in Bass and Mid Ranges. Additionally, our unit didn't fare great in the frequency response driver-matching test, which is most likely due to the on-ear design. The phase mismatch in the Treble Range is most likely due to the on-ear design which makes a perfectly symmetrical positioning quite difficult.
Good performance. The amount of harmonic distortion in the Bass region is rather elevated, even at 90dB SPL. Also, there is a peak in distortion at 2.5KHz reaching about 5% of the input signal, which could make that area a bit harsh sounding.
The P5 S2 like the P5 Wireless, are not active noise cancelling headphones. The passive isolation they provide blocks some high-frequency sounds but it's not enough for the level ambient noise of a busy commute or noisy flight. On the upside, they don't leak much and won't be audible to anyone except at considerably high volumes.
Poor overall isolation. However, considering these headphones don't have active noise cancelling, the passive isolation provided by the ear cups is decent. Treble isolation is good but as expected, the passive isolation only becomes effective past 400HZ and does not really block any low/bass frequencies. Isolation in the mid-range is also below average.
Average leakage performance. The majority of leakage is in the 2KHz-6KHz frequency range, which is relatively narrow. The overall level of the leakage is also decent, making these headphones perform aboout average in Leakage.
No active features.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Bowers & Wilkins P5 S2 Headphones
- 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
- Audio cable
- Carrying pouch