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- Bowers & Wilkins P7
- Classy cans that break from mainstream habits
Bowers & Wilkins P7 Review$399.99
The Story in Numbers
The Bowers & Wilkins P7 came awfully close to a shining final score, but a few drawbacks ultimately hold them back. The frequency response is one that many enthusiasts are sure to enjoy, but mild emphasis discrepancies take things down a peg. Small measures of distortion also undermine the overall quality, so that the P7 falls short of what would otherwise be a flawless score.
Flatter pastures for the hungry hobbyist
Finally, something made for a hobbyist's ears. A relatively flat response like this doesn't grossly over- or underemphasize any portion of the range, unlike most mainstream headphones these days, which means these over-ears lend themselves nicely to equalizing and mixing music. The P7 is definitely geared for enthusiasts.
There is a mild drop in volume between 3 and 4kHz, and notes right at 8kHz get a bit too loud, but otherwise this response is tip-top. If you're a fan of bass boosters, these definitely aren't the cans for you.
A blemish on an otherwise very smooth surface
Though the distortion you see here is by no means dire, very practiced ears may detect low measures of added garbage in portions of the bass range. Don't worry about the distortion in the sub-bass range below 100Hz—human ears aren't very sensitive to such low frequencies. If you're truly, truly an audiophile, you can and should do better than this. But most people are very likely to never notice a thing, since the measures stay below 4%.
On the whole, then, listeners will enjoy a distortion-free experience with the Bowers & Wilkins P7. Just be sure not to blast music upwards of 121dB, which is horrible for your health and also boosts distortion measures.
All's quiet on the high-frequency front
The P7 does a decent job of blocking out mid and high-end outside noises, like talking heads and chirping birds. These over-ears reduce those irritants to more than 1/8 the original volume. But the low end is a different story. Grumbling, booming sounds will easily disrupt your listening, so don't expect decent attenuation on that front.