Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Carbon Edition Headphone Review: They Are Also Fun
- 1 Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Carbon Edition Headphone Review: They Are Also Fun
- 2 Cases and accessories
- 3 Battery life and charging
- 4 Design and comfort
- 5 Control
- 6 Transparency mode
- 7 noise cancellation
- 8 Application Features
- 9 Audio connection and codecs
- 10 Wireless pairing
- 11 Call quality
- 12 sound quality
- 13 Take us
“Superb sound quality, extremely comfortable fit.”
Great sound quality
Solid battery life and quick-charge
Usable while charging
USB and wired connectivity
Disappointing call quality
No EQ in app
Quarantine has certainly increased the number of times I’ve been using headphones day-to-day – listening to music while working from gaming to zoom meetings – and when I’ve got a lot of headphones to use, I’ve Wilkins PX7 Carbon has found itself grabbing Bowers worth $ 400 each time for the past two months. I love my Sony WH1000 XM4s, which are top-notch headphones, but there are some compelling reasons that I keep grabbing for the PX7 Carbon Edition.
Cases and accessories
While the PX7s are not the most breakable headphone, they do manage to pack in a clean case, which is both manageable in size, but also quite stiff, adding extra security. There are some important accessories inside the case: one is a standard 3.5mm cable to plug directly into a headphone jack, and the other is a USB-to-USB-C cable, which can be used for charging or listening, or both. At the same time – some wireless headphones simply won’t do.
Battery life and charging
Bowers and Wilkins claim that the PX7 Carbon will serve to cancel out noise with approximately 30 hours of playtime. I’ve found that by having ANC High As opposed to mode Auto, I actually got a little less than that. But the bonus is that you can get a discount of about five hours with a 15-minute charge, which is fantastic.
Design and comfort
Bowers and Wilkins did not call it the “carbon version”, because it sounds good; This is due to the materials they use to make this version of the PX7 Carbon. The headphones are made of woven carbon fiber composites which are extremely light as well as stiff. They are incredibly malleable – I never worry about twisting them or getting them out of shape or breaking them. But more important than strength (for me) is lightness. These are extremely comfortable headphones that will not make you down.
Other materials are used to add comfort. On the ear cuffs, you have traditional leather material that covers a cushion layer of memory foam. The same layer of comfortable memory foam is also under the headband, and the outer ear cuffs and the top of the headband are made of pleasantly woven fabric.
The exterior of the ear cups has a small design feature for the carbon version: laser-cut accents on the outer earpiece, with Bowers and Wilkins monikers.
There is a series of controls including the power button on the back of the right ear cup. The power button is great because it is a sliding button that acts as a rocker switch, making it very easy to use (as opposed to press and hold and hope you have long Have held up to).
Between the power and volume buttons is a multifunction button that you can use to control play, pause, advance, skip, answer phone calls, etc. This is a “jack of all trades, master of none” situation that makes a habit of doing something.
On the back of the left headphones, there is a single button for active noise cancellation, which includes a cycle between off, auto, low and high with a quick click. A long press of the button puts you into Transparency mode, which is great on the PX7 Carbons. In fact, I’d say it’s the closest to Air Pods Max (reigning Transparency Mode) as I’ve heard so far.
Noise cancellation on the PX7S is good, but not as good as the AirPods Max, Sony WH-1000XM4, or the Bose Noise Cancellation 700. While it may not reach those heights, Bowers and Wilkins did well here, and around their ears and music pumping through headphones with tight seals, you will most likely not be distracted by your environment.
Bowers & Wilkins PX7 also has an app that allows you to adjust levels of transparency mode and manage your noise-canceling options. However, this does not allow you to adjust the EQ curve. In other words, the PX7 will sound like it was designed by Bowers and Wilkins.
Audio connection and codecs
The PX7s are carbon wireless and use the aptX HD audio codec with Android devices (sorry Apple users), so you’ll get good sound quality with a wireless connection. It also comes with a standard 3.5mm wired audio connection, as well as a USB-to-USB cable for both listening and charging. With a headphone cable, one can use their own digital-to-analog converter (DAC) such as the Dragonfly Cobalt USB DAC for those who are using it. With a USB connection, the PSX7 Carbon uses the same internal DAC as that used with the wireless connection.
The PX7 Carbon can connect more than one device at a time, allowing you to easily switch between your laptop and your phone. It seems to be a feature that all wireless headphones should have, but many are not, so it is a definite plus.
Call quality on PX7s… ok. They are certainly not as good as Sony, Apple or Bose, so I would not recommend them as the best option for any of those upcoming Zoom calls. Although they did a reasonable job of preventing outside noise during our on-the-street test, my voice was a digitized and distant voice – and it wasn’t just wearing masks.
I like the sound of these headphones – that’s why I keep holding them instead of my Sony or Bose. It’s just fun to listen to them. They have a much more natural sound than the Sony XM4 – less “grunt” in bass than the Sony XM4, but there’s still very little there. When you listen to those bass-heavy tracks, you’re going to get it. It is very deep, and it is very porous, but not heavy.
The flesh of the midrange is extremely clear. crystal clear. It is very present, but not very much in the mixture. The vocals come out naturally – no pinch to the sound or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, no chest.
Then there is the treble area, which I think is sometimes on the offensive side. I would not normally go for something that is very “burning” in the treble, but I must admit that it was not resentment. This is a little more than I used to – although in a weird twist, this is something I’m starting to enjoy. The flickering of a trumpet or the chirping of a cymbal is a brilliant, bright shimmer for everyone that almost goes over the edge, but reigns correctly in the final seconds. And I think that’s where there is a lot of excitement for me. Curiously, the published graphs of the frequency response curve of the PX7 carbon do not support my subjective observation here, but I do listen to what I hear!
Overall, the frequency response on the PX7 carbon for me comes like a roller coaster. It starts high in the bass, tilts slightly down in mid-bass, returns to midrange, dips a little before the high end, and then goes up all over the treble area. This is a really fun ride.
The collision between the Sony XM4 and the Apple Air Pods Max. Provide a great sound experience, even if they are not as mind-blowing as noise-canceling and quality departments call. The PX7 Carbon Edition is a fun toy compared to a tool, but I don’t mind that I’m having a blast.
Is there a better option?
For productivity and travel, the Sony WH-100XM4, Bose Noise Cancellation 700, and Apple AirPods Max offer better noise cancellation and call quality, but come with different sound profiles. The Bowers and Wilkins PX7 Carbon versions are best suited for those who give priority over sound quality and comfort.
How long will it last?
Given the use of high-quality, sturdy materials, the PX7 Carbon version will last as long as their batteries are out, which should be for several years.
Bowers and Wilkins offer an average warranty of two years, provided the headphones are purchased from an authorized retailer. More information can be found on the Bowers and Wilkins Warranty Information page.
Should you buy it
Yes. Those who reward sound quality and comfort above all other considerations will prefer these wireless headphones.