BOWER & WILKINS P9 SIGNATURE
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