NEWS: Bowers & Wilkins Announces First-Ever Headphone

Bowers & Wilkins P5
NEWS: Bowers & Wilkins Announces First-Ever Headphone

The British loudspeaker manufacturer Bower & Wilkins has announced the impending arrival of the firm’s first-ever headphone—the P5 Mobile Hi-Fi Headphone, which will become available in January 2010. B&W’s marketing tagline for the P5 is simple and enticing: “Concert for One.”

A company press release states that competing “mobile headphones can be tiring when listened to over extended periods,” adding that for this reason “Bowers & Wilkins’ engineers at the world-famous Stenying Research Establishment have worked tirelessly to produce a headphone with a natural, unfatiguing performance.” B&W says that the P5 features “specially developed ultra-linear neodymium magnets and highly optimized Mylar diaphragms” in order to provide “the best possible sound quality.”

While not an active noise-cancelling headphone, the P5 is designed to provide a high degree of passive noise isolation, “achieved through a combination of the closed-back design featuring a rigid metal faceplate, and the sealed-leather ear pads.” B&W says the ear pads, made of the softest available sheep’s leather form New Zealand, “not only remove a lot of external noise, providing an enveloping listening experience without completely removing the user’s sense of place, they also offer an extremely comfortable user experience.”   

Interestingly, the ear pads are removable and attach magnetically to the P5’s metal frame, allowing access to the headphone’s removable signal cables. Two cables are provided: one is a “Made for iPod-approved cable, which allows for speech and device control,” while the other is a traditional, “high-quality, standard audio cable with gold-plated plugs.”

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