Two tools enter, one leaves. It’s that easy. Welcome to the TC Tool Evaluation Battle where two competing product and services are pitted against each other. No wishy-washy conclusion based on an arbitrary numbering system, merely a trustworthy buying suggestion.
Bowers & Wilkins is making a wise play for individual electronics. The 50-year-old British audio business merely released the $ 200 P3 headphones, joining the $ 550 over-the-ear P5 and the $ 179 C5 in-ear headphones. The brand-new set promises a great deal of exactly what the P5 supplies for even more than half the rate. It is, in a sense, a headphone for the MP3 crowd. This new set hits a congested market prevailed over by many big brands. This consists of Tops By Dr. Dre, which additionally has an incredibly comparable $ 200 set of headphones, the Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD.
So which one is better? Which one is worth your cash? That ’ s the goal of the TC Tool Evaluation Conflict. Just one can get our recommendation. Can the brand-new comer best the market place pioneer?
Bowers & Wilkins got on the retro bandwagon with the P5s last year. The brand brand-new P3s are even more of the same. They employ a 30mm driver (the P5 uses a 40mm drive) in a retro-style surround built out of soft touch plastic and cloth. B&W lists the P3s with a sensitivity of 111dB/V at 1kHz. They are comfy on the head but do not supply much of any sound cancellation. Despite their practically dainty looks, they seem rather durable in realty. The construction is strong, correctly conveying B&W ’ s hallmark custom to high-end sound.
The Beats by Dre. Dre Solo ought to be rather familiar. The design is a staple within the headphone world now. It ’ s made of primarily shining plastic and can easily endure a fair quantity of abuse with the remarkable exception of the ear surrounds, which have known to separate at the seams. The unibody design grasps the ears remarkably tight, cutting out a lot more ambient sound than the P3s. The plastic ear surrounds hold drivers of unlisted size and technical specifications.
Both headphones ship with a travel situation and characteristic folding designs. They both additionally have in-line audio controls but the Beats Solo HD feature a microphone that ’ s just compatible with iPods and iPhones.
These headphones are arguably not tailored toward audiophiles. Neither Beats or Bowers & Wilkins created their particular headphones for severe listeners, but rather individuals trying to find higher quality audio on the go. These are high-end headphones designed with mobility as their primary selling point.
That stated, checking these headphones with streaming media like Rdio or Pandora is not especially fair. The low-bit fee new music will certainly not properly demonstrate the headphone ’ s array. I consistently resort to the exact same variety of songs for testing headphones: Compact Disc ’ s of Outkast ’ s 1998 Aquemini album and Muse, The Resistance. Then, for really good measure, I also toss Pink Floyd ’ s The Dark Side of the Moon on the turntable.
I consistently turn to Outkast ’ s Aquemini album for an amount of reasons. In the very beginning of track 5, Rosa Parks, has an incredibly faint unknown melody that just the leading headphones can reproduce. It ’ s not audible on either of these headphones. This track, and most of the album, even features remarkably heavy LFE tracks. Real to their name, the Beats Solo reproduces the bass more desirable than the B&W P3 headphones. Nonetheless, this is done at the sacrifice of the total sound quality. The Beats are very bass hefty to the point that there ’ s practically a frequent durable hum that drowns out the mid tones. While the P3 fails to pound, it provides a much better general noise with enough bass to delight the majority of but while generating okay high and mid tones.
Muse ’ s Exogenesis is particularly great for headphone testing. It ’ s a three-part track with a big assortment, which commonly separates good headphones from the greatest. Once more, the Beats Solos generate a really pleasing tone when reproducing the piano ’ s reduced octave however the mids are muffled to the point of suffocation. On track 11, Symphony Part 3 (Redemption), there is a durable overlying inexpensive tone throughout the piano into. The distinguishing highs hit with force at the 1:35 mark however the headphones apparently can not handle the vocals that come in ten seconds later on; the headphones mush everything together as soon as Matthew Bellamy starts his vocals. Sadly the B&W P3s do not shift a lot more desirable.
Like the Beats Solo I located the Bowers & Wilkins P3 headphones to not have the ability to reproduce the massive variety of these 3 tracks. Nonetheless, the larger selection of the P3s manage a more pleasing tone. While unable to generate an absolutely clear tone throughout the most demanding parts, the highs and lows are incredibly clear. There is not a subtle hum assisting the LFE tracks in the B&W like in the Beats Solo HD. That said, I wouldn ’ t deem the P3 ′ s victory absolute but rather a slight win.
Pink Floyd ’ s The Great Event In The Sky plays magnificently on the P3s. The melody silks along with fine attention to information. The headphone ’ s clarity aids with the stereo imaging on Money. The vocals are plainly set in the middle of the sound phase with instruments flanking on either side. The Beats Solo fail to live up to the precision of The Great Show In The Sky or the imaging on Money.
There ’ s a really good possibility that both of the headphones could be made use of for games due to their mobile design. Owners can whip them out for a bit of games on their smartphone, 3DS or PS Vita and for me it ’ s Wipeout on the Vita. I ’ m presently addicted to this classic PlayStation racing title and with games, the headphones with the greatest imaging win — at the very least generally.
After the P3 cleaned the flooring with the Beats Solo in nearly every songs exam, I ensured the exact same would occur when tested with games. After all the P3 had a bigger soundstage, which in theory, would supply a more desirable consequence for gaming. And while that ended up true — the P3 has a bit more in-depth sound placement — the Beats Solos were a lot more pleasurable while games.
It ’ s strange. When the experiment is dissected, the Beats Solo fails on practically every personal exam. The Beats Solo creates a more smothered tone, the imaging isn ’ t as great, and they ’ re not as comfy on the head. Yet I ended up choosing the Beats Solo for usage in gaming after a dozen A/B tests. The Beats ’ remarkable lesser end capabilities won me over. With deeper bass, the games experience is more immersive. You can appear the volume and dive into the game. The P3s are entirely acceptable for gaming, however the Beats Solo supply a much better experience.
After living with both sets for numerous weeks I made use of the Bowers & Wilkins P3 more than the Beats Solo. The precision was the deciding aspect. The Beats Solo HD creates a sturdy tone, however that ’ s it ’ s just claim to fame. The Beats Solo HD ’ s imaging is not as great and the over tone is far inferior than that of the B&W P3. Because both cost the exact same at $ 200 it ’ s easy to provide the nod to B&W ’ s headphones. They ’ re fantastic headphones for the money. Buy the Bowers & Wilkins P3.
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