Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 review: New model with fantastic upgrades

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It has only been a few months since we reviewed the Bowers & Wilkins Px7, and here we are with the new Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2. Headphones pass over my desk in what seems like piles, and I have had the privilege to test various brands and price points.

The number of ANC headphones on the market is sometimes overwhelming but rest assured, Bowers & Wilkins is near the top of the heap. My biggest complaint about the previous Px7 headphones was their weak ANC feature. The new Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 has addressed this issue, bringing a noticeable improvement in this feature. Let’s check out what’s new and improved on this fantastic pair of headphones.

Specifications

The Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 has the following features and specifications:

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Wearing styleBluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
Technical featuresHybrid Noise Cancellation
Ambient Pass-Through
Wear-Detection Sensor
Bluetooth® audio – Bluetooth 5.2 with aptX™ Adaptive
USB-C charging & audio interface
Bluetooth codecsaptX™ Adaptive
aptX™ HD
aptX™
AAC
SBC
Bluetooth profilesA2DP
AVRCP
HFP
HSP
BLE GATT (Generic Attribute Profile)
Drive units2 x 40mm dynamic full range bio-cellulose driver
Microphones4x mics for ANC
2x mics for telephony
Distortion (THD)<0.1 % (1 kHz/10mW)
Battery typeRechargeable Lithium Ion
Battery life & charging30 hours playback, 7 hours with 15min charge
Net weight307g (without carrying case)
FinishesBlack, Blue, Gray

What’s In The Box

  • Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2
  • 1.2m USB-C to 3.5mm stereo jack audio cable
  • 1.2m USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Hard Shell Carry Case
  • Manuals and Documentation

Design

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2
Blue color is awesome

There are many significant design changes to the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2, which were all excellent choices made by Bowers & Wilkins—starting with the hard shell carrying case. The case gets slightly bulkier, but the added convenience is worth it. Like the previous model, the case is covered in a lovely fabric with the Bowers & Wilkins logo in a raised rubber material centered on the front.

The case is a rounded square shape and is still very easy to hold. Bowers & Wilkins might think of adding a handle/carrying strap on the spine for better hand carrying. Still, it fits nicely in a backpack and does an excellent job protecting the headphones. The same high-quality zipper is used and operates smoothly with no hang-ups.

The interior of the case is where the significant changes are. It’s far more spacious, and instead of a small elastic pouch for your cables, you now get a deeper and roomier covered storage compartment. This compartment does a better job of holding your cables and closes with a magnetic clasp. The previous case version was excellent, but this case’s improvements make it even better.

The new Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 design pays tribute to its predecessor but makes many changes while staying familiar. The headphones still exude a sophisticated and elegant vibe with the curvy design. The woven fabric still covers the top of the headband, but it feels tighter and better made than the previous version. That same fabric covers the perimeter of the earcups.

The padding on the headband’s underside is still comfortable and sits nicely on the top of my head. The adjustable arms are still elegant looking but have changed a little. They’re slightly smaller at the earcups, bringing more attention to the headphones. They still look like they’ll hold up over time, but I am unsure if they are still carbon fiber.

Like the Px7s, the Px7 S2s have front earcups made of aluminum with the Bowers & Wilkins logo. They are also similarly shaped, but that’s where the similarities end. The aluminum portion of the earcup is smaller and now raised above the perimeter of the earcup. The ANC and Transparency Mode mics are on this portion of the earcups.

Around the perimeter, our blue version of the headphones is accented in gold, and the look is classy. The same controls, with that awesome sliding on/off switch, are on the right side. Finally, the earcups are, once again, super comfortable. The earcup holes are also roomy and spacious enough for larger ears.

Overall, the previous Px7 design was impressive, and the new Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 are even better. Seeing a brand make significant changes to the following model year is refreshing.

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2
Controls

Ease of Use

I appreciate the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2’s ease of use. It is as simple as turning them on, finding them in your Bluetooth settings, and pairing them. Bowers & Wilkins includes an app with the headphones, which we will cover in the next section.

The buttons I mentioned in the design section are handy and straightforward. I especially love that the power button slides. Here’s a diagram of the functionality of these buttons.

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 review: New model with fantastic upgrades

The Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 also have wear sensors in both earcups enabling intelligent battery conservation by entering standby when removed from the head. When worn again, the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 automatically wakes and connects to the last connected Bluetooth device.

The Px7 S2 will auto-pause during media playback when either earpiece is lifted from the ear. Playback will auto-resume when the earpiece is placed back on the ear. I appreciate this feature as I get interrupted multiple times a day when working, and it is nice to have that auto-pause feature. I did have an issue where the music would auto-pause when turning my head. A complete factory reset and repairing fixed that issue.

Overall, like the previous Px7 using the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 is straightforward, even with multiple buttons and functions; it is simple to get a handle on.

App Software

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 review: New model with fantastic upgrades

The app included with the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 headphones is straightforward and clean. The app allows you to name your headphones, adjust the wear sensors, turn voice prompts on or off, set the standby timer, update the software, and reset the headphones.

You can also adjust the notice cancellation and ambient passthrough in the app and choose from soundscapes. This version has changed for the Px7 S2s and now includes a simple EQ. You will likely only use the app at the initial setup and then forget about it. Apple Music integration is absent again here, a bummer.

Overall, the app is easy to use, and no one should have any issues with it. The most important part of this app is keeping your Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 headphones updated.

Sound

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2
40mm Drivers

Like the Px7, the sound on the Px7 S2 is excellent. Once again, the soundstage has a bit more bass than I like, but not enough to make me say the sound is horrible. I would have preferred the bass frequencies to be pulled back just slightly. Sometimes, especially in bass-heavy songs, the stage feels overdriven. Thankfully, Bowers & Wilkins did add an EQ in the app, so the user can now do that themselves.

I am fully aware that many other users appreciate the bass pushed forward slightly. While more dominant than I like, the bass here is acceptable enough that these are very useable, and the EQ helps in this situation.

The mids and the highs sound balanced and sit well in the mix once I EQ’ed the mix to my liking. Volume levels are great as well. The Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 can be pushed to the max without breakup or sound degradation. But I always keep my volume at 50 – 60%, which sounds perfect on these headphones.

Ambient passthrough, which I don’t use very often, also works nicely. The mics engage and allow the room to come into your ears while still allowing you to enjoy your music. It works just as well as most of its competition. Apple’s AirPods Max, by far, has the best ambient passthrough quality, but these are good too.

My biggest complaint with the previous model was the ANC. Given that Bowers & Wilkins is a premium brand, I felt that they did not bring their A-Game to the Px7. But that changes with the Px7 S2. The ANC is much improved and is now closer than ever to some of the other brands I think do ANC exceptionally well.

The Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 are still short of the top contenders, but not by much. Once again, Bowers & Wilkins deserves praise for such a significant improvement. If you’re looking at the Px7 headphones, consider the Px7 S2 instead. The improvements are noticeable, and they are priced the same.

Overall, with the addition of an EQ and the significant improvements to ANC, the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 scored higher than the previous model in the sound category. Well done!

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2

Reception/Call Quality

Bluetooth reception is industry standard, no surprises here. It works fine; it will start cutting out 30-40 feet from the source, perfectly normal. The call quality is also excellent.

Battery Life

Thirty hours of battery life remains the same and is the claim made by the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2, and they live up to that just fine. This battery life is competitive and on par with other headphones in this range and with this feature set. Bowers & Wilkins has improved the charge time from 5 hours with 15 minutes of charge to 7 hours with a 15-minute charge.

Price/Value

The new Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 remains priced at US$399, which is fantastic! With an upgraded design, upgraded ANC, upgraded app, and upgraded battery charge time, these offer a lot of value.

Wrap Up

Seeing a brand follow up on a previous model with so many impacting improvements is refreshing. Brands often make incremental and minor improvements, but the Px7 S2s are not that. Because of these significant improvements, the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 are worthy of being a Techaeris Top Pick 2022.

Last Updated on August 11, 2022.

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2

US$399

Design

9.5/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

App/Software

9.0/10

Sound

9.5/10

Reception/Call Quality

9.5/10

Battery Life

9.5/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Design is still killer but with some excellent refinements
  • B&W still uses premium materials
  • Super comfortable
  • Ease of use and setup is great
  • The app remains the same but that is good, very easy interface
  • Excellent reception and call quality
  • Battery charging improved
  • These sound great but the biggest point is that ANC has been improved
  • New hard shell case is improved

Needs work

  • B&W still seems to favor a stronger bass frequency
  • I did experience an issue with auto-pause that required a full factory reset and re-pair which was annoying
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