The P3 by Bowers & Wilkins are a more affordable pair of headphones than the P5 but still ooze with class and offer good sound quality.
Priced at £169 the P3 headphones are more attainable than the P5 model which is priced at £249. The two pairs of headphones look similar in their sleek and stylish design. The P3 are available in black or white. See also: Audio reviews.
The P3 have a folding design and come with a hard plastic case making them perfect for those on the go. We like the elegant design of the P3 which consists of a smooth matte finish, subtle chrome trim and arcing metal frames.
Bowers & Wilkins matches excellent design when it comes to build quality. The headphones have a distinctly premium feel highlighted by the brushed aluminium and silky smooth action of the ear pieces extending and retracting from the headband.
The P3 are very light headphones and although we found it a slight struggle to get them into a comfortable position. However, once we found the sweet spot we found the P3 extremely comfortable thanks to their soft acoustic material and ergonomic design. We could wear them for long periods of time, often hours, without them getting uncomfortable.
These headphones have an in-line remote control and microphone designed for use with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This means you can use the P3 for hands-free calls, or just control volume and playback.
Although designed for use with Apple products the P3 will still work in devices such as laptops, tablets, PCs and the like. We tried the P3 with some Android smartphones and found the remote worked with some and not with others.
Bowers & Wilkins has fitted the P3 with two 30mm drivers built from the ground up with a frequency range of 10MHz to 20kHz. We enjoyed the natural and balanced sound quality from the P3. The sound is nicely non-intrusive and particularly good in the mid-range.
We also like the fact the bass is not on overdrive like many rival headphones but is clear and punchy for genres where it is a key element. Bowers & Wilkins said the air flow around the driver has been designed to be uniform to minimise distortion and we found that even at high volume levels the distortion was nowhere to be found and noise leakage low.
Bowers & Wilkins has delivered an excellent balance of price, design, build quality and sound performance with the P3. For the reasonable price of £169 you get a comfortable and stylish pair of portable headphones with balanced and clear sound.