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.
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.
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.
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 B&W P5 S2 are an average sounding pair of closed-back on-ear headphones. They have a very good and deep bass, and a good mid-range, but a sub-par treble. Additionally, their bass is on the heavy side which some may like, their mid-range is slightly tinny, and their treble is uneven and veiled. Also, their performance could vary dramatically depending on how they are positioned on the user's head, and don't have a good soundstage either.
The frequency response consistency is sub-par. There response shows significant deviation in bass delivery across our human subject, especially with the one who wears glasses. This shows that the bass of the P5 S2 is sensitive to fit and seal and could cause as much as 6dB of drop in bass at 100Hz, which is quite noticeable. The treble delivery however, is a lot more consistent.
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.
No active features.
The Audio Technica ATH-M60x are better sounding on-ears than the Bowers & Wilkins P5 S2. The P5 have a much better build quality that not only feels more durable but also looks a lot more premium than the M60x. The P5's design is also a bit more compact and easier to use with mobile devices, since they come with an in-line remote. On the other hand, the M60x have a better-balanced sound and a more comfortable on-ear fit. They also come with three audio cables which make them a bit more suitable for a recording studio.