I am a huge fan of my Monster Beats Solo HD by Dr. Dre. You might have noticed that already. I love the design, the colors, the thick cables and—of course—the phat sound. Although the quality is really crappy (I had to fix my headband and ear pads with (double-sided) duct tape), I never thought I would ditch 'em. Till that moment Bowers & Wilkins asked me if I would like to give their P5 headphones a shot.
To be honest: The conservative design of the P5 is not my cup of tea. Maybe I am not old enough for Bowers & Wilkins' restrained and classical design. But the quality of their luxury materials is unbelievably high. Ok, as I pull off the cables of my Monster Beats minimum three times a day (when the cable gets caught by door handles, for example), I will see how often I can do that with the P5.
Bowers & Wilkins gave me a pair of their headphones to play with them on my flight to Detroit. So I had enough time to compare them with my Monster Beats. The sound of the P5 is incredible. Once you get "used" to it. To explain it with an example: You probably know what it is like when you switch between snapping photos in a camera program mode and shooting raws. At that moment you shoot your first raws, your images looks pale, kinda washed out and somehow boring. But they are looking natural. No hotted up eye candy.
In comparison with switching your camera settings it is the same when you compare Monster Beats with Bowers & Wilkins P5. At the first moment the P5 may sound too soft. But it will not take long and you will not miss the typical "American" sound of Monster Beats any longer. But you will love the pure sound of Bowers & Wilkins.
Will I send them back to Bowers & Wilkins? No siree. I will case-mod 'em!