Gadgets bwc5s2

Published on May 15th, 2015 | by Greg


Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2: Iterative Improvements

The world is getting used to seeing regular, constant improvements of many of the items in our lives- our electronics sometimes see firmware updates every week or so, as any Apple user can attest. Anything internet-connected is fair game- but what about all of the items that are connected to those devices in turn? While we might see mobile phones and tablets with version numbers, it’s far more unusual in the audio world.

Bowers and Wilkins and their C5 Series 2 change that- and we like it. Much like their sister model, the P5 Series 2s, they make small, improvements over their predecessors. We checked our records, and realized that it’s been almost four years since our original review- enough time for some shifts in technology. They’ve upgraded the drivers, and also shifted the color scheme- less glittery metallic accents and a bit more neutral black.

The best parts haven’t changed much- we still like the Secure Loop, which keeps the fairly large earbud nice and firm in your ear. It takes some getting used to, but means that these are some of the only audiophile-quality pairs that we can wear while active, and still feel pretty fashionable. There’s an Apple-compatible made-for-iPhone three-button remote/microphone and they come with a decent case for travel use as well. At first, they seem a bit bulky- bigger and heftier than your average earbuds- but that makes space for the 9.2mm drivers which can put out plenty of volume and bass. In fact, these have the best low-end response that we’ve heard from an in-ear set in this class and price range. And they don’t skimp on detail either- precise, layered, and never fuzzy or harsh.

The B&W C5S2 aren’t quite neutral- the acoustics feel a little heavier, a little thicker. Three different sizes of silicone ear tips are included, and though we might have liked to have seen a bit more variety, there were enough to fit most folks comfortably. They sealed well too, for decent passive noise isolation. Those looking for over-ears or on-ear headphones should also look into Bowers and Wilkins options, like their aforementioned P5s but also the P3s. A two-year warranty comes standard, and they’re available now, online and in stores, for around $180.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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