Cable: 5m cable with 1/4″ adapter, and Inline remote cable.
Nobody ever said the build quality of a Bowers and Wilkins headphone was bad. It’s not. In fact, these are some of the most rugged portable headphones I’ve had the pleasure of handling. Not only that, but they’re very comfortable, and I didn’t find myself needing an adjustment over the few times I’ve listened to them in store. Your mileage may vary.
I’ve reviewed the more affordable P7, and I just wasn’t feeling them at all, despite coming back to them a few times and wanting to like them. I just couldn’t. Something about their sound is much too stuffy and bloated for my tastes, and the bass borders on God awful. Learn more: Bowers and Wilkins P7 Review.
The great news about the P9’s is that they sound nothing like the P7. In fact, these are almost worth the price tag given the substantial difference and improvement in sound quality. The bass is tight, deep, and has a lot of impact and detail, but never feels bloated, artificial, or stuffy like the P7. Even as prominent as the bass is, it still somehow sits nicely down below the other frequencies like it should. This is something that immediately impressed me.
The mid-range provides an astonishing amount of detail and clarity, with instruments and vocals very accurate, engaging, and tonally balanced with a great Timbre. What is Timbre?
The P9 is definitely a fun sound, and does extremely well out of my phone given it’s high sensitivity and low impedance. I half expected them to sound a lot like the P7, but they don’t at all. There was still a tad bit of looseness to the bass, but it’s very subtle and it likely won’t be a problem with the majority of tracks.
There’s also a very nice sense of air, space, and instrument separation with these, which is great given that they are closed back.
That said, they will come across as slightly sibilant at times. What does sibilant mean? Even so, I found myself wanting to keep these on, as they work wonderfully well with nearly any type of music. I would consider them just a notch below a bass head headphone, as they really have a way of sucking you in and not letting go.
What I liked most was their open quality; Instruments, vocals, and the overall sound in general was given ample room to breathe, which is something seldom found in a pair of closed back headphones.
I don’t like the brown color, but that’s a minor nit pick. 😛
You won’t need an amp as discussed earlier, but one certainly wouldn’t hurt. I have the Schiit Magni 2 and love it, as it does well with a wide variety of headphones given it’s low output impedance. How to choose a headphone amp!
Endorsed for most genres, and I played them primarily with:
The P9 is an extremely elegant pair of headphones that provide great comfort and an outstanding build. Sound quality is light years better than a P7, but you’re going to pay more than double the price for it. Still, there’s nothing I didn’t like about this headphone.
There wasn’t one thing I really disliked about the headphone, and a whole lot of stuff I loved. Because of that, I have to recommend them, even at their pricier price point. If you need a headphone like this that does well with most genres and delivers super portable sound, look no further.
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.