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Bowers & Wilkins puts new spin on old classics for improved headphone performance

Bowers & Wilkins has revamped a couple of its lavish headphones in an attempt to offer even better performance to accompany their sleek styling. The company’s second-tier P5 on-ear headphones, and its bullet-shaped premium C5 in-ear headphones have both gotten makeovers, now dubbed the P5 Series 2 and C5 Series 2, respectively.

P5 Series 2 ($300)

For the second take on its popular on-ear model, B&W has enlisted the help of its flagship P7 series. The new P5 drivers have been “adapted” from the P7, as the company hopes to offer even better sound quality in a portable package. The company claims the P7 drivers were modeled after the components of its brilliant line of home theater speakers, and that the adaptation has “vastly improved” the P5’s performance for the Series 2.

As we can attest from experience, the P7 offer brilliant audio performance – good enough to take away some of the shock from their $400 price tag. The idea is, that high-caliber sound signature is now available in a slimmer, more affordable model.

Like before, the P5 Series 2 offer premium components for their exterior design, constructed from sleek ribbons of aluminum, soft leather, and lavish padding with newly improved memory foam cushions. Other improvements include a new low impedance connection cable with better strain relief, and a redesigned inline iOS remote and mic piece. The headphones ship with an included carrying case, and will be available sometime this month.

C5 Series 2 ($180)

Bowers & Wilkins has used new advances in engineering to improve its C5 in-ear headphones as well (shown at top). Fresh to the party is a brand new 9.2mm dynamic driver claimed to be optimized for powerful bass performance, while still holding onto a natural, accurate sound signature. The headphones also offer an improved mic and inline remote for improved performance and durability.

C5 S2 Image

The C5 Series 2 also got a slight facelift this year, sporting a new all-black finish from head to toe. And perhaps most important for an in-ear, the new Series 2 are now lighter for easier portability. Like the P5 Series 2, the new C5 will be available sometime in September 2014.

While not a monumental change, the redesign of some beloved classics should be welcome news to the Bowers & Wilkins faithful, as these headphones are poised to offer even more value and performance for their lofty price tags.