Bowers and Wilkins PX8 - Official Thread

This is the place to discuss all things to do with the B&W PX8.

We were able to get one in to do some measurements and testing.

Bowers and Wilkins PX8 frequency response measurements done on the GRAS 43AG upright fixture with RA0402 coupler and KB5000 pinna.

There seem to be two common results depending on the positioning of the headphone on the rig, with Position 2 being the most stable. It looks to just be the strongest part of the ear gain region that shifts depending on that, but it also means that this is likely to be received differently by different people.

One thing to note, this is with ANC on, but when cycling through the different modes the two of them measured identically. So that’s good I suppose.

For me personally, the PX8’s tuning is very strange sounding, as it has this boomy kind of bass presence on the low end, and a mid treble resonance on the high end. There is also a bit of shout in there to my ear, but it’s not as noticeable as the mid treble resonance and harmonic boost over the upper ranges, causing a kind of compressed sound to percussion strikes like cymbals and snare drums.

Overall this one is strongly not for me and what I like in terms of sound quality, but I’m curious to know if others have heard it and have a different impression.

Non-sound related notes:

  • Build quality feels great
  • Industrial design and aesthetics is also outstanding, at least for what I like in the looks department.
  • Strong clamp force - too strong for my head, making it somewhat uncomfortable
  • ANC performance is decent, no significant background hiss and did a good job of attenuating HVAC sounds. I did not test it outside yet.
  • Before using their app you have to register and download a separate music app, which felt like an unnecessary step.
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Thanks for measurements and impressions. So, I assume Focal Bathys and Mark Levinson N.5909 are still the better choices soundwise.

For me, yes. Momentum 4 is also in the running.

Oh no, another measurement nightmare that actually leads to different sound signatures for people.

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In this case I think either result would end up sounding a bit off - but Position 1 is at least better.

Or, here me out, people don’t bother with the Px8 at all based on those FRs and what you said about the drivers themselves.

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Hahah yeah that would be my recommendation, but maybe there are some folks out there for whom this gets them right in the HRTFs in a good way. I will say, this was the 007 edition, which is super dope. So I really was hoping it would be my kind of thing. Sadness abound.

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Oh yeah I saw photos of that one, it does look cool. Now I’m sad too.

I’ve owned the PX8 007 Edition for a week now, and I hear it much closer to the position 1 measurement, except I don’t hear nearly as much upper bass boost as the measurement implies. I’m also certain that there is a difference between the overall amount of bass with ANC off vs ANC on, so it’s strange that you say that it measures identically. There are some disagreements in the Head-Fi thread regarding the sound signature, but it’s pretty much unanimous that everyone hears some bass boost with ANC on vs with it off.

I also find the timbre of the mids to sound very life like, and the carbon drivers to be quite capable in regards to detail retrieval and dynamics…for a closed back Bluetooth headphone. I know you said the sound is pretty far from your preference, but I’d like to hear more of your thoughts regarding the subjective aspects of the sound and the PX8’s technical abilities.

I should’ve phrased that differently. It’s that the two active modes measure identically. Passive mode has the same bass level but stronger upper mids, so it tilts the relative balance away from the bass a bit.

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Thanks for clearing that up.