The Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e comes with an upgraded digital signal processor (DSP) that claims to offer better sound than its 2022 predecessor. I didn't test the previous version, so I have no basis for comparison. But these over-the-ear headphones are one of the best sounding ones I have tested, providing a level of detail and immersion that's hard to beat in this price range.
- Two 40mm dynamic full range carbon driver
- Hybrid noise cancellation
- Bluetooth 5.2 with aptX Adaptive
- 30 hours playback (7 hour with 15min charge)
Apparently, the “e” in S2e stands for evolved. Bowers & Wilkins says it has re-tuned the acoustics for these headphones. But going by the specs, the two versions (Px7 S2 and Px7 S2e) are very similar. Both come with dual 40mm drivers with six microphones (for noise cancellation and calls), aptX Adaptive support, and Bluetooth 5.2. The S2e even has the same quoted, 30-hour music playback as its predecessor. It also takes just 15 minutes of charging to get around 7 hours of battery life, which is great. The S2e even looks identical to the previous version. My black review unit has this textured finish, and matte black accents that look professional, and business-like. But the S2e also comes in grey, blue, and green. The latter looks particularly eye-catching, and is probably my favourite colour here.
Comfort-wise, the S2e is well padded, with thick, pillowy earcups. I wore these headphones for over two hours straight without once feeling their 307g weight. In addition, the S2e doesn't overwhelm you with the controls. They are all physical buttons, no iffy touch panels here. The right earcup has the playback controls. A single button on the left earcup toggles between noise cancellation and transparency modes (you can switch this to launching the voice assistant in the Bowers & Wilkins Music App. This app also lets you adjust the EQ, and toggle the wear sensor that plays or pauses the music playback when you put on, or remove the S2e from your head. My only grouse: You can't fold these headphones, so the carry case is on the bulky side.
The S2e is one of the best-sounding headphones in this premium wireless over-the-ear headphone category. According to Bowers & Wilkins, these headphones have been optimised for streaming music, including 24-bit high-resolution tracks. The speakers inside the earcups are angled to direct the sound straight to your ears. And they sound exceptional. The clarity and detail offered by the S2e are excellent. I could easily discern the different sections of a band, while the soundstage is pleasantly wide and large. The bass is punchy, and tight. Vocals sound expressive, and soulful, even. In comparison, the active noise cancellation is merely decent. It does a more than adequate job at reducing lower-frequency noise, but it won't produce that near-perfect cocoon of silence that you'll experience with some other headphones.
At S$699, the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e costs more than premium wireless headphones from the likes of Bose and Sony. But it's not even Bowers & Wilkins' flagship headphones (that's the Px8), while Apple's AirPods Max are also more expensive. For noise cancellation, the S2e is not as good as the competition. But I prefer the S2e for music playback. The detail and clarity produced by these headphones just beg you to listen more closely. And it doesn't hurt that these headphones look elegant and classy, too. Get the S2e from Lazada, and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Bowers & Wilkins.
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