Being overshadowed at your own party by a younger, more expensive model is not ideal. However, Bowers & Wilkins’ former flagship’s premium cachet was eroded when the company announced the newest generation of its high-end wireless noise-cancelling headphones, the Px7 S2, alongside the announcement of an even better “no-holds-barred” Px8 pair due later this year.
Some of us may have believed that the Px7 S2 was merely a cosmetic upgrade with no real improvements to the sound quality. They do, however, offer an analytical, if not the most entertaining, alternative to the current class leaders, with a high-fidelity performance that is both precise and impressive, and which improves significantly over 2020’s Px7.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 is the company’s new flagship model of headphones, succeeding the WH-1000XM4. The Sony WH-1000XM5 is a fascinating pair of headphones among the top active noise cancelling (ANC) products on the market, thanks to new drivers, features, and a sleek new design. It performs admirably while away from home or at work.
Comparison Chart of Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 vs Sony WH-1000XM5
|Features||Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2||Sony WH-1000XM5|
|Brand||Bowers & Wilkins||SONY|
|Model Name||Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2||Sony WH-1000XM5|
|Average Battery Life||11 hours||18 hours|
|Charging Time||2 hour||4 hour|
|Compatibility||Smartphone, Tablet, PC, All Bluetooth Devices||Smartphone, Tablet, PC, All Bluetooth Devices|
|Bluetooth||Version 5.0||Version 5.0|
|Connection Distance Range (Bluetooth)||66 feet||10m|
|Online Price Ranges||Rs.42,399||Rs.28,990|
Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 vs Sony WH-1000XM5: Detailed Analysis
The Px7 S2 is distinguished from its predecessor by the removal of the ovoid earcups in favour of a chamfered design, similar to the original PX headphones from 2017. This could be because the driver size has been reduced from 43.7 mm to 40 mm.
The overall size of the headphones was reduced by 3cm in this vintage-inspired redesign. A moisture-wicking fabric covering for the headband and shells is shared, as is a C-shaped yoke that allows for 180-degree horizontal rotation.
The WH-1000XM5, on the other hand, is loaded with features, but Sony still nails the essentials. Despite a few minor flaws, the WH-1000XM5 is an ambitious pair of headphones. These earbuds, for example, are designed to provide a few features that have proven to be popular on other headsets, such as Android’s Find My Device support and the ability to quickly pair devices.
I’m referring specifically to the B&W PX7. A quick-action button on the left earcup, similar to previous models, toggles between the three noise-cancelling settings (on, passthrough, and off) and can be remapped to activate a voice assistant in the app. B&W’s new ANC system employs six microphones: two to measure the output of each drive unit, two to respond to ambient noise, and two to improve voice clarity while reducing ambient noise.
The Px7 S2 was effective at blocking out ambient noise, and regardless of volume level, it barely altered the sound. The WH-1000XM5 is effective at blocking out low, droning sounds like those on a train, but it allows in higher-pitched sounds like a vacuum cleaner or even birdsong.
The Sony WH-1000XM5’s primary controls, a capacitive touch panel on the right ear cup, are, however, nearly identical to those of the series’ previous three models. The traditional gestures, as described below, are back in full force:
The power and ANC mode buttons on the WH-1000XM5 are located on the left ear cup. The headphones turn on and enter pairing mode after three seconds of being held down. After that, you can pair your phone as usual or follow the pairing instructions on your computer.
By pressing the NC/AMB button, you can toggle between ANC and AMB modes. There are three sound modes available: ANC, ANC off, and Ambient, the latter of which allows you to hear your surroundings by combining ambient noise recorded by the microphone array with ambient noise recorded by the microphone array.
Despite the fine-tuning options, the sound signature of the Px7 S2 is just right as is. The tight and agile low end, as well as the punchy kick drum, blend smoothly into the lean, refined midrange and sweeter, more refined high end than the Px7. This song is all about fists and attacks. Picked electric guitar in the verse, repetitive synth trill in the bridge, and insistent cowbell in the chorus—all of these transients are delivered with crystal clear fidelity by the Px7 S2.
The angled drivers of the Px7 S2 may be responsible for its always-direct sound. “Breakfast in Bed” by Dusty Springfield has an openness that brings the coy vocal and the rhythmic intensity of the arrangement closer together. They are less analytical and more analytically neutral than the Px7, which tends to amplify background hiss.
The Sony WH-1000XM5, like most consumer ANC headphones, likely favours bass over the midrange. Although the extreme emphasis on bass is fine for us, it stands out in stark contrast to “high-end” headphones. It may appear strange because the higher and lower frequencies are much louder than the midrange, which ranges between 300 and 1050 Hz. Without equalization, your favourite songs’ string instruments, horns, woodwinds, and even higher vocals may sound muffled.
Your ears will become accustomed to the boosted bass, and the switch to a more subdued equalizer setting will feel strange at first. We recommend experimenting with the settings in the Headphones Connect app to see what works best for you. Please reduce the “clear bass” volume by at least two clicks.
Our standard battery test lasted 31 hours and 53 minutes while using ANC, which is slightly longer than Sony’s claimed 30 hours for the WH-1000XM5. By turning off ANC and restarting the test, the battery lasted 53 hours and 6 minutes, an improvement of more than 20 hours over the initial result.
That’s a lot more time in the air or on the road than the typical workweek. With only three minutes of charging time, you can get 180 minutes of playtime. Direct analogue playback is possible in the absence of a USB-C cable using the more commonly available 3.5mm cable.
Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 Vs Sony WH-1000XM5: Quick Result
|Particulars||Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2||Sony WH-1000XM5||Which one is the best?|
|Sound Quality||Better||Best||Sony WH-1000XM5|
Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 vs Sony WH-1000XM5: final Verdict
The PX7 S2 is a significant step forward for B&W, with a more refined, neutral, and detailed sound. These are the types of headphones that make you question the music you’re listening to. The Px7 S2 is an excellent and fashionable option for those who enjoy careful listening, though some of the competition’s best wireless headphones, such as the chart-topping Sony WH-1000XM5, are arguably more engaging.
If you need a pair of headphones that you can take with you anywhere—to the office, on your next trip, or while working from home—the Sony WH-1000XM5 is an excellent choice. If you’re going to spend $400 USD on headphones, this is the best bet you can make.