The B&W P3 is the second full-size headphone in the B&W line, alongside the P5 headphone (click here to read the review) and the C5 earphone (click here to read the review). Priced at $100 less than the top-of-the-line P5, the P3 shares many of the P5’s attributes, such as a removable/replaceable cable and Mylar diaphragm drivers. There are two primary differences between the P3 and P5. First, the P3s use smaller 30mm driver diaphragms as compared to the larger 40mm diaphragms used in the P5s. Second, the P3s provide ear pads clad in what B&W terms “bespoke acoustically transparent cloth” and that use more memory foam to make a tighter seal with the ear, while the P5 provides larger ear pads that are covered in soft leather and that arguably offer better overall noise isolation. The P3’s comfortable on-ear design allows some outside sounds in, making it ideal for situations where you need to know what’s going on around you.
Designed to be portable with its folding lightweight design, the P3 offers listeners an alternative to noise-isolating earphones or bulky over-ear cans. Does the P3 deliver the level of sound quality upon which B&W has built their well-deserved reputation? Most definitely. Thrifty audiophiles who’ve been lusting after the just-outside-their-budget P5 headphones may find the P3 checks all the boxes on their wish lists while still leaving money in their pockets.
•Folding portable on-ear headphones with closed back design.
•In-line remote to control playback and adjust volume on iPod, iPad, and iPhone (with iPod cable).
•Built-in microphone on remote for receiving calls on an iPhone (with iPod cable).
•Custom-made, ultra-light acoustic removable/replaceable fabric ear pad covers.
•30mm Mylar® diaphragms and ultra linear neodymium magnets.
•2 cables included: 1 detachable straight cord with stereo mini plugs (3.5mm on player end, 2.5mm on headphone) and a detachable mic/remote control cord with stereo mini plugs (3.5mm on player end, 2.5mm on headphone) for use with iPod, iPhone, or iPad.
•Protective hard plastic carrying case included.