The Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 are a bit of a surprise entry into the headphones market.
Against the British company’s usual habit of biding its time between generations – updating devices when it feels the technology has moved on significantly – these second-gen headphones replace the five-star Px7 model after just two years.
But, there’s been plenty of tweaks and enhancements introduced through this upgraded pair of ANC headphones – particularly in the design department.
So, are the Px7 S2 a worthy follow-up to the first generation – and how do they compare to the industry’s big hitters?
We gave them a thorough test to find out.
The ANC headphones market is now jam-packed with superb options, but the Px7 S2 deserve to be held in the same high regard as the top models from Sony and Bose.
These over-ears don’t just improve on their predecessors, they match their peers expertly – and, in many cases, they better them.
Audio performance is throaty and robust, with fine control over clarity, too. You’ll get as much enjoyment from a bass-heavy Stormzy session as you will an episode of The Umbrella Academy on a packed train.
Noise cancellation has been enhanced, too, with better blocking of unwanted ambience without impacting sound quality.
Perhaps what elevates them to compete more readily with the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the like, though, is the design. Not only do the Px7 S2s look incredibly slick, but they are also by far the most comfortable Bowers & Wilkins wireless headphones yet.
That results in a headset that’s right up there for audio and can be worn for long periods. That’s a winner in our book.
While the 2020 Px7 headphones represented a design departure from its siblings, the Px7 S2 is more in line with what we’d typically expect from Bowers & Wilkins.
A raised aluminium deco plate returns to the exterior of each ear, while the materials used evoke memories of the brand’s first ANC alternatives, the PX.
The big difference, though, is in the padding on the underside of the headband – and the earcups themselves. Each is softer and more pliable than ever before, presenting a far more comfortable experience. Bowers & Wilkins also claims to have reduced the clamping force between generations, which you can definitely feel during wear.
They are tight enough to offer decent noise isolation, to go with the cancellation technology, but thankfully don’t feature the over-egged pressure of some equivalents that can cause slight discomfort over long periods.
Our only design disappointment relates to the size of the carry case – it’s pretty large for what are designed to be easily portable headphones. You’ll have to make a decent amount of room in a bag for it, although we’re at least pleased that it’s robust and sturdy – much like the headphones themselves – enough to survive a bit of battering.
It also comes with a nice hidden pouch area inside that contains a USB-C cable and USB-C to 3.5mm jack for wired listening, which is neat.
Connecting the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 headphones to a device is a doddle. They use Bluetooth 5.0 to hook up to a source device, and there’s a dedicated B&W Music app for iOS and Android that helps. It found the over-ears easily (we paired them with our phone first, via the usual Bluetooth methods).