Reviewed on Nov 01, 2019

Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
6.9
Mixed Usage
6.1
Neutral Listening
7.5
Commute/Travel
7.0
Sports/Fitness
7.3
Office
5.1
Wireless Gaming
6.6
Wired Gaming
5.6
Phone Call
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are headphones that have a dark sound profile but are very well-designed. They have a sleek style and are quite comfortable to wear for a while. These headphones are very well-built and feel robust. They're also noise cancelling and block out a good amount of ambient noise. However, their microphone is bad and shouldn’t be used for calls, and they lack audio customization options inside their app. On the upside, their battery life is amazing and they're compatible with aptX(HD) and aptX Adaptive, although we can’t currently test for those.

Test Results
Design 7.5
Isolation 7.6
Microphone 4.7
Active Features 8.4
Connectivity 7.2
Pros
  • Amazing battery life.
  • Good ANC feature.
  • Comfortable design.
  • Sleek-looking and durable design.
Cons
  • Bad microphone for calls.
  • Bass-heavy, dark sound profile.
  • Treble delivery inconsistencies.
  1. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

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7.5

Design

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are well-designed headphones that stand apart thanks to a unique style that looks very high-end and sleek. These headphones are also a nice improvement over the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless when it comes to comfort. The padding is nicer and more comfortable, but unfortunately, the overall build doesn’t feel quite as high-end as the last model.

Style

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 have a unique and sleek design. They have a similar shape to the previous Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless model, but with a few minor changes. The headphone's arm's hinges are now fully covered, hiding the cable, which is nice. However, the backplate of the headphones looks a bit plasticky and not as premium as the previous model. Nevertheless, these headphones are quite unique and have a high-end design.

7.5 Comfort
Weight : 0.7 lbs
Clamping Force
:
1.2 lbs

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are quite comfortable headphones. They aren’t too heavy and the padding is noticeably softer and plushier than the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless, which was one of the biggest issues of the headphones’ design. The headband is also well-padded and distributes the weight of the headphones well. The cups have an exceptional range of motion, so most people should find the right angle for them to not have any gaps in their fit. Unfortunately, the cups are a bit on the shallower side. On the upside, the cups are detachable and replaceable.

7.9 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : Yes
Talk-Through
:
Yes
Additional Buttons : Bluetooth Sync

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7's control scheme is great. You have many physical buttons that offer most common headphone functions. You can play/pause or take/end calls with the middle button. Volume control is on both sides of the middle button. To skip tracks, double tap the middle button twice, while going backwards is with a triple tap. You also have a button on the left cup for ANC control, which lets you cycle through High, Low, Auto, and Off. You can also hold that same button to enter the talk-through mode. The buttons are very clicky and you also get a voice prompt, which is nice and clear.

6.4 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.8 C

Like most closed-back over-ears, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 trap a bit of heat under the ear cups. This will make you sweat more than usual and won’t be suitable for sports, as these aren't designed for this use.

5.9 Portability
L : 8.3 "
W : 6.5 "
H : 2.2 "
Volume : 119 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 aren't very portable headphones. The cups do rotate to lay flat, making it easier to slide them in a bag, but they don’t fold into a more compact format.

8.0 Case
Type : Hard case
L : 9.0 "
W : 7.3 "
H : 2.8 "
Volume : 184 Cu. Inches

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 come with a nice hard case that protects the headphones well against scratches, minor water exposure, and physical damage from falls. It has a nice texture and feels quite high-end. The interior is even molded and reduces the wiggle of the headphones inside the case.

8.5 Build Quality

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are very well-built headphones, but don’t feel as high-end as the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless. The cups are swappable and replaceable, which makes them more durable, but they aren’t as easy to remove as the magnetic ones on the PX Wireless. On the upside, the arm hinges are made from woven carbon fiber composite according to the manufacturer. Although it's solid, it doesn’t feel as durable as the previous model’s metal arms. On the PX7, the hinges completely hide the cable going through the headband, which is good. Although we aren’t sure if the PX7 is less durable than the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless, it feels a bit lighter and more cheaply made than the PX Wireless, especially because of the plastic backplates, which explains the difference in scoring.

7.0 Stability

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are decently stable on your head. They clamp enough to stay in place for a casual listening session, but they won’t be a great option for sports. Head movement may make them sway off your head quite easily. On the upside, their wireless design gets rid of the risk of getting a cable stuck or hooked on something, yanking the headphones off your head.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are okay-sounding over-ear headphones and have a fairly similar sound profile to the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless. They have a fairly warm sound profile with overemphasized bass and treble that lacks detail and brightness. They're better-suited for bass-heavy genres and might not be the best option for vocal-centric genres or instrumental music.

Sound Profile
Neutral
:
5.1
Bass-Heavy
:
9.5
Warm
:
7.7
Bright
:
4.9
5.8 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
3.0 db
Dips
:
2.09 db
5.9 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.98 dB

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7's frequency response consistency is sub-par. On the upside, the ANC system of the headphones seems to check for consistent bass, but they don’t seem to perform as consistently in the treble range. This means that most people won’t hear voices, lead instruments, and sibilants the same way as someone else. You might even experience differences in sound just by placing the headphones in a different position on your head.

8.0 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.24
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.73
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
2.71
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
10.04

The stereo imaging of these headphones is very good. The group delay graph shows that it's under the audibility threshold, which results in a tight bass and treble ranges. Also, our unit’s L/R drivers were fairly well-matched, but had a small difference in frequency and phase. This won’t be very audible for most, but could result in holes in the stereo image and some inaccuracies. However, note that these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

4.9 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
4.93 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
5.87 dB
PRTF Distance
:
8.93 dB
Openness
:
1.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
3.7

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7's soundstage is sub-par, but can feel quite large for closed-back headphones. There’s a lot of interaction with the pinna, which gives the impression of a large soundstage. However, it might sound unnatural as they're closed-back headphones and won’t bring the soundstage to the front of the listener’s head.

7.2 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.438
WHD @ 100
:
0.189
7.6

Isolation

The isolation performance of the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is decent. Their ANC feature does a good job at blocking out ambient noise, whether it's for your daily commute or at the office. They also don’t leak too much, so you’ll be able to block out even more noise when listening to audio content, but be sure not to blast your music as they might be a bit leaky at very high volumes.

8.1 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-22.58 dB
Bass
:
-13.23 dB
Mid
:
-22.7 dB
Treble
:
-32.74 dB

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7's noise isolation performance is pretty decent. It blocks out a decent amount of bass frequencies, making them useful in public transit as it can reduce the deep rumble of a bus engine. You’ll also be able to block out most ambient chatter in an office setting and reduce the noise coming from the A/C system too.

6.8 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
40.77 dB

Their leakage performance is decent. Most of the leakage is from treble frequencies, making the leakage quite thin-sounding. However, thanks to their closed-back design, they won’t leak as much as open-backs. People surrounding you shouldn’t hear what you’re listening to if you're at a moderate volume, but might be disturbed if you’re blasting your music.

4.7

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The integrated microphone of the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 has disappointing performance. Recorded speech sounds muffled, distant, and lacking in detail. It also struggles with ambient noise, so it's better suited for very quiet environments.

4.4 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
239.73 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
15.32 dB
HFE
:
22988.02 Hz
Weighted THD
:
6806.289
Gain
:
-20.29 dB

The recording quality of the Bowers & Wilkins PX7’s integrated microphone is sub-par. Recorded speech sounds noticeably muffled and lacking in detail, even in very quiet environments. Speech is still intelligible, but the audio quality is quite disappointing. It might also be sensitive to pops.

5.0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
6.1 dB

The microphone's noise handling is poor. It struggles to separate ambient noise and actual speech, meaning the other person on the line could have trouble understanding you if you're in a moderately loud environment like a busy street.

8.4

Active Features

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 have an amazing battery life, but unfortunately their app is quite lackluster. You’ll get more than a full day’s worth of battery, and they also enter a standby mode as soon as you take them off your head, which saves even more battery. However, you can’t use the headphones if there’s no battery left, even if you want to use them wired with the included audio cable.

8.6 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
37.8 hrs
Additional Charges
:
0
Total Battery Life
:
37.8 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.7 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
No
Charging Port : USB-C

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7's battery life is outstanding. With only a bit more than 1.5 hours of charging, you can get over 30 hours of battery life with the ANC on. The manufacturer also advertises 5 hours of continuous playback with only a 15-minute charge time. The PX7 also enter a standby mode as soon as you take them off your head. Unfortunately, if their battery is dead, you can't use them wired with the included audio cable, as they need power to function.

6.5 App Support
App Name : Bowers and & Wilkins Headphones
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
No
ANC control
:
Adjustable
Mic Control : No
Room effects
:
No
Playback control
:
No
Button Mapping : No
Surround Sound : No

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7's companion app is quite bare-bones. It gives you access to a few settings like ANC controls and a slider for their ambient mode. You can also see the list of connected devices and can reset the headphones to their default settings inside the app. Other than that, it doesn’t offer much and can’t customize their sound profile, which is disappointing.

7.2

Connectivity

These headphones are Bluetooth compatible and can also be used wired. However, they need power to function, even when used wired, meaning you can't use them if the battery is dead. They have amazing wireless range and are also compatible with lower-latency codecs, which is great for watching video content. These headphones can also connect to two devices simultaneously.

8.4 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
:
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
:
No
Line of Sight Range
:
280 ft
Default Latency
:
230 ms
aptX Latency
:
221 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

These headphones are Bluetooth 5.0 compatible, meaning you might even experience better results than what we’ve tested. They're also able to connect to two devices simultaneously, which is great at the office if you want to switch between a computer and a phone. However, they don’t support NFC pairing for a quicker and easier pairing procedure.

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7's default latency is average for Bluetooth headphones, which means some people might not notice a delay when watching video content, and some others might. On the upside, it's compatible with lower latency codecs, which will help reduce the mismatch between audio and video. We measured 61ms of delay on aptX(HD). It's also compatible with AAC and aptX Adaptive, but we don’t currently test for these codecs. Note 11/12/2019: We suspect that it's actually aptX Adaptive that's showing up as aptX HD on our test device. AptX Adaptive is designed to be backwards compatible with both aptX and aptX HD and is supposed to offer lower system latency.

0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
9.5 Wired
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
Yes
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.2 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
:
19 ms

You can use these headphones wired with the included analog 1/8” audio cable or the USB charging cable. However, these headphones need power to function, meaning you must have battery left to use them, even when using them wired. Unfortunately, there’s no in-line microphone on the 1/8” TRS cable, meaning you won’t be able to use the integrated microphone when wired.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
Audio Only
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 don’t have a base/dock.

In the box

Compared to other Headphones

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 set themselves apart by their great design and style. They look like very high-end headphones with a unique style. However, their sound profile is a bit too dark, which may disappoint some. On the upside, they have a good ANC feature, but it doesn’t quite compete with other high-end models. See our recommendations for the best noise canceling headphones, the best headphones, and the best wireless Bluetooth headphones.

Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless are better headphones than the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless. They have a better audio reproduction and will sound more accurate and neutral. They also have a more retro look that is unique. The Momentum 3 also have a decent microphone for calls. On the other hand, the PX7 feel sturdier, have a better battery life, and support aptX Adaptive. However, you don’t have access to a parametric EQ inside their app like you do with the Momentum 3.

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless are better than the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless. They're more comfortable, and have a better noise cancelling feature which is great for commuting and at the office. Their audio quality is also better and you can EQ them inside their companion app. On the other hand, the PX7 have a longer battery life and feel a bit sturdier than the XM3.

Bose 700 Headphones Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose 700 Headphones Wireless are noticeably better headphones than the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless. They're more comfortable, have a more neutral and accurate sound signature, and a better isolation performance thanks to their great ANC feature. The Bose also have a great microphone for calls. On the other hand, the PX7 have a sturdier feel and a longer battery life. They can also be used while charging thanks to their USB-C cable, but need power to function, meaning you can’t use them wired with an analog audio cable if their battery is dead, which you can do with the Bose 700.

Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless and the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless are two very similar headphones, but the PX Wireless have a small edge if you like their fit. Their sound quality is better, their ANC performance is noticeably stronger, blocking more ambient noise. On the other hand, the newer PX7 have a better battery life with over 10 extra hours of continuous playback and their padding is plushier.

6.9 Mixed Usage

Passable for mixed usage. These high-end headphones have a decent ANC feature that'll be useful for commuting or at the office, but that’s about it. Their sound profile won’t suit more critical listeners who are looking for a neutral sound and they also won’t be suited for sports due to their design. Watching TV and gaming with the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 might be a hassle due to their latency, although they're compatible with lower-latency codecs.

6.1 Neutral Listening

Okay for critical listening. As much as the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are comfortable to wear, critical listeners might be disappointed by their bass-heavy and warm sound profile. They lack quite a bit of detail and brightness in the treble range, which is unfortunate.

7.5 Commute/Travel

Decent for commuting. Their ANC feature is quite good and blocks out a good amount of ambient noise. They're comfortable to wear during long rides and their battery life will easily last you for entire long flights. However, they won’t be the easiest to carry around.

7.0 Sports/Fitness

Passable for sports. Even if they're decently stable on the head thanks to their design, they aren’t designed for this use. These headphones are high-end and you shouldn’t sweat on these. They're also closed-back over-ears, meaning you'll sweat more than usual when working out.

7.3 Office

Decent for the office. The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 have a comfortable fit that you can wear for hours. They also block ambient chatter and the noise from an A/C system well, allowing you to focus on your daily tasks. They also have a very long battery life and you won’t have to charge them daily, which is great.

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