Review Bowers & Wilkins PX5 NC Headphones


  • Relaxed sound
  • Adaptive noise cancelling works well
  • Good app


  • Sensitive to good placement on the ear
  • Coloured reproduction; bassy
  • Wear detection sensors very sensitive
  • Design less distinctive than P5
  • Price: € 299

    Build quality
    Bowers PX5



    We’ve had to play the Bowers & Wilkins PX5 for over 200 hours. That was really necessary because the sound improved drasticly. Brand new, the sound is not comme il faut: stiff, harsh, not pleasant. With normal use (let’s say 3 hours a day), you’re almost 70 days in before you can fully enjoy your new headphones. In the manual of the PX5 we see nothing about this and that’s a pity.

    Once we have burned in our pair, we can listen to the PX5. The sound is typical Bowers; on the warm side, spacious with bass, a spatial reproduction. The strong onset of bass is logical considering the competition. Brands such as Bose and Beats tune the headphones with a lot of bass and treble, so that in a quick comparison they quickly score better than headphones that are neutrally tuned. But in the long run, this loudness is a bit tiring. Bowers has taken this balance between bass response and musicality/neutrality into account with the tuning of PX5.

    Noise Cancelling

    Between Bluetooth and a cable connection we hear a difference that is now familiar; wireless has a bit more compression and less soundstage/detail. Cable remains better, but Bluetooth is getting closer and closer. The comfort of experiencing music without having to mess with cables is certainly very pleasant when on the road.

    Speaking of on the move, this Bowers & Wilkins PX5 has an adaptive noise cancelling function. That is, the level of noise cancelling is adjusted to the ambient noise. We’ve tested this in practice; on the bike, in the shop, in good weather and in strong winds. We don’t notice anything and that’s a good thing. When we turn off the headphones or operate the NC function via the app, we notice how well the system switches between the different modes. Also very nice is the ‘Ambient Pass-Through’ function which allows you to set how much ambient sound you want to hear. This can be controlled with a slider. With all these features, the app is really a handy tool to have at hand with the PX5.


    Leave a Reply