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


    The PX5 is a versatile pair of on-ear headphones with advanced noise cancelling functions. With the app you can control various other useful options such as the ambient noise, the noise cancelling and you can go for some peace and calmness with soundscapes of a beach, a forest, rainforest and what not. The sound? Less boomy than its predecessor P5 and more balanced.



    Bowers PX5

    The Bowers & Wilkins PX5 is an on-ear model. Measuring on-ears is difficult because the seal with the ear is not always optimal. On our new measurement setup it is certainly better. With a little pressure we get a seal that provides a complete measurement. We have measured three secenario’s: NC – Noise Cancelling – High, Auto and Off. As you can see it gives different results. NC ensures less distortion in the bass and a slightly different response.

    We also showed what the correction curves do in terms of results (for a complete picture). HEQ is a compensation that according to the original standard should provide a flat curve (ideally, but hardly possible). HPN is also a correction curve for over-ear. RAW only compensates for the internal microphones in our measuring device.

    Now each manufacturer has its own ideal. Response curves are therefore mainly taste related. Not so with distortion. We therefore find it more interesting to look at distortion figures. Now we still have a long way to go before we have the comparison as with our illusonic / Harriette setup (unfortunately the Illusonic does not work very well in this measurement setup), but we were able to put our faithful Focal Elear on the EARS. We measure a distortion below 1% distortion at 35 Hz and then drops to 0.1% (steady). Very good results. As we expected.

    The PX5 goes below 1% distortion at 50 Hz and stays around 0.2%. With a few some spikes around 1500 Hz, 3000 Hz and 4500 Hz. We think it’s resonance. We see mainly 2nd Harmonics in the beginning and a considerable 3rd Harmonic at 4500 Hz (0.4% THD). Funny enough, the picture is different with NC on. There the distortion in the bass decreases faster. And the 2nd harmonic is continuously dominant. The 3rd is pressed. That will give a different sound signature.

    Measurements Noise Cancelling High


    Measurements NC Auto

    NC Off Response


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