Bowers and Wilkins Headphones

P1200012I wonder what people’s opinions are on B&W headphones? Reason I ask is because my opinion on the sound quality of the P5 and P7 has changed from an initially negative one (1st listen to demo pairs in a shop) to an extremely positive one (once I owned them) and recently back again to negative (once I heard something better, but not more expensive).

There is no doubt that these models are mostly very well reviewed – all except for Which? reviews, which has had the audacity to award most B&W headphones ‘don’t buy’ status – well below 40% on their review scale. In fact I commented to Which? on this anomaly, very indignantly stressing how wrong they were and that their reviewers must have cloth ears and/or have the ‘phones plugged into a transistor radio, etc etc. This was during my middle, ‘positive’ opinion phase.

Now I’m starting to see Which?’s point.

Do we just get used to a sound and never be truly objective, or do we only hear the real worth of a hifi component when we compare it with something far superior?

Hifi cliche alert- new kit allows me to hear details on familiar tracks that I’ve never heard before!

EPsunshineofyourlovePORTU_60581
Image from; http://7inchrecords.com/Discography/Cream/EPsunshineofyourlovePORTU_60581.jpg

Oh my lordy! I was taking a break from listening to new music and put on an old classic; Eric Clapton / Cream – Sunshine of your love. Has anyone else heard yelps and subsonic thumps near the end of the track? I’m listening on my AKG K712Pro’s and Chord Mojo ; walking around like a fool with wires and hardwear in every pocket. But increasingly I’m finding it hard to listen to anything else; even speakers.. the sound from this set-up just makes me smile, smile and smile some more.

I did a quick google and also replayed the section a few times to ensure I wasn’t just hearing something from outside (the AKG’s have virtually no sound isolation), but no, the studio sound is there. Impressed much. This is why I’m into hifi. Little moments like that, justifies the money I’ve spent over the years.

Yes, I know there is hi-fi / head gear out there costing £$Thousands per component, but I firmly believe that the law of diminishing returns means that even with the equipment I have, I am at least two thirds of the way to the best possible and most accurate music reproduction.  Not that I want to risk a life of debt, sadness and upgraditis (unfulfillable) by actually listening to mega-top-end kit…