Its crazy to think Bowers & Wilkins first released their P5 headphones back in 2010. They figured what better way to celebrate 10yrs than take a piece of the classic headphones and put it towards their flagship PX7. A pair of headphones that came out last year but are now given a refresher of sorts with its new carbon fiber finish. Also, we are getting a first chance to take the PX7 series for a spin as we missed first go around. Are they worth the wait?
Usually when grabbing a pair of B&W headphones first thing you will notice the craftsmanship put into it. Its no different with the PX7 Carbon Edition. First off you will see that trademark diamond cut detail that circling the B&W logos on each earcup. This is like the same cut you would see on their P5 series. Ear cushions are equipped with leathery memory foam padding that feel soft to the touch and will likely cover your ears or at least they do for me. In between the ear padding and diamond cut detail is a material that reminds me of nylon braiding but ever so slightly. This allows to get a grip on them as you move them on and off your ears.
This nylon braiding also transfers over to the top of the headband with that same familiar leather padding underneath that will provide comfort to your head. Headband does feel durable and has some bend to it which is good to fit most heads. Wearing them for long periods of time even with glasses I have found the PX7 while to be a bit snug on the head to still be comfortable wearing them for extensive periods of time.
Earcups swivel out for storage in its included carrying case for protection. Like most of their headphones they don’t fold in which may bother some if they have other storage ideas. Its not a deal breaker but I have always liked the folded option on headphones.
B&W designed these headphones to be mainly for one hand operation as most of the controls are on the right side earcup. Volume controls, Play/Pause, and a Power latch (also doubling for Bluetooth) can be found there. On the left is a single button that provides control for ANC / Ambient sound.
B&W PX7 Carbon Edition comes with a 3.5mm audio cable, Type-C cable, and carrying case.
Bowers & Wilkins wanted to make sure the PX7 work for the iPhone users all the way up to the audiophiles with it supporting codecs such as AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD, and even aptX Adaptive. Testing with the iPhone 12 Pro I got the usual AAC support, Galaxy Fold 2 was aptX, while the OnePlus 8T can utilize all three aptX options. There is also Bluetooth 5.0 support as well.
These headphones feature three options of noise cancelling with either Low, High, or Auto. Low being considered for walking around and High more so for super noisy environments such as on a train or plane. I have the ANC to be considerably good if not some of the better ANC headphones I used. The size of the earcups helps keep you isolated and immersed. Ambient mode isn’t bad, but I actually like the sensors built in the earcups. If I decide to remove one from my ear music instantly stops and comes back when put back on. This is a nice option because believe or not, you are more likely to do before trying to change your sound environment.
The accompanying app allows you to change the levels on both of those sound options. It also shows the multiple devices you are connected to it, allows for updates and even change the sensitivity of that wear sensor or you can just plain turn it off. There is a “soundscapes” kind of playlist which I frankly haven’t and will not use, but some maybe interested.
This is where the PX7 really show off. They feature 43.6 audio drivers in each ear which are the largest on any headphones they have. These headphones sound phenomenal. They are tuned by B&W’s team that have worked on their 800 Series Diamond Speakers which I have experienced in person as well. These PX7s hits in all areas giving you enough hard-hitting bass in tracks such as “Jump Out the Face” by Meek Mill / Future while vocals such as Teyana Taylor on “Wake Up Love” just melt in your ears sounding so blissfully sweet.
Using it with media apps such as YouTube or Netflix, audio was in sync with no hiccups or delays.
Using the B&W PX7 Carbon Edition over the past month and change has been a pleasant one thus far. They might be considered one of my favorite on-ear headphones or even headphones in general I used this year. Battery life has been advertised at 30 hours and I can saw its in that range. Well, that is if you remember to turn them off. Since these use a latch rather than a button, they won’t fully disconnect but will go into standby mode. Thankfully, the standby mode has done wonders and keep them juiced up for the most part.
You can also play and charge with these headphones which isn’t a option on some. I have walked the streets and done daily commutes on the trains and the ANC has been on point. I feel its up there with my favorites from the Sony XM series as well as Bose 700s.
The “Carbon Edition” of the PX7 breathes some new life into B&W premium headphones and its surely welcome. Build quality is superb, battery life is long lasting, and the audio experience is unparalleled. Of course, to get the best audio experience you want to use an android phone that has the AptX codecs. This is just my opinion though and even using an iPhone they will still sound awesome. Probably only gripe maybe its premium price point with it being $399.99. It makes it some of the more expensive headphones in its area. Also even though light they maybe a bit large for some folks. If you can give them a listen and see if they will grab your attention like they have done mines. PX7 are also available in colors of “Space Grey” and “Silver”.