Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Active Noise Cancelling Silver, Small, FP41297
- Batteries : 1 Lithium Polymer batteries required. (included)
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 8 x 17.5 x 22 cm; 302 Grams
- Date First Available : 9 August 2020
- Manufacturer : Bowers & Wilkins
- ASIN : B07WK6SGZC
- Item model number : FP41297
- Customer reviews:
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Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Silver Built from Legend drivers that push the sound forward The 43mm drivers in the Px7 are the largest in our headphone collection built and tuned by the same engineers behind the Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series diamond speakers used in Abbey road studios Cancels noise clean out adaptive noise cancelling that automatically Responds to your environment to keep the outside world out of the music 30 hours of possibility you can do a lot in 30 hours You could fly from California to London and back with some time to spare You could also Start a band or see every stage At The festival twice Listen uninterrupted on a single battery charge And if that’s not enough a 15 minute quick charge gets you 6 more hours Follow your lead the Px7 obeys your every move Lift an ear cup to hear what’s happening around you and the music automatically stops Put it back and the music plays on Inspired by race cars The carbon fiber composite arms of the Px7 mimic the strength and agility of the fastest vehicles in the world channeling pure sound to you and holding up against everyday wear and tear So Throw them in your overnight bag or your work bag and get ready to plunge into sound
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The design of the PX7 follows Bowers & Wilkins tradition with the graciously designed headband arms down to the aluminum capsule on the ear cups with the Bowers & Wilkins logo engraved beautifully. It’s lighter than the PX and P7 thanks to the new carbon fiber design in the headband arms. The structural integrity hasn’t been compromised so these should be able to stand the test of time. The ear pads and headband under portion seem to be a high-quality leatherette which is very soft to the touch. The other portion of the headphone is made up of a chemically treated fabric that supposedly will repel moisture or stains. The ear cups of the PX7 don’t fold inwards, but rather fold flat to stow away into their case. The case is a hard-shell design with a moderate footprint similar to that of the Bose and Sony offerings. The controls are button based with your standard volume up button, multi-function button, volume down button and power switch on the right earcup. The power switch doubles as a way to initiate Bluetooth pairing when flicked all the way up and held for 5 seconds. You can force the headphone to disconnect from sources by flicking this power switch to the Bluetooth pairing section twice in quick succession. You can also find the headphone jack input and USB-C female port for charging as well as the USB DAC function. On the left earcup there’s a singular button responsible for the ANC control. You can switch between ANC low, ANC high and ANC Auto where it detects the environmental noises around you and adjusts the ANC accordingly. If you long press this button for about 2 seconds, it puts the PX7 into ambient aware mode. Your music’s volume will be greatly reduced and the outside noises around you can now be heard clearly. Great for having a quick conversation or listening for announcements without taking the headphones off.
The comfort of wearing the PX7 is an example of a company that listens. The PX which is the predecessor was a very nicely designed headphone aesthetically and physically with its build quality. Ergonomically however, it leaved a lot to be desired due to the materials chosen. The clamping force on the PX was too tight and the ear pads had this hard ridge that felt like something was digging into the side of your head. So, comfort wise, I could only tolerate the PX for about 30 mins. The PX7 improves substantially in this regard. The headphones are lighter thanks to the carbon fiber materials as opposed to metal and the clamp isn't as vicious as before and the ear pads are now plush and soft to the touch. I can listen to the PX7 for prolonged periods without fatigue just like my Bose And Sony pairs.
Battery life of the PX7 is up there with the best in this class. You can get up to 30 hours of playback with a 15-minute quick charge giving you 5 hours of playback. Also, the method of charging is via USB-C.
The ANC performance of the PX7 has been significantly improved over the PX. The PX was capable of reducing a ton of noise when the flight mode was activated, but this was at the detriment to the sound quality. In office mode, the PX sounded exceptional and very similar to no ANC activated. However, with the ANC set to office mode, it struggled to block out noises from busses, trains and airplanes which effectively defeated their purpose as a noise cancelling headphone. The PX7 has excellent noise cancelling which is about as good as that of the Bose NC 700 but not the Sony XM3. I’ve worn the PX7 while commuting in NYC and I can safely say the ANC performance of the PX7 is very effective at reducing the amount of outside noise seeping into your listening session. Compared to the recently announced Sennheiser Momentum Wireless M3, the PX7 perform better at blocking out noises. Thankfully, the PX7 doesn’t suffer the same sound quality deterioration that plagued the PX while maximum ANC is enabled.
The supported Bluetooth codecs of the PX7 is SBC, AAC and aptX adaptive. aptX adaptive allows for the codec to scale between aptX LL, aptX and aptX HD depending on the environmental interference and current content being played. The standard of Bluetooth supported by the PX7 is the 5.0 version. The PX7 allows for Bluetooth multi-point so you can have 2 devices simultaneously connected at once. Audio can only play from one device at a time, but the switching off between the two is seamless. Also, within the app, you can see and control the devices that have been connected to the PX7 previously or are currently connected similar to the Bose QC35II and NC 700. Range and stability of the Bluetooth performance has been excellent so far in the office, at home and the midst of NYC and all of the various wireless interference.
The PX7 equips wear sensors which in theory auto pauses and plays the music depending on whether you’re wearing the headphones or not. If the sensors don’t detect anyone wearing them after a set time within the companion app the PX7 will go into standby to save power. So far, I haven’t had any false triggers of pausing my music while I am still wearing them like I did with the PX so I will keep this feature enabled until it annoys me. Sadly, there’s no dedicated voice assistant button like on the new Sennheiser Momentum Wireless M3, Jabra Elite 85h, Bose NC 700 or Sony XM3. You summon your voice assistant on the PX7 by long pressing the multi-function button while not on a current call. The PX7 allows for USB DAC functionality as well as normal Bluetooth operation while charging which is something the Bose, Jabra’s and Sony’s cannot do.
Call quality of the PX7 is good but it’s not as good as the Bose NC 700 (The best in class for call quality) or Jabra Elite 85 in loud environments. It just doesn’t separate your voice as well from the noise as the other 2 listed headphones. However, calls taken in moderately loud to quiet environments will be just fine with the PX7.
The sound of the PX7 is very broad, clean, balanced and detailed. The bass is excellently controlled in its delivery. Dynamics are in the upmost of abundance thanks to this. You can easily discern the subtle nuances in the bass notes regardless of how complex the musical presentation gets. This is a great tuning for modern genres thanks to the bass attack and the visceral nature behind it. But also, it plays well with more intricate genres due to the control of the bass while a bit boosted not hindering the details and progression of the mix. The tonal balance of the bass slightly favors the mid-bass attack with the sub bass and upper bass being more neutral in the mix. Integration into the midrange Is smooth with no perception of bleed that can reduce the ability to pick up the clarity in the foundations in the human voice and other instruments. The midrange is a bit recessed sounding and provides distance from the instruments but sometimes can make the mix sound a bit lifeless and hollow at times. The depth and separation however is excellent and the ability to pick up the directional cues in the audio is seamless as a result. The overall warmth in this tuning helps to reduce listening fatigue and plays well with commuting due to auditory masking from environmental noises. Upper midrange has a small presence boost to bring the vocals and instruments a bit forward and increase the perception of clarity in that region and thankfully it’s not overly done to introduce too much harshness or sibilance to the mix. Treble is slightly subdued, but smooth, well controlled and extends excellently as to not subtract from the sense of ambiance and air in the music. The soundstage is a direct result of this well refined and extended treble. It’s quite large for a closed back design and probably the largest and most well-constructed that I have heard in its class. There’s ample information on the X, Y and Z axis that sort of makes the music sound 3D in nature. Sadly, there’s no ability to EQ these headphones from its app. So, if you find that you want to adjust the tonal balance you’re stuck with using the EQ on the device it is connected to or the stock sound of the PX7.
So my conclusion is that the PX7 is an excellent well rounded pair of noise cancelling headphones and why you may ask? Well, let’s see. They sound excellent. They block out a substantial amount of noise allowing this sound to be experienced wherever you go along with an ambient aware mode. They have a 30 hour battery life with a 5 hour playtime after only 15 mins of charging via USB-C. The microphone for calls is good and shouldn’t be problematic unless you’re in a very noisy environment. The companion app is pretty good except for having an EQ. They can connect to 2 devices at once. They are well built and look premium and elegant. They are very comfortable to wear for prolonged listening sessions. They can fold away into a hard case that takes up a similar footprint to that of the Sony’s and Bose. No video lip sync issues and can be used for gaming thanks to aptX adaptive.
Bowers & Wilkins did a great job as a successor to the PX. Wow.
Compared to the Sony WH1000Xm3’s the PX7 falls short in noise cancelling, comfort and a customizable sound from an app EQ. However, the PX7 is able to connect to two Bluetooth devices at once, has better build quality and is slightly better in microphone performance. Sound between the two depends on your preferences. The Sony’s default tuning is more bass emphasized with more midrange presence as well. The upper mids and lower treble is subdued in comparison to the PX7. There is a small peak around 8-10KHz on the Sony’s bringing some sparkle to the music. The PX7 treble is more smooth in nature. Overall, the Sony’s will sound more robust and richer due to the bass forward sound. The PX7 will sound more detailed and spacious. Depending on the genre of music, one sound might work better than the other.
Compared to the Bose NC 700 Headphones the PX7 falls short in terms of microphone performance. However the PX7 has a longer battery life and in my opinion a better sound that doesn’t distort and lose nearly all of its bass while boosting the upper midrange like the Bose NC 700 does when you raise the volume.
Compared to the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless the PX7 has a slightly inferior microphone and a customizable sound option from the app EQ. However the PX7 has a longer battery, better noise cancelling and isn’t picky about which USBC cable or source is used to charge the headset. The Momentum’s sound excellent. Bass is quite boosted and is the most bass heavy of the bunch between the PX7, XM3 and 700’s. Bass control is great but the volume of bass makes it sound boomy at times. The midrange and treble of the Momentum’s however is very nicely tuned and is smooth, clear and detailed. Soundstage is good, but isn’t as expansive as the PX7. The PX7 has less bass emphasis, less lower mids emphasis but similar treble emphasis as the Sennheiser’s. The PX7 tuning is more akin to an audiophile sound signature with a bit of warmth. The Sennheiser’s is more akin to modern music packing tons of bass without losing much detail and clarity in the mids and treble. However do to the level of bass presence in the stock tuning, there is an occasional tendency to mask some lower midrange nuances.
It has come to my attention that the PX7 does suffer from sound degradation when the ANC is activated on max. It’s still not as bad as the sound quality hit the PX faces when max ANC is engaged but it’s still a problem nonetheless. Compared to ANC turned off, the sound signature of the PX7 gets a bit warmer sounding and closed in. I can deal with that a bit. However, the big issue I have is at higher volumes there is some sort of dynamic range or volume limiter in effect that hurts some of the fidelity in the music. It happens at all volumes, but it’s more apparent at higher volumes. For example, when I’m listening at a volume level where I want to feel immersed into the music and rock out, the volume on certain frequencies in the music raises and lowers as to not distort the speaker. When I turn off the ANC, this phenomenon doesn’t occur which leads me to believe B&W implemented this to purposely restrain your music from distorting the speaker whilst ANC is active. This doesn’t happen with my Sony WH1000XM3 or Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless when they both have their ANC on max. Due to this digital volume limiter in place, these headphones are sadly ruined for me.
1. Sound quality is undoubtedly the best among all the above. Clean, wide soundstage, extreme clarity. Bass is on point. If you are a bass head, please look elsewhere. At the time of writing this review, B&W does not provide an equalizer in-app. So you cannot tune the bass even if you wanted to. I expect that B&W will resolve this in a future app update. But the default sound works well for my ears. The Sonys are more boomy and muddled in terms of bass and is pleasant enough. The Bose N700 is just bad in terms of sound quality. The Sennheisers and Master and Dynamic M65 are perhaps close in terms of sound quality.
2. (Auto-)ANC is great. There are some who prefer the stronger ANC of the Sony and Boses. I never liked the ANCs on those because the pressure in my ear gets too discomforting and the hit on sound quality is significant. I'd rather have a bit of noise than ear pressure. The PX7 has somehow managed to incorporate ANC that does not cause any pressure at all. In most instances, I leave ANC off since the passive NC is good enough. I only turn on ANC on flights. The effect on sound quality is barely perceptible and the suppression of the noise is effective enough for my ears. The Sennheisers and Master and Dynamic M65 have much worse ANC.
3. Comfort. These are miles ahead of the predecessor PX. I love my PX, but the clamp force is too strong and it does not fit all ears. The PX is also much heavier. The PX7 resolves all this with a much lighter carbon fiber construction. Clamp force is still quite strong but nowhere as strong as the PX. That said, the Sonys and the Bose QC35s are still more comfortable. I only have the PX7 for a week thus far. Maybe the clamp force will continue to decrease with time. Even at the current moment, there are no issues with hours of listening. But this obviously will depend on the shape of your head.
4. The Bluetooth 5 connectivity seems to be great. I had sporadic connection issues with the other headphones and none absolutely with the PX7 so far. The fact that you can connect two devices at once is a great advantage over the Sony XM3. For example, I use my phone for music when walking to my flight and go into my iPad for movie watching seamlessly when I am in my seat.
5. Misc. Auto-pause works as great as in the PX. The auto ANC mode seems to work well, though I generally prefer to control the ANC manually. The app is an aesthetic improvement over the old app for the PX, but rather basic at the moment - no EQ. The Sony and Bose apps are better developed. Master and Dynamic has no app whatsoever.
6. Power. These charges on USB-C like the other flagships. I have no issues with any USB C source. This cannot be said for the Sennheiser, which are extremely fussy in terms of power source, e.g., I cannot charge the Momentum 3s using my MacBook Pro’s charger! Battery life is great.
7. Design. Matter of taste, but the Master and Dynamic M65 has the best design in my opinion and the previous PX is a close second. Maybe the Bose N700 is third. The PX7 does feel cheaper than PX because it is no longer metal and hefty. The upside is of course comfortable. It still feels more premium than the Sonys and Bose QC35.
To summarize, this is certainly the best ANC headphone at the current moment. It is expensive but on par with other new flagships. The sound quality is unrivaled. The ANC is a matter of taste, but if you are someone who hates uncomfortable, strong ANC, these are for you. Comfort is much better over PX, but Sonys still win on this.
1. Portability. These fold flat and are quite portable without the case. But the case is pretty large compared to the Sony XM3. Weight + volume - Sony XM3 definitely more portable.
I pre ordered these and had high expectations. Which as of now I can say they have met.
The sound is expansive and detailed with great bass and sold miss and hi’s.
As far as comfort they are great and roomy no heat after wearing them for 7 hours at work.
Build quality seems great let’s see if the fabric can stand the test of time.
The case is decent.
Everyone in the office I have showed said they look really good.
If you’re on the fence between Sony Bose and these I’d go with these.
I’m not a fan boy to any of them but I’ve been using Bose for years until the nc700s dropped the ball.
Just my opinion.
But if I’m spending 400$ I want exceptional sound.
Lastly I’d say the Anc is pretty good on these. Not Bose good. But no ear pressure at all if that’s an issue for you. Haven’t been on any airplanes yet so I guess we’ll see.
Sorry for the long rant