Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bowers & Wilkins C5 In Ear Headphones

Today we'll be looking at a set of C5 earbuds by Bowers & Wilkins.  B&W is primarily known for their high end home audio equipment but the C5 is their take at the portable headphone market.   

The visual appeal of these earbuds is outstanding.  Upon unboxing them, you can tell they're a high quality and very well built product.  They have some weight to them (20g) due to the tungsten inner casing that is meant to balance the earbud towards your ear so they stay firmly secured.  They also utilize a secure loop which is a loop of plastic coated wire that curls around your inner ear to hold the earbud firmly in place.  The cord has a 3 button controller on it making them work flawlessly with your iPhone and iPod.   

In my testing, I had a bit of a hard time getting them to fit perfectly into my ears.  I tried all the tips and tried adjusting the ear loops to no avail.  I had to jam them in and hold them to get a good seal but if I was not pushing on them, they would not remain fully seated.  I've never had an issue with earbuds seating correctly, but it seems like the weight of these contributes to the issue I am having.  They didn't seem very comfortable and after 15-30 minutes of listening, they were uncomfortable to wear and were nagging to the point that I had to take them out.  I can't say that everybody would have similar fitment issues as everybody's ear canals are shaped differently but they did not work very well for me.  

Most importantly, how did they sound?  Well, initially the first thing you'll notice is that they are a little on the bass heavy side (which I personally prefer).  The high's have good musical detail and the midrange performance is great.  Upper bass sounded tight and balanced but lower bass frequencies seemed overwhelming.  

The C5 earbuds by Bowers & Wilkins retail for $179.99 and are available at authorized retailers near you.  

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