Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless review: A luxury headphone that looks as good as it sounds

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MSRP: $399.99

The Good The Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless offers impressive build quality, good comfort and smooth, rich sound in an over-the-ear headphone design that shuts out a lot of external noise. Wireless operation is nearly flawless, battery life is good and a premium carrying case is included. Works well as a headset for making calls.

The Bad Its sound may be a little warm for some listeners, and it's a little heavy.

The Bottom Line The Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless is an excellent wireless headphone that has the look, feel and sound of a premium wireless headphone.

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8.0 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Sound 8
  • Value 7

Review Sections

Bower's and Wilkins P7 Wireless ($400, £320, AU$600) is one of the swankier wireless headphones available, competing with such "premium" over-ear wireless models as the Bose QuietComfort 35, Sennheiser Momentum Wireless, Sony MDR-1000X and Sennheiser PXC 550. Those models all have active noise canceling on top of their wireless capabilities, but this is a straight Bluetooth headphone that includes a cord, should you desire to go wired and optimize sound quality (yes, it sounds slightly better in wired mode).

I'm a fan of the original wired P7, and like that similarly designed model, the build quality and comfort level of this wireless version -- with its leather covered ear pads and sturdy metal-infused headband -- is quite impressive. What's likable about these headphones is that after a little break-in period they offer a tight seal around your ears for good passive noise-isolation, but don't put too much pressure on your head. While they're characterized as "mobile" headphones, they're fairly beefy, weighing in at 318 grams (11.2 ounces) -- 28 grams (1 ounce) more than the wired P7.

The P7 Wireless features the same signature design of Bowers and Wilkins p5 and p7 series headphones.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The headphones fold up (though not flat) to fit into an included half-moon shaped carrying case. That they collapse helps to reduce their carrying size, but they're obviously not the most compact headphones, and I've seen better case designs. That said, some people are a fan of this case.

Battery life is rated at 17 hours of playback -- that's very good but not fantastic for this type of full-size wireless headphone -- and I didn't have any trouble pairing and repairing the headphones with an iPhone 6S and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. They were overall a pleasure to use. The P7 Wireless works well as a headset for making phone calls too, with a sidetone feature that allows you to hear your voice inside the headphone as you talk.

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