Preferred headphones store
Reviewed on Aug 08, 2016

Bowers & Wilkins P7 HEADPHONES REVIEW

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.

Test Results
Design 7.2
Sound 7.5
Isolation 6.3
Microphone 6.6
Active Features 0
Connectivity 5.3
Pros
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
  • Sturdy, durable build.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • High leakage.
  1. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Update 10/2/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  3. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

Summary

  • 6.6 Mixed Usage
  • 7.5 Critical Listening
  • 6.2 Commute/Travel
  • 6.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.4 Office
  • 6.0 TV
  • 6.8 Gaming
Mixed Usage 6.6

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.

Critical Listening 7.5

The Bowers & Wilkins P7 deliver a good, balanced audio reproduction for critical 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.

Commute/Travel 6.2

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

Sports/Fitness 6.2

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.

Office 6.4

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.

TV 6.0

Above-average for home theater use. They're a bit tight on the head but have an above-average, suitable for listening to music and watching movies. They're also wired, so they have negligible latency when watching videos. However, they have a relatively short audio cable, so they won't be the ideal headphones to comfortably watch TV from your couch.

Test Results

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 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 Controls
Ease of use : Okay
Feedback : Mediocre
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling 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.

6.5 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.

6.0 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 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 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.

6.8 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 4.5 C
Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.26 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

Comes with two cables. A 1/16" to 1/8" TRS audio cable and a 1/16" to 1/8" TRRS audio cable with inline controls.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
8.4 Bass
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 Mid
Std. Err.
:
1.44 dB
Low-Mid
:
-0.57 dB
Mid-Mid
:
0.32 dB
High-Mid
:
1.73 dB
7.2 Treble
Std. Err.
:
4.18 dB
Low-Treble
:
-1.97 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-3.9 dB
High-Treble
:
-4.69 dB
6.6 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.71 dB
5.4 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
3.98 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
2.27 dB
PRTF Distance
:
13.05 dB
Openness
:
4.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
3.5
Correlated Crosstalk
:
-0.33 dB
7.9 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.2
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
1.52
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
2.42
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
7.19
7.8 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
0.568
Weighted THD @ 100
:
3.05
5.9 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-13.68 dB
Bass
:
0.96 dB
Mid
:
-9.43 dB
Treble
:
-33.39 dB
Self-Noise
:
0 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 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.

6.9 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 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
15.25 dB
0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A
N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : 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.

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
8.5 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
iOS
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio + Microphone
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
In the box

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

Recommended Articles

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:
Become an insider

Unlimited access to full product reviews, test measurements and scores

test table UI

Product prices across the site on reviews, tables and tools

product prices UI

Additional votes for our
next reviews

Additional votes UI

Early Access
to our reviews and test measurements

Early Access UI

Create Discussion