Wireless headphones are increasingly used to create a personal, immersed space – whether during travel, work or play. Yet, as Bowers & Wilkins remarks, "most headphones either lack the technology know-how to enable a true "soundstage" listening experience or prioritize being a fashion accessory over sound quality." The brand's engineers have created a new line of 2019 headphones, designed from the ground up to fit the most demanding listening needs and cutting-edge technologies.
Each pair starts with custom-designed drivers developed specifically for each headphone wearing style, from the 43mm drivers in the top-of-the line Over-Ear PX7, to the exclusive dual hybrid drivers in the sporty In-Ear PI3. "This unique application of our proprietary driver technology, when coupled with the new and cutting edge Qualcomm aptX Adaptive audio codec, creates the most realistic, high-fidelity soundstage of any headphone on the market, reproducing sound just as it was created in the studio," says Tim Johnston, SVP & GM of Headphone Business Unit. "We've worked extremely hard to create a line of headphones that deliver music the way the artists intended it to be heard." Bowers & Wilkins headphones will be the first commercially available aptX Adaptive sync devices.
Qualcomm's aptX Adaptive is a next-generation audio codec designed to be dynamically adjustable and provide a single flexible solution for virtually all key wireless audio applications. Effectively, it combines the features of low-latency aptX, aptX, or aptX HD, depending on the content and the connectivity. The codec recognizes the type of content that is being played back and, depending on the content, delivers audio using low-latency aptX, aptX, or aptX HD, combining the features of all of these solutions. The technology is backwards compatible with aptX and aptX HD enabled devices.
Based on the ultra-low power Qualcomm QCC5100 Series Bluetooth Audio SoCs with the all new aptX Adaptive audio technology, all models offer robust, low-latency, high resolution wireless transmission at 24-bit/48kHz streaming quality. The headphones also include the latest-generation ANC technology from Analog Devices that runs at 16 times the sampling rate to ensure best-in-class noise cancelling with no degradation to the audio quality. "Analog Devices and Bowers & Wilkins have a rich history of collaboration,” says Jen Lloyd, VP of the Consumer market group at Analog Devices. “We’re excited Bowers & Wilkins is using our latest ANC technology to the new PX line and give an even greater experience to listeners.”
Heading the new 2019 headphone range from Bowers & Wilkins is the PX7 Wireless over-ear design with Active Noise Cancellation ($399.99 retail). The new premium model features true over-ear ear cups for the most immersive soundstage and most complete noise cancellation, combined with long battery life for up to 30 hours of uninterrupted ANC play on a single charge. Users can also benefit from fast USB-C charging, allowing for 5 hours of audio playback with a 15 minute quick charge. Proximity sensors built into both ear cups allow users to pause music when cups are lifted off, resuming when they are placed back on the ear.
Next in the range is the new PX5 Wireless, an on-ear design, also with Active Noise Cancellation ($299.99 retail). Offering a smaller, lighter on-ear design that enables the user to still hear the world around him to stay safe and aware, the PX5 features customizable Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation technology to block out unwanted noise, and long battery life for up to 25 hours of uninterrupted play on a single charge. Thanks to fast USB-C charging users can get 3 hours of audio playback with a 15-minute quick charge. Featuring a combination of six microphones to block distracting ambient noise, users can make crystal clear phone calls and hear their own voice clearly, so they can talk naturally.
The other two new models are in-ear designs, starting with the PI3 Wireless ($199.99). This new lightweight model offers exclusive hybrid dual drivers coupled with separate amplifiers, packed into a small, sporty, around-the-neck design. Featuring also fast USB-C charging, and long battery life for up to 8 hours of uninterrupted play on a single charge, it offers 2 hours of audio playback with a 15-minute quick charge. The flexible silicone neckband and magnetic ear buds allow for tangle free, continuous wear.
Next-up is the PI4 Wireless with Active Noise Cancellation. The new model offers the convenience and security of an in-ear headphone with superior sound and Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation. As with all the new 2019 models, Bowers & Wilkins introduced fast USB-C charging to allow users to get 3 hours of audio playback with only a 15-minute quick charge. The long battery life allows for up to 10 hours of uninterrupted play on a single charge. Thanks to magnetic clips, the earpieces clip together when users take them off, automatically pausing the music. Unclip them, resumes play where it left off.
All models are available in different colors choices, with availability scheduled for October 2019.