Review: Bowers & Wilkins P5 Headphones

You can get a great set of over-the ear headphones for $100 or less — pick up Grado’s SR60i or Shure’s SRH440, and you’d need a keen ear and a petrified ass to muster any sonic gripes. So spending three times that much would seem downright stupid.

That said, we suggest you skip meals for a couple weeks and divert the money you would’ve spent eating on a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P5s.

These are the first headphones Bowers & Wilkins has ever sold, and it’s clear from the moment you remove them from their suede-lined, quilted-nylon pouch that England’s audio alchemists are interested in sending a message: “We are not screwing around.”

Though the cans are constructed mainly of metal and leather, they are comprised of 100-percent attention to detail. These are simply the best-made headphones you’ve ever seen. From the memory-foam-padded, sheepskin-swaddled earcups to a subtle biomimetic cant that evokes the placement of ears on a head, evidence of careful consideration is front and center.

Think we’re over-enthusiastic? Go to the store and have a listen — but bring cash. You don’t want that $300 impulse buy compiling interest on your credit card statement.

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