B&W Px8 007 Edition, the review
No Time to Live
Bowers & Wilkins Px8 007 60th Anniversary
This test is dedicated to all parents with 3 activities. The job. The children. The hobby.
The hobby in my case became a third activity.
Let me explain my daily routine:
7:15 – jump out of bed; shaving, bathing, dressing, breakfast, preparing the youngest to go to school
8:25 – driving my middle daughter to the pool
8:56 – dropping the youngest off at school
9:00 – go to work (I’m never on time obviously! Thanks bosses for understanding). Uff
12:30 – lunch break
12:55 – I get home, take my middle daughter to school, come home
13:10 – lunch
13:50 – I leave to take the eldest daughter to school
14:00 – go to work (I’m never on time obviously! Thanks bosses for understanding). Uff
18:00 – workday over (thanks bosses for not making me make up for lost time)
1 day a week, 18:30 – girls’ therapy in Porto (after going to school to pick them up, in the opposite direction, and returning towards the clinic, in Porto).
On other days, 18:20 – pick up the three children from their grandmother.
19:30 – return home. Baths, dinner (most of the time involves finishing it, wife works shifts) and getting the kids ready for bed.
1 day a week: I come home from girls therapy around 21:00 – dinner and getting the kids ready for bed. Uff
22:00 – my medication, when I remember. Don’t say anything to the doctors, please, to the wife, I can’t lie anymore…
22:01 – (on therapy days usually much later) – third activity, critical listening to sound equipment, taking notes, photos of equipment, video captures, writing reviews, whisky. Uff
01:00/02:00 – bed
07:15 – another day…
My routine will be very similar to that of most parents of young children, at least from 7 am to 10 pm.
No time to live!
Meanwhile, Bowers & Wilkins Px8 007 60th Anniversary Bluetooth Noise Canceling Headphones have arrived. From now on I will call them B&W 007, for sanity sake.
Diamonds are forever!
What the eyes can see:
Beautiful construction, noble materials, elegant aesthetics. The Pitch: colors used in B&W 007 are the same as the tuxedo used by Sean Connery in the Casino scene, in the first movie of the series. The pretext: the Bowers & Wilkins speakers used in the Abbey Road studios, when the sound of the same movie was mixed.
The B&W 007 are finished in premium patterns, with shiny diamond-cut edges and an elegant embossed logo, matching one of the buttons, which is textured for better differentiation by touch. Here we go.
The bow around the head is padded and covered in very soft leather and padded with memory foam. To make it even more pleasant to use, the Px8 007 weights just 320g.
The grip of the headphones is firm enough, as it should be for good passive isolation, but comfortable, and even after several hours of use in a row, I find myself forgetting that I have them on. Also thanks to the 3 usage modes. I’ll come back to this later.
The B&W 007 looks built to last. The materials look good and behave as expected from equipment of this level. When I take them off the bag and put them on, the rods have that buttery feel to it when expanding, which we love.
These headphones come with 2 cables, one with a 3.5mm jack, the other with both ends in USB Type-C for charging. The battery lasts 30 hours, and 15 minutes of quick charging gives you an extra 7 hours of wireless listening. The copy I received to review already has a few hours of use, I don’t know how many, but I can attest to the battery life.
The speakers on the B&W 007 are 40 mm carbon cones. Bluetooth 5.2 Modules are compatible with AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD and aptX Adaptive codecs, which are supposed to allow transmission up to 24 bit/48khz.
After installing the Bowers & Wilkins Music Control app, pairing is simply done using the button that also turns on the B&W 007. Connecting to the smartphone was very quick (I used an iPhone XS). The headphones are very intuitive and easy to use, with easily accessible control buttons and a textured one in the middle, that makes them easily accessible to the touch. In addition, a sound is produced when the headphones are turned on, paired, or turned off.
The app enables seamless integration of Tidal, Qobuz or Deezer streaming services. I used Apple Music, even without app integration, just as easily. I turned on the music and it played, seamless. In addition to the phone, I also paired it with the Apple TV in the living room, which turned out to be only useful (at home) if the phone had no battery, as the range of the bluetooth antennas is quite considerable, and even with the phone in the kitchen, at one end of the house, I heard it perfectly in my room, at the other end, with several walls inbetween, whenever I had to solve some familiar emergencies. The choice of music source is done in the app and in a simple way.
Noise cancellation has 3 modes:
Passive cancellation mode (disabled), due to the effect of the clamp effect of the earcups.
“Alert dad” cancellation mode: The B&W 007 amplify high-frequency ambient noise, so that whenever the children try to set the house on fire, we can react in time, or we can hear the train heading towards us, when it whistles.
“Happy Dad” noise cancellation mode: the headphones suck you in (you literally hear a suction noise when turning this feature on) to a parallel dimension where we are literally in a sound bubble, where I could hear Matt Monro and “From Russia with Love”, calmly sitting on a deckchair in Kiev, in the middle of a bombing. Guess by whom. I also listened, quietly, to “Live and Let Die” by the Beatles, and while the sky fell on us, I listened to “We Have All the Time in the World” by Louis Armstrong, while I watched, in slow motion, the house being demolished by the children.
In addition to urban environments on the street and public transportation, I also tested the B&W 007 in one of those restaurants without any acoustic treatment. You know, the kind where the reverberation quadruples the noise of the diners, having lunch and talking louder and louder, each one desperately wanting to be heard. At the end, I heard Nancy Sinatra and “You only Live Twice”. Which is how this noise canceling mode made me feel, literally.
The app allows the adjustment of bass and treble for those who like to tune the sound to their liking. The possibility of automatic selection of the last used source, or manual. It also lets you select your preferred virtual assistant. The proximity sensor with 3 different sensitivities, which allows automatic pauses when removing a cup from the ear, for example. Adjustment of the quality (bit rate) of the streaming according to the wifi network or mobile data.
And the sound?
The sound? Well, in these matters of subjective assessments, expectations and comparisons are factors in which we have to give due allowance. And I have here at home, at the same time as the Px8 007, those that are considered by many to be the best headphones on the market, and sold for a price five times higher. A challenge to overcome.
And you should be alert to future publications by MoustachesToys!
Returning to the B&W, and Sheena Easton singing for my ears only, “For Your Eyes Only”, in an environment of absolute silence with the noise canceling mode deactivated, my perception is that the space between the instruments is clearer and the silence is darker. The importance of silence, which is not artificially induced here, could be the reason.
In the same context of absolute silence, the “alert dad” mode adds background noise that I didn’t even know existed… but here I’m nitpicking. Remember your daddy’s cassette deck? (At the time that there was Dolby noise reduction). Something like that. This mode can be particularly useful at those times when we need to be aware of our surroundings.
With the “happy dad” mode, my favorite when I have the children present and I can “turn off” and travel to the “sound bubble”, or on public transport. I’m imagining this mode to be the students’ favorite too.
As for the sound on a phone call, I just got a call from my brother, while the kids are trying to win the screaming championship, and they’re perfect. Clear conversation for both sides.
“Nobody Does it Better”, Carly Simon in “The Spy Who Loved Me”.
The first film I saw at the cinema was “A view to a Kill”, I was only 10 years old and I entered the Porto’s Coliseu with a friend. Yes, I wasn’t old enough to see the film, but it was the 80’s, and we were throwing the ball in the street, and we were tearing our pants at the knees, and the neighbor would call us at home when someone telephoned us (through her landline), and the Coliseu was a cinema called Coliseu, not Coliseu Ageas, from some high sponsorship of the aforementioned brand.
There was Roger Moore, and Bond was supposed to have some wit, Christopher Walken far below his capabilities, and of course, Grace Jones. And there was also the title song by Duran Duran. With the same rhythm, the same sharpness that the B&W imprint on them, now in 2023. The bass are full-bodied, tense and emotional. These B&W bring the same fun and energy to the music that the Roger Moore era brought to Bond. Moore drove Alfa Romeo GTV6 and a Lotus converting to a submarine, while Connery and Daniel Craig drove Aston Martin DB5. These B&W entertain us like Roger at the wheel of the front half of a Renault 11 through the streets of Paris, and with Daniel’s style at the wheel of the DB5. This while providing us with a level of clarity and precision that competitors from the Cupertino or of the country of the rising sun brands will still have to eat a lot of soup. The northeastern Portuguese kind!
While many might find €799 a lot for a noise canceling Bluetooth headphone, in my opinion the B&W 007 could be the bargain of the moment. Follow my reasoning:
Every gadget is, first and foremost, an object of desire. And in this respect, the 007’s complies, due to the perceived quality of materials and construction. And nobody will be embarrassed to use them, wherever they are. They don’t lack style, without risk of being bling. Gold sneakers people, look elsewhere.
In what the tribe that follows me cares about, which is the sound, these B&W meet the demands of the vast majority. Find me a set of speakers and amplifier, or active speakers, with or without built-in streaming, for a similar price, and I guess that won’t scratch the sound capabilities of these 007’s.
And as far as I’m concerned, as a music lover, an audiophile and a father, I couldn’t ask for more. Something that allows me to listen to music whenever I feel like it, no strings attached, at all times.
A product so close to perfection in virtually every aspect.
Approved by this parent and advised to all others, parents or not.
Where to find them: https://www.bowerswilkins.com/en-eu/product/headphones/px8-007
320g (without carrying bag)
Dimensions (carry bag)
189 mm (W) x 63 mm (D) x 233 mm (H)
Bluetooth over-ear headphones with noise canceling
Hybrid noise cancellation
environment aware mode
Bluetooth® Audio – Bluetooth 5.2 with aptX™ Adaptive
USB-C charging and audio interface
BLE GATT (Generic Attribute Profile)
2 x 40mm full range carbon dynamic driver
4x noise canceling microphones
2 x microphones for calls
<0.1% (1 kHz/10mW)
rechargeable lithium ion
Battery life and charging
30 hours of playback
15 minutes charge for 7 hours of playback
accessories in the box
Audio cable with 1.2m to 3.5mm USB-C stereo connector
1.2 m USB-C to USB-C cable