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  1. #1


    Bowers & Wilkins P7 Their First Over-Ear Headphones

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    I just read a press release from Bowers & Wilkins, announcing their first over-the-ears headphones, the P7.

    One thing the company stresses that is different about the P7 is the drive units. In order to make headphones compact, most manufacturers design their drivers to produce sound and act as a supporting structure, within the speaker. While this design certainly does allow the headphones to be smaller, sound quality is sacrificed.

    But for the P7, Bowers & Wilkins has created a headphone driver that works more like the drive-unit in a hi-fi speaker, with a diaphragm focused purely on the job it’s supposed to do: generate sound.

    Here's a bit of the press release:

    For the P7s we’ve drawn on everything we know about speaker technology and built it into a set of mobile headphones. New drive unit technology and Bowers & Wilkins famed attention to detail mean that the P7s offer a giant leap forward in sound quality. At the same time, the over-ear design and snugly fitting ear pads allow you to listen without unwanted interruptions.

    Because when you’re hearing sound this good, you don’t want anything to interrupt your enjoyment of it.

    The all-encompassing ear cushions not only provide noise isolation and high levels of comfort, their dual-cavity construction helps the pads mold to the contours of the wearer’s head. This design maintains a consistent volume of air between the drive unit and the surface of the ear at both sides of the head. Not only is stereo imaging enhanced - the sound is optimized for every listener.

    As with all Bowers & Wilkins headphones, no corners were cut in terms of the P7s’ build quality and choice of materials. Moving parts are constructed from brushed and stainless steel, as is the ingenious folding mechanism. The logo plates are crafted from brushed aluminum. The headband and ear pads are encased in luxuriously soft leather, making them a delight to wear even for long listening sessions. The P7s also features a detachable remote-control- and-microphone cable.

    The internal speaker baskets encasing the P7s’ drive-units are perforated with air vents covered with a resistive film. This unique design allows for precise control of the airflow from behind the drive-unit, resulting in a more uniform, piston-like movement. Plus, while the voice coil of most headphones are made from copper, the P7s’ voice coils are constructed from a lighter aluminum-copper compound. The decrease in weight means that the drive-unit can move more freely, improving high frequency dynamics.

    The P7’s speaker baffle plates are constructed from a polymer material that has been heavily braced and tuned to make it very rigid and inert. This limits any resonances that might color the sound of the headphones. Finally, damping material inside the speaker enclosure helps control and dampens internal reflections, further reducing coloration and distortion. All of this means a drive-unit with a more precise, controlled movement, capable of producing outstanding levels of performance.
    The Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones will be available in September, priced at $399.99.

    I would love to hear a pair of these. Do you use over-the-ear headphones?

  2. #2


    Ya, sure do. Have a set of Sennheiser HD590* that are the bee's knees. Also occasionally use a Grado Labs SR60.
    JR
    *FWIW, I got to tour the Sennheiser factory here in Albuquerque recently and it is truly state of the art. They are making headphones and microphones, and many associated electronics, wired and wireless.

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