So, Bowers & Wilkins made a bold move this year announcing two headphones but releasing them at different times. The Px7 S2 which was a refined version of the Px7 was make available back in the beginning of the summer at $399.99. Fast forward to the end of Fall and we now have the true successor and flagship which is the Px8. They flaunt a hefty price tag but are they worth getting over the recent Px7 S2?
If you are looking for a pair of headphones to showcase premium quality the Px8 are a sure-fire way. For starters you are getting Nappa leather that is on each surrounds the outer part of the earcups, headband and of course the earpads themselves. Earpads feel plush as they press and envelope your ears. The hinges of the headphones are cast aluminum which look elegant as the any light reflects off them. B&W logo is etched on each earcup. B&W manage to have these weight in at a light 320g. They come in two colors of either Black or Tan.
Like the Px7 S2 the button layout is the same. You get an action button on the left side while the right features more controls such as Volume, Play/Pause, and Power latch that doubles for Bluetooth sync as well. No headphone jack available on this either and I feel won’t return.
Included with the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 is a carrying case, USB-C to USB-C cable for charging and a USB-C to 3.5mm audio cable if needed. Cables fit right inside the compartment inside the carrying case.
To enhance the capabilities of the Px8 you want to make sure to download the B&W app. It will give access to treble and bass controls. It provides the ability to see what devices you have paired with the headphones as well as toggle whether you want the action button to be utilized for Environmental” (ANC/Ambient) or Voice Assistant. I have kept it mainly on the Environmental mode. I like to switch between ANC / Ambient but wish they put an update to disable off. Its rare I use it. The app also allows for you to sync up music apps such as Tidal, Deezer, and Qobuz. You frankly never have to leave the app to get your music fix if those are one of your choices. It does allow device toggling to so I can for instance swap between my Px7 S2 or Px8 easily.
If you are an Android user, you be delighted to hear the Px8 supports AptX (also HD & Adaptive) while there is AAC for iOS users. Like the Px7 S2, the Px8 is packed with six mics with (4) for ANC and (2) for voice. You can get 24-bit high resolution with DSP if you have a capable device and connect via USB such as to your laptop. Surprised though there is no codec support for LDAC.
B&W Px8 has mainly been used with a Google Pixel 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, and connected to my PC via the USB-C to 3.5mm audio cable.
Px8 are equipped with carbon cone 40mm dynamic drivers. Like the Px7 S2 the drivers are angled to help bring you closer and immerse you more into the music. Listening to tracks like The Beatles “Come Together” you are getting those crisp vocals and every guitar strum. With Billy Joel “NY State of Mind” you can hear every piano keystroke and sax blow making you feel like you are in the studio with them. Px8 provides so much clarity and detail it’s incredible. Its soundstage is so vast it just hits you from all areas. While I have used it with various music apps such as Spotify and Apple Music, its good to give them a run with Tidal’s Masters if you have the opportunity as it MQA content and up to 9216kbps. Playing Fourplay’s “Quicksilver” is a nice example of hearing various instruments go to work.
I thought the Px7 S2 were an improvement over the Px7, but the Px8 easily trumps that in the comfort zone. Wearing these for long periods they haven’t ground cumbersome or tight thanks in part to that lightweight cast aluminum. As far as utilizing the ANC it is good, but I wouldn’t consider the best when compared to some others. They are about the same as the Px7 S2. Also, the same is the pesky wear sensor. I ended up disabling it going through the same nuisances of it pausing no matter the level I’m on.
The Px8 give you everything you want in a pair of wireless headphones. There is the premium finish from top to bottom, comfortability with the superb nappa leather headband and earpads and of course the sound quality. ANC is decent and should be fine blocking your surroundings. Px8 do a stunning job of giving you detailed sound with crisp clear vocals and tapping you from all over with its impressive soundstage.
Are they worth $700? It really depends on if you are looking for a wonderfully built pair of headphones that are phenomenal in the audio department. But realistically if you are considering Bowers & Wilkins you are focused on that flagship quality which they been known for in the first place. If any event if the price tag maybe too high, you can always look at the Px7 S2 which are $300 cheaper and do a great job as well.