It is by no means good to be topped by a youthful, costlier mannequin at your personal celebration. However when Bowers & Wilkins first introduced the most recent technology of its high-end-canceling wi-fi headphones, the Px7 S2, it curiously selected to additionally reveal that a fair higher “no-hold-barred” Px8 pair can be launched later this 12 months. , as a substitute lowering the premium cachet of its earlier flagship.
Then we would have anticipated the Px7 S2 to be simply an iterative beauty replace that might impress us sonically. However, because it seems, they’ve offered a skillful and correct hi-fi efficiency with vital enhancements within the 2020 Px7, providing an analytical, if not essentially the most fascinating, various to the present class leaders.
Priced at £379 / $399 / AU$600, the Px7 S2 occupies what was not way back thought-about a headphone for a lot of shoppers – earlier than the likes of the costlier Apple AirPods Max, Mark Levinson No.5909 and certainly the upcoming B&W Px8 arrived on the scene.
Nonetheless, the Px7 S2 is on the premium finish and about the identical worth as Sony’s newest launch. What hi-fi? Award-winning collection, the WH-1000XM5 (£380 / $399 / AU$550). These are the benchmarks that Sony set that these B&Ws will hope to method or surpass.
Design and luxury
Externally essentially the most notable departure for the Px7 S2 from its predecessor is the change from clean ovoid earcups to a much less cumbersome, chamfered construct that appears similar to the unique PX headphones launched in 2017. This can be associated to the return. to a 40mm driver after stepping as much as a 43.7mm diameter for the earlier technology.
This retro redesign reduces the general dimensions of the headphones by 3cm. However typically, they maintain the identical aesthetic with moisture-repellent cloth masking the headscarf and outer shell, and a C-shaped yolk that enables 180 levels of horizontal rotation.
The final iteration’s race car-inspired carbon fiber arms have been changed by a matte plastic composite with a counterintuitively extra luxurious end and, relying on the colorway, gold or silver accents separate the shell from the reminiscence foam cups. These touches subtly create a extra premium and, dare we are saying, mature look that is a pleasant distinction to a few of the extra overtly plastic fashions presently accessible.
Regardless of the extra compact casing, the Px7 S2’s weight has been decreased by simply 3g to 307g. They sit quietly, creating a superb seal across the ear with clamping pressure on the firmer aspect in comparison with the WH-1000XM5. These with lengthy hair might have to be cautious of getting caught in its swirling yolk, however carrying the Px7 S2 for lengthy intervals of time continues to be extraordinarily snug.
An overhaul has additionally been performed internally. New 40mm drivers are mixed with voice coils which have grown from 5mm to 20mm. Constructed from bio-cellulose with a stiffness-modifying resin coating, the drivers are rigidly raked to make sure a constant distance from each level on every driver’s floor relative to the listener’s ear.
As with earlier fashions, there is a quick-action button on the left earcup that toggles between three noise cancellation settings – on, passthrough or off – and will be reassigned within the app to activate the voice assistant. B&W has upgraded their ANC know-how to make use of six microphones: two measure the output of every drive unit, two react to ambient noise from the surface world, and two goal to extend sound readability whereas suppressing noise.
Typically, the Px7 S2 delivered sturdy noise-canceling efficiency with consistency and minimal noise coloration throughout totally different settings. Low droning noises, like those you hear on a practice, are nicely rejected, although we discovered that prime frequencies – together with a vacuum cleaner and even birdsong – lingered greater than the WH-1000XM5.
The proper earcup homes a slider change for energy and Bluetooth pairing, playback controls, and a USB-C port for charging and wired playback. Bowers & Wilkins has determined to take away the three.5mm jack enter from earlier fashions and as a substitute opted to incorporate a mini jack for the USB-C cable in addition to one for USB-C to USB-C.
The Px7 S2 would not assist passive audio, nonetheless, and the cable should be charged and turned on even for listening. B&W claims the headphones have 30 hours of battery life with noise-canceling on, and a 15-minute recharge provides seven hours of further listening time. We discovered that to be an correct illustration, with three hours of listening draining the battery by 3 p.c.
Bowers and Wilkins Px7 S2 Tech Specs
inputs Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C
bluetooth codecs SBC, AAC, aptX adaptive, aptX HD
battery life 30 hours
Transparency mode sure
Constructed-in mic and controls sure
ends Black, blue grey
weight 307 grams
In fact, B&W expects most customers to take heed to music over Bluetooth. The Px7 S2 has Bluetooth 5.2 with assist for SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD and aptX adaptive codecs, the latter three of which offer a high-quality (albeit lossy) wi-fi connection to Android units. For individuals who watch or play video games on their cellphone, aptX Adaptive will be significantly helpful because it permits for dynamic bit-rate variation to keep away from connection points in congested wi-fi environments.
As a substitute of the devoted headphone app utilized by earlier B&W headphones, the brand new Px7 S2 connects on to B&W’s Music app, which can also be used for the corporate’s wi-fi audio system, and a future replace will allow music playback from built-in providers inside the app. .
Together with performance controls, the app additionally consists of, for the primary time on B&W headphones, an elective EQ setting with bass and treble sliders that permit customers customise the sound to their liking.
As we’re all the time blissful to have the choice to tweak, we see no motive to tweak the Px7 S2’s sonic steadiness. streaming And he or she was By Speaking Heads, we’re impressed with the tightness and dexterity of the bass guitar and kick drum, which seamlessly transitions right into a clean lean midrange and a prime finish that is sweeter and extra refined than the earlier Px7. This observe is all about full of life punch and assault. From the picked electrical guitar within the verse to the repetitive synth trill within the bridge to the insistent cowbell within the refrain, the Px7 S2 delivers this deluge of moments with crisp sharpness.
Maybe it is due to these angled drivers that, sonically, the Px7 S2 all the time sounds extraordinarily clear. Dusty Springfield has directness Breakfast in mattress which supplies a better sense of the coy vocals in addition to the rhythmic depth of the association. In comparison with the Px7, which emphasizes background hiss on tracks, they’re extra impartial and composed to the purpose of being analytical.
Switching on and energy And sacred From Mozart giant mass, The Px7 S2 proves intuitive and dynamically masterful because the music transitions from solo voices and wind trios to thundering full choirs and orchestras. Every instrument is well-rendered and superbly separated, however lacks a bit of pleasure in comparison with the extra spacious and energetic Sony WH-1000XM5.
The Px7 S2 is a transparent step ahead for B&W, providing a extra refined, impartial and detailed sound. These are headphones that encourage the listener to dig into and analyze their music. A few of the finest wi-fi headphones within the competitors, just like the leaderboard-topping Sony WH-1000XM5, are arguably extra engaging, however the Px7 S2 continues to be an important and classy choice for individuals who take pleasure in listening carefully.
Learn our evaluation Sony WH-1000XM5
Additionally take into account Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wi-fi
Learn our Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 Assessment
Greatest noise canceling headphones 2022: ANC headphones for all budgets