Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones

Meet the Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

The Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless headphones on soft fabric
The Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless feature Bluetooth with aptX support. Bowers & Wilkins

With the way that mobile technology has been steadily marching forth towards creating a more wireless world, some companies have seen fit to upgrade older, non-wireless products to keep up with the times and competition. Bowers & Wilkins – also commonly known as B&W – has followed suit with some other well-respected players in the audio industry. Just as V-Moda, with its Crossfade Wireless, Sennheiser, with its Momentum Wireless, and Master & Dynamic, with its MW60, have refreshed beloved headphone models with new hardware, Bowers & Wilkins has adapted Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity in its own P7 Wireless.

British speaker manufacturer, Bowers & Wilkins, has a decades-long history of creating high-quality products. The P7 Wireless comes about from the hugely successful P5 Wireless and original (wired) P7 headphones. In fact, we've previously reviewed the (non-wireless) Bowers & Wilkins P7 over-ear headphones and found the overall sound to be dynamic, detailed, and chock-full of excitement. It may not be the most neutral, given the slight nudge in the bass and strong treble response in the upper frequencies, but it was nothing less than superb. We even took the liberty to graph out the P7's frequency response, which also shows resonance, isolation, and distortion.

Initial impressions of the Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless reflect only minor changes to appearance and construction versus the original P7 headphones. The P7 Wireless presents the same premium craftsmanship using aluminum and leather, carefully made for portability and comfort. As with its predecessor, the over-ear cups sport a hinge design that folds up to a more compact, travel-friendly form. Both the headband and ear cushions are filled with memory foam, the latter which magnetically attach and are easily replaceable as needed.

Those with discerning eyes may notice the subtle change in headband stitching from Bowers & Wilkins' original P7 headphones to the P7 Wireless. It also appears that the P7 Wireless headband may offer a touch more padding too, which is nice considering how it weighs in 33 g heavier than the wired version by comparison.

Why the Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Might Be for You

The Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless headphones on top of an iPad
The Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless offer's the company's signature sound with cordless freedom. Bowers & Wilkins

The Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless features Bluetooth 4.1 that supports SBC, AAC, and aptX codecs. Those with aptX-compatible devices can take advantage of the low-latency properties (i.e. you can watch movies or play games wirelessly without experiencing mismatched timing of sound and video) as well as "CD-like" audio quality (from appropriate sources/files). Standard Bluetooth can reduce audio quality through compression, which is why more manufacturers have been choosing Bluetooth hardware that supports aptX.

But those who aren't completely sold on Hi-Fi through Bluetooth can still plug a 3.5 mm audio cable into the P7 Wireless to listen that way. The integrated audio jack is useful to keep the music going if and when the headphones run out of battery power for Bluetooth wireless playback. The Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless is designed to last up to 17 hours per full charge via a micro USB cable.

The other benefits of using the P7 Wireless through its battery-powered, Bluetooth connection are intuitive, built-in track controls and hands-free voice conversations with the dual microphones. Slim buttons on the back of the right ear cup allow users to play, pause, and skip/repeat music without having to reach for the connected mobile device. And if someone happens to call, all it takes is one press to answer and start talking.

One notable feature that some might miss in the P7 Wireless is active noise cancellation. Many other headphones around the same price point have active noise cancellation included, which is typically sought after for those who travel and/or listen in busy environments. However, the P7 Wireless' closed-back, over-ear cups with memory foam cushioning is meant to help block outside noises. Every bit counts.

The Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless Bluetooth headphones are available for US$400 in just one colorway – classy black. Each unit comes with a micro USB charge cable and headphone carrying case for travel/storage.