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Bowers and Wilkins Px7 S2e vs. the Px7 S2 over-ear noise canceling wireless Bluetooth headphones.

Today, we will discuss the Bowers and Wilkins Px7 S2e over-ear noise canceling Wireless Bluetooth headphones and how they compare to the very popular Px7 S2 headphones and whether or not if you are a current Px7 S2 owner you should purchase the new model. This article will primarily discuss my impressions of the headphones regarding build quality, look and feel, comfort, and sound quality. 


Bowers and Wilkins Px7 S2e Wireless Headphones

The E in the model’s name of the B&W Px7 S2e stands for evolved.  Bowers & Wilkins says they have evolved the sound signature from the original Px7 S2.  Almost every other specification, even the 40mm dynamic full-range bio-cellulose drivers, looks like they are the same as what was in the Px7 S2.


So, from a look and feel and build quality perspective, the Px7 S2e is virtually identical, and if you watched our video on the Px7 S2 vs. the PX8, you know that I am a fan of the Px7 S2 and feel like it has a splendid price for performance and build quality.


Let’s quickly go over the technical details of the new Px7 S2e, which are, from what I can tell, identical to the Px7 S2.  The headphones weigh only 307g and are superbly comfortable.  The headband system causes me no hot spots and keeps the headphones and their plush and comfy memory foam and synthetic leather earpads firmly in place.


Bowers and Wilkins Px7 S2e headphones

The cups can get a bit warm when working out or walking the dog, which is to be expected with closed-back headphones; however, I find them still better than some other headphones they compete with.


The Px7 S2e uses hybrid noise cancellation, which works well for the gym, office, or an enclosed room fan test I did.  You don’t realize how valuable ANC is until you are at the gym and it’s turned off, and in order to drown out the background noise, you would have to listen at unsafe levels.  With B&W’s hybrid noise cancellation, I can focus on the music and my workout.


Is the noise cancellation class leading?  Most likely, it is not; however, I think its sound signature for music is superior to other similarly priced headphones in its class, but stay tuned for a future article where we will compare the new Px7 S2e with two similarly priced wireless Bluetooth headphones with ANC. 


The headphones also have an ambient Pass-through mode, wear-detection sensor, Bluetooth 5.2 with aptX adaptive, and several other Bluetooth codecs and profiles.


For phone calls, the headphones use four mics for ANC and 2 for telephony.  The call quality is quite good for both sides of the line, and even in noisy environments, the headphones do a good job of making sure both people conversing on the call can be heard well.


The Px7 S2e boasts less than .1% THD with 30 hours of playback time or 7 hours with a 15-minute charge, which is pretty spectacular, especially if you are traveling and have a short layover but want to grab a quick charge.


The headphones include a 1.2m USB-C to 3.5mm stereo jack audio cable, a 1.2m USB-C to USB-C cable, and a nice carrying case that stores the cables neatly behind a closed flap in the case.


Also new to the evolved Px7 S2e is a new Forest Green finish along with Black, Gray, and Ocean Blue, as seen in this video. The headphones use a 24-bit high-res DSP and can be plugged in via USB to enjoy high-res music streaming. 


Bowers and Wilkins Px7 S2e Forest Green Wireless Headphones

As I have said in many other wireless videos we have created on our YouTube channel; I primarily utilize Bluetooth headphones wirelessly with my iPhone or my MacBook Pro as they are wireless headphones, which is how most people will mainly use them; if I want to have a wired listening experience, I will choose headphones that specialize in that.

The B & W app works well, and I can bounce back and forth between several B&W headphones if I want to. When you open the app, you will see the headphones you have connected, followed by your environmental control, which includes Noise Cancellation and Pass-through.

I noticed that when noise cancellation is active, it does add a bit of a lift in the bass regions, similar to the way the app worked with the Px7 S2, so having the option to turn it off was nice if you are in a quiet environment, and it’s unnecessary.

Next, you have a plus or minus 6 dB for treble and bass.  So, if you listen to music with noise cancellation and don’t like the lift in the bass, you can pull it back with the EQ.  I wish more adjustment bands were available in the EQ settings; only having two doesn’t allow you to tailor the sound as much as some users will want.  Thankfully, the headphones have a sound signature I find to be enjoyable, with minimal adjustments needed for my preferences.

The app also allows you to manage the devices and the priority of those devices, such as your phone and your computer, for listening.  You can adjust the Environmental Control button on the headphones to become a voice assistant button. 

Bowers and Wilkins Px7 S2e headphones app

Next, your Auto standby mode allows the headphones to enter a low power state after fifteen minutes, followed by the wear sensor settings so the music will pause when you take the headphones off.

Lastly, you have the streaming quality, which allows you to choose the quality of your streaming when on a mobile device if you have a limited data plan or when connected to WiFi and running the highest quality streaming.

So, I was pleased with the app minus the minimal EQ settings, and the headphones worked flawlessly with Tidal, Qobuz, and Roon ARC, my mobile streaming bridge service of choice.

So, let’s talk about how they sound.  First, let’s get this out of the way: there is no massive difference in sound between the Px7 S2e and the discontinued Px7 S2.  I think most listeners who are new to headphone listening or want a great set of headphones for travel or office work in a blind listening test wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

If listening with serious intent, a listener may hear a bit more definition and clarity than the original Px7 S2, but we are talking a very small amount.  So, on one hand, I am glad Bowers and Wilkins didn’t drift very far from the sound signature of the Px7 S2 as it was already quite good with a nice warm and dynamic sounding bass region, good definition in the mids and present but unfatiguing treble. On the other hand, the evolution of the sound is minor, and I feel it is vital for us to let you, our audience, know that.

Bowers and Wilkins Px7 S2e bluetooth headphones

The sound signature of the Px7 S2e is everything the Px7 S2 is, with a minimal amount more clarity and definition to instruments, vocals, and their separation on the sound stage, which could honestly be attributed to the more worn-in pads and drivers of the Px7 S2 I have on hand.

So, if you own the Px7 S2, I see very little reason to sell them and purchase the new Px7 S2e unless you want one of the new colors.  However, suppose you are shopping for a wireless set of headphones under $400 or own another brand of wireless headphones. In that case, the Px7 S2e is one of my favorite wireless Bluetooth headphones for the money. At $399, you get a great listening experience for traveling, office work, or one of my favorite activities, working out at the gym. 

I like the Px7 S2e because it sits in the sweet spot for price, performance, build, and comfort.  Sure, there are more expensive wireless headphone options we have reviewed on this channel, such as the flagship Px8 from B&W, which I prefer for movie watching over the Px7 S2e, but honestly, I prefer the sound of the Px7 S2e for pure music listening.

Or you could look at the Focal Bathys, which we reviewed and are a favorite for many listeners. Still, at $300 more than the Px7 S2e, you must determine if their sound is worth that extra $300, especially if you are only listening to them occasionally, and their added size and weight make them less practical for the gym. 

Suppose you want to see how the Px7 S2e compares to the flagship Px8. In that case, check out the video link above to that review, as pretty much everything will apply from that video with the subtle improvements discussed in the Px7 S2e and that video will also go into greater detail on the sound characteristics of both headphones with several music tracks.

As always, we recommend listening to all audio products yourself, as we all hear a bit differently, and the only person who should tell you what type of sound signature to love is you!

If you are interested in trading up your old headphones, amplifiers, or other gently used audio gear for a new set of headphones or a new amplifier, check out the links in the video description to our trade-up program, and don’t forget we will price match, other authorized dealers! 

Bowers and Wilkins Px7 S2e

We have some cool videos coming this year with new product announcements, so please consider subscribing to our channel today!  From $150 earphones to multi-million-dollar home audio, cinema, and automation systems, TSAV is a HiFi enthusiast's paradise for building the system of your dreams.

So, let’s start the conversations in the article comments on your favorite wireless headphones under $400 and why. While you are there, smash that like button for us. Until next time, friends, remember, let the music be your guide!

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