Bowers & Wilkins are well known for their high-quality home audio products, as well as a more recent push into the headphone market that has seen wide success. Their flagship PX7 wireless headphones were highly acclaimed by both casual listeners and hardcore audiophiles alike. Now, Bowers & Wilkins have released the successor: the PX7 S2. Boasting a slew of new features and hardware upgrades, the S2 has some serious potential to rival other high-end Bluetooth headphones, especially within its price range ($399). This is my first experience with a Bowers & Wilkins product, and I’m very excited to hear what the hype is about.
What’s in the Box
Look and Feel
On the surface, the PX7 S2 looks like a solid pair of headphones. There’s simplicity in its design that feels inviting and refreshing. The surface is a pleasant mixture of smooth and stitched textures that act complementary to each other and give a sense of uniformity to the design. I used the blue pair, which featured a nice gold trim along the border where the housing and earpads meet. The construction feels solid and durable, with evenly placed buttons and smooth swivels. My one complaint is that the included cables are somewhat short, but this can be resolved by using the Bluetooth function. I can tell an immense amount of thought was put into the design of the PX7 S2.
Under the hood, the PX7 S2 is even more impressive. The drivers are Bowers & Wilkins’ own custom 40mm drive units constructed from a low-distortion bio-cellulose diaphragm. The wireless platform is capable of low latency 24-bit streaming, giving it outstanding clarity. To power the Adaptive noise cancellation, The PX7 S2 has a total of six built-in mics to monitor the outside environment. The PX7 S2’s parameters can be controlled using the Bowers & Wilkins app.
The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 has a maximum battery life of 30 hours with 2 hours of charging time and can get 7 hours of battery life from 15 minutes of charging time
Bowers & Wilkins App
As somebody who has to try a ton of parent apps for headphones, I can safely say that the Bowers & Wilkins app is one of the best apps I’ve used. Everything from the moment you launch the app is simple and streamlined, especially the setup process. Each parameter is given both attention and succinctness. I was able to test every parameter in around 10 minutes and fully tailor my experience to my liking. That being said, with simplicity comes fewer features than some headphone apps. These are minor nitpicks though; I don’t alter EQ settings on my headphones, but the 2-band EQ doesn’t have a section for saving presets, which some users might enjoy. These features are ultimately just bells and whistles whose absence doesn’t detract from the overall listening experience.
The soundstage on the PX7 S2 is wide and close. The wraparound is very good and closer mixes feel separate and immersive. That being said, the PX7 S2 can still portray space and airiness with an impressive degree of accuracy. Bowers & Wilkins’ goal with these was to create accurate sound reproduction, and the PX7 S2 can bring out the best in several genres. With ANC mode engaged, the immersion is heightened by providing very good external noise isolation. I was pleasantly surprised by the soundstage on these.
The lows on the PX7 S2 are solid. Depending on the genre, the Low end can bring out some deep subs and fatten up the sound considerably, but also treats less bass-centric mixes with the same respect. While you won’t get that boosted low sound that you get from some other headphones, what you do get is a solid foundation for your sound.
The PX7 S2 impressed me with the flatness of its midrange. Bowers & Wilkins’ Goal with these was to create a flat, accurate listening experience, which I believe they achieved gracefully. The mids bring out the body of the sound very well and don’t have too much smoothing to the point where it feels artificial.
The highs are especially nice on the PX7 S2. They sound smooth and crisp, providing high-quality details throughout. Small details like the scratching on an acoustic guitar or the attack of a cymbal are given a nice shine to them that I thoroughly enjoyed. While this varied by genre, I think the highs were able to provide good depth to the sound in nearly every instance.
I was pleasantly surprised by the PX7 S2. Every aspect of the product was very well-executed and provided me with a fantastic listening experience. Of course, it isn’t perfect, but it does a fantastic job for what it sets out to be. While they are on the pricier side, they are well worth it if you want high quality and hassle-free listening experience. This being my first Bowers & Wilkins product, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the brand, but now I’m going to keep my eye on them.
You can buy the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 here