Bowers And Wilkins PX7 Review

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The new Bowers and Wilkins PX7’s are a refined version of the Bowers and Wilkins PX… B and W’s first pair of ANC headphones. And just like before, I think these headphones sound great and over all I really like their build quality. But when it comes to everything else like active noise cancelation and fit… these headphones still need some work. Now im not saying that you shouldn’t get these headphones period. I just don’t think these headphones are for everyone. But they will make a very specific type of person very happy. 

Now when it comes to price, the Bowers and Wilkins PX7’s retail for $400. The same as the original PX’s when they first went on sale. And considering the PX7’s bill of materials I don’t think $400 is that. But if you want to pick these headphones up they’ll be linked down below.

Now the first thing I want to talk about these headphones is their carrying case. The original PX’s came included with a quilted carrying pouch which for a pair of $400 headphones just isn’t acceptable. But this time around the PX7’s come with a hardshell carrying case. And when I say hardshell I mean hardshell. This is perhaps the one of the hardest cases I’ve ever seen. It has the same foot print as the Bose NC 700’s carrying case but it is a little thicker which could make traveling with these headphones slightly harder. But besides that the PX7’s have a great case. 

But now lets talk about the headphones themselves. The PX7’s look very similar to the original PX’s. They have this metal plate on the ear cups, both the ear cups and headband are covered by fabric and they have real leather on both the ear pads and headband and you’ve got these carbon fiber arms which I personally really like cause they make these headphones very unique and as a car guy I really like the forged carbon fiber look. But from a practical stand point the carbon fiber on these headphones is all for show. These headphones weigh in at 310 grams which is pretty heavy compared to the competition. And when you walk around with these headphones on or turn your head you can definitely feel all that weight. And when it come to over all fit and comfort these headphones aren’t going to fit everyone. Just like the PX’s, the PX7’s have a lot of clamping force so they aren’t big head approved. Now you can go and stretch out these headphones and lose them up a bit but to me they’re still a little tight. I can put up with them and wear them for hours on end but you never forget they’re there. If you have a smaller head you’ll be fine but if you wear XL hats like me, I say look else where. But the ear cups on these headphones are very spacious and they’re very reminiscent to the ear cups found on the Bose NC 700. They’re going to have no problem fitting most ear types and since so little leather actually comes in contact with your skin their ear pads barely heat up. But I do want to point out that the leather on these headphones feels very plasticy. Supposedly its real leather, but it just doesn’t feel as nice as the leatherette on the Bose NC 700 and it defiantly doesn’t feel as good as the sheep skin leather on the Momentum 3’s. And even after allowing the leather on the PX7’s to break in they still feel lack luster.  But when it comes to the the over all build quality and design of these headphones… I love how these headphones look from the side, but from the front… thats another story. The headband on these headphones is not low profile at all. So some people will might feel awkward wearing these out in public. But overall build quality wise these headphones are very solid. 

Regarding tech specs, these headphones charge via a USB C port and they have an advertised battery life of 30 hours. But for me im getting more like 24 hours out of them with ANC turned on. Now a 24 hour battery life is still perfectly fine and you should be able to go at least a week in between charges.

But it is important to point out that these headphones can’t be used passively. In order to use these headphones even with a wired connection they need to have a charge. But even if you are caught with a dead battery a 15 minute charge is going to get you 5 hours a playback time. 

Now if you want to use these headphones with a wired connection there’s an easy to reach 3.5 millimeter audio jack, or you can also use their USB C port as a wired connection which is great if you’re an android user thats subscribed to a lossless streaming service or if you have your own Flac files on your android device. But also these headphones have APTX adaptive, so you’ll might not even need to use a wired connection. 

But when it comes to bluetooth connectivity, these headphones are rocking bluetooth 5.0 and they can be connected to 2 devices at the same time so you can easily hot swap from one device to another. And when it comes to watching videos with these headphones, if you’re an android user you going to the zero latency across the board. Where as if you're an iPhone user there is a noticeable latency when watching YouTube videos, but for everything else they’re perfectly fine. 

Now when it comes to listening to music with these headphones like I mentioned earlier I love how these headphones sound. And I think these are my new favorite sounding ANC headphones right now. What makes these headphones special is their super wide sound stage and instrument separation. But I don’t think thats enough to please everybody out there. Now these headphones sound unique cause they aim for a neutral sound signature, but you can still hear a lot of bass. Now unlike lets say the Sony 1000XM3’s or the Beats Studio 3’s where you can actually feel the bass, you don’t get any of that with the PX7’s. And unlike the Momentum 3’s where the bass on those headphones really likes to resonate you also don’t get any of that. You just hear the bass on these headphones. Like I just said, I like how these headphones sound but they’re not going to please everyone. And personally I do think the highs on these headphones can sometimes get a little carried away so sometimes I wish these headphones had an adjustable EQ which they don’t. But if you’re someone that likes a pair of neutral sounding headphones but doesn’t mind hearing a lot of bass I think you’ll like these headphones. Cause they are a lot of fun to listen to. 

But it is important to point out that these headphones sound best with their Active noise cancelation turned off. With the ANC on these headphones turned on the soundstage on these headphones gets narrowed. And it doesn’t take a trained ear to hear the difference with ANC turned on or off. And in late 2019 having active noise cancelation that changes the way a pair of premium ANC headphones sound is important to point out cause a lot other recently released ANC headphones out there no longer suffer from this. But in general the active noise cancelation on these headphones is pretty decent. But so that you can see for yourself we’re going to jump into an ANC test.

Like you may have just seen, the PX7’s block out a little less road noise than the Bose NC 700’s but they do a better job of blocking higher frequency sound like chatter than the Bose NC 700’s do. Which personally did come a surprise to me. But still the Sony 1000XM3’s have the best performing active noise cancellation here. But over all, I do think the active noise cancellation on the Bose NC 700’s is over all superior to the PX7’s cause they have less cabin pressure. Even though the PX7’s don’t have a lot of cabin pressure its still noticeable and I do find myself having to pop my ears when using the ANC on the PX7’s for extended periods of time. Add to the fact that the ANC on the PX7’s changes how these headphones sound, I wanna say Bowers and Wilkins still have a lot of improving to do on their ANC if they want to keep up with the big boys. 

But something bowers and Wilkins defiantly improved on is their wear sensors. The wear sensors on the PX’s used to really like to randomly play and pause your music if you were moving around too much with those headphones on your head. But the wear sensors on the PX7 on the other hand don’t do that anymore which is good. But obviously if you don’t want to use the wear sensors on these headphones you can always just turn that feature off like I do.

But something that is sorely lacking on these headphones is a proper ambient mode. Now with these headphones if you press and hold on their ANC button for 2 seconds they’ll lower the volume of what your music and pump in the ambient sound around you so you can quickly talk to someone like this. 

Now this is identical to conversation mode on the Bose NC 700 and quick attention on the Sony 1000XM3. But unfortunately you can’t have ambient mode on these headphones turned on and play music at the same time like on most other headphones these days. Even if you try to raise the volume the on these headphones on both your phone and the headphones themselves the volume won’t raise from 20%. So I really hope bowers and Wilkins puts out an update for a full ambient mode on these headphones cause the PX7’s just not have an ambient mode is a bit of a handicap these days. 

So over all, the new Bowers and Wilkins px7 aren’t for everyone and if you already have the original bowers and Wilkins px’s there’s really no need to upgrade. But I can’t deny that these headphones sound simply amazing just as long as you have their Active noise cancelation turned off. I think that these headphones are great for at home use, and if you need to occasionally travel with them they’ll be fine. But if you’re a constant commuter or constant flyer looking for a pair ANC headphones these wouldn’t be my first pick. But if you’re all about sound, then yeah these are the way to go.