Given the “excessive” According to Merriam-Webster, which can mean “over or above” or “to beat (oneself) by seeking to do or gain too much,” it’s clear that context is everything. It’s not really debatable that its new Px8 wireless over-ear ANC headphones represent Bowers & Wilkins’ “overreach.”it’s really context This is a living question.
When Bowers & Wilkins launched the Px7 S2 wireless over-ear active noise cancelling headphones in the summer of 2022, the acclaim they received was almost universal. Of course, we found a lot to like and admire. So Bowers & Wilkins took the Px7 S2 concept and tried to push it upmarket, only out of great confidence or the company’s reckless behavior.
At first glance, these new Px8s could easily be replaced by their more affordable Px7 S2 siblings. However, a closer look reveals some notable differences. Then consider the asking price: the Px8 suddenly becomes a very different proposition.
Although the Px8 shares the same basic profile as the Px7 S2, the upgrades in materials make the headset look, feel and — don’t be timid — smell much more expensive. That’s probably the same, considering it’s actually much more expensive.
The Px8 is available in several different finishes: black leather or tan and grey leather. Soft, stretchy and fragrant, the company-specified Nappa leather fits perfectly inside and outside the memory foam earpads and headband.
The boom construction and headband adjustment are cast aluminum—rarely do the metallic elements of a pair of over-ear headphones look and feel so informal. The logo plate on each earcup has a diamond-cut edge, and the appearance of the Bowers & Wilkins logo itself changes with the lighting. At 320 grams, they are moderately heavy and comfortable to wear for hours at a time, even for those of us who want to wear glasses at the same time.
Sometimes this is the line between “sophisticated” and “sparkly”, but this is where Bowers & Wilkins walks confidently. Of course, in terms of looks and overall appeal, the Px8 goes a long way in making their asking price seem fair enough. Compare these headphones with Mark Levinson’s acclaimed No.5909 wireless headphones ($999/£999) and (at least in terms of showroom appeal) the Px8.
beautiful dream cone
Bowers & Wilkins’ decision to keep it on the Px8 is understandable, given that the active noise cancellation platform installed on the Px7 S2 is one of the best, and it doesn’t show “Bose” anywhere. Some users may crave more adjustability than the Px8 offers (you’re limited to ‘on’, ‘off’ or ‘pass-through’), but no one seems to be craving more noise cancellation than these headphones. Of course, when ANC is on, the aircraft’s drones, as well as the passenger’s drones, are all but eliminated.