Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless headphones review
I recently met with Bowers & Wilkins marketing director, Jeff Connors to learn more about the release of the brand new Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless headphones. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my initial impressions video. In my meeting with Jeff, I had the chance to learn more about the PX headphones and what went into making them as well as some of the company’s plans for the future. One thing worth noting is that the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless headphones are actually going to be replacing the Bowers & Wilkins P7 wired and wireless headphones in the company’s lineup.
Design & Comfort
If there is one thing Bowers & Wilkins knows (aside from sound) it’s design. The Bowers & Wilkins PX headphones are a work of art, well-built and excellently crafted with the highest quality materials including machined aluminum, ballistic nylon, and real leather. They have some heft to them but they’re not heavy, I enjoyed wearing them for hours on end in some instances. The only thing I didn’t love about the headphone design is that I felt they apply a little too much pressure on your ears/head. It’s hard to explain or quantify, it’s really something you need to try on for yourself to understand what I mean. Is it a deal breaker? Absolutely not.
The PX offer raised buttons on the backside of the right ear cup, I was told that B&W made this decision to make the headphones more intuitive. And now, after testing, I’d say it was a smart choice. The raised buttons make it easy to identify what you’re doing when pressing them — such as increasing or decreasing the volume or pausing a song.
Another thing of note is that the ear cups, which are made out of real leather, are magnetically attached to the headphones and can be removed so you can easily clean them or even replace them.
WATCH: Unboxing the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless headphones
According to B&W, you need to break in the PX headphones before they sound as intended, the company says that after at least 30 hours of listening time is when you will get the best sound out of them. In my experience, I’d say that’s true.
The sound delivery is a lot more natural thanks to the angled drivers that the PX use (which it borrowed from the P9s), making for an excellent sound stage with great depth and immersion into the music–it’s like the sound swims perfectly into your ear canal.
As I mentioned before, the Bowers & Wilkins PX headphones borrow technology from the P9 Signature Series which has led to several sound improvements including with the bass. As someone who was previously using the Bowers & Wilkins P7 wired headphones in the past, the PX offers a much improved bass–it’s a tighter and quicker bass, and it allows the other frequencies to breathe a bit more. The PX have a very pleasant midrange that isn’t harsh or muffled at all and vocals and instruments are really nicely placed. In my listening tests, I could really hear the separation of the instruments and vocals making for a great listening experience. When it came to the treble, I found it to be a bit soft and not as balanced with other frequencies. That being said, it didn’t affect the overall sound in my opinion, and in fact, leads to a very smooth and dynamic sound at all volume levels.
I also spent some time listening to the PX Wireless headphones using the included 3.5mm cable connected to a DAC plugged into my computer and let me tell you, the results were incredible. It was like listening to a completely different pair of headphones. I’d definitely recommend connecting these headphones to a DAC if you have one. Now obviously that’s not an ideal setup if you use these on the go, but if you plan to use them in your home by your computer, it’s worth looking into. I use the AudioEngine D3.
The noise cancellation works well for its intended purpose which is to cancel out intrusive noises while keeping you aware of your surroundings. As I mentioned in the unboxing, there are three noise cancellation modes: City, Office, and Plane — with Plane mode offering the most intense noise cancellation. In my tests, using Office mode I was able to know when people were speaking directly to me so I could take off the headphones and have a conversation. And just in case you were curious, having a conversation with someone while wearing the Bowers & Wilkins PX in Office mode (while listening to music) is possible, but difficult. In City mode, I found myself immersed in my music while still aware of traffic around me, which if you live in a big city like me, is important when getting around. That being said, if you’re looking to be secluded on your own island then perhaps these headphones aren’t for you.
The Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless headphones claim to offer 22 hours of battery life in wireless noise cancelation mode, and that can be increased to 33 hours of battery life if you decide to use the included 3.5mm headphone cable. In my tests, the Bowers & Wilkins PX lived up to the battery life claims, during my testing I was able to use them with moderate use over the course of a few days without needing to recharge. When do you have to recharge them though, you can expect charge times to be around 2 hours or so for a full recharge.
These are currently my favorite wireless headphones–they offer impeccable sound and have some of the highest build quality I’ve ever seen in headphones. The Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless retail for $399 and come in space grey or soft gold, both finishes look incredible. If you’re in the market for a new pair of headphones (wireless or wired), the PX Wireless are without a doubt worth considering.