Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless Headphones Review
So a few days ago, Bowers & Wilkins invited us to their headquarters in London. For what? They didn’t say which only heightened my excitement even more. What I experienced were the new Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless headphones, their brand new over-ear cans, just released to market. Wow, what a set of headphones, just saying.
So straight off the bat the PX Wireless headphones come in a pretty simple box. Plain white, with a bit of blurb on the back of what kind of features you’re going to expect. Sealed with two round stickers, it was easy to get into. Once the lid is removed, you’re greeted with the Space Grey beauties. They do come in a blue with rose gold accents too which actually look pretty neat, despite my first expectation.
I immediately picked the headphones up and stuck them on my head and connected them to my phone using Bluetooth. The process was seamless and before I knew it I was listening to glorious audio. And by glorious, I mean it’s the best my music has ever really sounded. Now I’m no audiophile and I don’t pretend to be. But the soundstage of my music was extremely wide, almost as if I could shut my eyes and pick out where each individual instrument is coming from.
Now this is partly down to the quality of parts used, but there’s something else which is interesting. Speaking with a rep from Bowers & Wilkins, he explained that the drivers inside each earcup are angled, so they’re not firing directly into your ears like other headphones do. By angling the drivers, it offers a virtual soundstage that sounds a lot wider than it actually is. And it works. Even though I’m sitting here now listening to State Champ’s Secrets, it sounds so clear, so precise.
To really put these headphones to the test I listened to the instrumental Letter by Yosi Horikawa. The way the pencil throughout the track glided from one earcup to the other was as if I had my head on the table that the pencil was writing on. With the soft instruments in the background coming in smoothly, and still very separate from eachother was pure bliss.
Each instrument cut through with such precision that it’s going to be hard to listen to my music again on my regular Logitech speakers or even my in-ears I picked up for pittance. But these headphones aren’t really designed for home use. They’re for you travellers, you commuters who try their hardest to make their train rides that little bit more bearable. The PX Wireless headphones come with built-in Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX HD so you can connect to your mobile phone.
The Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless headphones are pretty light, considering these are pretty much made from metal materials. Everything about them oozes elegance, and keeping them in the provided soft case in the bottom of your backpack isn’t going to to much damage. The only qualm I have is the exposed cable that’s connected between the headband and earcup. Although it’s trailed through a metal-like trough, I can’t see why Bowers & Wilkins have left this exposed. I’m going with styling, or maybe easy to get to if an engineer needs to repair them.
Bowers & Wilkins also have your back with their noise cancelling technology. Yes, it’s present here, and yes, it does come with various levels of sensitivity. There’s an app that pairs with the headphones, and all options are in there. At time of writing this however the app wasn’t released, so I can’t comment on it fully. But I was shown a demonstration when I was at the B&W headquarters.
The app from what we saw has preset sensitivities, which among them include Flight and City. Flight cuts out the of an airplane engine. City is designed so that the sound a car makes cuts through into the headphones. This feature could save lives, as it still gives you surrounding awareness and will save you walking into an oncoming car. There’s also a preset for voice too called Office. I’m terrible for ignoring people talking to me in the office because I can’t hear them over my music. With this preset, voices cut through.
So if someone shouts for your attention, your reaction would be to pull your headphones off, missing that crucial drop in Bring Me The Horizon’s Shadow Moses. But not with these. If the PX Wireless headphones detect that they’ve been pulled away from your ears, even if you lift off one earcup, your music cuts out. When the earcup returns to your head, your music will kick back in. Very innovative, but it’s for a higher function than you missing your favourite drops.
This feature will save battery life. Now there’s a 22 hour battery life in wireless mode on these headphones. More than enough to get you through a day right? But, with the music cut out feature, you could potentially extend this battery life by days, as once the music has cut out, battery life used to keep the headphones powered is extremely minimal. It was explained that in theory, you shouldn’t need to power down the PX Wireless headphones at all… ever!
Inside the box you can also find a USB Type-C connection for charging the headphones as well as a standard 3.5 auxilary cable, enabling you to connect the headphones to non Bluetooth products like a desktop PC like I’m doing at the time of writing this review. Sound quality through both wired and wireless connections are seamless, and it’s very difficult to tell the difference between the two.
Now, in terms of cost, these aren’t cheap, and they sit up there with the rest of the big boys. The Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless headphones are coming in t £329.99 on release, but in my opinion, they’re worth every penny. Now, I’ve got to go and get back to my Daily Mix on Spotify. Music has never sounded so good!