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Bowers & Wilkins C5 S2 In-Ear Headphones, Black (Wired)
|Price:||$148.55 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- C5 S2 features redesigned drive units for enhanced sound quality and a new cable for better comfort and performance.
- Made for iPhone remote/microphone cable, also works with all smartphones, tablets and MP3 players (mobile devices other than compatible iOS models will not necessarily offer control functionality)
- Innovative Secure Loop design - cushioned loop that curls around the ear’s inner rim to hold them in place - ensures a precise yet comfortable fit.
- Micro Porous Filter acts as a sonic diffuser, opening up the sound and making music feel remarkably rich and expansive.
- Bowers & Wilkins' C5 In-Ear Headphones come with a 2-year limited warranty only when purchased from an authorized dealer including Amazon.com (indicated by ships from and sold by Amazon.com). If you have any volume issues with the product, please check to ensure your product connection is secure between device and headphones.
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From the manufacturer
Bowers & Wilkins
Bowers & Wilkins is an audio company with nearly five decades of experience creating the loudspeaker systems that world-leading recording studios depend upon.
What's in the box?
- C5 Series 2 headphones
- Ear tips in 3 different sizes
- Storage pouch
C5 Series 2 in-ear headphones
From Bowers & Wilkins
C5 Series 2 takes in-ear sound quality to new heights, thanks to ingenious design features and some subtle improvements in small-scale drive unit technology.
C5 Series 2 retains the Secure Loop design of its predecessor, keeping the headphones snugly and securely in your ears. Other design features include a choice of three sizes of ear buds, enhancing comfort and noise isolation.
Featuring a redesigned 9.2mm dynamic driver, these headphones deliver bass that’s powerful yet controlled, resulting in a more natural, open and detailed sound.
An ingenious cushioned loop expands to fit around the inner ridge of your ear, anchoring your headphones securely in place.
Comfort-fit ear buds
C5 Series 2’s soft silicone ear buds come in a choice of three different sizes. So they’ll feel snug and keep external noise to a minimum, no matter what size your ears are.
Made for iPhone
C5 Series 2’s Made-for-iPhone cable allows you to control your music remotely, and switch seamlessly between listening to music and making calls.
New High-Definition Drive Units.
C5 Series 2 use a new 9.2mm dynamic driver, and have been optimized to deliver bass that’s powerful yet precisely controlled resulting in a more natural, open and detailed sound.
Micro Porous Filter
When it comes to in-ear headphones, nothing messes with sound quality like a loose fit. C5 Series 2 stays put thanks to its Secure Loop design. Cushioned loops expand to fit inside the rim of your ears, holding the earphones firmly in place. The loops are infinitely adjustable, so you always get the perfect fit. Or they can be detached, if you would rather use the C5 Series 2 without. Gone are the days when you have to stop your workout to adjust your ear buds.
|C5 Series 2||P9 Signature||P7 Wireless||P5 Wireless||P5 Series 2||P3 Series 2|
|Type||In ear||Over ear||Bluetooth over ear||Bluetooth on ear||On ear||Lightweight on ear|
|Carrying Case||Soft zipper pouch||Protective pouch||Soft leather pouch||Soft quilted pouch||Soft quilted pouch||Protective hard shell case|
|Additional Items||Ear tips S, M, L||Universal cable||Universal cable, USB charging cable||Universal cable, USB charging cable||Universal cable, Apple remote mic cable||Universal and Apple mic and remote cables|
Compare to similar items
This item Bowers & Wilkins C5 S2 In-Ear Headphones, Black (Wired)
|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Happy Haus||Amazon.com||R H A||in-ear-com||R H A||MusicTeck|
|Color||Black||Titanium||black||Black Silver||Black||Aluminium, Black|
|Item Dimensions||9.6 x 12.4 x 4.8 in||8.5 x 1.5 x 6.5 in||5.5 x 7.75 x 1.75 in||2 x 4 x 6.5 in||2 x 5.5 x 8 in||0.79 x 0.79 x 0.79 in|
|Additional Features||ios-phone-control||Type: In-Ear / Color: Titanium / Cable Length: 1.25 m (4 ft) / Plug: 3.5 mm Gold Plated / Wired Materials: Enameled Copper Wire, Frequency Range: 20-40,000 Hz / Sensitivity: 99 dB / Impedance: 32 Ω / Rated Power: 5 mW / Weight: 18 g||lightweight||android-phone-control, ios-phone-control, tangle-free-cord||noise-isolation||lightweight|
C5 Series 2 in-ear headphones bring you amazingly natural acoustics and fit so snugly you'll hardly be aware you're wearing them.
Top customer reviews
After reviewing B&W P5 and P7 headphones, you are no longer surprised by high quality of "formal attire" packaging C5 arrived in, but nevertheless - it's still a rewarding unboxing experience. Just like with any of their other models, you are presented with a high res image on the front and a comprehensive description on the back, including design details of the internal components. Opening magnetic flap cover reveals C5 under the plastic display with a description of "secure loop" functionality inside of the flap cover (more about it later). Out of the box, you get a product manual including a separate instruction card for the "secure loop" fitment. Also, you get 4 sets of custom eartips and a very unique suede half-moon shaped headphone case. B&W always tries to stand out from the crowd with their unique headphone cases, some of which are a bit over the top. This particular case is actually not bad.
Design of the earpiece shell is all metal, and has a nice weight to it though doesn't feel too heavy. Actually the design is quite unique. First of all, the back of the shell has what appears to be a very fine mesh cover with a solid feel without any flex. Underneath of it is a micro-porous filter responsible for a wide airy sound with a very impressive soundstage - definitely among the best I heard from in-ear design. But unlike "open back" headphones, there is no sound leakage. As a matter of fact, with a right selection of eartips, these have an excellent passive noise isolation. I'm still scratching my head how they were able to accomplish this with such a one-way filter. Still, this is not a true star of this design, but "secure loop" is!
The cable which comes out of the shell goes into a pre-shaped "memory" loop which wraps around and goes through a groove on the side of the shell. By pulling/pushing on the loop you can change its diameter to adjust for a comfortable fitment around ear's inner rim. B&W refers to this as infinite loop adjustment since there is no click action, it just slides and stays in place. It's sort of an alternative to a wing stabilizers used in sports IEMs. This "secure loop" is very effective and quite comfortable, but I would NOT recommend adjusting with headphones inside of your ear because you will get your skin pinched! There is also a way to release a small tab at the end of memory wire which allows for the loop to come out of the groove, thus being able to use C5 without loop-stabilizer. You can actually use it with a "memory wire" behind the ear but have to swap L/R sides; and speaking of which you do get a clear L/R marking on each earpiece.
With memory wire shielding being an extended strain relief, next is the actual cable which is round and soft. It is a little bit thinner prior to a short y-splitter and becomes thicker going down to a straight slim gold plated headphone jack connector with a great strain relief. The left side of the wire also has an in-line remote/mic. Though meant to be used with iOS devices, multi-function button in the middle is fully compatible with most of the common Android phones from Samsung, HTC, LG, and Sony. With a single click you can Play/Pause/Call (to control music playback as well as to pick up phone calls), with a double click you skip next, with a triple click you skip prev, and long press starts Google NOW. Volume control is specific to iOS devices only.
I started my review with a bold statement about C5 capturing the essence of P5 and P7 headphones, so you can definitely prepare yourself for a bass enhanced sound signature. C5 Series 2 definitely has a resemblance to P5 Series 2, which is rare for IEM, but C5 takes it a step further with a more balanced sound and a more upfront upper mids and a wider soundstage and a better treble extension, pushing it closer into P7 territory. As a matter of fact, I found C5 upper mids/treble to sound more natural and less colored in comparison to P7. One thing I still can't get over is how much C5 feels like a dual dynamic driver due to it's fine-tuning and a balance between the bass and the high frequency, something that is not easy to accomplish with a single dynamic driver design used in C5.
The sound signature of C5 Series 2 is definitely balanced with an enhanced bass. The sound itself is very dynamic and has great layering and separation. Low end has an analog quality bass with a deep smooth sub-bass texture and punchy fast mid-bass. Bass is tight and very well controlled without spilling into lower mids; it only comes to play when being called for. Upper mids are very clear and detailed, have a perfect balance between brightness and warmth, very lush, organic, and with a relatively (to my ears) accurate vocal tonality. Treble is well extended, very smooth, and without a hint of sibilance or harshness. Soundstage is wide and deep with a feeling of airiness and nearly a 3D imaging. I also found these to be quite forgiving with lower quality recording, and in general very efficient without a need for amping. Furthermore, I didn't sense any microphonics/cable noise.
Overall, I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record with every review saying "this is a best pair of headphones I heard so far". There is a factor of new-toy-syndrome which sometime clouds our judgment, or a brain burn-in when you listen for awhile to the same pair of headphones until they grow on you. After a free-air burn in for about 20-25 hrs (strongly recommend for any dynamic driver), I already knew I'm looking at something special, and I took my time to listen and to compare C5 Series 2 (don't have any previous experience with original C5) to my other headphones with enhanced bass signatures. And every time I was coming back to C5 where it had the most dynamic sound, the most analog quality of low end, and among the most detailed and organic upper mids/treble for a dynamic driver. In all seriousness, if B&W will tune down their bass closer to neutral level - you will be looking at one fine pair of smooth reference IEMs. Yes, it has a big fun bass, but it's done very tastefully and tuned to stay in balance with the rest of the spectrum. These definitely get my high recommendation!
This is where I'm coming from: I've tried, bought/auditioned many brands of headphones, both on-ear, over-the-ear, and in-ear headphones over the last 3 years. And out of all of them, these are the best in sound quality. And I'm comparing this also to a decent stereo set-up at home (Onkyo TX-NR626 Receiver with Klipsch high-end Speakers $1000 bucks each + Energy subwoofer;); it's not quite as good as listening to my stereo system. I wouldn't consider myself an audiophile, but I am musically trained and think of I have a decent ear. I like my music to sound fun and vibrant.
ADJUSTMENTS: The silicone buds on these aren't too comfortable and didn't provide a good seal. I have Sennheiser CX985 earbuds and put the medium-sized tips from those onto these C5, and wow, made a huge difference in sound and comfort - you could now hear the subwoofer sounds coming out of these and everything was balanced and clear. I use my MacBook Pro most of the time to listen to music. These C5's require more power than my other headphones, but I listen to music pretty loudly, so I use my Fiio DAC/Amp to give it a bit of extra juice. Also, I like extra bass, so I increase the equalizer settings in iTunes player up a few notches at at the 32 level and provides a longer-lasting bass sound, still tight, but something I like to give it an extra kick. On some tracks, I also increase the levels at 4K, 8K and 16K ranges to give it extra voice clarity. There's no distortion even with these settings turned up.
SOUND: With the adjustments made, the C5 S2 sound is full and balanced and amazing. If you appreciate subsonic sounds coming from a subwoofer, then you will love these. It really does sound like listening to my stereo set-up at home with a subwoofer and high-end speakers. The bass is super tight and not boomy, and it goes really low. LOVE it. The mids are clear and natural sounding. The highs are crisp but not over extended.
COMFORT: Not very comfortable though. I want to keep these, but they do hurt after an hour of listening. Any suggestions on better tips?
Sennheiser CX985: My second favorite pair are the Sennheiser CX985, but in comparison to the C5, the Senns sound a bit airy and not precise, the highs are a bit too extended, and there's less subwoofer-sounding quality to them. The soundstage is good, but it lacks in definition, individual sounds of instruments, etc. However, the Senns are more comfortable.
Denon AH-D600: These don't compare at all to the C5 (Denon's lack bass, require a lot of equalizer adjustment to sound decent, but then sounds get distorted). They are however, super comfortable.
Audio-Technica ATH-PRO700MK2 : These sound okay, decent bass, but more muddy and doesn't extend in the low lows like the C5. These are super uncomfortable though and clamp on your head too tightly.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50S : These also sound okay, but lack clarity across the board compared to C5. They are more comfortable than the ATH-Pro700MK2 though.
I've also auditioned the past but just didn't cut it for me:
Sennheiser Momentum Over-The-Ear, SOUL by Ludacris SL300, Pioneer HDJ-2000-K, Sennheiser HD 598, STREET by 50 Cent Wired, Ultrasone PRO 750, Sennheiser HD 380, AKG K 272 HD, Audio-Technica ATH-A900X , Sony MDR-XB500, V-MODA Crossfade LP
Most recent customer reviews
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