Review: Bowers & Wilkins PX 7 wireless over-ear headphones

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Erin Lawrence

Bowers and Woilkins headphones with box. There’s plenty of times you want to be discreet when wearing headphones; maybe you’re working and trying to be subtle about your listening, or maybe you just don’t want to advertise your distraction. At the same time there’s plenty of times when you also really want to block the world out so you can focus on work or relaxation. It’s those times that the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 headphones are going to be the ones you go for. I recently received a review sample of these headphones to test out and try it in my own home. This is my first experience with the Bowers and Wilkins brand. In this review I’ll tell you what to expect from these headphones and the special features they have, what the sound quality is like, about the battery life and whether or not I can recommend them for you.

Bowers & Wilkins PX 7 headphones review

Specs & Audio

These headphones are over-ear headphones and the option I got is a special Carbon Edition, which seems to mean the ear cup band is made of a mottled greyish black material. Reading further, this is woven carbon fiber composite which Bowers & Wilkins says is meant to “mimic the strength and agility of the fastest vehicles in the world, channeling pure sound to you and holding up against everyday wear and tear.” The headphones fold flat for travel. [fl_builder_insert_layout id=21770] Inside the earcups, 43.6mm drivers in the PX7 are the largest in the Bowers & Wilkins headphone collection and the company says they’re “developed and tuned by the same engineers behind the Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers found in Abbey Road Studios”.

Fit & Comfort

The earcups have a both fabric, leathery-type fabric and plastic construction, along with a padded head band. For their size, they are extremely lightweight. The headband is adjustable if a bit on the stiff side, but that does help keep it in place. When it comes to the passive noise isolation from the ear cups, they are able to block out quite a bit of noise while still being comfortable. We’ll get to the noise cancellation shortly…

What’s in the box?

This is actually a nice package: In the box you get the headphones, a lovely heather grey hard shell travel case, +2 connectors: an aux jack as well as a USB cable if you choose to use them wired to your computer .

Key features: Noise cancellation and Pass-Through

These headphones have both noise cancellation, which blocks out almost all sound using digital signals designed to listen for and cancel out exterior noise, and what’s called Pass-Through which allows you to control some audio coming into the headphones. The Noise cancellation has four levels; high, low, Auto and off. For me the truest test of headphones like these is to use them without any audio playing; it truly lets you evaluate how good the noise cancellation is, since it’s not surprising that with music playing it helps block out external sounds. I must say I was disappointed in the noise cancellation of. The Bowers & Wilkins PX7; on low and Auto modes I was clearly able to hear my husband two rooms away making breakfast; cracking eggs and beating them, clinking glasses and dishware. Even the tapping of my keyboard was obvious, as was snapping of my fingers. With noise cancellation on High, it was actually a lot better and outside sound was more muted. For me, if I’m after noise cancelling, the High setting was the only way to go. I’ve had the opportunity to test a lot of noise cancelling so I know its possible to have a perfect cone of silence (my top noise cancelling pick right now is Apple AirPods Max) and I’d say these cancel out 60-70% of outside noise, while the AirPods Max get to about 90-95%. Even the so-called Auto mode or adaptive option didn’t appear to make any kind of adjustments based on external noise getting louder or quieter. Adaptive noise canceling that automatically responds to your environment, keeping the outside world out of the music. Pass-Through is enabled by pushing and holding the noise cancellation button for 2 seconds; this feature worked a lot better. I was easily able to hear around me as the headphones piped in ambient sound that would otherwise not get through the thick padding. That external audio does come with a bit of an ambient hiss, but this is not uncommon in pass-through.

Sound quality

bowers wilkins PX7 headphones on a watercolour cloth.The sound quality on these headphones is dynamite. The bass is outstanding and while it’s vibrant, it’s not overpowering. The balance is great and there’s no tendencies to either the low or high end. I listened to a lot of different music on these and everything from vintage Dave Matthews band to current pop jazz and hip hop sounded great. When it came to phone calls, these headphones are easily able to handle calls and let you focus on your conversations.

Battery life & charging

Bowers & Wilkins says these headphones will give you about 30 hours of battery. That’s a fantastically long time in the headphone world. How quick you use your battery depends on which features you use and how often. If you’re always using noise cancelling on high, you will probably experience a shorter battery life and someone who doesn’t use noise cancelling at all. When I tested the charging they were recharged to 54% in just 30 minutes, and 95 percent in 1 hour, which is great in my opinion. A 15-minute quick charge gets you five more hours. I’ll say these headphones die pretty quickly. I went from having 6% battery as shown in the app, to the headphones turning themselves off in less than 5 minutes. There’s a standby power saving option. When removed from your your head, PX7 will automatically enter standby which will pause playback, disconnect Bluetooth and switch to a low power state. When you put them on again, PX7 will wake and reconnect to the last connected Bluetooth source. With the app, you can customize how long the headphones will wait before switching to standby, and you can also turn this feature off if you prefer.

Bowers & Wilkins app

The Bowers & Wilkins app has some additional features and options. You can view exact battery levels, adjust settings, turn Noise cancelling on, off or adjust it, plus enable Pass-Through. The app is nicely styled and laid out too and also includes what’s called soundscapes, where you can choose from a handful of ambient audio like nature sounds.

Wear sensing works great

The PX7 also has wear sensing which is quite responsive and smart. When I’d lift an ear cup to hear what’s happening around me, the music automatically stops. Put it back on and the music resumes. This feature was a welcome addition to the headphones, and it worked very well.

Multiple connections

I love headphones that can be paired to more than one device at a time, since I’m always switching between my work phone and my personal phone. Helpfully, the PX7 can connect up to two devices at the same time (but you can only play audio or take calls from one device at a time, naturally). The PX7 will also remember up to 8 other devices so you can connect them to your phones, tablet, computer and TV.

Man working at a desk wearing Bowers and Wilkinds PX 7 over ear headdphones.

Overall review: Bowers & Wilkins PX7

Overall, I’m loving the Bowers & Wilkins PX7. They are comfortable and easy to wear, lightweight, and the wear sensing works amazingly well. I really appreciate the addition of the soundscapes feature inside the app since I love putting on ambient sound like that to help me focus while working. The battery life is outstandingly long and the quick charge feature is useful. When it comes to the downsides, the noise cancellation isn’t the best I’ve ever tried, and it is most effective (perhaps not surprisingly) only at its very highest level. That’s really the biggest downside. **A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links.  

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