Bowers & Wilkins PX8 review

The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 is an exciting, natural sounding headphone with a very wide soundstage. As much as I enjoyed listening to the Px7 S2, the carbon drivers in the Px8 take things to a whole other level.

The flagship Px8 noise-canceling headphones from Bowers & Wilkins cost $699, which is more than many of their competitors in the market and is getting close to the price of wired, audiophile-friendly variants. The headphones‘ advantages include being incredibly comfy, supporting connected playing through a USB-C connector, and providing high-res audio playback on some Android devices.

Over the $399 Px7 S2, we also noticed some noise cancelling enhancement. However, at $699, there is simply not enough here to compete with products like Sony’s premium WH-1000XM5 headphones, which provide excellent audio quality and noise cancellation for less than half the price.

Design and Fit

Earlier this year, we awarded Bowers & Wilkins’ Px7 S2 a favourable review and identified few design issues, other from the fact that it didn’t make an effort to stand out in the crowded $300–$400 market. That mood is carried over in the Px8, which has a similar design language but with richer, higher-quality materials. Nappa leather is used for the ear cushioning, earcup trim, and headband, which flexes just broadly enough to fit most head sizes. Diamond-cut metal etchings are used to embellish the surface of each earcup, giving the Bowers & Wilkins emblem a sophisticated and understated sheen.

The fact that the headphones are so cosy and lightweight really stands out to me about their design. Cast aluminium, Nappa leather, and carbon cones are unlikely to spring to mind when you think of lightweight materials. But the Px8 clearly illustrates that. The Bose 700 headphones weigh 255 grammes; nonetheless, the 320-gram headphones are far lighter than the 386-gram Apple AirPods Max, a popular choice among consumers looking for wireless headphones.

Connectivity

The reassuring noises that show the headphones are paired and linked to your playing device are pleasant to hear. When connected to suitable playback devices, Bluetooth 5.2 wireless audio is available with support for SBC, AAC, aptX HD, and aptX Adaptive codecs. The lack of LDAC or aptX Lossless Audio compatibility for the highest quality Bluetooth streaming may disappoint some audio quality enthusiasts, but there is a USB-C to 3.5mm analogue cable available to connect the headphones to a playback device (or add-on headphone/DAC, perhaps) with a headphone socket.

Noise Cancelling

The good news is that Bowers & Wilkins’ active noise cancellation does not negatively affect the Px8’s audio reproduction. Bowers & Wilkins does not pose a threat to Sony’s position as the leader in this area. The headset has three modes that may be changed: noise cancellation on, pass-through, in which the four microphones pick up outside noise, and noise cancellation off two separate mics are used for phone calls.

The low-pitched drone you might hear on aeroplane journeys can be muffled, although not completely, by B&W’s noise active cancellation. However, it is less efficient at masking the hiss of fans and HVAC equipment. More importantly, putting on ANC does not hide frequencies you do want to hear, which is beneficial for folks who care more about audio performance than isolation from the outside world. The Px8 claims to have a battery life of 30 hours and charges completely in around two hours. A 15-minute charge provides a full seven hours of listening time even if you do let the battery get low.

Sound Quality

The audio performance of the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 should also be taken into account. There are certain expectations for the former given that there is a £200 price differential between this pair and the Px7 S2. The 40mm dynamic full-range carbon cone drive units, which are geared to blast sound towards the ear for a superior stereo image and more reliable time synchronisation, are the key specifications. A high-resolution 24-bit DSP (digital signal processor) that can play music at a greater quality is included with the new drive unit.

The Px8’s soundstage is immediately noticeable to be larger, wider, and more expansive than the Px7 S2’s. The Px8 outperforms its sister in practically every aspect of audio. Tittle Tattle by Nubiyan Twist & Cherise gives the soundstage a fresh feeling of detail and clarity. However, they cost £200 more, so they ought to be better. The high-frequency performance has indeed increased over both the Px7 S2 and the original Px7, as claimed by B&W. In contrast, the treble performance of the original Px7 sounds fairly rolled off and muted.

The performance differential is more even when compared to a set of cans in the comparable price range, the M&D’s MW75. The piano’s trailing edges are just a little bit more distinct, crisper, and resolved in the upper frequencies, giving the M&D the advantage. Signal noise is a problem with the MW75, but it is never a problem with the Px8. The MW75, despite the cacophony, is also a clear, precise, and dynamic pair of headphones.

Battery Life and Charging

The Px8’s battery life is good and is rated at 30 hours, but it actually lasts closer to 28 hours depending on how loud you listen and how much you use ANC. The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless may not be as luxurious as the Px8, but they will outlast virtually anything else if endurance is a concern. Their battery life is an astounding 60 hours. However, should the Px8 begin to falter, restoring them to life simply takes a few minutes; after only 15 minutes of plug time, you’ll gain up to seven hours of additional playing time.

Final Words

Overall, the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 are incredibly capable performers that provide value for money with a build and sound quality combo that less expensive rivals simply cannot equal. Although Apple’s AirPods Max may have sparked interest in more expensive wireless noise-canceling headphones, in our opinion, these B&Ws offer even greater musical understanding and enjoyment. Although there are some minor issues, none of them even remotely dim our enthusiasm for these headphones. If you are buying at this price point, they are a good effort that warrants careful consideration.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.bollyinside.com
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!

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The Bowers & Wilkins Px8s are incredibly capable and offer good value for money, with a combination of build and sound quality that cheaper rivals simply can't match. Although Apple's AirPods Max have sparked interest in more expensive noise-canceling wireless headphones.Bowers & Wilkins PX8 review