Bowers & Wilkins reveals flagship P9 Signature headphones

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.

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.

MORE: Best headphones 2016

See all our headphone reviews

Verity Burns

Verity is a freelance technology journalist and former Multimedia Editor at What Hi-Fi?. 

Having chalked up more than 15 years in the industry, she has covered the highs and lows across the breadth of consumer tech, sometimes travelling to the other side of the world to do so. With a specialism in audio and TV, however, it means she's managed to spend a lot of time watching films and listening to music in the name of "work".

You'll occasionally catch her on BBC Radio commenting on the latest tech news stories, and always find her in the living room, tweaking terrible TV settings at parties.