5-11 December 2014 #735

A treat for the ears

Must hear: C5 Series 2’s bass remains distortion-free even at top decibel levels.

With premium products like the Zeppelin Air, the P7 headphones, and its range of excellent speakers, it is easy to understand why Bowers and Wilkins (B&W) is synonymous with audio excellence.

B&W’s earphones, the C5, also stood out from the crowd with its classy design and true audiophile sound. Recently, the company released an upgraded version of the C5, the C5 Series 2, which is sure to feature on the top of Christmas wishlist for techies the world over.

While the exterior of the C5 Series 2 is virtually same to the original C5, it is recognisable by its all-black design, as opposed to the translucent cable cover on the original C5. The C5 Series 2 also retains the unique ‘Secure Loop’, which is adjustable and helps secure the earphones in your ear. On the design front, the C5 Series 2 exudes class with a high-end quality design, with an artful tungsten/aluminum finish which features a seemingly sturdy build quality, with the metallic grille on the outside panel of each earpiece particularly easy on the eyes.

The C5 Series 2 sports an Apple-friendly inline remote and microphone for making phone calls, but be warned that not all of the remote’s functions will work with Android and Windows phones. However, calls can be made with any phone when you use the microphone. B&W has included a few different eartips in the box, so you can pick the one that most suit your ear to achieve that all-important tight seal. Also included in the box is a premium protective carrying case.

While the original C5s were already stellar earphones, with rich and warm sound, and tremendous detail and clarity, the C5 Series 2 blows its illustrious predecessor right out of the park, and the differences aren’t that subtle either. The C5 Series 2’s clarity is something that is bound to impress any listener, audiophile or not, and in any music genre. The C5 Series 2’s deeper and clearly articulated bass, and powerful response, that remains distortion-free even at top, unsafe decibel levels is something that needs to be heard to be believed.

A premium piece of audio kit like the C5 Series 2 deserves high-quality sound files, so ensure that you have MP3s with high bit-rates, or lossless music files (FLAC, ALAC) to get the absolute best out of the C5 Series 2.

Yantrick’s Verdict: A Bowers and Wilkins product comes with a hefty price tag, and the C5 Series 2 is no different. A pair of the C5 Series 2 earphones will cost you close to Rs 20,000 but for those who need the best for their ears, this is an investment that will give you sound return.