Bowers & Wilkins Px7 s2e review

Audio

Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e

Pros

  • The Px7 s2e is also made of good but also beautiful materials
  • Sturdy case – a very nice option, especially as a traveler
  • Can be used wirelessly but also wired
  • It is possible to connect two devices at the same time
  • USB-C for both charging and listening
  • Easy to use
  • 30 hours Bluetooth with ANC, 7 hours with 15 min. load
  • 24-bit DSP

Cons

  • No equalizer in the software, except for the treble and bass sliders
  • The headphones can’t be folded very small in the case
  • Bowers & Wilkins Px7 s2e

Introduction

From the Bowers & Wilkins Px series, the new Px7 S2e has now come onto the market. A successor to the already well-known Px7 S2, which is also a successor to the Px7. In short, a few iterations further with a headphone that actually earned 5 stars with the Px7 S2. And that’s actually just really lame. Then you already have a very good pair of headphones, and then you make them even better… The S2e has the e of ‘evolved’, has it evolved that way?

The dutch version of the review can be found here! 

Specifications

Let’s kick things off with the specs.

Net weight

  • 307g (without carrying case)

Drivers

  • 2 x 40mm Dynamic Full Range Bio Cellulose Driver

Technical features

  • Hybrid Noise Cancellation
  • Ambient Pass-Through
  • Wear Detection Sensor
  • Bluetooth® audio – Bluetooth 5.2 with aptX™ Adaptive
  • USB-C charging & audio interface

Wearing style

  • Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

Bluetooth codecs

  • aptX™ Adaptive
  • aptX™ HD
  • aptX™
  • AAC
  • SBC

Bluetooth profiles

  • A2DP
  • AVRCP
  • HFP
  • HSP
  • BLE GATT (Generic Attribute Profile)

Microphones

  • 4x microphones for ANC
  • 2x microphones for telephony
  • Distortion (THD)
  • <0.1 % (1 kHz/10mW)

Type of battery

  • Rechargeable Lithium Ion
  • Battery life & charging
  • 30 hours Bluetooth with ANC, 7 hours with 15 min. load

Enclosed accessories

  • 1.2m USB-C to 3.5mm stereo jack audio cable
  • 1.2m USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Carrying case

Finishing

  • Anthracite Black
  • Cloud Gray
  • Ocean Blue
  • Forest Green

Unpack

This Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e is a demo model, of which (unfortunately) the box is no longer present. Nevertheless, I would still like to do the ‘uncasing’. 😉

What’s a warm welcome in this case is that the Px7 S2e (like the earlier Px7 S2) comes in a hard case. The case is not awfully large, so it can easily be taken with you while traveling. By the way, the Px7 S2e does not roll up, so the case could have been a lot smaller.

The hard case is neat and handy. The small compartment between the headphones has space for the cables.

Bowers & Wilkins offers the following with the Px7 S2:

  • A USB-C to USB-C charging cable (can also be used to play wired music)
  •  USB-C to 3.5 mm jack cable, for example to connect a telephone (wired).

Once open, it’s time to check out the beautiful Px7 S2e. I was actually very pleased with the materials used in the first variants of the Px7, and I still am today. The fabric finish on the speakers provides an extra sense of detail. I see plenty of headphones that are only made of plastic, which sometimes looks quite cheap.

What struck me right away is that the Px7 s2e is quite smooth. Tip of the week; If the headphones are still too tight, hang them on tension (for example) overnight – for example, by hanging them over the armrest of a sofa.

Compared to the Px8, the luxurious nappa leather and aluminum have been exchanged for affordable variants made of plastic and metal.

In addition, the cushions are also very nice, because there is also a considerable play in them, so that the ear cushions really fit perfectly around your ear. The great thing about the Px7 S2e is that the ear cups can be replaced. As a result, the PX7 will last for a long time! Unfortunately, this is the only thing that can be (easily) replaced on the Px7 S2e.

The ear cup of the Px7 S2e is slightly rotated so that the sound is well ‘blown’ into the ear cup.

And then the possibilities.

Let’s start with the right ear cup.–

  • Slider on/off and search for bluetooth devices
  • Volume up
  • Pause/play
  •  Volume down
  • USB type-c to charge the headset or play music (via a PC, for example).
  • 3.5mm jack, to connect a mobile, laptop or the like

In the left ear cup is the button to adjust the noise canceling (I’ll come back to this later!).

Software

The Px7 S2e, like the Px7 S2, uses the Bowers & Wilkins Music app (available in the Android and iOS store).

Make sure the Px7 S2e is turned on. If it is not yet found, make sure you push the slider upwards a little more, which activates the bluetooth. After this, the headset is easy to find through the app. The main problem with this app is that you have to log in to use its features. In addition, there is no extensive EQ – other than being able to adjust the Treble & Bass sliders.

The app explains exactly what needs to be done to connect the headphones to the app. In addition, the app also asks for network access in order to communicate with other Bowers & Wilkins products, should more be used.

The great thing about the app is that there is an extensive manual in the app, so you quickly learn what you need to do to adjust the music in all kinds of ways.

Once added, it’s time to play with the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2.

Libraries of music, podcasts, and radio can be managed and organized via the app.

The Px7 S2e can be managed via the settings menu. This includes product updates, linked services, etc. Under the menu of the Px7 S2e, the headphones can be set to your liking by means of the sliders treble and bass. However, this is also the only EQ present on the Px7 S2e. This was also the case with the previous generations of the Bowers & Wilkins Px series.

Wireless

Just like the Px7 S2, the S2e also has a decent range. As a result, as a user, you don’t have to carry a phone or laptop with you all the time.

Calling & Operation

And this also applies to calling. The call just sounds good in that respect. You are clearly understood. Even in meetings. Indeed; because the Px7 S2e has such a range, you can walk through the house and keep chatting.

Noise Canceling

Noise canceling is just fine with the Px series, especially the later models. Coincidentally, I’m flying next month, so I’m definitely going to take it with me on the plane. But for now; With screaming kids, people talking in a café, this is really more than enough. There is no noise or other annoying noise. The noise cancelling sounds like you’re being wrapped in a blanket, and that’s enjoyable.

Whether this is one of the best noise canceling headsets, I don’t dare to say – where I haven’t had the chance to listen to the other two from Bose and Sony yet. Purely from experience from the 50+ audio reviews I’ve done so far, I can say that the NC sounds pretty good. And then we haven’t even talked about the quality of the music. And that… That definitely counts!

What is important is that the sound is not distorted at all by the use of ANC. There are headphones that really reproduce a different sound when ANC is used, then the audio becomes duller/flattens out. In this case, that is certainly not the case.

Music & Usage

Well, Bowers & Wilkins and music…. I can be pretty easy about that. My experience shows that this goes very well together, it is a monster again – in the positive sense of the word.

In the last few weeks I have been able to use the Px7 S2e intensively and I have to admit that it is just an experience. The Px7 fits like a glove, the cushions are comfortable, the headband does not press at all. Not even after the headphones have been glued to your head for hours. You don’t get sweaty or very warm ears, at least I don’t – even with intensive exercise. And that’s just about use and quality of materials, but what about the sound quality? Well… That’s fine, the DSP does a really good job of providing the sound with even better quality. And it sounds really crystal clear…

At the moment I’m listening to Oliver Heldens – Heldeep Radio #500 PT 1 via my iPhone 14 Pro Max (bluetooth). Whether I turn the ANC on/off. It sounds very good in either case. Very good, in fact! The basses sound very on point, and fortunately not so that the headphones are vibrating on your head.

Whether it’s jazz, rock or other music. It’s just hugely embraced by the Px7 S2e. In this case with Aerosmith it is such a full experience, as if you are standing with an orchestra and can enjoy the sound. Everything is on point. And that’s not surprising, considering the Px7 S2e has the drivers of its bigger brother (the Px8). And it’s really good. I’ve been able to review it before, and that’s … That’s really in a class of its own.

Conclusion

As mentioned in the introduction, it’s actually just bland. Then you have a really good pair of headphones, and then you make them even better. Do I have to give 6 out of 5 stars now? Can’t, so in this case it still sticks to 5 out of 5 stars, which the Px7 S2 already got. Here’s why: Nothing has gotten worse. There are even additions such as the digital signal processor (dsp) that should provide (even) higher sound quality. The app still works properly, the materials of the Px7 S2e are still good. And to top it all off, it’s on sale for the same price as the Px7 S2. I dare to say with hand on my heart that this is really one of the better headphones on the market for this amount.

You know that feeling that music automatically makes you thigh? A good pair of headphones does just that. You won’t be annoyed by the quality of the sound. You hear the quality as a composer intended, and you enjoy it. Music moves you, and in my opinion you can certainly do that with the Bowers and Wilkins Px7 S2e!

The great thing about the headphones is that they can be used both wirelessly and wired. It can also be charged and used via USB-C. In addition, it is possible to connect with 2 devices. For example, it is possible to switch between a laptop and PC in terms of audio in no time. Or between phone and laptop. When music is being listened to from a laptop and you receive a call on your phone, you can answer immediately without having to change headphones again. So it’s ideal.

The built-in battery provides up to 30 hours of wireless listening. Fifteen minutes of fast charging also gives you an extra 7 hours of listening time. Ideal for breaks at work!
In addition, it is also very nice that the PX7 S2e has a built-in sensor. If you lift one ear cup for a moment, the sound is immediately paused. This way you can hear in no time what is being announced on the train. Also hanging the headphones around the neck makes the music/movie or the like pause. The sensor can also be adjusted via the app – or even switched off.

I also think it’s cool that Bowers & Wilkins includes a hard case with the Px7 S2e. This way, you know that the headset will stay in good condition during the most intense world trips you make… I’m going on a trip and I’m taking with me…!

The Bowers & Wilkins is currently selling for 338, which is not a low price for headphones. Keep in mind that you get a bit extra with the finish, materials, hard case and noise canceling. And then I have the quality of the audio, which is already worth 400 euros in my opinion.

There is no EQ in the software and that is not necessarily a very heavy negative point. The headphones are so clear that they are not really necessary. After all, there are sliders for ‘Treble & Bass’ with which the headphones can still be fine-tuned. But it is of course different from an extensive EQ, with which the sound can still be tweaked a little better. By the way, apps like Spotify do have an EQ in the app. Bowers & Wilkins has put down a beast of a pair of headphones, and it shows!

The Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2e gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.

 

 

 

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