BOWER & WILKINS P9 SIG­NA­TURE

Focus-Science and Technology - - INNOVATIONS -

With their metal head­band and earcups swathed in soft brown leather, the P9 head­phones look like the kind you’d find in the lis­ten­ing room of a gen­tle­man’s club in St James’s Square – a lit­tle old-fash­ioned, per­haps, but sim­ply ooz­ing qual­ity. And they pack a mu­si­cal punch.

As you’d ex­pect from the closed-back de­sign, the P9’s are no slouches in the bass de­part­ment. They deftly kept pace with the most fran­tic and in­tri­cate of jun­gle basslines and ren­dered the sonorous tones of Bach’s Toc­cata and Fugue in D Mi­nor im­pres­sively too, so what­ever your choice of lis­ten­ing, there should be no grum­bles here. Thank­fully, mids and highs shine through brightly as well. The P9 head­phones of­fer a slightly tighter, more com­pact sound than the airy Sennheis­ers and Quads, but again that’s to be ex­pected from the de­sign. If pushed, you might say the midrange can get a lit­tle mud­dled at times (no­tice­able on Pink Floyd and Love al­bums), but hon­estly couldn’t say if that was the fault of the cans or the record­ings. Either way, we’re firmly in nit-pick­ing ter­ri­tory here.

The P9s do have a cou­ple of ma­jor draw­backs. The first is that they are quite heavy and the sec­ond is a ca­ble that’s only 1m long. The in-line re­mote sug­gests the rea­son for this: they’re pri­mar­ily in­tended for use with mo­bile de­vices. There’s noth­ing wrong with that, of course, and in a round-up of mo­bile head­phones they’d no doubt wipe the floor with the com­pe­ti­tion. But no one wants to pay £700 to sit on top of their stereo. 7/10

Type Cir­cum/supra-au­ral, closed back, dy­namic Fre­quency re­sponse 2Hz-30kHz Weight413gPrice £699.99 De­tails bow­ers-wilkins.com

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