On their own, you can certainly use and enjoy the Bowers & Wilkins and activate their noise canceling properties, but if you add this app …
… it opens up so many more features. First, you’ll need to open the app and connect it to the headphones by powering them on.
Once the app is connected, you’ll be walked through the different environment filters offered by the app. You can choose from Office, City, and Flight; under each option is a voice pass-through adjustment slider — this is where you can tell the app how much background noise you’d like to be able to hear while using the headphones in these environments. So, let’s say you’re on a flight — you aren’t necessarily going to want to hear anything. But in the office or city, you would need to be able to hear if someone is speaking to you or if a car is approaching. That’s handy, and this feature works very well.
You’ll notice that I have an over-the-air firmware update ready to install; in a couple of minutes, it was complete. On the same screen that shows firmware information, there is an option to turn the wear sensor on or off; leave it on for the convenience and battery life management. If you find that the PX headphones are pausing when the headphones are on your head, you can switch the sensitivity to more, but I find that it works perfectly on Normal.
Clicking the question mark in the upper right side gives you information on getting started with your PX headphones, how to turn them for your experience, ways to wear the headphones, and how they will improve over time due to the over-the-air updates.
So, how do they sound?
In a word; fantastic. Music played through the Bowers & Wilkins PX headphones is exceptional — not too bass-heavy (unless the song demands it), very clear, symphonic. I listened to an assortment of artists in various genres, and the PX handled all perfectly. There are no muddy mid-ranges, and vocals are pure. Rap, Alternative, Rock, and Classical — the PX handle them all with ease. There seems to be no loss in quality whether listening through the aux-in cable or over Bluetooth, and that’s saying a lot.
When ANC is turned off, these are easily some of the best sounding headphones I’ve ever used; when ANC is on, there is some sound degradation. So most of the time I don’t use the noise canceling feature because the well-fitting earcups cut out much of the outside noise, but I like that the option is there when I’m on a plane. I enjoy the way the speakers pause when I lift an earcup from my ear, and I appreciate that the music starts right back up where I was when the earcup is put back in place.
Whether you are using these in the office, at home, or while commuting, the Bowers & Wilkins PX Adaptive Noise Canceling Headphones are a fantastic choice; they make my inner audiophile very happy.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Comfortable; Light; Extremely well made; Excellent sound; An intelligent app that adds many extra features; Will pair with up to eight devices; Long battery life; No loss of sound quality when listening to the headphones via BT versus cable; Music shuts off when you lift an earcup or remove the headphones, and it starts back again in the same place when you put the headphones back on
What Needs Improvement: Since these are excellent headphones for travel, I would have liked to see them fold into themselves to become even smaller; They may feel tight on someone with a larger head; There is some sound degradation when you have ANC on, but that’s normal — leave ANC off unless you really need it