Bowers & Wilkins C5
In-ear headphones with in-line remote and microphone (Black)
Item #: 749C5
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Item #: 749C5
This item is no longer available.
The Bowers & Wilkins C5 headphones have it all — rich, dynamic sound, a secure, comfortable fit, plus up-to-the-minute convenience and style. These well-sorted in-ears deliver amazingly powerful bass with warm, natural mids and highs that make them perfect for listening to just about any genre of music. A unique, adjustable cable loop keeps them gently but firmly in place as you move. They also provide convenient control of your favorite Apple® device, including hands-free conversations using your iPhone®. And along with their siblings, the B&W P5 on-ears, we think these buds are among the coolest, best-looking headphones out there today.
Most in-ear headphones stay in place reasonably well, as long as you're sitting still. But once you're on the move it can be a different story. The C5s feature an innovative Secure Loop design that gently hugs the inner rim of each ear, holding the headphones firmly in place no matter how bumpy the ride. The loops can be easily adjusted for a comfortable, custom fit. These buds also utilize a solid Tungsten sound tube that balances them towards your ears, further improving the security of fit while increasing isolation from outside noise. And because the noise reduction is passive, no batteries or active electronics are ever needed.
B&W knows great sound — their professional monitor speakers are found in some of the world's finest recording studios, Their goal for the C5 was to create the same natural and realistic sound in a headphone that their speakers are famous for. One key feature that helps achieve that goal is the Micro Porous Filter. This filter uses hundreds of microscopic steel balls clustered at the end of the headphones that act as a sonic diffuser, enabling the C5 to deliver pristine, natural sound while also providing the kind of spacious performance that you'd only expect from open-air headphones.
A remote built into the headphone cable lets you conveniently control music playback without having to dig your iPod or iPhone out of your pocket. You can even take calls on your iPhone hands-free, thanks to the in-line microphone. The C5's supple, plastic-coated headphone cord resists tangles like a champ. And the zippered, pocket-sized storage case makes a nice home for your C5s when they're not in use.
From the review Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones Earbuds of the future
"Sound was robust and clear; with palpable bass and smooth, detailed midrange. High frequencies were just ever so slightly rolled off at the very top. I also greatly enjoyed the way the C5s spread the instruments across a wide and moderately deep soundstage, rather than concentrating them right in the middle of my head. This is a pretty neat trick that you normally only expect to hear with open-air, around-the-ear headphones."
— Dave B., Crutchfield A/V Writer
These headphones are complete junk and B&W doesn't seem to care. Stay away from these and find some more reliable headphones. I have had these replaced four times in 18 months. Since the 2 year warranty is about up, I'm done with these. To answer people's question if the warranty is extended when a pair is replaced, Nope! Tried to discuss the obvious defect in these headphones with B&W USA and got absolutely nowhere. Good money spent for complete junk and a company that doesn't care about making the product better. Do not buy.
Pros: Sounds pretty good for a while
Cons: Durability is a joke.
I believe the Bowers & Wilkins C5 are the best ear phones for under $200.00 available today. Sound quality is superb. They have a wide dynamic range and provide a full sound experience with all music types. I have tried many ear phones and the Bowers & Wilkins C5 are the best single driver ear phones I have heard. Another great aspect of these ear phones is the strength of the cable. Its not just a flimsy cord, it comes with a strong reinforced cable that can withstand daily use.
Pros: Great sound quality. very comfortable to wear
I felt compelled to review these headphones as I have owned them for ~9 months. Unfortunately I am on my third pair and will probably be on my fourth pair shortly. To start with the good- these are the best sounding headphones I have ever listened to- they are bright but also capture bass in an incredible way (my test is listening to the XX - fantasy 1:22 there are bass levels that normal headphones cannot pick up). The headphones also have a sound quality that feels like you are listening to a live sound rather than an earbud jammed in your ear and this is really good. I have owned klipsch headphones previously and sound quality these blow those out of the water.
With that said, in the span of 3 months, I have had 2 headphones with earbuds go dead, and it seems my third pair are about to do the same. It is unfortunate that such an incredible sounding piece of headphones are made of such poor build that they die every few months- my only solace is that I bought them with an amex and plan to use amex's warranty to extend the life by 2 years. But still- this price for 2 years worth of a product with constant shipping back and forth is an annoyance. Don't buy these headphones- look elsewhere.
Pros: - best sounding headphones I have ever listened to
Cons: - ear channels constantly die- am on my 3rd pair going on 4th pair.
Seem to be very solidly built. Very nice sound when I can get them in my ear correctly. I spend alot of time monkeying around with the "Loop" trying to get it secure in my ear. The buds tend to come loose easily. I am not sure that this design is right for me... but I own them now! The cord seems unruly as well, it is so stiff that it gets it the way quite abit and holds its "kinked" shape much of the time.
Pros: Solid build. Nice sound when in ear correctly.
Cons: Difficult to fit in ear and to stay put. Cord to stiff
I've had these for a couple of months or so and have formed an opinion. I use them with my iPhone and my Audioengine DAC through my iMac. They're beautiful and seem to be very well made. The bass was way too heavy when I first started using them, so bad that I nearly sent them back. A friend advised me to let them burn in for a few hours before making my decision. To my surprise they did get significantly better (I thought they would go the other way) so I decided to keep them even though the bass is still a little loose for my taste. It may continue to improve over time? The soundstage is well defined in spite of the bass issues. They stay in your ears very well and are comfortable enough when properly adjusted. You get various sizes of "rubber' in order to get a good seal and I suggest trying them all. The cord is stiff and somewhat difficult to manage with a tendency to retain it's shape. While the packaging was very stylish, I do not recall a more difficult product to get open and free from the packaging! Just don't get too excited! The pretty little case is very poorly designed and difficult to get the phones in and out of. It's way too small too. I use these quite often and are satisfied with them especially for some of the progressive rock I listen to.
Pros: Good value, very sturdy materials, sound is detailed with good staging.
Cons: Stiff cord can be unwieldy, case is useless, bass is a bit too heavy for my taste but may be perfect for yours.
Cool headphones, sounds great, ear piece weight feel very high end, head phone wires are very light, best head phones for staying in your ear. Only disappointment is the case, its too small, I feel if I put the headphones in the case, it will damage the ear piece and loop.
Pros: quality, sound, look, weight
Cons: case is big disappointment, its too small, but looks great.
Best headphones I've ever had. They are durable and provide continual great sound. You will find new parts to all of your favorite music.
Product arrived in given time frame. Very well packed. Good value from Crutchfield.
Pros: Very elegant package from Bowers & Wilkins. I am not an audiophile but find the sound remarkable from a small device.
Cons: Would suggest a 90 dgree angle plug as a connecter to sound source as cable is somewhat fragile. After you learn how to position ear pieces sound quality is fantastic and alsovery good isolation of external sounds.
The sound quality of these B&Ws is really good. Amazing, really. Maybe not quite as good as the $500 top-of-the-line recording studio Shure models, but just shy of that. And for $180-$200 ($180 at Crutchfield), you can't beat them. I researched them quite a bit before buying. I didn't want the over-the-ear cans, I wanted the noise isolating earbuds. I previously bought Shure headphones almost exclusively, as I am a bit of a self-proclaimed audiophile and excellent sound quality is very important to me. But my last two sets of Shure's have died somewhat prematurely (at least in my opinion, although I admittedly use them quite a bit on flights, etc). So I decided to do some research and found what appeared to be great value in the C5's. I have B&W speakers for my home theater system (which I LOVE), but I previously was hesitant to buy their headphones because they are relatively new to the headphone business. Boy, was I ever right on with trusting B&W again! A great purchase. I have already recommended these to some friends. I still love Shure's, but to get this same sound quality with them, you need to get into their $400+ models.
Very bright highs but lacking bass. Good solid fit for active lifestyle.
Have been using regular high quality headphones, but these limit the wearing of a hat in the sun. The B&W fit nicely, sound great and stay in place. Very pleased with them. Listen mostly to classical and jazz in lossless. They are outstanding playing CD derived music from a laptop through a "Dragonfly".
Pros: Sound quality, comfort, secure feeling.
Cons: Non so far.
I have had these now for a year and couldn't be happier. At first I was a bit disappointed. Prior in-ear phones I had required me to use the small cushions to get a good seal. When I started with the B&W's I went to the small cushions and was not impressed. Instead as it turns out, the larges cushions worked best, and due to the in-ear loops they stayed put and provided a great seal. The cushion change made all the difference with both sound and comfort. As expected with B&W the sound is great. They're not perfectly analytical, but the subtle colorations that exist are very musical in nature, and forgiving of poor recordings. They provide a slightly "warm" overall presentation, which never sounds bad, but may be a little smooth for some people. They don't have the sizzle of Beats that some people like, but which I find artificial. I travel to China quite a bit, which is about 20 Hrs of flying, and have been able to wear these for the entire trip without fatique. They are the most comfortable in-ear 'phones I have used, (although I have not tried any of the custom-fit products). Also, once you adjust the loops to fit snugly, they stay in your ears quite well. It may take a little fiddling with the loop adjustments at first, but once you get it right they just stay put. I find them to be very good on the treadmill at the gym. Overall a great product as one would expect from B&W.
Pros: Excellent sound. Very Comfortable. Convenient case.
I got my first set back in April of 2012, they sounded great right out of the box, even better after a burn in. then a few months in the left channel started to flicker on and off. So I sent them back for a prompt replacement thinking it was just a lemon. 4 months later my second set went out for the same reason. you'd think a company with a reputation like B&W would be able to make some headphones that last more than a few months, especially at the that cost. yes these aren't the most expensive headphones on the planet by any means, but I'd expect at least 3-5 years of solid listening, and thats being very forgiving. I'm sorry the great sound and comfort are only good when they worked. luckily i'm getting my money back via a gift card to try something else out. and while crutchfield doesn't carry some of the brands i was looking for, i may find something else that i can settle with. and if any one is interested i listened to them for a solid 10-12 hours a day, doing design work sitting at a desk. so they weren't exposed to any mistreatment or abuse of any kind. to me build quality is paramount when you're spending decent money on something that should be built to last.
Pros: sounds awesome, looks great, very comfortable even during extended wear.
Cons: build quality is severely lacking to the point i'll likely never by another B&W product again.
These earphones sound great and they are able to block out most of the noise around you, however I have noticed that after six months of using them the inside of one of the cables has turned "green" and is starting to short out. I would be lying if I said that I was happy with them.
Pros: Sound good
Cons: Build quality
Way overpriced! Completely unimpressed. I own a pair of B&W speakers for my home stereo and thought they were great. Unfortunately, their earbuds don't meet standards. I tried all 3 pairs of the earpieces and had to "wedge" in the one set that did fit in order to get a decent sound out of these earbuds. The flimsy cable popped out of one earbud while I was adjusting it to fit in my ear. Don't waste your time or money on these, you can better earbuds for less.
Cons: Not worth the money.
I am enjoying these units very much. They are very comfortable to wear. I am also enjoying the fact that I have a nice case to store them in. I would recommend these units, my son is already thinking about getting a pair.
Thanks for a quality product! Wgagliardi
Pros: Sound Quality Comfort Looks Storage
Cons: If I had to put something down it would be Wiring to stiff Control button on wire difficult due to wiring MINIMUM ISSUES THOUGH
They're good, not great. Once they are seated in your ear the right way, the noise cancellation and sound quality are outstanding. The down side to them is that they slip out fairly easily, and any change in position changes the sound quality almost instantly. They're not the greatest for exercising, either, because any change in your head position from upright makes them shift in your ear. Running is a constant exercise of readjustment, and if you get sweaty, they slip out even easier. If you don't work out and want great sound quality with the ability to use the phone without taking out the earbuds, then these are great. If you plan on using them to be active, you may be disappointed.
Pros: Great sound quality. Allows use of your phone unlike other noise-cancelling ear buds.
Cons: Sound quality is very dependent on position, and getting them to stay put is too tricky and unreliable.
Another great item from B&W. Excellent quality as expected. No reason to get into sounds details, just as good as it could get for the headphones. The only better piece would be over the ear B&W headphones but this is a different price and category item.
Pros: Sound quality, build quality, comfortable in the ear.
Cons: Maybe price, could be a little less expensive - maybe in $130-140 range?
Very nice sounding earphones! I was considering a few others (in the $100-150 range), but settled on these after reading many reviews, and knowing the reputation and sound of B&W. They sound very open and natural across the frequency spectrum. Ear tip and placement in ear do make a big difference. The default ones seem the best for me. I have no problem switching tips (other people have said they tore). I am very careful and pinch near the end. They pop right off and go back on easily. I was concerned that I might feel the weight of the switches on the left ear cable, but I do not at all. They cable takes some getting used to, because it is very ridgid, and does not fall flat by itself like my other earphone cables. It is a minor inconvenience and the overall construction is rock solid. My source is an Ipod Nano with 320kbps mp3s. Very nice sound compared to my Sony and Klipsch earphones (though these were both much less $, and still very good products), but in my opinion worth it because I usually listen a few or several hours a week, and these B&Ws really do sound great. These C5s are loud compared to the others, so I can turn the volume down substantially to get the same impact, but with greater detail and clarity.
Pros: Very 'open' and natural sounding. Durable construction. They also look nice and unique, but that was not important to me.
Cons: Not a problem for me, but they will not block out much background noise. Cable takes some getting used to, but does have a nice look and solid feel.
Poor build quality, combined with hard to use ear-tips (the original one ripped in trying to remove it), completely dampened my enthusiasm. I did not achieve particularly good sound when I could get the buds in properly. All in all, I realized I would be happier going back to my freebie iPhone stock earbuds. I don't love them, but they don't cost as much to disappoint me.
Pros: The nifty design with the little loop of cable that holds the bud firmly in your ear.
Cons: Hard to get good fit in the ear canal. Very hard to get ear-tips off the bud; removing the original one caused it to rip. Had buzzing in one bud. Without good fit in ear, sound was tinny. Hard (impossible?) to use the case as intended (how do you get the buds in the little holder thingy?). Case's zipper tab did not fit nicely into pull tab; came out and required me to adjust with pliers.
great sound, fit in ears is excellent and they stay in with the loops. they are very comfortable to wear for extended period of time.
Pros: sound ,build quality, non tangle wires
I am a big fan of Bowers and Wilkins since I bought my first bookshelves way back in 2000. I tried the P5s on a store and really loved the sound and comfort as well as the quality of the construction, and not even speak about the look and style. Still, I have become an addict to the in-ear headphones due to the big convenience and versatility that they provide.
I thought that after owning and using Bose IE I was not going to find anything better for the price.
The C5s are on a league of their own.
- Incredible sound, with powerful bass and clear sound all across the frequency spectrum. These devices were engineered for sound clarity, precision and sound detail.
-They are definitely a system, that whenever setup properly, will provide perfection. The innovative infinitely loop feature is a +++ one, which takes a little time to master in order to know how to set it in your ear and adjusted to get the maximum out of them, but once you get them you start to realize what I am talking about. Advice, make sure that the whole loop fits where it is supposed to and then expand the loop to properly fit it. Then push it just a little bit to the inside to maximize the noise isolation feature. Once there, it almost works as well as a noise cancelling devices.
-The quality in construction and electronics is simply top notch and you will notice once you use them. Give them around 20+ hours and the sound will simply expand even further.
Pros: Sound, quality, design... Bowers and Wilkins
Cons: Cable noise and case.
These really are remarkably high quality. In truth, I had been expecting to find that I had paid a bit of a markup for the B&W moniker, but they are every bit as luxurious as their price suggests. Thick cord, nicely weighted, and, most notably, perfect sound.
This is one pair of headphones that really benefits from a couple weeks' breaking in. It's no myth. Don't be disappointed if they sound a bit unimpressive out of the box. Once they've loosened up they will dish out effortless gobs of bass beneath untouched, glimmering highs, and you will notice. Very immersive -- rich texture, tonal subtlety, and plenty of attack on drums.
The wraparound ear-bracing is a bit gimmicky, but they are quite heavy, so I suppose it helps keep them in place. It's subtle enough. I still find myself adjusting them quite a lot as I walk, however. Moreover, because they're quasi-open-backed, they leak more sound than typical earbuds; not a problem on the subway but noticeable on airplanes, etc.
This is probably my sixth or seventh pair of not-cheap earbuds over the years -- the cats do them all in eventually -- and I'm confident saying these are the best. They sound as good as I've heard with an iPhone or iPod; with a moderately amplified DAC they're incredible.
These are excellent headphones and rival the sound of traditional over-the-ear 'phones' as long as they are correctly placed in the ear canal which can be a little tricky. They also isolate sound very well when they are positioned correctly.
Compared to what comes with an ipod/mp3 player, it is a whole other level of listening quality. I am especially impressed with how much bass these put out while still maintaining crisp mids and highs.
I am also using these with an Nu-Force I-DAC2 headphone amp when listening to music on my computer. They sound great together. These earbuds may be fairly expensive, but some things are actually worth the price. These are.
I bought these at Crutchfield to replace my UE SuperFI 5 Pros that recently died. I don't like compressed music so I have an iPod Classic and use the Lossless format. I really enjoyed the UEs so I wasn't sure about these especially since they are new and there aren't many reviews yet. I can now say the C5s are excellent! The sound stage is very open and much bigger than the UEs with great bass. My home speakers are Ohms which also have an excellent open sound stage and great imaging. The C5s are like mini-Ohms in my ears. I do think the UEs had finer details but the C5s have great bass and an overall balanced natural sound. I don't have enough listening hours yet for them to be fully burned in so I expect them to get better still. I give them a 5-star rating for the great sound and excellent build quality. For the price, these are a great value and I am very pleased that I bought them.
This is a first impression review. Firstly, the fit is just perfect. My ears are small and the smallest earbud tips work the best. BTW, you need to tug pretty hard to remove currently installed tips. The infinitely adjustable loop is probably the coolest and most useful feature. I've always had problems with earphones falling out and I know these won't. They provide some pretty good passive surrounding noise isolation (not active-cancellation). So far, I've sampled some Diana Krall, Sypro Gyra, Adele, Neon Trees, Black Eyed Peas and Muse playing off of my iPhone with 'Sound Check' turned on. Jazz and lighter rock/pop sounds fantastic and well balanced across the frequency spectrum. There's not a lot of bass on most rock, pop (fine by me). Midrange seems pretty clear. Highs are a touch bright for my taste. As an iPhone handsfree unit, they work just fine. Vol Up/Down and Play/Pause controls on the inline remote work just fine. By far, the nicest set of earphones I've listened to. For most people, this will be an excellent upgrade over Apple's white buds.
|Frequency Response||10-20k Hz|
|Airline Adapter Included||No|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
Micro Porous Filter: To create a spacious sound B&W uses Micro Porous Filters, hundreds of microscopic steel balls that act as sonic diffusers, opening up the sound and making music feel rich and expansive.
Secure Loop Design: Each of the headphones uses an adjustable wire that fits comfortably in the inner ridge of your ear and helps hold the headphones in place. The C5's inner casing is also weighted with Tungsten, ensuring they are balanced towards the ear, not away from it. So the headphones will stay securely inside your ears.
Noise Isolation: The C5's snug fit offers passive isolation from the outside world, but lets in just enough ambient noise to allow you to retain your sense of place.
Microphone and Remote: The C5 headphones are Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad compliant and the in-line remote and microphone let you answer phone calls and control music playback when used with compatible iPhones, iPods, and iPads. Remote control functions include volume, answer call, end call, play, pause, skip forward, and skip backward. Compatible models are listed in the chart below (as of September 2011):
|iPod/iPhone Model||Generation||Audio Playback||Music Control||Mic||Phone Control|
Note: Requires latest iPod/iPhone software update. Audio is supported by all iPod models.
Can a company known for their high-end speakers shrink down all their technology and cram it into a set of earbuds? Our resident audiophile tries out the Bowers & Wilkins C5's to find out.