A couple of weeks ago we talked about the competitiveness of the ANC headphone market and we can add another to the list in the form of the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2.
The Px7 S2 were leaked earlier in the year by Qualcomm (whoops), so we’ve known they were coming for a while, but alongside the announcement of the Px7 S2 was the reveal of the Px8, B&W’s flagship ANC can coming later this year.
Bowers & Wilkins say they’ve built an all-new acoustic platform for the Px7 S2 to deliver “unmatched high-resolution sound quality”. The newly developed, custom-designed 40mm drivers are said to deliver an ultra-fast response for music reproduction whilst remaining low in distortion for a “more accurate, high-resolution presentation.” The drive units are angled in each earcup, a tactic to help produce a more natural and immersive soundstage for the listener to experience.
Bluetooth compatibility is via Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive that’s capable of (lossy) 24-bit wireless streaming of music from suitable streaming services such as Qobuz and Tidal. By our understanding, it’s unlikely these headphones will support aptX Lossless/Snapdragon Sound that’s coming later this year. The Px7 S2 don’t forsake wired connections though, with a USB-C and 3.5m options provided.
For its noise cancelling performance, the Px7 S2 makes use of six high-performance microphones with two measuring the output of each drive unit, two more assessing the ambient noise from the outside world and the other two offering noise suppression to maintain vocal clarity. The microphones have been positioned and angled to ensure they shut out noise (without affecting audio quality) in the noisiest of environments.
The headphones have also moved from supporting the Bowers’ Headphones app to the Music app used by the Panorama 3 and Zeppelin speakers. Within the app the EQ can be adjusted, noise cancelling/transparency modes activated and the current battery levels observed. Coming in the future will be the ability for users to play music streaming services from the Music App directly to the Px7 S2 in similar fashion as you would on the Zeppelin speaker.
Battery life is unchanged from the PX7 at 30 hours, with a 15-minute fast charge providing up to seven hours of additional listening time. The look of the headphones has changed: slimmer, slightly lighter with more luxurious earpads and improved memory foam for better comfort. Finishes are provided in grey, blue and black colourways.
The Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 go on sale today (June 29th) for $399 / £379 / €429 from the Bowers & Wilkins and select dealers. The flagship Px8 due later in the year – is said to deliver a “no-holds barred reference level” performance – will be priced at $549 / £499 / €599.