Bowers & Wilkins P7 Headphones Review

Reviewed Aug 08, 2016 at 11:42 am
Bowers & Wilkins P7 Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
6.4
Mixed Usage
7.4
Neutral Sound
6.2
Commute/Travel
6.1
Sports/Fitness
6.3
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
7.3
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Bowers & Wilkins P7 are well-built and sturdy headphones. They deliver a good and balanced sound. They're comfortable and have a decently stable design. However, they only block noise passively, which is not sufficient for loud environments, and they also leak quite a bit.

Our Verdict

6.4 Mixed Usage

The B&W P7 are above-average everyday headphones. They're well designed and sturdily built. They also deliver a good, well-balanced sound quality. However, their poor passive isolation means they won't be versatile enough for all environments.

7.4 Neutral Sound

The Bowers & Wilkins P7 deliver a good, balanced audio reproduction for neutral listening. They sound a little bit closed due to their closed-back design but reproduce the bass, mids, and treble frequencies accurately. They're also moderately comfortable for long listening sessions.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
6.2 Commute/Travel

Mediocre for commutes. They're comfortable and have a decent control scheme, but the noise isolation is not sufficient for loud environments.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
6.1 Sports/Fitness

Average for sports use. They're moderately stable and can fold to fit into a backpack. However, they're a bit too bulky for strenuous exercise.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.3 Office

Mediocre for office use. They won't block the ambient chatter of a busy office, and they also leak quite a bit. On the upside, they're comfortable to use for hours.

See our Office recommendations
7.3 Wired Gaming
6.5 Phone Call
  • 6.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.4 Neutral Sound
  • 6.2 Commute/Travel
  • 6.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.3 Office
  • 5.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.3 Wired Gaming
  • 6.5 Phone Call
Pros
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
  • Sturdy, durable build.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • High leakage.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 10/2/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  5. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The B&W P7 look luxurious and high-end. They're stylish and make use of premium materials in their build quality. The frame is metal, the earcups and headband are covered in a black leather finish that further highlights their premium appeal. They're a lot bulkier than the P5 and therefore do not look as sleek, but they will still stand out in a crowd.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.7 lbs
Clamping Force
1.3 lbs

The Bowers and Wilkins P7 are comfortable headphones. They're well-padded and the earcups, although a little small, fit well around most listeners ears. However, they can feel a little tight on the head because of the rigid headband. Also, the square earcups can cause slight discomfort for some listeners during long listening sessions.

6.8
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
iOS
Ease Of Use Okay
Feedback Mediocre
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons No

The B&W P7 have good control scheme. They provide call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. The buttons also have a nice clicky feel to them. Unfortunately, the inline control module is a relatively thin cylinder, which makes the buttons slightly harder to distinguish by feel alone. However, you get used to it fairly fast.

6.9
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 4.5 C
6.0
Design
Portability
L 5.12 "
W 7.09 "
H 2.76 "
Volume 103.7 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

The B&W P7 are a little on the larger side for over-ear headphones. They fold into a more compact format but will still be too big and cumbersome to comfortably carry around on your person. They will fit into a backpack and some larger purses or handbags, but they won't fit into any pockets, even wider jacket pockets.

7.0
Design
Case
Type Pouch
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

Comes with a stylish pouch that will protect the headphones from scratches and regular wear and tear. It also doesn't add much bulk to the headphones. Unfortunately, the pouch will not shield the headphones from water damage or hard falls.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

These headphones feel sturdy and durable. The frame of the headband and the hinges are completely metal and can withstand a fair amount of physical stress. The ear cups are also dense enough, to not get damaged from a couple of drops. However, they're connected to the rest of the frame by relatively thin hinges, which are the weakest points on these headphones. Additionally, the audio cables that connect to the earcups are somewhat exposed and could get damaged from wear and tear.

6.5
Design
Stability

These headphones are sufficiently tight on the head, to not fall off during mild physical activity. However, they're not sports headphones. They're a little bulky and will sway, potentially slipping off your ears, if used at the gym. Also, the detachable cable will pull the headphones of your head before disconnecting if it ever gets hooked on something, which is slightly disappointing.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Bowers & Wilkins P7 Headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
  • Audio cable (x2)
  • Carrying pouch
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.95 db
Treble Amount
-3.03 db
6.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.71 dB
Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.3
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.38 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
3.1 dB
Mid-Bass
2.44 dB
High-Bass
2.23 dB
8.9
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.44 dB
Low-Mid
-0.57 dB
Mid-Mid
0.32 dB
High-Mid
1.73 dB
7.2
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.18 dB
Low-Treble
-1.97 dB
Mid-Treble
-3.9 dB
High-Treble
-4.69 dB
7.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.48 db
Dips
1.37 db
7.9
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.2
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.52
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.42
Weighted Phase Mismatch
7.19
5.5
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.98 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.27 dB
PRTF Distance
13.05 dB
Openness
4.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.9
8.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.150
WHD @ 100
0.086
Isolation
5.2
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-13.68 dB
Bass
0.96 dB
Mid
-9.43 dB
Treble
-33.39 dB

Poor overall isolation. Since these headphones don't have active noise cancelling, the passive isolation provided in the Treble Range by the ear cups is quite good. But it only becomes effective past 400HZ and does not really block any low/bass frequencies. Isolation in the mid-range is also below average.

6.9
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
40.17 dB

Poor leakage performance. The majority of leakage sits between the 400Hz-9KHz frequency range which is broad. The overall level of the leakage also relatively loud, which contributes to the poor leakage score of these headphones.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-line
Yes
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
N/A
7.3
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
515.36 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.98 dB
HFE
13867.58 Hz
Weighted THD
0.68
Gain
23.51 dB
6.3
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
15.25 dB
Active Features
N/A
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving Feature
N/A
Audio While Charging
N/A
Passive Playback
N/A
Charging Port N/A
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

No compatible app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
N/A
NFC Pairing
N/A
Line of Sight Range
N/A
Default Latency
N/A
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 4.26 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
N/A

Bowers & Wilkins P7 Price

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