Sony WH-1000xM2 vs Bowers & Wilkins PX, Comparison Review

Sony WH-1000XM2 vs Bowers & Wilkins PX, Comparison Review. Both headphones are wireless and noise cancelling, but also boast a slew of fancy features for the commuting audiophile. Read on to find out which can is for you.

Sony WH-1000XM2 vs Bowers & Wilkins PX, Comparison Review

Sony WH-1000XM2 vs Bowers & Wilkins PX – Build & Design

If I had to say anything about the similarity between these two headphones’ shape, I’d say both headsets include a headband and two oval-shaped ear cups, but that’s about it. Sony WH-1000xM2 is smaller, shorter, and lighter in comparison to the PX headphone. Sony also features a more classic take on headphone extenders while BW opts for a sleek, exposed cable nestled between two pieces of exposed metal. Fancy!

Sony’s ear cups and headband are comprised of a soft, leather-like fabric possibly stuffed with memory foam. I say leather-like because it just doesn’t feel like real leather to me. The ear cups definitely feel like there is more padding on them than the MDR-1000X. In comparison to the BW PX, the ear cushions are softer, plushier, and thicker. Granted, they could be thicker, but that’s just me. The PX features much more firm, higher quality leather, but it is thin. This might be a means to prevent your ears from overheating since the leather feels rather premium. This same leather lines the underbelly of the headband and it applies a decent amount of padding. Sony, on the other hand, may have skimpedon this little tidbit as the padded patch of the headband is unbelievably small. It’s as if it was designed to apply padding just to the very tippy top of your head. Oh, and did I already mention that this itty bitty patch of headband padding is a little on the thin side? Well, it is. Sony did a better job at padding their ear cushions, but missed the mark on the top of your head. I mean this is a traveling headphone. On the flip side, Bowers & Wilkins PX headphone has a sufficient amount of headband padding, but their ear cushions are too thin for my taste.

In terms of weight, the Sony headphone is much lighter than the BW PX headphone. By design, I find myself liking the overall fit of Sony better due to its softer, plushier feel. But to each his own. Bowers & Wilkins PX headphone is like a nice, crisp suit while Sony WH-1000xM2 is more like Causal Friday where an ironed collar shirt paired with nice jeans will do. Both ensembles clothe your body and make you look nice, but they feel different in terms of comfort.

Sony WH-1000xM2 vs Bowers & Wilkins PX – Features

Sony WH-1000xM2 comes equipped with touch sensors for easy control over your music and calls while Bowers & Wilkins sticks to buttons when it comes to functionality. I prefer the sensors, but buttons are cool too. In fact, both headphones are built with some really cool features. Though, there are also a few drawbacks. I’ll get to those in due time.

Active Noise Cancelling

Bowers & Wilkins PX features noise cancellation and it is accessed by a button built  on the side of the headphone in which you can turn ANC on and off.  This headphone is able to employ ANC at three different levels of ANC: office, city, and flight. Flight is the strongest. This can be accessed through the BW phone app, not on the side of your headphone. This is somewhat of a con for me since I’ll have to dig through my purse to find my phone in order to change it. This kinda defeats the purpose of having easy-access controls on the side of the ear cups.

Sony WH-1000xM2 is somewhat different from its predecessor in terms of ANC. It isn’t as strong. Maybe this is a good thing because I’m a little sensitive to ANC and it used to make me sick in a few minutes. The WH-1000xM2’s ANC is not as strong as the MDR-1000X, but it is still quite strong. It’s also better than the Bowers & Wilkins PX as in it is stronger and fuller. I know, I’m talking about ANC, not sound, but this is what it feels like. The PX seems thinner in comparison. Bowers & Wilkins PX ANCat the flight level is pretty good but there’s an audible difference when you listen to their ANC and Sony’s ANC side-by-side.

As I mentioned before, both headphones allow users to access varying levels of ANC, which I like. BW PX has three modes (office, city, and flight) which can be adjusted in the app and turned on and off on the side of the headphone. Sony WH-1000XM2 also has three ANC modes: full power noise-cancelling, ambient, and off. With a single tap on the NC/AMBIENT button, users can seamlessly swap between these modes on Sony’s headphones. The NC/AMBIENT Button and power button are located on the left ear cup while touch controls are located on the left ear cup.

Other Features

Sony WH-1000xM2 also features a quick talk-through feature, which I love. Like the MDR-1000X users can access the talk-through feature by simply placing their palm over the right ear cup. This lowers the volume of your audio so you can hear anyone talking to you. It’s pretty neat. Then there is Smart Listening by the Adaptive Sound Control feature. This is when the headphone senses you are walking and will adjust your noise cancelling to your environment. Unfortunately, it doesn’t adjust the volume as soon as you’d think. It took about half a minute for the headphones to realize a change in movement. Additionally, there’s also the Atmospheric Pressure Optimization which should adjust your ANC while flying. I couldn’t really take advantage of this feature since I haven’t tried them while on a plane.

Bowers & Wilkins PX doesn’t have this feature, but instead opts for automatic pause/play when your headphones are placed on and taken off your head. The feature can be used in normal sensitivity and less sensitivity. Both of these settings were too sensitive for me, so I turned it off. It’s cool in theory, but didn’t work out for me. Minor movements – including head bobbing-based dance moves – would turn my music off. I wasn’t too into it.

Sony WH-1000xM2 vs Bowers & Wilkins PX – Run Time

Sony WH-1000xM2 will run for up to 30 hours using both Bluetooth and ANC when listening at a moderate volume. Bowers & Wilkins PX yields a 22 hour life span when using both Bluetooth and ANC and listening at a normal volume.

Sony WH-1000xM2 vs Bowers & Wilkins PX – Sound

When it comes to sound, these headphones sound very different from one another. Sony WH-1000xM2 is a robust and full sound while Bowers & Wilkins PX provides a lighter, more airy sound. Both are pleasant, but let’s get into the details. Sony WH-1000xM2 has a rich low end. It is solid and with depth. This benefits hip-hop and EDM, for sure. As for the mids and highs, they are present and with detail, however not super crisp. The sound is rounded with a bit of warmth, but it also sounds a little compressed. Bowers & Wilkins PX delivers a lighter, airier sound. Not thin, but airy and open. The headphones have a wider soundstage than I would’ve imagined, especially when you take into account the headphone is both wireless and noise cancelling. On that note, the bass and sub-bass are present and accurate, but not full. It can satisfy those looking for a neutral response, but not the bass heads. BW PX’s mids and highs also possess this light and more natural sound which is great for instrumentals and mid-range heavy tracks. It is beautiful and accurate, but bass heads would probably be better suited with Sony.

Sony WH-1000xM2 vs Bowers & Wilkins PX – Specs

Sony WH-1000xM2

Bluetooth: 4.1

Frequency Response Range: 4Hz-40kHz

Impedance: 46 ohms

Drivers: 40 mm

Bowers & Wilkins PX 

Bluetooth: 4.1

Frequency Response Range: 10Hz-20kHz

Impedance: 22 ohms

Drivers: 40 mm

Sony WH-1000xM2 vs Bowers & Wilkins PX – Overall Performance

Both headphones get the job done and get the job done well if the job is providing great sounding audio while employing Bluetooth technology and active noise cancelling. The bigger differences reside in fit, features, design, and sound. Sony is plushier and light while Bowers & Wilkins is more premium in terms of design. It’s also heavier. Sony has touch controls and buttons while Bowers & Wilkins only features buttons. Sony’s got a richer bass line while Bowers & Wilkins got an airy, open sound signature. Both are definitely worth their price tags of $349 and $399 respectively. It all just depends on the buyer.

Grab Sony WH-1000xM2 at the best price at Audio46. It’s also available at a competitive price from authorized retailers on Amazon.

Grab Bowers & Wilkins PX at the best price on Amazon.