Bowers & Wilkins C5

The Good The Bowers & Wilkins C5 earphones offer clean, detailed, natural sound with tight bass. They feature an integrated microphone with navigation controls for cell-phone use, and an eye-catching industrial design with an innovative adjustable Secure Loop keeps the earphones securely in your ears.

The Bad The Secure Loop design isn't universally comfortable (doesn't work well in all ears) and the in-line remote is designed to work only with Apple iOS devices, not Android smartphones.

The Bottom Line While the Secure Loop design may not be a perfect fit for every ear, the Bowers & Wilkins C5s are among the best-sounding earphones in their sub-$200 price class.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0
7.7 Overall

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Bowers & Wilkins C5 (Black)
Bowers & Wilkins C5
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Price $180 MSRP $99 Abt Electronics $100 Amazon.com $39 Amazon.com $180 MSRP
Design
7
9
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9
8
Features
8
8
8
8
9
Performance
8

Review

Bowers & Wilkins C5

First it was iPod docks. Then it was computer speakers and over-the-ear headphones. Now, Bowers & Wilkins, a brand once known for expensive high-end speakers, expands its product offering into the mainstream with the $179.95 C5 in-ear headphones.

Along with touting the C5s' "pristine, natural audio," B&W is highlighting its signature Secure Loop, "an ingenious innovation where a cushioned loop fixes quickly and comfortably in the inner ridge of the user's ear." The company adds that the Loop is "infinitely adjustable, so it works perfectly with anyone's ears."

That part about it being "perfect" for everyone's ears is open to debate, but what's not is that if you can achieve a snug fit, these earphones offer excellent, well-balanced sound, and perform as well as any earphones we've tested in this price class.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $180
  • Brand Bowers & Wilkins
  • Type headphones
  • Headphones Ear-Parts Type In-ear
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
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