Stellar sound quality
Impressive noise cancellation
A touch bassy
About time for a hard case?
Can do without branding
22 hours of battery life
Bluetooth 4.1 aptX HD
Having carried an amplifier into shop after shop searching for the perfect setup, the very first pair of speakers I bought was from the Bowers & Wilkins company. Since then, products that bore B&W initials have become a reference point. Although, makes like Bang & Olufsen, Mission, Bose and so on have made it into the collection to stimulate ownership, I’ve always (not so secretly) preferred Bowers.
The 7 is no more, replaced by the X and as far as names go, the latest iPhone too has an X. A coincidence? Bowers and Wilkins’ latest baby charges via a Thunderbolt 3 port, features noise cancelling, lossless wireless audio and an app that updates itself. Some forward thinking there by the blokes at Sussex.
Glittered with champagne gold aluminium accompanied by Royal Oak-like grande tapieserie blue diamond nylon and plush leather, it blurs the line whether this or the P9 Signature is the costlier product simply from looking at them. Mind you, quality comes with kilos and grams.
The admittedly bass-heavy Bang & Olufsen H8 was my favourite headphone until these came into the office with tight and controlled bass, rich midrange and a crisp upper end. In other words, a warm, cosseting B&W sound signature. Furthermore, there’s no need to go more than 50% volume to get the most out of this headphone. That aside, AptX HD works a treat whereby I'm more than happy with the sound quality and stability it provides.
And if you’re here for noise cancelling, things can be a hit or a miss. Vibrations from heavy thundering could only be felt, not heard but hand clapping will pierce right through. The X walks over the rest of the headphones that have come through our testing grounds by piercing through 3 slabs of walls before sputtering out further than anyone else. One aspect where this is not an all-out audiophile headphone is because it is incompatible with a DAC, all you get is hissing.
The only other headphone that is adjacent in terms of quality and architecture would be Master & Dynamic’s MW60. When compared to the PX, they sound more like Bose’s QC35 with a lot more bass injected. As for snobs who prefer to strap speakers to the head, having the PX on is a far more comfortable alternative.
It's not that we have run out of albums to recommend but the problem is, nothing sounds bad on these headphones. As uncommon as it is to stumble upon things that offer more value than their asking price, it is sensational for the PX to be one of them.