Move over Apple and Sony as a new headphones king in the making is here, but with an eye-watering price tag. The new Bowers & Wilkins Px8 headphones have shaken up the audio market, as they built on the success of the Px7 S2 model revealed over the summer.
Most of the looks have been retained from the Px7 S2 but there are some highlighting updates that make Px8 irresistible if you have got $700 to spare. Yes, these headphones cost more than a respectable smartphone. Just for comparison’s sake, the Apple AirPods Max cost $549 and the Sony WH-1000XM5 cost $400. Now, suddenly those price tags seem fair!
Designer: Bowers & Wilkins
According to the Worthing, West Sussex-based audio equipment maker, the new headphones have the “best sound quality” ever offered on a pair of cans. That claim is based on the fact that Px8 has 40mm carbon cone drivers angled inside the earcups to produce distortion-free sound in ultra-high resolution at all audible frequencies. For audio lovers, this means a wider and more accurate soundstage closer to what the music composer intended. According to them, it is even better than the five-star rated Px7 S2 which apparently sounds great.
Flagship headphones need a winning luxurious design, and the Px8 doesn’t disappoint. Weighing 320 grams, they are encased in a durable cast-aluminum arm design with the earcups getting the attractive aluminum logo plate matching the aesthetics. The embossed Bowers & Wilkins logo and the diamond-cut edge lend the headphones a unique character one would expect from the brand. Flagship aesthetics are further honed by the Nappa leather finish on the earcups, headband and memory foam cushions. There’s no doubt these headphones will be a treat to listen to and wear for long hours.
ANC on these is the same as that on the Px7 S2, since they are loaded with six microphones – two mics a piece to measure the driver output, react to ambient noise, and bring vocal clarity courtesy of the enhanced noise suppression. Battery life on the headphones is good at 30 hours (similar to the XM5) with fast charging giving seven hours of playback with just 15 minutes of charge.
Px8 support Bluetooth 5.2, and ACC codec compatibility, and have Qualcomm’s Adaptive aptX audio codec support for 24-bit high-resolution sound from streaming services like Tidal and Qobuz. The premium headphones are surely all set to take to top spot some in two different finishes – black leather and tan leather.