Bowers & Wilkins unveils flagship PX7 wireless headphones

An upgrade on the company's already-stellar PX cans.

After filling out its wireless Formation lineup, Bowers & Wilkins is turning its attention back to headphones. The British manufacturer -- best known for its decadent home speakers -- unveiled four options today including a successor to the PX, its much-loved and most premium wireless headphones, and two sets of neckbuds focused on noise cancelling and high-end sound respectively. None of them are cheap (no surprise there), but the company hopes that its signature quality, combined with a new brand motto called "emotion, amplified," can expand its marketshare and pull customers away from competitors such as Bose, Sennheiser and Sony.

But what exactly has changed? You won't find any touch controls on these headphones, or a voice assistant (yet) that can control your tunes and retrieve useful information. Instead, Bowers & Wilkins is pushing wireless audio standards. All four should be the first headphones to ship with Qualcomm's aptX Adaptive, a Bluetooth codec that optimizes audio quality and latency depending on the content being played and the RF environment surrounding your device. Bowers & Wilkins put a similar focus on its Formation line earlier this year, pushing multi-room streaming and imperceptible speaker synchronization over flashy voice controls.


Leading the headphone charge for Bowers & Wilkins is the PX7. These cans effectively replace the PX, though the company will sell the older model for a little while longer. They have a sleek over-ear design and deliver "absolute sound superiority," the company claims, through 43mm drivers.

I slipped on the wireless headphones and listened to a few tunes stored on an employee's demo phone, including "You Should See Me in a Crown" by Billie Eilish, "Death Row" by Chris Stapleton and "Ohio" by Neil Young. All of the tracks sounded amazing, unsurprisingly. The PX7s are considerably lighter than the PX thanks to an all-new design, which includes carbon fiber composite arms. The headphones should also last longer, too -- 25 hours, What Hi-Fi? reports, up from the PX's already-decent 22 hours.

The PX7 will set you back $399.99/£349.99/€399.99, which is identical to the current PX pricing in the US. (They're slightly more expensive than the PX in the UK, though -- blame Brexit and the nation's weak pound, I guess.)


The PX5, meanwhile, are on-ear wireless headphones designed for shorter listening sessions, such as morning commutes. They'll cost $299.99/€299.99/£269.99 and likely replace the P5 Wireless that came out in 2015. Like the PX7, the PX5 boasts "category redefining ANC (active noise control/cancellation)" with "no loss in audio quality," according to the company. And, like its more expensive cousin, the PX5 has the same lightweight construction that includes the carbon fiber composite arms.


The PI4 are in-ear, noise cancelling neckbuds with a 10-hour battery life, What Hi-Fi? reports. Bowers & Wilkins has experimented with in-ear headphones before (hello, C5 Series 2) but has never ventured into the sporty neckbud space (the company is typically more interested in home audio). We don't know if the PI4 are waterproof, splash-proof or sweat-proof just yet, but their look and general design scream workout session. If you're keen to own a pair, they'll cost $299.99/£269.99/€299.99 at launch.


Finally, we have the PI3, a pair of in-ear neckbuds that don't have noise cancellation but promise "first-in-class hybrid drive unit technology." They'll last eight hours on a single charge and cost $199.99/€199.99/£169.99, which is cheap by Bowers & Wilkins' standards.

All of the headphones will be compatible with a new Bowers & Wilkins app that lets you tweak the level of noise cancellation and other audiophile settings. We don't have a firm release date for any of the new products just yet, but a spokesperson said they'll be available in the coming weeks.

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