A tour around the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e
The design language of Bowers & Wilkins and their headsets is quite solid, and even across the Px7 and Px8 series, the design repeats itself to a large extent. On the outside, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the Px7 S2e and the previous version. That's not a bad thing though, as the design is stylish and complete. So you get a beautiful headset with the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e.
You stand with a headset that feels accomplished from the first step. The materials are a combination of aluminium, fabric and artificial leather and feel like high quality all around. The ear cushions are made with super soft and comfortable memory foam.
The ear cups can be turned freely to both sides and laid flat on the table or around the neck. The size can be adjusted steplessly via the headband and the construction feels solid and there are no creaking materials to be found.
We received the set in an Anthracite Black version, but it is also available in Cloud Grey, Ocean Blue or Forest Green variants.
On the left ear cup there is a single button that switches between the options for Hybrid Noise Cancellation, Ambient Pass-Through or neither activated.
A little more happens on the right ear cup. Here we find a power and Bluetooth slider together with three control buttons that are used to control media, volume and calls. The middle one of the three is very conveniently provided with a textured surface so that they are easy to distinguish from each other.
At the bottom we find a USB C connector for charging via the included cable. The set also includes a USB C to 3.5 mm plug, which can be used if you want to connect to devices via a 3.5 mm jack plug.
It can all be collected in the included storage and transport case.
If you want to customize the settings on the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e, it can be done through the Bowers & Wilkins Music app on your phone.
Rather annoyingly, it is not possible to use the app without having to create an account with Bowers & Wilkins. Annoying detail as there is clearly no reason for it other than data collection.
Via the app, you can see the status of the headset in relation to connection and battery status. You can also choose to control Hybrid Noise Cancellation or Ambient Pass-Through via the app. However, there is no option to customize the levels for any of them. It is either on or off.
In the app, there is also the possibility to customize a few settings. This is, for example, how sensitive the built-in Wear Sensor must be, or whether it must be activated at all.
It is also possible to customize the Quick Action button on the left ear cup. However, the options are very limited and the only thing you can choose between is whether it should control your Environment Control or whether it should activate the Voice Assistant function.
There are no options to customize the functions of the buttons on the right ear cup.
Finally, there is also the option to adjust the sound a bit. However, there is no real EQ or pre-defined options. Instead, there is a slider option for the Bass or Treble level of + or - 6dB respectively.
The Bowers & Wilkins Music app is therefore perfectly fine to skip, for other than Firmware updates, as the options are quite limited.
However, it is also possible to connect various High Res music services such as Tidal, Deezer or Qobuz. The last service also comes with a three-month free membership through the Bowers & Wilkins Music app.
However, I immediately find it difficult to see the idea that you should use the services through the Bowers & Wilkins Music app and not just through the respective services' own apps. If you have signed up for any of the services, suggestions and recommendations appear in the Music app and you can start the music directly through the Music app.
Again, though, I don't know why I should do it there, and not just through the service's own app, where all functions are available.
I have tested the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e over a month, for a mix of Music, Podcasts and other media, such as series and YouTube via my phone.
In terms of fit and comfort, it has been a pleasure to have the Px7 S2e set on a visit. The nice materials and the good build quality mean that the set has been comfortable to wear even for a long time. There have also been no problems with discomfort as a spectacle wearer, as the soft ear cushions ensure good comfort there as well.
The only drawback is that they can get a little warm, but that is usually one of the conditions that come with an over ear headset.
Fortunately, the sound in the set is at least as good as the comfort, and provides a really good sound image. It doesn't quite reach the same fantastic quality that I experienced with the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 set that I tested a little over a year ago.
However, it is not far from it, and the Px7 S2e provides a nice well-defined image, where even the small details in the sound come through. Even at high volume, the set manages to deliver a solid sound, without distortion.
You get good levels of both bass, along with the middle and high register without any of the parts muddying or drowning each other out. This means that even smaller and perhaps more delicate details in the sound come through nicely.
The ANC part of the set is good, but not award-winning. It manages really well to sort out particularly deep bass rumble, such as the sound of a train or car engine noise, while it has a little more difficulty in handling the higher register in the noise.
However, it is still a good addition and will be a gift to have with you if you use the headset on trips, where it can be a nice dampener on the surroundings, so that you can enjoy your music or your conversations.
Just as I experienced with the Bowers & Wilkins Px8, the Pass-Through setting is also super good with the Px7 S2e. Here you almost get the experience of not wearing a headset, but still have the opportunity to both enjoy music and clearly hear what the family is doing in the next room.
One thing that has become clearly better than I experienced with the more expensive Px8 set is the auto detection function. Here, the music stops automatically when you take off the headset or simply lift one ear cup away from the ear.
There is a slight delay, but it works much better than the somewhat sporadic result I experienced with the Px8 kit.
Bowers & Wilkins themselves state the expected battery life at 30 hours, which according to my tests seems to hit the mark very well. I did not need to charge the set during my test.
At the time of writing, I can find the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e, with an online price of just under 400$.
Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e is a fantastic Bluetooth headset that, with its complete design, good materials and delicious sound, is a pleasant companion for music and conversations in most places.
The accompanying Bowers & Wilkins Music app points a bit in different directions, and in my opinion should have more options to adjust the sound according to personal preferences.
Fortunately, the sound is so good right out of the box that I personally felt no need for adjustments.
The whole thing is rounded off with a reasonable ANC and a really good Pass-Through.
For the price, you get a really good headset, and we end up with a final grade of 9, for a solid and complete headset.