Skip Navigation

Bowers & Wilkins P3

Portable, folding on-ear headphones with in-line remote and microphone (Black)

24 Reviews

Item # 749P3B

This item is no longer available.

Shop all On-ear Headphones


Our take on the Bowers & Wilkins P3

Leave it to Bowers & Wilkins to create elegant-yet-sturdy headphones capable of providing remarkably natural, detailed sound for listening on the go. The B&W P3 slimline headphones fit lightly and snugly on your head, then fold up to stow away in your pocket or inside the included protective carrying case. Their featherweight design makes them a joy to take with you everywhere.

Lightweight portables with full, natural sound

Leave it to Bowers & Wilkins to create elegant-yet-sturdy headphones capable of providing remarkably natural, detailed sound for listening on the go. The B&W P3 slimline headphones fit lightly and snugly on your head, then fold up to stow away in your pocket or inside the included protective carrying case. Their featherweight design makes them a joy to take with you everywhere.

folding design

Available in black, blue, red, and white

Newly designed from the ground up

The P3's acoustically damped, laminate mylar drivers and powerful neodymium magnets easily deliver high-impact sound with virtually any portable music player. Their soft, breathable fabric-coated earcups use memory foam to conform to the shape of your ears for hours of listening comfort. The noise-isolating, closed-back design keeps the outside world where it belongs while allowing just enough ambient sound in to keep you in touch with your surroundings. And because the noise reduction is passive, no batteries or active electronics are ever needed.

Built-in controls for iPod®, iPhone®, and iPad®

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 removable headphone cord attaches to just one earcup, so you won't have to deal with tangles.

From the review Bowers & Wilkins P3 headphones: from skepticism to enthusiasm

"On the whole, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed wearing these headphones, and just how convenient and low-impact they were... I was thoroughly enjoying listening to my music on the P3s. The Bowers & Wilkins P3 headphones are a clear winner for those who like to enjoy their music while on the move."

— Woody Sherman, Crutchfield A/V Writer

Product Highlights:

  • folding portable on-ear headphones with closed back, noise isolating design
  • in-line remote to control playback and adjust volume on iPod, iPad, and iPhone
  • built-in microphone on remote for receiving calls on an iPhone
  • custom-made, ultra-light acoustic fabric earpad covers
  • 30mm Mylar® diaphragms and ultra linear neodymium magnets for clear, detailed sound
  • frequency response: 10-20,000 Hz
  • impedance: 34 ohms
  • sensitivity: 111 dB/V at 1kHz
  • 2 cables included:
    • detachable straight cord with stereo mini plugs (3.5mm on player end, 2.5mm on headphone)
    • detachable mic/remote control cord with stereo mini plugs (3.5mm on player end, 2.5mm on headphone) for use with iPod, iPhone, and iPad
  • protective carrying case included
  • weight: 4.6 ounces
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • On-ear headphones
  • Detachable 4' headphone cable with in-line remote and mic terminated by a male 3.5mm connector on one end and two male 2.5mm connectors on other end (installed)
  • Detachable 4' headphone cable with two male 2.5mm connectors on on one end and a male 3.5mm connector on other end
  • Carrying case
  • Instruction booklet
  • Quickstart
  • Safety Instructions/Warranty

Great sound, but the cable is pathetic, I wish B&W sold a coiled version to replace it.

OB, California


Bowers & Wilkins P3 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(24 Reviews)

Bowers & Wilkins P3

Crutchfield customer from Frederick, MD on 12/31/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great design and aesthetically very pleasing. The sound quality is what you'd expect from B&W. My Little One loves them.



A nice gift from my dealership

Michael from Free Union, VA on 10/13/2016

I got these headphones from a local dealership for leasing my car (nice treat). The quality of the headphone is wonderful and they look like a piece of art. The cord is a bit flimsy but I have had no issue with it and it can be replaced easily if needed. Sound is very good but a headphone amp is recommended to truly get the them to shine. I gave them 4 stars because they do not sound as good as they look.

Pros: Beautiful Great sound with headphone amp

Cons: Cable should match the overall quality

Great Sound, Flimsy Cable

OB from California on 12/13/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound, but the cable is pathetic, I wish B&W sold a coiled version to replace it.

Pros: Sound, looks

Cons: Cable, thin, flimsy, and not coiled.

quite good for the size

WayneG from Greensboro, North Carolina on 12/13/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound, light and easy to wear. Good fit even when i work out. Virtually no noise isolation, but I didn't expect much since it fits on the ear. Overall, very happy with them.

Pros: sound quality, build quality, comfort, portable

Cons: noise reduction

A nice compromise

TG from Kansas on 12/27/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

If you are familiar with the Bowers-Wilkins sound, you will probably like these headphones. Strong, clear midrange and dialogue, bass you can hear but not necessarily feel. Stellar build quality, looks really cool. No frills operation and highly portable. They're much smaller than they look in pictures. There's not any processed sound cancellation or noise reduction but they do fit tight enough to keep some ambient sound out.

Pros: Signature Bowers-Wilkins sound Look and feel high quality Small and easy to take with you

Cons: Not the most comfortable

Nice but Hard to Drive with Portable device

Orly65 from New York City on 3/1/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

First impressions: Very light, very soft ear pads with material that is fairly smooth to the touch, very little pressure to the ears ( my ears are about 2.5" long and my anti helix protrudes). I wear glasses, but the position of the pads are such that they do not touch my glasses. I imagine the material on the headband will easily get dirty from the natural oils in the hair. I felt more pressure on my head than I did on my ears, but nothing to be concerned about. As indicated the controls work for Apple devices, so it did not work for my Android device, I immediately switched out the wire to the provided alternative. The bass will not push too hard on a rock song, but it will be there on techno; it is a balanced headphone, which I prefer. The impedance is a little high so my device had to get near its top volume for the music to become uncomfortable, my Sennheiser CX300II did a much better job, but you can reach that high volume if you wish (something not vitally important to me and might be a good thing). Sound is very tight, very true; you won't get bass emphasis here, also noise isolation is very good, my daughter could not hear my music at high volume though I came up right next to her and outside noise was reduced quite a bit. One thing is I don't know if I felt completely satisfied and it had more to do with the price point than anything else, I guess time will tell.

Pros: Build, Sound, Comfort

Cons: Slightly harder to drive

B&W P3

cb from Denver on 12/30/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

A gift that made a "road warrior" very happy! These headphones are perfect for the constant traveler. The sound was fantastic - so much better than other "noise reduction" head phones.



Very nice

Craig from Dallas ,tx on 12/28/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very nice headphones. Obviously very well made and sound is excellent. At first they were a bit uncomfortable - I almost sent them back - but I've become used to them and now hardly notice they are on.

Pros: The look great. I have the blue ones

Cons: A bit tight

great set of headphones

kjack from Austin, TX on 12/11/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

great set of headphones will probably buy another set for other family members

Pros: comfortable- not too big- great sound


These headphones look great, but the sound is not so great.

Russ from West Texas on 8/16/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have returned these because of their sound. They are definitely muffled & muddy compared to a pair of Koss that cost a fraction of the price. They are moderate in the level of comfort. I ended up with a pair of Sennheiser Amperiors that sound great!

Pros: Looks & build quality

Cons: Sound

Fantastic headphone

J.C from Malibu, CA on 6/18/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great headphones! very clean and crispy sound, still need a bit more time to break in with white and pink noise, but sounds awesome already.

Pros: sound quality, portability, color(personal preference), iphone compatibility

Cons: great if wire is meshed, so it wont tangle as much.


WayneP from Easley, SC on 6/4/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very happy with the purchase of these Headphones. They were a Mother's Day gift to my wife which she wears while gardening and while she is mowing the lawn on our Zero-turn, (I know, I am the King :). They completely drown out the Lawnmower even though they are not noise cancelling which I was worried about when i ordered them. I went with these because I believed they wouldnt be a sweaty as over the ear or leather pads and they work good. Build quality is good but not indestructible so be careful. Fast Sipping was also great So far so good.

Pros: Everything

Cons: Nothing


Happy Listener from Pennsylvania on 5/24/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

First let me say they are a deeper, richer color in person, which for me was a good thing. I am by no means a pro but the sound is awesome, i have had some nice headphones, sennheiser, shure, bose and grado, these are without hesitation the best all around i have heard, the grado's were a little clearer and sweeter in their sound but no where near as comfortable. these are so comfortable i can wear them for hours, they also don't slip off when i bend down. as for the cool factor, what can i say, both of my adult children told me how nice they look without any prompting. they make my music sound nicer, my audible books deeper and on my games i hear more sounds. i also listened to the p5's and preferred the way these felt and sounded better.



Great Headphones With A Big BUT

Daniel A from Hoboken, NJ on 4/4/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I often wear headphones to block out my surroundings while working on my notebook PC at coffee shops. I love my Bose AE2 because it is so lightweight, comfortable and superb sounding. But I noticed that my ears do get sweaty after hours of use because the headphones cups my entire ear. So I decided to purchase the P3 as a replacement after reading so many great reviews about them. The design and build quality is top-notch. The sound isn't as great when compared with my Bose AE2 because voices are drowned out by the heavy bass. I actually had to play with my PC's equalizer to boost the treble, which greatly improved the quality of the sound. I was a little upset at first because I never had to play with the equalizer. But I got over it. I truly want to love the P3 because the design is so sexy. Here's the big BUT. It clamps onto my head so tightly that it hurts after only 30 minutes of use. Not a good sign at all. I'm hoping that they loosen up over time, but I doubt it because the headband is so durable... too durable. I'm currently contemplating on returning and exchanging it for the Bose OE2. Not something I really want to do because while Bose headphones sound great, they look so flimsy when you put them side-by-side with the P3.

Pros: Top-notch design and build quality. Good sound after playing with the equalizer.

Cons: Clamps onto my head too tightly. Flimsy wire.

Quality Sound on the Go

Dig Dug ATX from Austin, TX on 2/2/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The b&w P3s delivered exactly what I needed: 1. portability 2. light weight 3. quality sound 4. comfort I have used these with a laptop, samsung tablet, and denon receiver. The volume level and quality were great on all devices when watching movies/tv with an AC3 audio track. Music through the denon receiver was very pleasant at low and high volumes using a lossless audio format and high bitrate mp3s. Using these on a plane required a slightly higher volume level, as these are not noise cancelling headphones. NOTE: the lower score for noise reduction does not mean this is a bad product; it just isn't designed for noise cancelling. All in all I am very satisfied with the product, though I wonder if I should have gone for the p5 instead for increased quality. Would definitely recommend for anyone looking for a quality wired headphone with travel being a main use.

Pros: portable compact light weight quality sound comfortable carrying case

Cons: flimsy wires


Cindy from Haslett, MI on 12/31/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound and a comfortable size.



Bowers & Wilkins P3

David W from Los Angeles on 12/2/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Although lovely to look at, these headphones were rather uncomfortable to wear and offered little noise reduction to the experience.



Great Phones - superb sound

Hobiemike from Little rock, AR on 9/23/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I did a side by side comparison of the P3s with Dr. Dre's Beats Solo HD. I use an iPad. For me, the P3s had far superior sound. I'm not an audiophile, but I enjoy a variety of music and know what I like. The lows were deep and rich without being over powering, the mid-range was full and the highs clear and crisp without being tinny. The Beats are good phones, but the sound seemed a bit muddied with too much bass. The Beats were more comfortable and looked, well, cool. The P3s were stylish, but the construction seemed less rugged than the Beats. The cord is thin and hopefully won't fail from heavy use. The Beats cord was thicker and the angled plug fit the iPad better. The P3s come with a hard case, the Beats a soft case. The over ear style of both phones don't block all sound, but that was my preference. The P3s are a superb set of headphones for their sound. They are not as comfortable and don't have as solid a feel as the Beats, but I don't plan on mishandling them either.

Pros: Superb sound quality Style

Cons: Construction doesn't feel rugged enough to withstand moderate abuse during normal use.

Not For Android

George from Chicago, IL on 9/10/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These headphones might be great if you have an IPhone but for my new Samsung Galaxy S3 I could not get the inline controls to work. I will be returning them. The sound quality is just fine but I wanted a set of portable headphones that I could easily switch to an incoming phone call.




harperville from Charlottesville, VA on 8/27/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These feel so amazing while sitting on my head and my ears. They feel so solid, when handling them and wearing them. It's quite impressive. Mind you, these are the first of this type of quality I've ever purchased but I'll happily buy these again and again.

Pros: Packaging, feel, look, sound, materials.

Cons: The cable is too short. I'm trying to sit at my desk and have the headphones plugged into my laptop and they don't reach when I sit straight up. I'd feel sorry for someone with a desktop on the floor. The cable won't reach. I think it's about 3' in length. These are replacing some Sennheiser headphones and that cable is 6' long, which was actually quite nice. I could route it around my computer and out of my way. This cable, however, is above my keyboard, and just in my face & in the way!

Bowers & Wilkins P3 Headphones

revsin from Charlotte, NC on 8/22/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I really love these headphones except for the sound with boomy bass and a muffled sound. I thought I might get used to the sound, but after going back to my PSB headphones for comparison I realized I had to return them to Crutchfield.

Pros: Beautiful and elegant design and build quality.

Cons: Sound quality doesn't cut it for me.


JamalY from Brooklyn, NY on 8/14/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These are my second pair of "decent" headphones. The first were AKG's (Quincy Jones on-ear model). Those had great sound and were tremendously comfortable, but I lost sound on 2 different sets. The B&W P3's are awesome. The headphones look GREAT (distinctive) and sound better. I sampled a wide variety of music to test these: salsa (El Gran Combo), reggae (Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Marley), hip-hop (Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Pharaohe Monche), live recordings of John Coltrane, London Symphony Orchestra, Bill Withers Live, Donny Hathaway Live...all sounded great. Instruments are clear and distinct...same for vocals. Percussions are popping. Bass can be heard and felt without max volume. I've used these with a cell phone, computer, and with a Sonos system. The P3's are great in all settings. The headphones are comfortable, but not in the same way as the plush AKG's. The acoustic padding is cooler on hot days and really surround your ear to provide an over-the-ear sound effect (not sure how they managed that). It takes some getting used to, but I've been able to enjoy them for several hours at a clip. Best purchase I've made in awhile. Glad I did the research and took my time.

Pros: design, design, design. sound quality; price.

Cons: still working on that.

Bowers & Wilkins P3

skorpions67 from miami,fl on 8/8/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

"Sound, comfort, and design all come together to create something special; something called the P3."


Cons: None


Rob from Detroit, MI on 6/29/2012

The B&W p3's are wonderful. For the size, the sound quality is superb. They are not your ultra high end audiophile headphone, but for 99% of everyone else, these are perfect. They are comfortable, for a while. After a few hours, the tension on your ears causes them to get a little sore, but overall, they are comfortable. These are impressive to look at let alone to hear. The first thing you notices is the build quality, material execution, and overall solidness of these headphones. Then you put them on and note how comfortable they are. Turn the sound on and they impress, sonically.

Pros: High end materials Good comfort Deep tight lows Overall exceptional sound quality

Cons: Highs could be a little brighter You have to shorten the head band to put into case / readjust every time you store them.


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Earcup Type Closed
Earcup Width x Height 1.9375 x 2.5
Noise-canceling No
Bluetooth No
Mic For Taking Calls Yes
iPhone Control Yes
Lightning Connector No
Android Control No
Frequency Response 10-20k Hz
Sensitivity 111 dB
Impedance 34 Ohms
Weight 4.6 ounces
Cord Length 48"
1/4-inch Adapter Included No
Volume Control Yes
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research


Mylar Diaphragms w/ Neodymium Magnets: Behind the Bowers & Wilkins P3's natural sound are specially developed ultra-linear neodymium magnets and highly optimized Mylar diaphragms to keep music sounding rich, pure, and incredibly detailed; with no need for artificial adjustments.

Closed Back Design: A closed-back design, with rigid metal faceplates and bespoke fabric covered ear pads, ensures that all the detail and dynamic range of your music is kept intact, while preserving just enough ambient sound to give you a sense of place.

On-Ear Fit w/ Adjustable Headband: The P3 headphones fit lightly and snugly on your head thanks to its on-ear design and adjustable headband.

Detachable Headphone Cables: The P3s are supplied with two cables, one of which provides extra functionality for select Apple iPod and iPhone models. The ear pads are magnetically attached, and can be quickly removed to swap the supplied cables (one cable with in-line iPod/iPhone remote, one cable without remote). The included cables feature a male 3.5mm connector and are compatible with any device with a 3.5mm headphone output.

iPod/iPhone Control: The Bowers & Wilkins P3 headphones feature an iPod/iPhone-approved cable with an in-line remote and microphone, for easy speech and device control. The "Made for iPod/iPhone" cable allows easy control of an iPod (these include track switching and volume control), and the microphone facilitates calls on an iPhone.

iPod/iPhone Model Generation Audio Playback Music Control Mic Phone Control
shuffle 1st Y N N N
2nd Y N N N
3rd Y Y N N
4th Y Y N N
dock connector 3rd Y N N N
clickwheel/color screen 4th Y N N N
mini 1st Y N N N
2nd Y N N N
video 5th Y N N N
classic 80GB Y N N N
120GB Y Y Y N
160GB Y Y Y N
iPod nano 1st Y N N N
2nd Y N N N
3rd Y N N N
4th Y Y Y N
5th Y Y Y N
6th Y Y Y N
iPod touch 1st Y N N N
2nd Y Y Y N
3rd Y Y Y N
4th Y Y Y N
iPhone 2G Y N N N
3G Y N N N
4 Y Y Y Y
4S Y Y Y Y
iPad 1 Y Y Y N
2 Y Y Y N

Note: Requires latest iPod/iPhone software update. The remote and mic are supported by iPod nano (4th/5th/6th gen), iPod classic (120/160GB), iPod touch (2nd/3rd/4th gen), and iPhone (3GS/4/4S). The remote (only) is also supported by the iPod shuffle (3rd/4th gen). Volume controls are not compatible with the iPhone (2G/3G). Audio is supported by all iPod models.

Foldable Design: The P3 headphones fold up to stow away in your pocket or in the included hard-shell carrying case.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

I own the P7 and enjoy them quite a bit. My mother who wanted something less bulky for music while walking and I thought these would be a great balance between lightweight mobility and good sound quality. [ Timothy  Aug 25, 2017 ]
Bowers and Wilkins are awesome sounding. [ Omar  Mar 15, 2016 ]