I tried BT wireless headphones back in 2009 and though very convenient, the technology lacked good audio quality at that time.
After reading about the recent advances in BT, I decided to jump into BT headphones and experiment within $100 to $250 price range. I’ll do my best to not knock other brands but I went through 3 pair before committing to the B&W P5’s wireless almost by accident. Skip to the last paragraph for my thoughts on the P5w’s. If you want to hear how I got to the P5w's and went way out of my price range, start here.
I started with a Sony BT on-ear for about $100. I was quickly disappointed before leaving the BB parking lot so I ran back in and returned them within 20 minutes. They didn’t pair with my iPhone immediately and the Sony’s highs were too high, and the base was very flat.
I then picked up the j-Birds in-ear at $150ish. I was able to leave the BB parking lot as there were a few things to assemble for sizing purposes before I could use them- so I took them home. Again, I was quickly disappointed-they were very close to being mono-toned and no better than the wired headphones you received with your Walkman CD player back in the 90’s-to be clear, I thought they were horrible.
The next day I went back to BB and reluctantly tried the DDre Beats Solo wireless on-ear for $270ish. I say reluctantly only because I’m in my 50’s and rarely see anyone over 25 years old wearing beats… I must say that the Beats Solo sounded the best up to this point but they were too heavy with bass.
There are a few songs I listen to that help me judge headphones. In these songs, you can hear the singer inhaling between verses or the finger drag of a guitarist going up and down the strings all while being played at a reasonable volume. With the DDre solo’s, I was not able to hear what I expected. I returned the Solo’s and decided to stick with my wired Bose headphones. $270 for Solo’s was more than I wanted to commit to anyway.
I then came across an article about the B&W P5’s wireless. At $399, they were way out of my price range but I’d come this far and wanted to see if they sounded better than anything I’d experienced up to that point. Gotta Love BB’s return policy! I went back to BB and picked up their last pair of P5w’s. I cracked opened the case in the BB parking lot expecting that I would return them within the next 30 minutes. Upon opening the box, I was impressed with the minor details of the packaging, the tight leather headband and the plush feeling of the ear-cups. I turned on the headphones and they paired within 5 seconds and 20 seconds later I was listening to Hotel California. Man-was I blown away. No-I was Really Blown Away. I’m not an audio snob by any means but I do appreciate good audio quality. The highs were perfect, the mids were perfect and the bass was just the right amount. I took them home and spent the next 3 days listening to music, movies and audio books. I decided that these were keepers and that perhaps I’d ebay a few things to help pay for my new love affair for the P5w’s .
BTW-the article I referenced early that pointed me to the P5w's had to do with counterfeit headphones. If you're going with P5w's, get them from a reputable authorized seller with a return policy!
The B&W P5 BT wireless headphones are the best set of headphones I've ever experienced including any wired sets!!!