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B&W PX: intelligent, wireless, noise-cancelling headphones

B&W PX headphones


We know what to expect from B&W headphones: beautiful packaging, classy design, excellent build quality and, most important, fantastic sound quality. B&W has produced some terrific wireless headphones before, including the ongoing P5 Wireless but the PX headphones offer something that B&W hasn't provided before plus features that no one has provided before.

The PX headphones represent B&W's entrance to the noise-cancelling market. And its quite a debut, with the PXs doing a very effective job at blocking out external noise. The noise-cancelling functionality has some neat customisation options, too - see below.

Sensors detect the proximity of the headphones to the listener's ear and inform some very clever, convenient functions. Playback is paused if an earcup is lifted away from the ear or the 'phones are removed. After two minutes of inactivity, they will go into standby mode to preserve battery power and disconnect from the Bluetooth device (if applicable). When placed back on the head, they will wake from standby and re-connect to the last-connected device. Clever stuff.

Not all devices offer Bluetooth so a mini-jack cable is provided for wired listening. Wireless use doesn't stop access to telephony features; the PXs have two, discreet microphones for phone calls.

Also supplied is a USB cable for charging, upgrades and playing music from a computer. Of course, being wireless, the 'phones can also play back music without the need for cables and, with aptX HD, high definition tracks can be played back over Bluetooth from computers, phones and tablets.

The final supplied accessory is a carrying pouch to accommodate the headpones once they're folded flat.

The soft, leather earpads are held in place magnetically for easy removal/replacement. Beneath them are 40mm drive units that are angled to fire music straight towards the ear. And what reaches the ear is clear, detailed, uncoloured sound.

To partner the headphones, B&W has produced an app for both iOS and Android. The app shows how much battery life the 'phones have and allows different modes (Office, City and Flight) to be selected to produce the most effective noise cancelling for the environment. The app also allows control of how much external voices (a captain's message on a flight, say) should be heard - a thoughtful touch. And the sensitivity of the automatic sensors can be adjusted, too.

The headphones themselves also include visual and audible aids regarding battery life (the audible warnings can be switched off) and controls for volume and playback.

Battery life is strong with a single battery charge offering 22 hours of playback (at average volume levels) with all features enabled. Longer periods are achieved if noise-cancelling and/or wireless functionality is not required. If neither is required, the PXs provide 50 hours of listening time.

The PXs are available in two different finishes: Space Grey and Soft Gold. We say "available" but there's a huge demand for these innovative, award-winning headphones. The advanced PXs excel in every area and, at £329.99 are proving extremely popular so head to Hi-Fi Stereo soon to get your hands on a pair. Or, more accurately, a pair on your head!.

Date of article:18/11/2017

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