The occasion was the invite-only launch party for new Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 Wireless ANC Headphones which retail for $399 USD.
Like rock stars we were greeted by Bowers & Wilkins marketing reps, given all-access wristbands, and escorted up the elevator to a VIP room where the pre-party was already underway.
There were enough well dressed young people in the room that it seemed like we had entered a reality dating show. This was certainly not your typical audiophile event — and that was the point behind the entire evening.
For a new generation of listeners, headphones are both a fashion statement and source of musical enjoyment. You are what you listen to.
While cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served, we had a chance to audition the Px7 S2 headphones. Six were on display. Two in each color — black, blue and light grey. The blue model grabbed my attention, while Emiko gravitated towards light grey.
The Px7 S2 is the second generation of the original Px7 from 2019-2020. According to Bowers & Wilkins, the S2 features a new sonic signature with more bass emphasis and greatly improved noise cancellation.
Although Bose and Sony have dominated the noise-cancelling wireless headphone market for years, Bowers & Wilkins is aiming to sneak up on their lead with its luxury class model for a modest premium.
Emiko and I had the opportunity for a brief listen during the event. Although a noisy party is no place to judge sound quality, it was ideal for testing its active noise cancellation (ANC) prowess. Upon activating the feature, not only was the drone of bar chatter greatly reduced, but I suddenly couldn’t even hear a conversation happening right in front me.
Needles to say, ANC technology has evolved in a very significant way over the past few years and it will interesting to see how the new headphones deal with office conversations and external noise that is important to your sense of situational awareness.
We can both also confirm that the new headphones do emphasize the bass; users can use the EQ adjustments on the new app to make whatever changes they feel are necessary to match their own listening preferences.
It was hard not to be impressed with the Px7 S2; the build quality, comfort and feel are a cut above the competition. The ANC technology exceeded expectations and the auto-play/auto-pause are a nice touch; making it to easy to start and stop music when putting them on or taking them off.
It will be interesting to compare the new Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 to the Mark Levinson No. 5909 that we just reviewed. There is a considerable price difference between the two models; you can buy two pairs of these headphones for the price of one set of the Levinson model, but both offer really high-end performance and ANC so the comparison is going to happen.
Emiko and I thoroughly enjoyed the occasion, and are grateful to Lucette Nicoll, of Nicoll Public Relations, for the invite. The launch event at Soho Warehouse by Bowers & Wilkins offered me hope; not just for the success of their product, but the audiophile industry as a whole if it hopes to attract the next generation of music enthusiasts.
Our review of the Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 will appear next week; eCoustics Sr. Headphone Editor, Will Jennings, has been comparing the new headphones to the best from Sony, Sennheiser, Bose, Master & Dynamic, and Mark Levinson and expect to be surprised by the results.
Where to buy:
$499 at Amazon.ca (CAD)
£363 at Amazon.co.uk (GBP)