BOWERS & WILKINS PX8
It was inevitable that Apple sticking its neck out to launch a preposterously priced pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones would open the floodgates for higher-end models, and indeed here comes news of one such pair. Bowers & Wilkins has announced that later this year it will launch a flagship, “no-holds-barred” wireless ANC model, the Px8, which is expected to cost around $849 (RRP). The Px8 will be the company’s “most advanced headphone to date”, which is a bold statement considering its fantastic output of both wireless and wired pairs over the past decade or so.
Until that time, however, the most accomplished pair of active noise-cancelling wireless headphones in Bowers’ line-up will be the preserve of the all-new Px7 S2, which are available for $599 (RRP) and which there are thankfully more details on to share with you now.
The successors to the 2020-launched
PX7, the second-generation model aims to take performance to the next level with an all-new acoustic platform. This is based on custom-designed 40mm drive units that are angled inside each earcup to ensure a consistent distance relative to the listener’s ear from every point across the drivers’ surface. Bowers has also revised the motor system for less distortion, with some acoustic elements having trickled down from its wired P9 Signature.
The company’s own digital signal processing prowess promises to help on the wireless performance front too, as does the Px7 S2’s support of the high-quality aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec (also found in the PX7).
Bowers & Wilkins also claims to have upped its game in the active noise cancellation space, too. The proprietary ANC technology uses six upgraded microphones to help isolate wearers from the outside world — two measure the output of each drive unit, two react to ambient noise from the outside world, and two aim to boost voice clarity while suppressing noise. The ANC intensity can be altered via the Bowers & Wilkins Music App, as can EQ. A future update will also add the ability for users to stream their chosen music service directly from the app to their Px7 S2.
The Px7 S2 can of course be listened to wired via their 3.5mm socket (though they need charge to do so), and the other connection is USB-C for charging. Speaking of which, a very reasonable 30 hours of playback is on the menu here, with the increasingly common fast charging feature allowing for seven hours of playback from just a 15-minute charge. The only thing left to report until I hear the headphones myself is that the slimmer and lighter design with “more luxurious” ear pads is available in grey, blue and black finishes.