Bowers & Wilkins Px8 Review
The Bowers & Wilkins PX8 are the best wireless headphones currently available, and they set a new standard in sound quality for over-ear headphones. How do I even begin? It’s likely due to the abundance of depth, versatility, and breadth on offer, all of which are supported by a deliciously hefty bass. B&W’s offering is rounded out by its effective (though not jaw-dropping) ANC and its good range of features. The battery lasts for 30 hours, so you can wear them all day without worrying about charging them.
Bowers & Wilkins Px8 Specification
|Frequency Response||10 Hz – 30000 kHz|
|Dimension||7.4 x 2.4 x 9.1 inches|
|Battery Life||Up to 30 hours|
|Price||$699 / £599 / AU$1150|
- Superb endurance for a battery
- Crisp, clean audio
- Reliable ANC
- Artistic refinement
- Compared to the PX7 S2, it’s not as cosy.
- Requires improvements to automatic pausing.
Bowers & Wilkins PX8 wireless over-ear headphones have surpassed all others in terms of sound quality. Yes, we went and said it. If that’s all you wanted to know, best of luck to you. Read on if you’re curious about the distinction between “sonically” and “across the board” and the rationale for the review’s four and a half stars rather than a full five.
The PX8 first and foremost looks the part. They maintain the brand’s signature understated elegance, which successfully strikes a balance between flashiness and opulence. The premium price tag is justified by the exceptional quality of the materials used, which are a marked improvement over the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 headphones we evaluated a few months ago (which were visually comparable but cost far less). The headband, earcups, and earpads are all crafted from ultra-soft Nappa leather, making them incredibly comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Black and brown versions are available, and both are stylish. The cast aluminium arm structure is well-finished overall and appears to be expertly built in its sliding and pivoting motions. However, unlike other competitors, the Px8 still manages to come in at a very affordable 320g despite being packed with premium features.
The 40mm drivers on either side of these headphones have a carbon fibre cone, which is the primary technical difference between them and their less expensive sister. It is claimed that this carbon cone is more transparent and less distorted since it is lighter, more stiff, and more regulated in its behaviour. The remainder of the drive unit is unaltered, save for minor adjustments to the motor system to accommodate the lighter weight of the new cone.
The Px8’s sound quality won’t shock anyone who’s heard Bowers & Wilkins’s recent products, but it will impress them nonetheless. This is the clearest and most insightful explanation we’ve ever heard. Almost every aspect of their performance is a substantial improvement over similarly competent but less expensive rivals, such as the aforementioned Sonys or the brand new Sennheiser Momentum 4. Even compared to the Apple AirPods Max, the accuracy and clarity here are superior.
The Px8 fit in perfectly with Raye’s All Of My Love, hammering out bass with gusto. At louder volumes, the music becomes tight and controlled, filled with excitement. The song loses some of its lustre and vitality when the volume is turned down. While issues like this are to be expected in a product of this nature, the PX8 appears to be particularly susceptible. We’ve also seen this same pattern in the company’s speakers, which is very intriguing. It’s possible that B&W has to pay greater attention to low-volume performance during product development.
Bowers & Wilkins claims to have improved speech quality by moving two of the six on-board microphones closer together and re-angling them. The business said these adjustments would help lessen wind noise. The quality of my outgoing calls on the Px7 S2 was decent, but I couldn’t help but feel like I was yelling throughout my video and voice conversations due to the lack of a natural-sounding transparency option. The PX8’s pass-through audio is good but not as high-quality or authentic-sounding as that of the AirPods Max.
Bowers & Wilkins performance is consistent with its overall track record of vastly exceeding expectations. At the 30-hour mark, according to the company’s stated rating, this device, like the Px7 S2, still had 40 percent of its battery life remaining. That includes a few days of active noise reduction and the occasional use of transparency mode for calls. When compared to the Px7 S2, which only had 33% battery life after being on for 30 hours, the Px8 either has a larger battery or is somewhat more power efficient.
In just 15 minutes, you can charge the device enough to listen to music for seven hours. That’s great in a pinch, but since the Px8 has more than 30 hours of ANC battery life, I only need to charge it once a week, even though I use it for several hours every day. When compared to the best currently available noise-cancelling headphones, this model’s battery life holds its own.
For $699, I expect a certain level of quality from my headphones. Specifically, things have to be really close to flawless before I’ll endorse them. When compared to the company’s prior model and some of its rivals, the PX8 is almost identical in terms of sound quality. Even after adjusting the sensitivity, automatic pausing still needs some work. The Px7 S2 is, in general, more pleasant to wear for extended periods of time. While Bowers & Wilkins’ top-tier product is impressive, it still needs some polishing.