Bowers & Wilkins was far from the first audio specialist to enter the noise cancelling headphones market, but its PX wireless cans certainly made an impact at the tail end of 2017.

They offered class-leading audio, plus active noise cancellation and a feature set that rivalled the Sony and Bose equivalents at the time.

However, for all the five-star reviews and awards, the one thing that became apparent after a lot of use is that the headphones were a tad too heavy for lengthy sessions. A superb, premium build quality with aluminium elements proved to be a little too much to wear for the entirety of a 10-12 hour flight.

That's why the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is a very welcome sight. It swaps the metallic elements for carbon fibre and the end result is a more comfortable headset all round.

Pocket-lintBowers  Wilkins PX7 initial review First ANC over-ears with apt-X Adapative Bluetooth image 8

The closed-back over-ears also feel more encompassing this time around. Indeed, during the launch event in London - where we got to give them a brief tryout - they pretty much blocked out all the noise and chatter without music even starting. Isolation is part of the battle when it comes to noise cancellation and, from our brief test so far, the PX7s seem to have that nailed.

They also sport aptX Adaptive Bluetooth support - thanks to a new-found partnership with Qualcomm - something the company has embraced for its entire new line of wireless headphones.

This enables higher bit-rate playback (24-bit) and lower latency than previously adopted Bluetooth codecs and, while iPhone owners won't benefit due to Apple ignoring the tech, it's great news for Android phone users. And, the two 43mm drivers, derived from other leading Bowers & Wilkins audio products, present a soundstage that belies the ANC tag on a pair of headphones.

We could tell us much from just listening to a couple of songs. We'll wait for full judgement until we've been able to test them thoroughly, but so far, so impressive.

Pocket-lintBowers  Wilkins PX7 initial review First ANC over-ears with apt-X Adapative Bluetooth image 4

Also impressive is the claim that the PX7 headphones will last for up to 30 hours on a single charge, with active noise cancelling technology in full flow. Plus, they come with USB-C power connectivity and fast charge capabilities, so can offer five hours of playback with just a 15 minute charge - ideal for those airport stops.

We'll also have to wait until the full review pair arrive to test if those claims are true, as well as the noise cancelling properties in other circumstances. But, the latter also shows signs of promise so far as the room we briefly tested them in was full of chattering people and overlooked a loud, busy London South Bank.

When spinning the first track, we were completely lost in it. None of the external, ambient sound mattered - a good sign considering their primary use will be for cacophonous air travel, we suspect.

They are perhaps a little chunky - certainly more so than the original PX model - but for other commutes and uses, Bowers & Wilkins will also be introducing an on-ear pair, the PX5. We'll also be testing those in the coming weeks.

First Impressions

In all honesty, we've been secretly clamouring an update to the Bowers & Wilkins PX, one that improves the comfort yet keeps the same superb audio performance and the PX7 headphones currently tick our boxes.

We have to wait until we test them fully over the coming weeks, but signs are definitely good.

Audio quality seems up there with the best, while the carbon fibre arms remove around half the weight. Hopefully, the ANC tech will be as effective as removing external hubbub, without impacting on the musicality.

We should find out soon.

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 headphones will be available from October, in silver or black and priced at £349.99 in the UK, $399.99 in the US.