The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 and the AirPods Max are both wireless ANC over-ear headphones that feature active noise cancellation and ambient/transparency modes. But that’s where their similarity ends. They both have exclusive features that you won’t get with the other. If you are looking to get a pair of ANC Bluetooth headphones, which one of these should you buy? Here’s our in-depth look at the two to help you decide which pair is better for you.
Bowers & Wilkins PX7 vs AirPods Max Comparison Chart
The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are more comfortable, but the AirPods Max are better-built.
Looks-wise, these two headphones have a sleek and modern look, but with their own unique twists. The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 have fiber composite arms that contribute to their beautiful design. The backplates are made of plastic and can detract to their overall look. On the other hand, the AirPods Max have a minimalist and unique look since they don’t have yokes, and the headband is wrapped in mesh fabric. You can get the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 in space grey, silver and carbon colorways, while the Apple AirPods Max are available in silver, pink, space grey, sky blue and green colors.
When it comes to comfort, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 have the slight advantage due to being lighter and having better headband padding. They also have soft ear cup padding that feel nice on the skin. Meanwhile, the AirPods Max are also comfortable, but they are quite heavy. The padding on the earcups are comfortable enough, however, the the metal components in the headband can press down on your head when worn for extended periods, which may result in discomfort.
As these two are closed-back headphones, they can trap heat when used for longer periods. That said, the metal ear cup design of the AirPods Max can introduce more heat buildup than the plastic ear cups of the Bowers & Wilkins PX7.
The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 have both wired and Bluetooth connectivity, while the AirPods Max have a lot of iOS-exclusive features.
The two headphones have active noise cancellation as well as their version of ambient modes. They perform well in cancelling noise, but the AirPods Max have a more effective ANC. The AirPods Max can effectively block low frequency noise, as well as chatter and higher frequency noise. The Bowers & Wilkins PX7, on the other hand, are effective in blocking out bass-range background noise, but they will struggle when it comes to mid and high frequency noise.
One feature that you will only get with the AirPods Max is their Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking. You need to use the AirPods Max with an iOS device to have access to this feature, and if you do, it’s very nice to have. It basically converts multi-channel audio into 3D binaural sound, which allows for better immersion. Other features of the AirPods Max include audio sharing, hands-free “Hey Siri” and instantaneous pairing with iOS devices.
The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 also have some notable features worth mentioning. In addition to having Bluetooth connectivity, the PX7 can also be used with a wired connection. You can connect it via the 3.5mm analog port or via USB. This versatility in connectivity allows you to use the headphones with game consoles, your PC or laptop and other devices that support 3.5mm or USB connectivity. In comparison, the AirPods can only be used with your smartphone.
The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 have a bass-heavy sound while the AirPods Max have a slightly more neutral sound profile.
The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are bass-heavy headphones that have fairly accurate mids, but terrible treble performance. The overemphasized bass results in booming bass, so if you listen to genres such as hip-hop, this might be up your alley. The mids are accurate enough, but there’s a dip in the high-mid range. In the treble range, the headphones lack quite a bit of detail since these are underemphasized through most of the low and mid treble range. The resulting sound is a bit dark and veiled.
Meanwhile, the AirPods Max have a more neutral sound profile with better bass and mid-range. There’s a slight emphasis on the bass, but not too much that it’s overwhelming. It still remains balanced. The accuracy of the mids on these headphones is quite good, they remain neutral, clear and detailed. However, the treble range is a bit underemphasized, resulting in lack of details. That said, it’s not as bad as the treble range of the Bowers & Wilkins PX7.
The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 can last longer than the AirPods Max.
The battery life of the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is excellent. They can last up 30 hours, and that’s with active noise cancellation enabled. Charging time is also superb. You can fully charge the headphones in 1.5 hours, and a 15-minute charge gives you five hours of playtime. There’s also a power saving standby mode to help conserve battery life.
On the other hand, the AirPods Max have a battery life of up to 20 hours, which is also very good, but not as good as the PX7’s. You can fully charge them in 1.5 hours and a 5-minute charge gives you an hour and a half of playback time. Similar to the PX7, they also have a power saving feature.
The AirPods Max are more durable and they sound better, whereas the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 are more comfortable and offer wired and wireless connectivity.
Bowers & Wilkins PX7
Better battery life, connectivity and comfort
Apple AirPods Max
Better ANC, durability and sound quality
If you are an Apple user, the AirPods Max are the better choice since they are designed for seamless connectivity with iOS devices and many of their features are only accessible on said devices. However, if you are an Android user, choosing a pair will come down to which factors are more important to you. The Apple AirPods Max sound better, their ANC is excellent and they are well-built. On the other hand, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 offer longer battery life, they are more comfortable and they also have wired connectivity.
They are well-designed headphones with excellent comfort, connectivity and battery life. However, when it comes to sound quality, there are better options like the AirPods Max.
They sound good enough, but there are better sounding wireless Bluetooth headphones in the market if you are after a more accurate and balanced sound. Also, they don’t support Hi-Res audio codecs.
No, they are not water resistant.
Yes, they have ANC, and Apple goes toe-to-toe with Sony and Bose when it comes to ANC performance.