Can headphone design really be inspired by a rad-looking “supercar”? Apparently, as high-end, high-performance speaker maker Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), a division of Sound United, announced today a special McLaren Edition of their flagship Px8 reference-grade, over-ear, wireless, noise-canceling headphones.
The company said it created the special model to celebrate its 5-year relationship with luxury, high-performance car manufacturer McLaren Automotive.
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Since 2015, B&W has partnered with McLaren Automotive to provision their vehicles with truly cutting-edge technology and optimized sound systems of exceptional quality, unique in an automotive environment. McLaren is one of the U.K.’s most respected manufacturers of luxury, high-performance supercars. Every McLaren vehicle is hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey England.
The company touts the fact that it “has worked closely with McLaren’s design and engineering teams” to develop and optimize the audio system found in McLaren’s first series hybrid supercar known as the Artura (shown in the photo above).
A Design Sensibility That Harkens to Bruce McLaren’s Racing
The Px8 McLaren Edition headphones designation largely refers to the model’s color scheme with its Glavanic Grey overall finish and Papaya Orange highlights, which harken to a unique McLaren sensibility. Especially in the case of the Papaya Orange highlights, this color originated on Bruce McLaren’s early racing vehicles. But other than that design element, performance and technology-wise, all Px8 editions are based on the same model construction.
The reference-grade Px8 features the company’s finest technology promising “outstanding detail, resolution, and spaciousness” thanks, in large part, to the 40mm Carbon Cone drive units. The company says these are inspired by technology used in their reference-grade loudspeaker systems. These Carbon Cone drivers are specially angled inside each of the earcups to ensure proper and consistent distance from the listener’s ear for a more immersive and accurate soundstage.
Whether Using Wired or Wirelessly, As Close to Perfection as Possible
To ensure the best wireless sound possible, the Px8 uses Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive technology. When used with compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers, the listener gets the best wireless experience.
At the user’s option, a wired connection can be accomplished with a USB-C or 3.5mm analog cable. And by the way, these cables are provided in the custom matching carrying case that comes with every Px8.
Technology Touches Every Element of the Px8
Combining exclusive B&W driver technology with their custom-created Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology yields breathtaking musical performance with 24-bit high-resolution quality from leading streaming services.
As you might suspect from a premium brand like B&W, the company has developed it’s own optimized noise cancellation technology to electronically, and effectively, shut out the world around you. But perhaps most importantly, this technology removes noise while preserving the pristine and robust sound quality of the music.
How About High-Performance Phone Calls?
No fewer than six high-quality microphones are incorporated into every Px8 to accomplish superior performance. Two are used to measure the output of each driver, two react to the ambient noise around the listener, and two are used to provide exceptional voice clarity and enhanced noise suppression for higher-performance phone calls.
“We are tremendously proud of our long-standing relationship with McLaren Automotive, which is rooted in a shared desire to lead in performance. The Px8 McLaren Edition celebrates this partnership, extending the appeal of our industry- leading sound performance and McLaren’s DNA to outside the car.Dan Shepherd, B&W Vice President, Licensing & Partnerships
A Perfect Partner for B&W’s Music App
The McLaren Edition Px8 will partner perfectly with B&W’s Music App which facilitates easy setup and use. Via this app, users can stream their chosen music directly from their mobile devices to their headphones. The company notes that services such as Deezer, Qobuz, and TIDAL are all supported.
Users will appreciate how the Music App simplifies the connection between their device and the Px8, as well as provide the opportunity to fine-tune the sound to their specific liking with its adjustable equalization. Users will also be able to adjust the noise cancellation mode and keep tabs on their headphone’s charge level.
Px8 McLaren Edition Pricing and Availability
We are delighted to unveil the Px8 McLaren Edition, which builds on the award-winning and long-standing collaboration between McLaren and Bowers & Wilkins. The shared ethos of pushing the boundaries, innovation and the pursuit for perfection is apparent in all products that both brands have collaborated on to-date. With the new headphones, the immersive audio experience that all receive in our supercars can now go beyond the road.”George Biggs, McLaren Automotive’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
The Bowers & Wilkins Px8 McLaren Edition wireless, noise-canceling headphones are available starting today (December 7, 2022) from bowersandwilkins.com and select retailers for an MSRP of $799.