When people look to buy new headphones, especially when upgrading from an older model there is the obvious style and good looks but most of its about how they sound. The B&W (Bowers and Wilkins) P3 headphones are an upgrade from the B&W P5s which are already known to be good quality and excellent sound.
The question is of course are they a big enough improvement to warrant the upgrade to the newer model and are there enough of an upgrade in the style and sound quality to make them stand out. There is also of course the market itself which is quite strong at the moment with the likes of Beats By Dre Pro Beats and Philips Fidelio L1 they will have to make a big impact to be noticed.
With a smaller design and a change in the ear pads from leather to a more lightweight fabric there is little difference between the two when it comes to how your ears feel, this is a good thing as the new design looks good. The P3s are smaller than their predecessor and when not in use can be folded inward to take up less space when storing them away. They also come with a protective case for when not in use, which is useful if you want them to last.
This is going to be the most important part of upgrading as with headphones it’s of course what they are designed for. The good news is that they are on par with the P5s in this field, which of course is important to new purchasers, maybe not for the upgrader.
When travelling with other people it’s going to be important not to have any sound leakage and even with the smaller design this is thankfully not an issue. Sound cancellation from your surrounding area is also quite adequate but not as good as what some competitors offer.
The B&W P3s won’t break the bank and offer a stylish look while delivering on the sound quality that you would expect. They do feel slightly tight around the head at times which could be an annoyance. Comparing them to the rest of the headphones on the market though and that is a small issue when the sound quality is so good, it may just not be worth an upgrade from the P5s which are just as good, if not that stylish.