p9

Much as I adore my B&W P5 headphones (recently upgraded to the wireless model), I must admit that even I would think twice about buying the company’s latest top-end model: the P9 Signature. These over-ear wired headphones cost a cool $900, but they do come with one extra: register them on B&W’s website and the company will send you a Lightning upgrade early next year.

The Lightning upgrade will of course include a digital-to-analog converter, and being a B&W one, it should prove impressive.

In the meantime, you get what B&W says is a celebration of its fifty years of audio experience.

Engineered by the same team responsible for the class-leading 800 D3 loudspeaker, P9 Signature is Bowers & Wilkins’ largest over-ear headphone and exemplifies all of the acoustic and design innovation amassed during its 50-year journey.

Part of this crystal-clear listening experience is created through the innovative placement of the transducer, which is positioned to provide a more natural listening experience. The wearer hears sound as if they are listening to a pair of stereo speakers rather than headphones, with a sense of imaging, depth, and clarity that is truly breathtaking.

They feature two 40mm full range drivers with a frequency range of 2Hz to 30kHz. Both headband and ear cups are made from Italian Safiano leather. The P9s fold for travel, and come with a carrying case also finished with the same leather.

I’ll be braving a review, sincerely hoping I don’t want to keep them. If you want to invest in a more affordable pair, the company’s P5s are available from $200 for wired and $240 in wireless form if you opt for recertified models direct from B&W.

The P9 Signatures are available for pre-order from today, and ship on October 17.

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