The new PX headphones also reflect the brand's approach to acoustic performance, with every element of the headphones' design focused on optimizing sound quality. Among the PX's many updates and advancements, Bowers & Wilkins built on the acoustic quality of its P9 Signature headphones, featuring drive units with the same angled design previously released on the P9, and a smart suspension system to to improve high frequencies, while maintaining the compliance needed for deep and dynamic bass. Measuring 40mm for each full range driver, according to the brand, the placement of the transducers results in a more natural listening experience and vastly improved stereo performance.
Unique to the PX design is the re-imagined user interface, which Bowers & Wilkins calls its "first smart headphone." The headphones feature sensors that allow listeners to control music in a intuitive way, responding intelligently to natural user behavior - pick them up and the headphones will switch on immediately and automatically resume playing your music; put them down and they return to stand-by mode. Lift an ear cup to talk, or hang them around your neck, and PX will pause the music, resuming playback when the user is again ready to listen.
To provide an optimum listening experience in different environments, the B&W PX has three adaptive noise cancelling modes, which users can select and customize with the free app. The City mode allows through traffic noise, the Office removes typical background noise and has a mode to allow through voices, and Flight cancels ambient engine noise as well as other distractions. The app also enables firmware updates for further innovations.
The adaptive noise cancelling functions have been refined to provide optimum background noise isolation without distorting the music. The headphones also use the latest aptX HD Bluetooth technology for 24-bit audio resolution to get the best possible sound from all sources and music file types, and all audio is processed internally upsampled to 768kHz. Wireless specifications detail the use of Bluetooth 4.1 with support for standard SBC and AAC codecs, apart from aptX HD. The PX provides 22 hours of playback in wireless noise cancellation mode, or 33 hours in wired noise cancellation mode, and charges via an USB-C connector. The USB-C also allows firmware updates and audio input on wired mode (there is a 3.5mm stereo jack as well).
"At Bowers & Wilkins we've always believed that the job of acoustic technology is to get out of the way, allowing music to take centre stage. PX takes this principle to the next level. We've created not just the best sounding noise cancelling headphones you've ever heard, but headphones that are so intelligently designed, and so responsive, that you might forget you're wearing them at all," says Alexander Van Der Heijden, Bowers & Wilkins GM Headphones.
The design of PX also upholds Bowers & Wilkins' tradition of using only high-quality materials, while offering a distinctive contemporary look. The headphones feature ergonomically designed elliptical ear cushions for superior comfort and the best possible acoustic seal, and come with a soft leather headband and a robust ballistic nylon ear cup exterior. They are available in either Space Grey or Soft Gold etched-aluminum finish.