Ever since Apple did away with their headphone sockets, the demand for wireless headphones have risen. While the noise cancellation feature has now become a major pre-requisite of wireless headphones, the ones I am going to compare today belong to two different categories – the Beyerdynamic Amiron being a passive noise cancellation headphone while the Bowers & Wilkins PX being an active noise cancellation one. Without much ado, I will take the plunge to explore these two pairs of wireless headphones here.
The first look
Beyerdynamic Amiron is HUGE. After having a range of wired headphones, they have now come back with Beyerdynamic Amiron which is a Bluetooth wireless headphone. They are huge and makes you stand out in the crowd; forget about blending in, they are elephantine in proportion compared to the Bowers & Wilkins PX. People would notice the ‘BIG’ feature about the Beyerdynamic Amiron first thing when they set their eyes on it. The headphone does not bend or fold; it is a rigid one with a small swivel angle rotation for the ear cups.
Going on the physical patterns on the Bowers & Wilkins PX, I love the weave patterns on the headband and the best part, it is not just aesthetic but a bit practical too. The weave is made up of ballistic nylon and is one of the most durable and abrasion resistant fabrics available in the market. On the sides are adjustable arms and have an all-metal construction with gracefully sliding earcups instead of the ratchety-clicky feel. They do not slide automatically and stay in place while walking. Along the metal arms, the wire is braided and recessed and goes down into the earcups securely. Overall, these things look classy, gorgeous, and original in their own way. The overall quality in terms of looks and feel are premium.
Beyerdynamic Amiron is built entirely in metal. This gives them a tough feel, heaviness and has an almost industrial design. The earcups and headband are both wrapped in plush foam that is insanely comfortable to wear. They are just soft enough to sit nicely on your head but firm enough that if you are wearing them, they make an excellent seal to block out background noise. They are not active noise canceling headphones but they do a great job at passive sound isolation.
The padding all around the Beyerdynamic Amiron feels like they are wrapped in micro-fiber cloth or suede, which makes them super comfortable to wear for long listening sessions. That being said, in our tests, we found that when we move around our head vigorously or bend forward to look below, the Beyerdynamic Amiron slid from our ears and at times fell on our lap; a big NO-NO while walking on the road and looking around for traffic signals.
They are LARGE and the silhouette makes them even larger while wearing them; they weigh 384 grams and let you know its weight. Also, the metal on the headphones does attract oil and fingerprints and dust quite easily. They are comfortable all the same but the Beyerdynamic Amiron tends to get warm after continuous, especially when summer is on the way.
The Bowers & Wilkins PX have completely hollowed-out earcups and the ears do not touch the inside of the earcups at all. The earcups are very different from other brands like Audio Technica including our contender here. The ear pads are very thin and do a great job of staying fit around your ears without discomfort. It does warm up a little bit but that is barely noticeable. Thanks to this hollow earcup, there was minimal sound leakage during sound testing but more of it later down below. Last but not least, the ear cups are magnetized and can be pulled out for cleaning and they really hold on to the magnets without losing grip.
The volume controls on the Bowers & Wilkins PX are easy to find while wearing. They do have an extra button called environmental filter to adjust the active noise cancellation performance. Combine it with the use of the Bowers & Wilkins PX app, you can choose between different preset modes like Office, city, flight modes etc. to adjust the ANC. I tested it outdoors and found that when you use the city mode, it lets in the sounds of cars and other vehicles to keep you alert.
Functionally the Beyerdynamic Amiron wireless has a touchpad on the right ear cup to control your music. All of the buttons and also the inputs are on the right side; the left ear cup does not have anything except for the sound driver. The right ear cup has the power button/Bluetooth pairing button, 3.5mm audio jack input, USB Type C input, and the touch-sensitive pad on the side of the ear cup. Half-a-swipe and random fast gestures on the touchpad did not work for me. You can also activate the personal assistant on your phone by tapping once on the touchpad. (Clue: Use the user manual to be acquainted with the moves; LOL)
Bluetooth 4.1 on the Bowers & Wilkins PX is pretty good and works with a 240 feet radius with a straight line of sight on the iPhone 10 that I am currently using. Within walled areas like my office, I managed to get 110 feet which beats other headphones in this category. You can pair multiple devices with the Bowers & Wilkins PX, though there is no voice prompt to tell you which devices it is connected to.
An additional feature with the Bowers & Wilkins PX is that they come with proximity sensors. They are useful when you lift the headphone or place them on your neck when you are not using them; they automatically pause and come back alive as soon as you keep them on your head. Phone calls are pretty clean too. They are located on the right ear cup and it also has a 3.5mm audio jack for wired connections and a USB type C charging port.
I had absolutely no issues with the Bluetooth connection on the Beyerdynamic Amiron either. They were strong and did not bicker at all. As long as I stayed within the 30 feet range, I did not have a single stutter or drop-out with the Beyerdynamic Amiron. If you don’t feel like going wireless, then you can actually plug in the wire and use the headphones as a regular piece.
Battery life is usually 25 hours (25.27 hrs. to be precise) on mid volumes against the 22-hour claim on Bowers & Wilkins PX. This can be true because they are insanely loud on higher volumes for long periods. Overall, you can manage to get more battery life if you stay away from ANC, and the wired functionality improves it much further. I wish they included a better battery level indicator instead of the simple green light that they have on the headphone.
Beyerdynamic Amiron does not specify exactly how long the battery life is but they do mention that it has more than 30 hours of constant playback.
I had some nit-picky complaints on the design, its bulk and other things about the Beyerdynamic Amiron, but here is the one thing that forgives them – These headphone sound really really good. They are a joy to listen to.
The audio delivery has a perfect amount of power and stays consistent through the complete performance. The lower notes do have a little bump to it, which to many will appear little bass-heavy. They do not overpower the mids and does register really well in your ears. Songs that were more instrument-based seemed to have more spacing between the instruments and the mids, while songs that were electronic or synth-heavy did not follow the suit. On the bright side, they have an impressive soundstage as if the entire thing had a drum-kit inside the headphone, making it feel lively.
Speaking of sound on the Bowers & Wilkins PX, it is a pair that sounds great, literally. Let me explain – I barely experienced any kind of air-cabin pressure and there is minor white noise that I heard when the ANC was on. With the music on, I could not hear them at all.
The sound is and I quote – LIVELY. The audio gives a spatial sound that brings in a great listening experience. The left and right audio channels were clean when it came to vocals and the instruments being heard in the distance gave a very lively real-life feel, especially songs that were live. You can also hear the live crowd around you quite distinctively. The Bowers & Wilkins PX were actually able to accentuate the directions, depth as well as the width of music with each genre. They are very loud on full volume and I recommend 50 to 60 %listening volume levels.
They are not bass-y but give a neutral tone. A natural sounding sound signature is what you get from Bowers & Wilkins PX. The mids, highs, and lows are great but folks who love bass may be a little disappointed (though they can be brought to the max with the equalizer settings) because of the neutral sound stage. However, the vocals, instrumental, rock and metal will be a great hearing experience on the Bowers & Wilkins PX.
A tabular comparison for the two is given below:
|Brand||Beyerdynamic||Bowers & Wilkins|
|Build quality||Premium and heavy||Premium, strong, lighter|
|Earcups||Perfect fit but tends to fall off with head movements. Huge in size||Hollowed ear cups, pressure on the crown. Average in size|
|Gross Weight||384 grams||335 grams|
|Controls||Touch pad||Traditional buttons|
|Noise Cancellation Technology||Passive||Active|
|Battery (usage time)||30+ as per company claim||22 hours as per company|
|Equalizer||In built||In built|
|Mic||Clear audio||Excellent audio clarity|
|Bluetooth Range||30 feet||240 feet max. 110 min.|
|Included in the box||Type C USB charging cable and 3.5 mm audio jack||Carry case, charging cable and 3.5 mm audio jack|
Bowers & Wilkins PX is a great pair of headphones to own and has Active noise cancellation. They are built well and have a great life span too with incredible aesthetics. However, the Beyerdynamic Amiron has only passive noise cancellation and therefore many people could find it a little less in their expectations when compared. Therefore, I would recommend the Bowers & Wilkins PX over the other as it stands out to be great wireless headphones.