Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Headphones Review: Premium Sound and Build

That’s one thing to play against the oldest kid in the playground. It’s completely different to try to do it on your own terms. But with its new Px7 S2 wireless over-ear headphones headphone, Bowers & Wilkins basically compared with Sony and asked if the Japanese giant wanted some. Bold? Reckless? A bit of both?

A few years ago, Bowers & Wilkins launched its original Px7 wireless noise-cancelling on-ear headphones and priced them to match the incumbent class-leading standard, Sony’s WH-1000XM4. And by playing to its heritage and strengths, Bowers & Wilkins has provided a pair of headphones that can compete when it comes to sound quality fundamentals. Yes, they’re a bit cold, a little pushy, but they’re worth it, and they’re a valid sound-focused alternative to the all-singing, dancing, Sony option, conquer everything.

Last month, Sony launched WH-1000XM5. The price is up a bit, the weight is down a bit, the list of features and functions is still as long as your arm. And here’s Bowers & Wilkins with a new model. The price has gone up a bit, the weight has dropped a bit, the emphasis on sound quality and the rather self-conscious “refinement” remains the same.

Photo: Bowers & Wilkins

So what that means for the Px7 S2’s exterior is a look that is both premium and refined, delivered by implementing high-quality and tactile materials. At least, that was true of our black review sample. The $399 (£379) Px7 S2 is also available in gray or blue, but we’d be surprised if those finishes detract from the impression of quality.

A combination of soft, supple leather, memory foam at the touch points, fabric finishes coated on the outer sections of the headband and ear cups, high-quality and silent plastic for the arms and hinges, and an overall sky-high standard build give the Px7 S2 a good look and feel. Even the case of them traveling felt cut short from the norm.

Fast, comfortable charging case

Bowers & Wilkins improved the headband mount arrangement and re-evaluated grip force in an effort to make these headphones more comfortable than the style they replaced. And aided by a one percent reduction in weight (307 g compared to the old Px7’s 310 g), it really worked. The Px7 S2 is burden-free to wear and they stay comfortable even during long listening sessions. This helps the earpads resist sending your own body heat back to the sides of your head for an impressively long time.

Photo: Bowers & Wilkins

There have been revisions inside too. But what hasn’t changed is Bowers & Wilkins’ determination to make these headphones the choice for customers who value sound quality more than adaptive active noise cancellation. The Px7 S2 uses Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connectivity and is compatible with the SBC, AAC, and aptX Adaptive codecs — so 24-bit high-resolution audio quality is always available. The sound itself is provided by a pair of 40 mm wide, full-range dynamic drivers. This is a brand new bio-cellulosic design with lower total harmonic distortion than the driver it replaces.

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