The Bowers & Wilkins PX headphones offer big sound at a high price

Believe it or not, the PX are Bowers & Wilkins’ first noise-cancelling headphones. While the company is best known for its premium work with high-end speakers, the PX are a pretty big win.

The headphones offer excellent sound and great looks, but you’re going to pay for it. At $399, they’re pricier than many of their more established competitors, including Bose and Sennheiser.

Looking good

The PX headphones sport a sharp look, touched with a metallic finish in some spots and carbon fiber-looking finish in other spots. The set I received for this review was grey, charcoal and black, but the headphones also come in a navy and gold variant.

They’ve also got a durable build, so you won’t have to worry too much about crushing them with a computer or book in your backpack. If you want a little extra protection, they also come with a small, soft carrying case.

Unfortunately the headphones don’t fold up into a smaller form, so they will take up more space in your bag compared to the Sennheiser HD1 Wireless Headphones or Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones. Although they don’t fold up into a smaller form, they are much more durable than the similarly priced headphones from Sennheiser and Bose.

The headphones are comfortable, but there’s not a ton of padding on the ears. Compared to the Sennheiser HD1 Wireless Headphones and the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones, the cushion on the cans of the PX feel less soft.

Solid sound

The PX headphones from Bowers & Wilkins produce great sound with or without the noise-cancelling feature active. When you enable the noise cancelling there’s some trade-off with quality, but that’s to be expected, as certain frequencies are amplified through this process.

The headphones sound best without any of the noise-cancelling features enabled, and it’s great to have more control over how the noise cancelling is handled in different environments.

The Bluetooth range was great and I didn’t experience any sort of random signal losses. The on-ear controls allow you to adjust volume and playback, power on or off, toggle the noise-cancelling feature on or off and enable or disable Bluetooth. You also can answer phone calls with the headphones by tapping the same button that controls playback.

The wireless playback buttons and call-answering feature all worked great on both an iPhone X and a MacBook Pro. I particularly liked that the pause button is slightly raised so it’s easy to locate with your thumb.

Bowers & Wilkins advertises that the PX headphones will get 22 hours of battery life. Because sleep mode is activated when you take the headphones off, I often felt like I was getting a lot more than 22 hours out of them.

The auto-pausing and auto-sleep functionality are excellent standout features for the PX headphones. Coupled with the long-lasting battery life, the PX headphones are great for long flights and late nights — and everything in-between.

Premium pricing

Bowers & Wilkins has a good-looking and great sounding pair of Bluetooth headphones. Pricing is really the only major sticking point for the PX — though it’s a big one for a company that’s pretty new to the space.

The Bowers & Wilkins PX wireless headphones will run you $399 at most retailers. That’s slightly more than both the Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones (~$350) and the Sennheiser HD1 wireless headphones (~$350).

Indeed, $399 isn’t a crazy sum for a really solid pair of Bluetooth headphones, but the company ought to consider dropping the price by $50 to $100 if it’s going to be really competitive in the space.

Published at Mon, 22 Jan 2018 22:14:20 +0000