The new £700 over-ear headphones promise to be the company's “best sounding and most luxurious headphones to date”, and will be available with a standard 3.5mm connection or a Lightning cable.

Just weeks after introducing the P7 Wireless headphones, Bowers & Wilkins has unveiled the premium P9 Signature to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary.

Engineered by the same team responsible for the high-end 800 Series D3 loudspeaker, the P9 Signature are Bower & Wilkins’ largest over-ear headphones, and claim to show off everything that B&W has learnt about acoustics and design in its 50-year history.

Similar to other headphones in the B&W line-up, the P9 Signature works more like a traditional speaker, thanks to proper suspension that allows the driver to move more freely for better frequency response.

However, the 40mm drive unit that sits in each earcup has been redesigned from the ground up, and is angled slightly inwards to allow for a more natural listening experience.

It claims to place the sound further in front of the listener than other headphones manage, bringing the headphone experience closer to that of a pair of stereo speakers.

They’re also a closed back design, but aim to deliver the spaciousness more usually associated with open back cans.


More after the break

Elsewhere, the brown Saffiano leather covered headband isn’t just sturdy, but is also completely decoupled from each earcup to prevent unwanted vibrations distorting the sound. It’s a first for the company’s headphones and thinking borrowed from the latest generation of the 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers.

The sturdy Saffiano leather continues down onto the ear cups, with softer leather covering the memory foam earpads and headband cushion. This should ensure good noise isolation as well as a comfortable listening experience.

Like the rest of the B&W headphones line, the aluminium arms fold in to make the P9 Signature more easily portable, and come with their own suede-like Alacantara carry case to protect them on the go.

MORE: Best over-ear headphones

They’ll also come with a variety of cables – regular cables with and without the inline remote and controls, plus a five-metre cable and 6.3mm adapter all included in the box.

Apple iPhone 7 users will be able to request a Lightning cable free of charge from early 2017, with later batches of the headphones coming with one in the box.

The B&W P9 Signature are available from today for £699.99. Keep your eyes peeled on What Hi-Fi? for a full review coming soon.

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Gilboa's picture


For a flagship headphone that'll probably be used at home far more than on the road, it should of been an open-back design for increased spaciousness (sorely missing in many closed-back designs) IMO...and I have a pair of P7s for home headphone use.

Friesiansam's picture

Many of us have to use closed

Many of us have to use closed back headphones at home, to keep the music to ourselves or exclude things like TV noise. Nice to have another option to consider. 

Graham Luke's picture


Those bad-boys will look great with a tan crimplene safari suit, a 'Burt Reynolds' mo and 'Nights in White Satin' on the Music Centre.


Groocrew's picture

No balanced connection

At least my Shure SRH 1840 headphones have a balanced connection. Good headphones need the ability for the cable to be upgraded to balanced XLR or dual 3.5mm cable. B & W really missed a good opportunity.

Graham Luke's picture

Shure goodness.

I have the 1840's too; excellent 'phones. I nearly went for the 1540's but concerns about bass-bias scared me off.

(Love my SE 425's as well)

Groocrew's picture

Cable upgrade

Go to Moon Audio and get a silver dragon v2 cable upgrade. The sound difference is amazing.

Graham Luke's picture

Moon Audio, eh...?

Thanks for that; looking into it.

Groocrew's picture

Not For Smartphones

If you are paying this amount for a pair of headphones then they diserve better than an iPhone or any smartphone.

Drew Hills's picture

iPhone and B&W P9

What's wrong with an iPhone and a mini Dac or listening to Qobuz streaming at CD quality as is or above with a DAC. iPhone 7 may even play 24bit native I haven't checked.