We continue to get acquainted with the updated line of Bowers & Wilkins headphones, the PX5 review has already been released, the PI3 / PI4 are next in line. I must say right away that I expected a lot from Bowers & Wilkins PX7 and waited for everything: it may not be worth changing PX, but if you are looking for new big headphones for the New Year, then here it is, your decision. I’ll tell you everything in order, flew!
Headphones are available in two versions: dark gray, as in the review, and just gray. I like the dark option, but most colleagues in the office were somehow unenthusiastic about the company’s experiments. Like, they look too simple, there is no some kind of chip, too something of that sort. I think it’s just the gentlemen themselves do not know what they need.
I think the headphones are great. Minimalistic, comfortable, the fabric lining of the cups looks unusual, the carbon headband with a unique pattern resembles a weapon detail. No sensors – just buttons, no micro-USB. Everything is fresh, relevant, well-tailored and assembled.
Unlike the compact PX5, there are no questions about fit: the cups are large, they can easily hide any ears, you can buy without trying them on. The ear cushions are moderately soft – neither soft nor hard, something in between. They are pressed quite tightly, you can listen at a high volume level and not particularly injure others. However, here and at an average volume level, everything is perfectly audible.
In terms of comfort, this is one of the most successful models – if you fly long distances, then I recommend the Bose QC 35, Bose NCH 700, Sony’s thousandth series (buy the third version), and Bowers & Wilkins PX7. You can sit for hours: the headphones do not press, do not press, do not hurt you.
Huge channel designations inside the cups – top. A separate button for switching noise reduction modes is also a plus. There is a regular 3.5mm audio cable jack and healthy physical buttons, a separate power button that is easy to use: click up – the headphones turn on and connect to your phone / tablet, click down – the headphones turn off. This is a huge plus! I do not like headphones, where the on and off is not obvious.
For three weeks of use, nothing happened to the fabric, although I carried headphones with clothes, in bags, backpacks and in other ways. Traditionally for the PX series, they left the sensors in the cups, you can move one ear – playback pauses, put it back – the music plays again or the movie continues. Conveniently. Sensors can be turned off in the application and sensitivity levels can be set there.
The complete case is hard, there is a pocket for accessories: an audio cable and a USB Type-C cable. I charge the headphones with the same power supply as the MacBook, everything is fine. Alas, the case takes up a lot of space, so I do not take it on trips.
One last thought about the design: after all, I like this kind of minimalism more than the luxury of Master & Dynamic. All buttons and connectors are in place, the fabric is good to cling to with your fingers. The material always looks clean when you take the earphones off, plus the carbon pattern goes well with Pitaka iPhone 11 Pro Max cases and a bunch of other items in our lives. The oversimplification of Bose is aimed at functionality and convenience (which is fine). Bowers & Wilkins give the same thing, plus a little bit of emotion and even aggression.
And this is what the headphones look like in light gray:
Tried the iOS version. You need to put it in order to be able to update the software of the headphones, turn off the sensors in the cups if you are tired, well, and here the transparency mode is turned on. The transparency mode level is adjustable. You can turn it on without an app by pressing and holding the button on the left cup. The transparency mode is good: without removing the headphones, you can perfectly hear your colleagues in the next room and communicate with them. The voice is heard.
The application displays the charge level, the color of the headphones matches your model – PX5 and small PI3 / PI4 will live in the same program, their reviews will be released soon.
I tried the headphones on the plane, and immediately the flight was hellish: at night we flew to Amsterdam, where we had an hour and a half transfer to Portugal. Back is even more fun: in the morning from Portugal to Amsterdam, a few hours transfer to Moscow. Here it was possible to check both the noise reduction and the operating time – it was stated about thirty hours.
I’ll start with noise reduction. I will not stop saying that the Bose NCH 700 has the best noise reduction. You immediately find yourself in silence. But a lot of people don’t like some kind of excessive pressure: I personally don’t notice it – opacity and God knows what else. In general, this is a good lesson for those who consider their opinion and their choice to be exceptional: if Bose suited everyone, you would not see such a variety on the plane. And thousandth Sony, and Senhi, and Bowers & Wilkins PX, and AirPods, both regular and Pro.
Bowers & Wilkins PX7 does not have such devastating noise reduction: you are not separated from the world by a protective wall, you perceive what is happening around you better. But the loud noise is also masked. It was nice to fly. There are no questions about convenience, no discomfort. By the time of work, too – judging by the behavior of the headphones, you can safely fly even to Australia and not think about charging.
The minus is the same as with other headphones. You can’t stick your head against the wall, the cups interfere. I advise you not to forget the pillow for the plane at home – it is more comfortable to sleep with it. Well, do not forget to put some program with a variety of sounds of nature, this is just salvation. When we flew at night from Moscow to Amsterdam, I set the sound of rain and slept without hind legs, excellent. You can use the Relax Meditation program, if you know something better – write to [email protected] .
It’s nice when the headphones have USB Type-C: I charged the iPad Pro in flight, immediately connected the cable to the headphones for a short while. I also really enjoyed watching movies with Bowers & Wilkins PX7 – the sound is top-notch. Dialogues, all sorts of effects, shots, explosions – everything is just fine. Undertook to revise the “Pacific Ocean” and did not lose, very good. I also watched The Mandalorian, the atmosphere is perfectly conveyed. Of course, when there are huge drivers, and even well configured, what else to expect.
The last remark about the flight: I said that there were no problems with convenience. But the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is a bit like the Bose NCH 700, they don’t fit as snugly – but there is more room for the ears. You can buy without trying on, but if you really fly often, then it’s better to try both models.
In general, I’m very satisfied. Bowers & Wilkins took into account the shortcomings of the previous model and made a serious English killer for any other model with noise reduction. And there are also top-end sensors: you move the cup back – the movie is paused, you calmly talked with the stewardess, got your tomato juice – continued watching. Topovo! And it’s also top that the buttons are mechanical: you won’t accidentally press it, no matter how you press the cup against the wall, the back of the seat or the shoulder of a charming neighbor.
I have been actively using three headphones lately: these are Master & Dynamic MW65, Bowers & Wilkins PX7 and Bose NCH 700. The first ones have excellent sound quality – light, airy, detailed, just a song for jazz. The Bose NCH 700 has its own tincture, it can be called bright, energetic – here you either like the sound immediately and forever, and you fall head over heels in love with Bose, or you remain indifferent.
Bowers & Wilkins PX7 has a lot of meat, bass, darkness and music. The 43mm drivers are slightly angled to ensure that the sound hits the ear precisely. And these drivers are made specifically for the PX7, according to the official website: “Created and tuned by the same engineering team behind the 800 Diamond Series speakers used at Abbey Road Studios.”
A few years ago I was at the Bowers & Wilkins factory in Brighton and I can say that these words are worth believing: the teams there communicate very closely with each other, the pros work there, really confused about the sound quality. This is probably why the PX7 has some kind of incomprehensible difference from other models – as if it is a custom thing made especially for you, and not a mass product.
Where does such an emotion come from? It rarely happens when you like to listen to music in all services – from Apple Music to Tidal (I strongly advise you to connect, there are no special problems), – and play with CoD: Mobile, and watch movies – “Amediateka” or Netflix, the full version of Watchmen with a comic book about an infernal ship, downloaded a hundred years ago and living in AVPlayer on the iPad. Everywhere magic drivers pull out the maximum, everywhere meat, voice, bass – it seems that the cups are jumping on the ears. I had so many emotions after getting acquainted with the wired P9 Signature – and this is another confirmation of the theory that the flagship models of the past are reflected in the models of the middle price segment in two or three years.
If you buy a PX7, I swear: don’t forget about Vox and FLAC, Tidal (turn on Hi-Fi), well, among the first tracks, listen to Pumarosa – Into the Woods. The equalizer must be turned off.
Retailing at Rs. And, perhaps, these are the most intelligent models that exist: the difference in sound is huge, there are no best and worst, each person will suit his own. I think I’ll stick with the PX7 for the next few months. They don’t sit as softly as the Bose, but give me a lot of meat in the sound. I also like the design – I’m generally for minimalism, but here it’s as simple as possible. But with the best taste.
If the first PX were controversial headphones, interesting, but with a number of reservations, then the PX7 are comfortable in flight, last long, turn on quickly and accurately. Here is a useful application, the noise reduction works, albeit not as violently as Bose, but together with music or movies, it creates an excellent veil against children’s crying or the noise of turbines.
How to improve PX? I suppose that Bowers & Wilkins will not touch the line for the next couple of years: while everything looks as clear as possible, maybe there are just not enough completely wireless headphones. It is possible that premium wireless PX9s with some kind of mega drivers will appear, but they will cost twice as much as PX7. Why not? Both in Russia and in the world, the brand is very fond of, the consumer of expensive audio has not disappeared anywhere, but it’s easier for a conditional businessman to deal with Hi-Fi equipment on an airplane, and not at home. Just for Bowers & Wilkins home appliances, there may not be enough time in the bustle of work and personal affairs.
The verdict is this: great headphones for frequent flyers. For fans of Bowers & Wilkins a real gift, buy without looking, you will surely be satisfied. Together with the iPhone 11 Pro Max and MacBook Pro 16, this is the best gadget of the year for me.
Thank you Bowers & Wilkins for the opportunity to get to know the headphones, there will be a lot of interesting things next year.