It was only a few months ago that Bowers & Wilkins released the PX7 S2 ($399), its new high-end pair of wireless noise-canceling headphones. They are exceptional — check out our full review here — but given their substantial price tag, you kind of expect them to be.
Well, the British hi-fi company has doubled-down on wireless noise-canceling headphones and just announced the Bowers & Wilkins PX8 — the kicker is that they cost $699, which, to my knowledge, makes them the most expensive pair of wireless noise-canceling headphones you can buy. (Before the $699 Bowers & Wilkins PX8, the two other most expensive wireless headphones with active noise-cancellation were Apple's $549 AirPods Max and the Master & Dynamic $599 MW75.)
This trend of "luxury" wireless headphones with active noise-cancellation is fairly new. Apple kicked it off in 2020 when it released the AirPods Max ($549) and proved that people are willing to spend on a really nice headphones. . Previously, most top-of-the-line wireless noise-canceling headphones (made by Bose and Sony) were priced between $300 and $400.
If you're looking to compare Bowers & Wilkins's two newest wireless headphones, the PX7 S2 and the PX8, you'll find that they appear very similar. The two share a very similar design, have similar noise-canceling abilities (same processor and mics) as well as many of the same features (including battery life and fast charging). They also deliver very similar audio quality on paper.
However, the devil is in the details.
Both the PX8 and PX7 2 have 40mm drivers (which are modeled after the company's super expensive loudspeakers), but they are made of different materials. The PX8's drivers are made of carbon fiber and resin while the PX7 S2's drivers are biocellulose and resin; the short answer to this is that the PX8's drivers are able to deliver better audio with even less distortion. Basically, the PX8 are even more finely tuned for audio enthusiasts.
The other difference between the two headphones has to do with their materials and finishes. As you'd expect, the PX8 have a little more "luxurious" feel to them. They are made of mostly diecast aluminium (while PX7 2 have more plastic) and they have real leather earcups (while the PX7 2 uses faux leather); this makes the PX8 slightly heavier, too. They also come with a slightly more elegant carrying case.
The Bowers & Wilkins PX8 are available in two finishes: black or tan. They are available now.