Tech We Want This Week: Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature

​The headphones that are more like stereo speakers for your ears

Its more recent successes have included partnering with Björk for her VR exhibition at Somerset House, kitting out the new BMW 7 Series and building an enormous speaker stack to bring hi-fi sound to dance festivals around Europe. But it's humbling to know that Bowers & Wilkins began life in 1965 as the concern of John Bowers, who hand-assembled speaker systems for locals in Worthing, in the back of an electrical shop he ran with his friend Roy Wilkins. It looked like Open All Hours.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Now B&W is rightly regarded as one of the world's leading producers of beautiful audio equipment, most iconically its Zeppelin Wireless speaker. In 2010 it debuted its first headphones, the luxurious and leather-clad P5s. Now, to celebrate its 50th year, it has unveiled the P9 Signature, its largest over-ear headphones.

Designed by the team behind its £22,500 flagship 800 D3 loudspeaker, the P9 Signature works has more in common with a set of stereo speakers than headphones, thanks to proper suspension that allows the driver to move freely for better frequency response. 

They're crafted from Italian Stefiano leather, everything is custom-made and they fold down to be stored in an equally luxurious soft-backed case. 

They're not cheap, but then as Mr Bowers would have told his Sussex customers* back in the day, you get what you pay for.

£699, bowers-wilkins.co.uk

* Probably