The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 Wireless are the highest-end model of this manufacturer's over-ear lineup. Although they have a similar look to their lower-priced sibling, the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Wireless, a couple of design changes help the Px8 stand out as a premium product. They have an aluminum and Nappa leather frame with 40-mm Carbon Cone dynamic drivers, which the manufacturer advertises to lower distortion and improve clarity. Additionally, they're packed with features like noise cancelling (ANC), multi-device pairing, and aptX Adaptive support for streaming high-quality audio with low latency.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 are decent for neutral sound. Out of the box, these cans have a bassy sound that's well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop, thanks to their extra thump, punch, and boom. However, vocals and instruments are a bit muddied by this added bass and are slightly veiled by the recessed treble. They do have some sound customization features, but their app only offers bass and treble sliders, which may be limited for some. On the downside, their closed-back design means that their soundstage doesn't feel spacious or immersive.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 are very good for commute and travel. Although bulky, these over-ears have a comfortable, premium build quality and come with a carrying case to help protect them when you're on the go. They also have an ANC system, and although they aren't the best at blocking out rumbly bus and plane engines, they do a better job of reducing ambient chatter. They also last over 30 hours continuously, which will get you from point A to B with ease.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 are satisfactory for sports and fitness. They're over-ear headphones, and while they have a stable fit, they can still fall off your head with moderate head movements, which can be an issue if you're doing tough workouts. They also lack an IP rating for water resistance, which is to be expected from over-ears. On the upside, their wireless design means that you don't have to worry about something snagging and pulling them off of your head.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 are good for office use. These comfortable over-ears have over 30 hours of playback time to last through long days at your desk. Their ANC also helps block out background noise, chatty coworkers, and the hum of AC units. They even support multi-device pairing so you can stay connected to your PC and smartphone simultaneously.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 are Bluetooth headphones, and their latency on PCs is likely too high for gaming. That said, if you're a mobile gamer, their latency on iOS and Android devices is lower, which helps keep your audio and visuals in sync. They have a bass-heavy sound to help emphasize sound effects in gameplay, and their over 30-hour continuous playback time will last through long gaming marathons without an issue.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 are satisfactory for wired gaming. They come with a USB-C to USB-C and analog to USB-C cable, but neither connection offers mic support, so although you'll hear your gameplay, you can't chat with others. If you don't mind this limitation, their bassy sound can help bring out sound effects like footsteps in your games. That said, the headphones are prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble, so you'll need to take the time to adjust their fit to ensure a more consistent sound.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 are decent for phone calls. These headphones have an integrated mic, which offers a satisfactory all-around performance. Your voice is intelligible, though it lacks body. The mic can also separate speech from ambient noise well, but speech quality can take a hit. Very loud sounds can nearly overpower your voice too, which could be problematic if you need to take calls on the go. On the upside, the headphones have an ANC system that can block out a very good amount of noise around you so that you can focus on your call.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 come in two main color variations: 'Black' and 'Tan'. We tested the 'Black' variant and you can see our model's label here. There are also two special-edition models available: 'McLaren', which is made in collaboration with McLaren Automotives and have a dark grey design with orange accents, and '007', which is a James Bond-themed model that's midnight blue in color with '007' etched on the ear cup and the classic gun barrel motif on the material covering the drivers. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 are top-of-the-line wireless headphones made from luxurious, high-grade materials like aluminum arms and Nappa leather padding, which set them apart from their competitors. Like other premium headphones on the market, like the Focal Bathys Wireless, they support aptX Adaptive for high-quality audio streaming over Bluetooth and even have ANC. However, it doesn't block out quite as much sound as more affordable (in comparison) options like the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. However, their customization features are limited, with just a two-band EQ.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 Wireless are the more premium sibling of the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Wireless. Although both headphones have high-end build quality, the Px8 are made with different components like aluminum and Nappa leather in their frame as well as being equipped with a carbon diaphragm instead of a cellulose one used by the Px7 S2, which is advertised to help lower distortion. Both headphones perform similarly in this aspect, though. That said, the Px8 are more comfortable, have better noise cancelling, and their sound profile is a bit more neutral, although it's still bassy-heavy.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless and the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 Wireless have different strengths, so depending on your preferences, you may enjoy either one. The Sony have better noise cancelling, a more robust EQ in their companion app, and have a virtual soundstage feature. However, the Bowers & Wilkins are more comfortable and better built.
The Focal Bathys Wireless and the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 Wireless are both solid choices if you're looking for wireless audiophile headphones. While both headphones have similarly very good noise isolation performances, the Bowers & Wilkins are more comfortable and better built. Conversely, the Focal have more consistent audio delivery, and their companion app offers a more robust EQ.
Depending on your needs, you may prefer either the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless or the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 Wireless. The Sennheiser have a more neutral sound profile, although it's still bass-heavy, and a longer-lasting continuous battery life. Conversely, the Bowers & Wilkins are more comfortable and better-built. They also have a better noise isolation performance.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 are high-end headphones with a sleek and refined look. They have a similar shape to the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Wireless, with silver accents on the ear cups and the manufacturer's logo embossed on the centerpiece. They come in two main color variants: 'Black' and 'Tan'. They also come in two collaboration colorways: 'McLaren', which is black with orange accents, and '007', a midnight blue variant with a James Bond theme.
These headphones are quite comfortable. Their ear cup and headband padding is Nappa leather, which feels softer and more plush against the skin than the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Wireless. The ear cups themselves have a deep fit to accommodate most sizes of ears and have a snug fit. They don't clamp too tightly, although you may feel more pressure if you have a large head. You can wear these over-ears for long periods without feeling fatigued.
These headphones have good physical controls; you can see a video of them in use here. The controls have a nice click when pressed, and the right ear cup's control scheme is well-spaced out. The multi-function button also has a groove to help you tell it apart from other buttons. There are different chimes to help distinguish each environmental (ANC) control. However, they lack a chime to let you know when you've reached min or max volume.
On the left ear cup:
On the right ear cup:
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 aren't very portable, but that's normal for over-ear headphones. You can swivel their ear cups to lay flat, but they can't fold into a more compact shape. Luckily, they come with a carrying case to help protect the headphones when not in use.
The carrying case is great. It's basically the same as the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Wireless, but the felt inside is black instead of cream-colored, which is easier to keep clean. The case is sturdy and has a zipper to completely close the case. There's also a pocket to store the included cables, but its cover feels like nice cardboard.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 have excellent build quality. They have a high-end design with Nappa leather padding, aluminum hinges, and brushed metal detailing. Unlike the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Wireless, the ear cups have a leather finish instead of a cloth finish, which helps them look more premium. Overall, they feel sturdy and will survive accidental drops and falls without taking too much damage.
These headphones have a stable fit. They'll stay in place if you listen to music at your desk or on a walk. That said, if you like to bang your head to the music, they'll move around your head and can even fall off.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 have a bass-heavy sound that delivers extra thump, rumble, and boom to mixes. Vocals and instruments are a bit muddied in the mix, though, and are a bit veiled. You can also see a comparison of the sound profile with the ANC on and off here. There's less bass when the ANC is off, and the mids are slightly recessed. However, this difference is quite minor. On the upside, if you prefer a different sound, their companion app offers a two-band EQ to help you adjust their bass and treble.
The frequency response consistency of these over-ears is mediocre. They're prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery, and you may especially notice a drop in bass if you have thick hair or wear glasses. As a result, you'll need to take the time to ensure a good fit each time you use them to get a more consistent sound.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8's bass accuracy is decent. The response is overemphasized across the range. This results in extra thump, punch, and boom, making them a solid choice for songs like Starkid by The Weeknd, with a prominent bassline throughout the track. However, this added bass muddies the rest of the mix.
These over-ears have excellent mid accuracy. Overemphasis in the bass range extends into the mid-range, cluttering the mix a bit. That said, the mid-mid fairly flat, so vocals and instruments are still present in the mix, although a dip in the high-mid hurts their detail.
The treble accuracy is just decent. The response is mostly underemphasized, so vocals and instruments are veiled. That said, sibilants like cymbals are still bright.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8's peaks and dips performance is okay. The most significant deviations are mostly in the treble range. That said, a bump in the mid to high-bass adds a touch of extra punch and boom to mixes, while some driver mismatch in the high-mid weakens vocals and instruments in the right driver more than the left. However, that's reversed when a dip in the low-treble impacts the left driver and veils vocals and instruments. An uneven mid-treble makes sibilants like S and T sounds alternatingly dull and piercing.
Bowers & Wilkins generally produces products with well-matched drivers. However, imaging varies across units, and our unit's L/R drivers are very mismatched in phase response. A warping whistle sound came from the high-bass to mid-range of the headphones, which skewed the audio to the right. Male voices like that in Do I Wanna Know by the Arctic Monkeys also drifted between the center and left when the vocals should be more centered. The guitar on the right side also had some distortion present. The warping whistling sound was also present in the mid-range in piano songs.
The passive soundstage performance is poor. These are closed-back headphones, so they don't create an open or spacious soundstage. While it manages to feel wide, it doesn't seem natural, and sound is still perceived as if coming from inside your head rather than from speakers placed in the room around you.
While there aren't any virtual soundstage features in the companion app, you can access Dolby Atmos on Xbox for a more immersive audio experience. However, you'll need to purchase a license to use it.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8's weighted harmonic distortion performance is very good. Even though there's a narrow peak in the mid-treble at normal listening volumes, it's hard to spot with real-life content. As such, your audio sounds clean, pure, and normal at high volumes.
These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.
The noise isolation performance is very good. They're equipped with an ANC system but aren't the best choice if you're looking to cut down traffic noise, especially compared with competitors like the Bose QuietComfort 45/QC45 Wireless. On the upside, they can reduce sounds like ambient chatter and the high-pitched hum of AC units well. When using the passthrough mode, which allows you to hear conversations without taking off the cans, voices sound thin. While you'll still hear the person clearly, the passthrough mode feels unnatural.
We noticed during testing that there wasn't much difference in ANC on and off at 50 and 160Hz. When we isolated 40, 50, 160, and 200Hz with a tone to see if the headphones performed similarly with a constant sound, we noticed that more sound was blocked out by ANC using this method (almost up to 10 dB in some places) compared to our normal methodology using a sine sweep. On a busy boulevard, the ANC reduces some noise from bus and car engines, but these sounds are still audible. The ANC can also block out voices and high-pitched noise like AC units well, although rumbling sounds aren't blocked out as well. We also did subjective listening to check our results. We're investigating this and will update our review once we have the results.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8's leakage performance is good. Leakage is spread throughout the frequency spectrum but is slightly more noticeable in the high-mid to low-treble range. That said, if you're listening to audio at high volumes in a moderately noisy environment, it isn't noticeable to those around you.
The integrated mic has a satisfactory recording quality. Your voice sound natural and clear, although a bit thin. However, you won't have trouble being understood.
The mic's noise handling performance is also okay. The mic can separate speech from moderate ambient noise well, but there's a small dip in voice quality. When it comes to loud and inconstant noise, speech can briefly be lost, but the noise doesn't completely overpower your voice.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8's battery performance is excellent. The manufacturer advertises them to last 30 hours, and we measured over that, though keep in mind that battery life varies depending on use. Luckily, if you want to stretch out their playback time, they have a standby mode that helps conserve battery life if you forget to turn them off. They also have a quick charge feature that advertises 15 minutes of charge time to supply up to seven hours of playback. That said, if you want to use them wired with their analog to USB-C cable, the headphones must be on, so you can't use them passively.
The Bowers & Wilkins Music app is decent, and you can see a video of how it works here. Although it isn't as robust or feature-loaded as other apps like Sony | Headphones Connect, it offers customization options like ANC controls, bass and treble sliders, and button mapping. You can also check the headphones' battery life, adjust the multi-device connection or app stream quality, and toggle on and off settings like auto standby and wear sensor.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 have great Bluetooth connectivity. They support multi-device pairing so you can stay connected to your smartphone and PC simultaneously. The app also stores previous connections so you can switch between them. However, the main device will always take priority if you're playing audio from it, and you'll need to pause the audio on one device to play it on the second. Otherwise, the audio will switch back to the first device. If you're using the analog to USB-C cable, you can still use multi-device pairing, too.
These headphones support multiple codecs, which is handy if you like to stream audio in high quality or with lower latency. These headphones have high latency via SBC, aptX, or aptX HD, so if you're looking to keep latency lower via PC, you'll want to use aptX Adaptive, which has lower latency and falls within good levels. Latency via iOS and Android is also significantly lower, ensuring that audio and visuals stay in sync while streaming video.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 come with a 1/8" TRS to USB-C cable that's 1.20 m long and a USB-C to USB-C cable that's 1.19 m long. Their latency falls within good levels using the double USB cable, so your audio and visuals stay in sync. While connected via analog to USB-C, you can also use the ANC controls. However, using wired USB mode will turn off Bluetooth.
These headphones can connect to PCs via Bluetooth with full audio and mic compatibility. If you connect them via analog or wired USB, you can only receive audio and can't use their mic.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 only support audio via analog on PS4 and PS5 or USB on PS5. You can't use their mic with any of these connections, though. While 3D audio works, you will have no audio controls from the headphones themselves, and you'll need to adjust them via the console volume settings.
You can connect the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 to your Xbox console by plugging their analog cable into your controller's AUX port. However, you'll only receive audio and can't use their mic. If you're looking for a more immersive audio experience, you can use Dolby Atmos, but it requires a license. In addition, you won't have any audio controls, so you'll need to manually adjust them using the console's volume settings.