These Ultralight Carbon Fiber Headphones Are Perfect for Traveling Again

The carbon fiber, high-tech material that now makes everything from car hoods to iPhone cases, is lighter and stronger. When Bowers & Wilkins designed a carbon version of their PX7 headphones, the goal was to create a pair of headphones that were rugged and streamlined with solid audio quality. They pulled it off.

B&W is a producer out of West Sussex famous for its speakers. These are a very new addition to the mass-market headphones line - the company only launched its first PX headphones in 2017. They are upgrading the headphones Regula to keep up with their closest competitors, but Bose and Sony still have a few years' early lead. That said, I can recommend for those who want a good pair of headphones with superb battery life, superb noise cancellation, and competitive sound quality. They will definitely accompany me on my next transatlantic flight, whenever that happens, and they are a great way to drown a busy house in an already Kovid-19 lockdown.

These $ 400 noise-canceling headphones are aimed at the fashion-forward traveler. The smooth lines and clever use of matte carbon fiber in the headband add a bit of class to the iconic look of B&W, and the stiff, fiber-infected ear cups equal the similarly priced noise-canceling cans. In terms of audio performance, the PX7s are bass-heavy, but all provide enough separation and stereo effects to counter the low end. Finally, they are lightweight — weighing in at 310 grams — and have 43.6 mm drivers and USB-C and line-in inputs.

The PX7 lasts up to 30 hours on one charge, and I don't have to charge them after getting them out of the box, which is a boon if you buy them at the airport electronics boutique (one day). Pro travelers would like to know that these headphones do not work without electricity, so there is no passive line-in mode that will give you passive audio when you run out of battery.

But pay attention to the quality of the audio: everything I played on it, from Bob DeLane to Grant Green to Dua Lipa, sounded great.

The right ear cup sports an on-off switch, and a dedicated button can turn the noise cancellation on and off. An "auto" mode sets the noise cancellation to a slightly less aggressive level. You can use Siri or Google Assistant via headphones by pressing a button between the volume buttons.

As a long-time Bose user who changed to Sony's excitement last year under the name WH1000XM3s, these headphones offer equally solid active noise cancellation in loud conditions. I couldn't test these on the plane, but they were able to drown in the pipe-in ​​brown noise and mute my work sessions at the dining table with a loud grade-schooler and his persistent chromebook.

These are in line with the above brands in terms of sound reproduction, although I would argue that Sony are a bit more uniform and flat compared to PX7s.

The PX7 also has some welcome features: when you remove them and have multiple microphones for noise-canceling and audio input, they pause your music.

He nicely quashed background noise while talking on the phone. They do not have the clever touch-to-mute feature of Sony, but simply taking them works. These headphones use 24-bit / 48 kHz Bluetooth and have aptX HD capability that helps to sync audio and video while watching a movie.

Hold me one? These bins are a little small for my oversized head, and the case that comes with Smart Tweed is huge. This means that you will not throw them in a small bag or purse and instead you will be carrying these people in a bag or carry-on while traveling.

The kit includes both USB-C and 3.5mm audio cables. I still like to give Sony cans a rest, but if you like a firm feel and a solid foam ear cup, you'll prefer the B&W style.

These headphones feel high-end. Everything, from light-padded headbands to cloth-clad cans, is made of firm plastic. You didn't make this mistake for audiophile-quality headphones, but it's not really the intended audience. They are designed to keep the world out while you work or relax.

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