Bowers and Wilkins PX review
Bowers and Wilkins PX review • £319
- PROS – Great noise cancellation – Quality design and comfortable to wear – Incredible battery life – Auto pause is a stroke of genius
- CONS – Not for those who like buckets of bass – Metal and leather design is quite heavy – Expensive
Bose may have just updated its QC35s to include Google Assistant but now it’s got another rival to worry about.
British audio firm, Bowers and Wilkins, revealed their new PX wireless cans late last year and they arrive packed with bonus features which could give them the edge over the competition.
But can these new cans really beat their popular rivals?
It’s a tough call especially with Sony, Beats and Bose all releasing top quality headphones over the past 12 months.
Express.co.uk has been putting the Bowers and Wilkins PX through their paces and here’s our full review.
Bowers and Wilkins PX
Bowers and Wilkins’ products are renowned for their premium look and feel and the PX take this to a new level.
With a metal and leather design these latest cans look stunning and are a huge improvement over the usual plastic casing that covers many premium headphones.
The design of PX upholds Bowers & Wilkins’ tradition of using only high-quality materials, with these cans clearly built to survive the years of punishment ahead of them.
The headphones feature ergonomically designed elliptical ear cushions for superior comfort and the best possible acoustic seal.
And the audio firm has even thought to make these cushions detachable which means they can be replaced if they begin to look worn.
With their clever design, our extensive tests revealed the PX are much less likely to make your ears hot and sweaty – something that most cans struggle with – plus the soft leather headband adds to the comfort when using them for long periods.
Bowers and Wilkins has also included buttons on the side of the cup which offer a simple way to control volume and there’s an easy to reach switch which instantly turns off the noise cancellation.
They also fold pretty flat which means they can be placed in your bag without too much fear of these expensive gadgets getting damaged.
It’s really hard to find fault with the PX’s design although one thing that is worth noting is that these are not subtle.
Their big design won’t suit everyone and all that metal and leather does make them heavier than most of their plastic-covered rivals – in fact at 335g they weigh almost 100g more than the Bose QC35s and Beats Studio 3 Wireless.
Bowers and Wilkins PX have angled speakers which beam sound straight to the ear
NOISE CANCELLATION AND SOUND QUALITY
Bowers and Wilkins are pretty late to the party when it comes to noise cancellation.
Whilst most of its rivals have been including this tech for a number of years the PX are the first time the UK firm has offered the ability to block out unwanted sound.
It’s certainly been worth the wait with the PX offering a very good experience when it comes to stopping background noise.
This audio technology can be controlled via a unique app with different environment settings able to cancel out a range of sounds.
Having tested a huge range of noise cancelling cans we’re not convinced that the PX offer the ultimate experience – that prize probably goes to Sony’s MDR-1000X – but they certainly come a close second.
Once you’ve got the hang of the noise cancelling settings expect to enjoy some serious audio quality.
The PX are very impressive with music sounding crisp, clear and packed full of detail.
These are not headphones if you want your ears booming with bass but they should be top of your list if you want to add some clarity to your playlist.
One thing that helps boost this sound is the clever internal design which sees the speakers tilted in the direction of your ears.
Space around the cup also helps to boost the depth with some audio sounding so good you feel you could be in the room with the musician.
The headphones also use the latest aptX HD Bluetooth technology for 24-bit audio resolution to get the best possible sound from all sources.
Bowers and Wilkins PX uses an app to control noise cancellation
A CLEVER TRICK WITH PX
The PX Wireless have a very neat trick up their sleeve.
Some clever tech inside these cans means they instantly pause the music the minute they are removed from your ears.
This works by responding intelligently to natural user behaviour with the PX Wireless even able to tell when you’ve placed them around your neck or simply lifted one of the cups away from your head.
Once placed back on your ears the audio instantly begins playing again without the user having to touch their music player or smartphone.
This not only means you don’t miss a minute of your music but also adds to the battery life.
We really love this feature and it’s one of the best additions to these premium headphones – expect more audio firms to follow with similar features.
Bowers and Wilkins PX come in two colours
Bowers and Wilkins PX
BATTERY LIFE AND CHARGING
The PX offer wireless audio which means they need to be charged.
But don’t panic about them running out of power as these are some of the longest lasting cans we’ve ever used.
Bowers and Wilkins claims a 22-hour battery life which is probably about right but the auto pause function means they actually last a lot longer than most of the competition.
Rival Bluetooth headphones do switch off after a certain amount time without use but the PX takes this to a new level and it certainly means less charging.
When they do need a refill there’s a USB-C port included with going from flat to full taking less than an hour.
If you’re after a pair of top quality Bluetooth wireless headphones then the PX should be top of your list.
With a metal and leather design they look stunning and are clearly built to last.
Audio quality is supremely good and the added bonus of noise cancellation means Bowers and Wilkins have finally caught up with the competition.
We also love the auto pause feature and are baffled why no other premium headphone brand has included this before.
One thing we would advise is to try the PX before you buy as the lack of heavy bass and their large design won’t be for everyone.
With more smartphone makers ditching the headphone port, Bluetooth cans are becoming more and more popular and Bowers and Wilkins have just given the likes of Bose and Sony a serious run for their money.
The PX won a host of awards at Christmas and they deserve every single one of them.