Bowers & Wilkins has launched the P7 Mobile Hi-Fi headphones, its first over-ear headphones apparently
“provide a truly immersive listening experience, combined with the luxurious comfort and impeccable build quality you expect from Bowers & Wilkins.”
The ear cushions are designed to provide noise isolation and high levels of comfort thanks to dual-cavity construction which helps the pads mould to the contours of the wearer’s head. This maintains a consistent volume of air between the drive unit and the surface of the ear at both sides of the head. We are told that “no corners were cut” in terms of build quality and choice of materials. Moving parts are constructed from brushed and stainless steel, as is the folding mechanism. The logo plates are in brushed aluminium. The headband and ear pads are encased in “luxuriously soft leather”. P7 features a detachable remote and mic cable.
With most headphones, sound quality is compromised by the way drive units are designed. To save space, the diaphragm must perform the dual role of sound generator and suspension system. But with P7 Bowers & Wikins claims to have created a headphone driver that works more like the drive unit in a hi-fi speaker, with a diaphragm focussed purely on the job it’s supposed to do: generate sound. The internal speaker baskets encasing the P7’s drive units are perforated with air vents covered with a resistive film. This “allows for precise control of the air flow from the back of the drive unit, resulting in a more uniform, piston-like movement.” P7’s voice coil is constructed from a lightweight aluminium-copper compound. The lower than usual weight “means that the drive unit can move more freely, improving high frequency dynamics.”
P7’s speaker baffle plates are constructed from a polymer material that has been heavily braced and tuned to make it rigid and inert. This limits any resonances that might colour the sound of the headphones. Finally, damping material inside the speaker enclosure helps control and damp internal reflections, further reducing colouration and distortion.”
UK price is £329.99 and the P7 will be available this month.