Bowers and Wilkins PX7 Carbon Version headhpone evaluate: Method too enjoyable

“Excellent sound high quality, extraordinarily snug match.”

Extraordinarily snug

Excellent sound high quality

Stable battery life and quick-charge

Usable whereas charging

USB and wired connectivity

Disappointing name high quality

No EQ in app

Quarantine has definitely elevated how usually I’m utilizing headphones everyday — from gaming to Zoom conferences to listening to music whereas working — and whereas I’ve acquired loads of headphones round to make use of, I’ve discovered myself grabbing the $400 Bowers and Wilkins PX7 Carbon each single time for the final couple months. I like my Sony WH1000 XM4s, that are top-notch headphones, however there are some compelling causes that I hold grabbing for the PX7 Carbon Version.

Case and equipment

Whereas the PX7s aren’t probably the most collapsible headphone, they do handle to pack up right into a tidy case, which is each manageable in dimension, but additionally pretty inflexible, including further safety. Contained in the case are a few necessary equipment: one is a typical three.5mm cable to plug straight right into a headphone jack, and the opposite is a USB-to-USB-C cable, which can be utilized for charging or listening or each on the identical time — one thing most wi-fi headphones simply received’t do.

Battery life and charging

Bowers and Wilkins claims the PX7 Carbon will function for about 30 hours of playtime with noise canceling on. I’ve discovered that by having the ANC on Excessive mode versus Auto, I truly acquired somewhat bit lower than that. However the bonus is that you would be able to get about 5 hours off of a 15-minute cost, which is unbelievable.

Design and luxury

Bowers and Wilkins didn’t name this the “Carbon Version” simply because it sounds cool; it’s due to the supplies they use to make this model of the PX7 Carbon. The headphones are comprised of woven carbon fiber composite that’s each extraordinarily gentle in addition to inflexible. They’re extremely malleable — I by no means fear about twisting them or yanking them off form or breaking them. However extra necessary (to me) than the power is the lightness. These are extraordinarily snug headphones that received’t weigh you down.

Including to the consolation are the opposite supplies used. On the ear cuffs, you have got the normal leatherette materials masking a comfortable layer of reminiscence foam. That very same layer of snug reminiscence foam can be beneath the headscarf, and the outer ear cuffs and high of the headscarf are comprised of nice woven cloth.

On the outside of the ear cups is somewhat design characteristic distinctive to the Carbon Version: The laser-cut accent on the outside earcup, accompanying the Bowers and Wilkins moniker.

Controls

On the bottom of the precise ear cup are a collection of controls, together with the ability button. The facility button is nice because it’s a sliding button that acts as a rocker change, making it very straightforward to make use of (versus having to press and maintain and hope you’ve held lengthy sufficient).

In between the ability and quantity buttons is a multifunction button you should utilize to manage play, pause, advance, skip, reply cellphone calls, and many others., relying on the way you press it. It’s a “jack of all trades, grasp of none” scenario that takes some getting used to.

Transparency Mode

On the bottom of the left headphone is a single button for Energetic Noise Cancellation, which cycles between Off, Auto, Low, and Excessive with a fast click on. An extended press of the button places you into Transparency Mode, which on the PX7 Carbons is superb. In truth, I’d say it’s the closest to the Air Pods Max (the reigning champs of Transparency Mode) as I’ve heard but.

Noise canceling

Noise cancellation on the PX7s is sweet, however inferior to the AirPods Max, Sony WH-1000XM4, or Bose Noise Canceling 700. Whereas it might not attain the heights of these, Bowers and Wilkins did effectively right here, and with the tight seal round your ear and music pumping by way of the headphones, you’re almost definitely not going to get distracted by your surroundings.

App options

The Bowers and Wilkins PX7s even have an app that means that you can modify the degrees of Transparency Mode and handle your noise cancellation choices. Nonetheless, it doesn’t assist you to modify the EQ curve in anyway. In different phrases, the sound of the PX7s will keep the way in which Bowers and Wilkins designed it to be.

Audio connections and codecs

The PX7 Carbon are wi-fi and use the aptX HD audio codec with Android units (sorry Apple customers), so that you’ll get good sound high quality with the wi-fi connection. It additionally comes with the usual three.5mm wired audio connection, in addition to a USB-to-USB-C cable for each listening and charging. With the headphone cable, one may use their very own digital to analog converter (DAC) just like the Dragonfly Cobalt USB DAC, which I take pleasure in utilizing. With the USB connection, the PSX7 Carbon use the identical inside DAC as is used with a wi-fi connection.

Wi-fi pairing

The PX7 Carbon can pair to a couple of machine at a time as effectively, permitting straightforward switching between, say, your laptop computer and your cellphone. It appears like that’s a characteristic all wi-fi headphones ought to have, however many simply don’t, so this a particular plus.

Name high quality

Name high quality on the PX7s is … OK. They’re definitely inferior to Sony, Apple, or Bose, so I wouldn’t suggest them as your best option for any of these upcoming Zoom calls. Whereas they did an affordable job of blocking out the outside noise throughout our on-the-street check, my voice sounded digitized and distant — and that wasn’t simply from carrying a masks.

Sound high quality

I like the way in which these headphones sound — which is why I hold grabbing them as an alternative of my Sony or Bose. They’re simply so enjoyable to take heed to. They’ve a way more pure sound than the Sony XM4s — there’s much less “grunt” within the bass than the Sony XM4, however there’s nonetheless loads of low finish there. Whenever you take heed to these bass-heavy tracks, you’re going to get all of it. It’s very deep, and it’s very punchy, however not overwhelming.

The meat of the midrange is extraordinarily clear. Crystal clear. It’s very current, however not overbearing within the combine. Vocals come out sounding pure — no pinch to the sound or, on the alternative aspect of the spectrum, no chestiness.

Then there’s the treble area, which I really feel is sometimes on the aggressive aspect. I usually wouldn’t go for one thing that’s fairly so “scorching” within the treble, however I do should admit that it wasn’t displeasing. It’s only a bit greater than I’m used to — though in a bizarre twist, it’s one thing that I’m beginning to take pleasure in. The brassiness of a trumpet or the sizzle of a cymbal all have an excellent, brilliant shimmer to it that nearly goes over the sting, however will get reigned in proper on the final second. And I feel that’s the place a number of the joy is coming for me. Curiously, revealed graphs of the PX7 Carbon’s frequency response curve don’t again up my subjective commentary right here, however I hear what I hear!

Total, the frequency response on the PX7 Carbon to me comes off form of like a curler coaster. It begins excessive within the bass, dips down a bit within the mid-bass, comes again up for the midrange, dips a bit earlier than the excessive finish, after which all the way in which up into the treble area. It’s a very enjoyable trip.

Our take

Priced between the Sony XM4 and the Apple Air Pods Max. ship an outstanding sonic expertise, even when they aren’t as mind-blowing within the noise-canceling and name high quality departments. The PX7 Carbon Version are extra of a enjoyable toy than a software, however I don’t thoughts that a bit — I’m having a blast listening to them.

Is there a greater various?

For productiveness and journey, the Sony WH-100xM4, Bose Noise Canceling 700, and Apple AirPods Max provide higher noise cancellation and name high quality, however include completely different sound profiles. The Bowers and Wilkins PX7 Carbon Editions are finest suited for individuals who prioritize sound high quality and luxury above all else.

How lengthy will it final?

Given using high-quality, strong supplies, the PX7 Carbon Version will final so long as their battery holds out, which needs to be for a number of years.

Guarantee

Bowers and Wilkins gives a better-than-average two-year guarantee, offered the headphones are bought from a licensed retailer. Extra data could be discovered on the Bowers and Wilkins guarantee information web page.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. Those that prize sound high quality and luxury above all different concerns will love these wi-fi headphones.

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