Bowers & Wilkins promised its next flagship headphones would debut later this year when it revealed the redesigned Px7 S2 model over the summer. Today, the company sticks to its word by officially unveiling the Px8. While Bowers & Wilkins retains much of it's signature look for this new version, there are some notable updates — especially on the inside. The premium looks and what the company calls "the best sound quality" it has ever offered in a set of wireless headphones will cost you $699.
Inside, new 40mm carbon cone drivers power the "new reference standard for sound," as Bowers & Wilkins describes it. The company says these components offer improved detail, resolution and "spaciousness" over the Px7 S2. As it has on previous models, Bowers & Wilkins angled those new drive units for consistent distance to the listener's ear across their surface. The company explains that this creates a "more immersive and highly accurate soundstage," edging ever closer to "the artist's intent." It certainly worked well on the Px7 S2.
The Px8 supports aptX Adaptive and thanks to Bowers & Wilkins' digital signal processing (DSP), these headphones can handle 24-bit streaming from the applicable services. Plus, you can now play tunes from Deezer, Qobuz and TIDAL directly from the company's Music app, the same software that's used to configure the headphones.
The other big change on the Px8 is Bowers & Wilkins' choice of materials. The arm construction is now made out of cast aluminum, shaped to meet the company's signature look. Memory foam cushions line the inside of the earcups, wrapped in Nappa leather and coming in black or tan color options. All of that certainly combines for a more refined look than the Px7 S2.
The company says the Px8 packs the same active noise cancellation (ANC) platform as the Px7 S2. That's good, because the ANC setup on that more affordable model did an admirable job during our review. Six microphones total are on board: two to monitor driver output, two to keep tabs on ambient noise and two for voice. On the Px8, Bowers & Wilkins says it moved those last two mics closer together and adjusted their angles to improve voice quality and reduce wind noise.
Bowers & Wilkins is promising up to 30 hours of battery life on the Px8, same as the Px7 S2. The company doesn't specify whether that's with ANC on or off. However, during our review of the previous model I blew past the stated time using active noise cancellation. I still had 33 percent in the tank at the 30-hour mark. On the Px8, a 15-minute quick charge session will give you up to seven hours of listening time if you find yourself in a pinch.
The Px8 is available starting today from Bowers & Wilkins and select retailers for $699. If that's too much for you, that's certainly understandable. However, the Px7 S2 is $399 and it's one of our favorite headphones of 2022.