Bowers & Wilkins PX. Belated Neo Review
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Warning! If you are a supporter of the products of one California fruit company and are not going to change the usual way of things, then it's time to close the tab and save your time. Otherwise, the author is not responsible for burning below the lower back, which may arise from the information below. No offense.
The fact is that the company of the richest open gay in the world does not change its principles. The main one is to close any food chain on yourself. From warranty service and post-warranty repair to proprietary formats and codecs. While democracy and progress in the face of aptX HD reign in the green robot camp, Apple remains true to itself. The Cupertinians offer their fans' armies, in recent years more and more resembling a zombie sect, all the same AAC codec as ten years ago. Thus, files with a bit rate of 256 Kb / s were and remain the reinforced concrete dream limit of an adherent of Apple. Alas, no FLAC was brought here. And your brand new iPhone XS Max will sound like a bluetooth in the same way as the beaten-up 4S guy over there in the singed Air Max and with seeds. And yes if you consider Apple Music the standard of music streaming service, then you can safely save yourself ~ $ 200 and limit yourself to some Philips Fidelio M2BT. You won’t hear the difference anyway.
What? Are you still here? Then most likely you perfectly understand why you needed Bowers & Wilkins PX level Bluetooth headphones. And I can not go into endless technical details, thereby saving our total time. We continue.
Brief (no) about design
Unfortunately, the modern electronics market is cruel and implacable to losers. So, from the variegated diversity that reigned here a few years ago, only a few schools remained. One of them is British. Having thoroughly mastered the principle “I am not so rich as to buy cheap things”, Her Majesty’s subjects are not used to saving on anything. Especially on comfort.
In the case of the PX model, the desire to make beautiful and reliable did not go against the ergonomics. An aluminum supporting structure with steel swivel joints is adjacent to leather, a memory foam and wear-resistant textured nylon.
The flagship has incorporated the key elements of previous generations. So, from P5, the swivel joints forged here. From P7 - a closed full-size acoustic circuit. From P9 - dynamic emitters. Generational continuity in person. Even if you remove the text logo from the outside of the cups, any sophisticated music lover will accurately determine the hand of the master. Only Vikings from Bang & Olufsen and Samurai from Audiotechnica can boast of the same.
The feeling of owning a quality item with a claim to cult comes at first glance at PX. Tactile delight complements the already rich first impression. It is worth noting that the PX are heavy headphones. But this burden is pleasant. They did not save on materials and safety margins here. No, these are not studio sissies P9. Not P7, whose leather trim you were afraid to scratch with your eyes and therefore did not let your girlfriend listen with cool manicure. Having embarked on PX, the British finally realized that mere premium materials did not make a good thing. The product must also be properly designed. Prepared for a sloppy throw in a backpack. To drag around the neck over a woolen scarf. Moreover, despite the impressive weight, the owner will not want to remove them from his head for several hours. And silky calf skin should not stick to the ears and head. They should not lose sight in a year. They should not play and creak.
Did Bowers & Wilkins create a masterpiece of modern industrial design? Yes! I simply do not want to pick up the Sony 1000XM3 or the top Audiotechnica after PX. Experience begins to inexorably whisper to you that this plastic part of the headband will creak after the first visit to the sandy beach. But these ear cushions from the skin of a young dermantine will stick to your head in half an hour. Here you involuntarily begin to understand that not all manufacturers are true to the principle of programmable breakdown / engineered flaw. Yes, with the design, quality, ergonomics and durability of the B&W PX, everything is as good as it can be applied to a modern gadget.
Contents of delivery
Should the equipment of modern headphones be rich? If so, then what should be included in it? The questions are complicated because there are simply no unambiguous assessment criteria. Bowers & Wilkins PX are equipped with a soft carrying case. Yes, yes, this is the very thing that you will never use. But it’s still nice that he is here. And two cables complete the picture: 3.5 mm and USB-C-to-USB-A.
Practice shows that you will use the second much more often. And you can safely put 3.5 mm into the same box with cables. And don't ask how I know about him. That's all. Well, didn’t you think that I would enthusiastically describe the quality of the printing paper of branded waste paper that you would never
get from a plastic blister , right?
Alas, there will be no duty joke about coffee in bed for such money. Like, in fact, coffee. There is no newfangled touch control on the cups. There is no intuitive equalizer in
the companion app. Fans of everything and immediately clearly out of the way with PX. Nevertheless, everything really important and necessary is not only present here. But also performed to perfection. Active noise cancellation is equipped with three main profiles that allow you to cut off extraneous sounds in the city, office or
airport lounge .
The speech transmission function is also in place. Moreover, the audibility of this very speech can also be enhanced. The thing is useful, but sometimes it distorts the sound very much.
The benefit of it, as well as the active noise reduction itself, can easily be turned off. Which I
recommend to all fans of really high-quality sound in the first
minute of use. Fortunately, passive sound insulation is enough
for almost everything. The closed design and magnificent branded leather ear cushions on
magnetic mounts brilliantly cope with their task.
There is also the possibility of updating the firmware through the aforementioned
companion application. And updates themselves arrive quite often, permanently
improving the already excellent sound. Of particular note is the ability to connect B&W PX to a PC via USB. In this mode, the headphones also play the role of a DAC, with 24/48 resolution. It turns out that they have very, very high quality. But only if you are not a poppy seed. Yes, you can’t count on a good result with Macs from 2016 and newer. Not only do fruit laptops traditionally not be able to use aptX, they also haven’t been given normal USB audio. Therefore, if you do not want to listen to the dying screams of a hippo instead of opera arias, make sure that you are not one of those
And the tactile donning sensor, which is responsible for pausing and resuming playback, becomes a cherry on an already chic cake. Moreover, its sensitivity can also be very accurately calibrated through a proprietary application.
It remains only to mention more than the outstanding battery life of the headphones. So, at 75% of the volume and with noise canceling turned on in the city mode, I managed to achieve ~ 20 hours of playback with an initially 100% battery charge. With
the noise reduction turned off completely, it is more than
realistic to achieve the manufacturer's declared 24 hours .
Yes, PX still lacks NFC. As well as the functions of pair playback
through a 3.5 mm audio cable. Not enough heaps of modern bells and whistles. However, for the traditionally ascetic British, this model was not just a step, but a quantum leap forward.
50 mm dynamic emitters from P9, located at an anatomically correct angle to the ear. Perfect damping. And a great digital-to-analog filling. The recipe for outstanding sound was not so difficult. But this is only at first glance. The B&W engineers did a great job. And its result leaves no chance for even more functionally advanced competitors. So, the SonyAC 1000XM3's proprietary LDAC outperforms the aptX HD of the PX due to the much more neutral frequency response of the latter. And thanks to better damping of the cups. As you can see on the comparison curve of the frequency response (taken from rtings.com ), the 1000XM3 has a pronounced bass hump. The middle, that is, the vocal segment of the frequency response, is traditionally overwhelmed. And in the high-frequency segment, an unknown mess is happening.
Touch control B&O H9 in practice is many times less intuitive and accurate than the good old mechanical buttons. However, pretty lyrics. Back to the sound.
At PX, it is traditionally neutral. Surgically accurate at times. Without any frequency accents. Here, just everything is exactly as much as it should be. No more and no less. Therefore, this model is not suitable for lovers of monumental bass and adherents of the traditional V-shaped frequency response for Apple products. But to those of us for whom the eardrums did not trample the bear, I can recommend B&W PX with a clear conscience. Nothing superior to this.
sound model, in the market of wireless headphones for any sane money is still not there. And, unfortunately, in the next couple of years it is definitely not expected. It remains only to repeat the recommendation to all music lovers immediately turn off active noise reduction and forget about this function. As well as the electronic voice filter. Otherwise, the outstanding musical abilities of the headset can be forgotten. Alas, today it is a given for all such decisions.
The British turned out an acoustic masterpiece with a backlog for years to come. Are PX really worth their lot of money? Definitely yes. Feel free to recommend this model for purchase to all those whose smartphones support aptX HD.