Both Sony and Bowers & Wilkins have released the best wireless Bluetooth headphones on the market for the holiday season. The Sony WH-1000MX2 cost $349 (but Christmas sales can be found at $299), and the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless cost $399. The price may be high, but both headphones are absolutely worth the cost. Now, which one is the is the best for you? Let’s compare them.
Build and Design
The plastic build of Sony’s headphones makes them light and easy for travel. But it also makes them “creak” after awhile. The Bowers & Wilkins cans take care of the creaking problem with an aluminum industrial design and magnetic pads that squeeze your ears. They are heavier, but worth the extra weight.
This author found the buttons confusing on the PX. All three control buttons are right next to each other, and it’s easy to press the wrong one by mistake. In contrast, Sony has improved its touch controls over previous models to the point that making motions with your fingers on the right cup becomes completely intuitive.
The winner — Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless: You actually feel like you are wearing an expensive pair of headphones.
This is a tough category, because the sound on both headphones is top-notch, depending on some other factors. The WH-1000MX2 and Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless are both good for bass lovers, but Sony’s headphones provide slightly more of a kick. However, Bowers & Wilkins provides a more balanced sound with a more prominent mid-range than Sony does.
When comparing both headphones, the Bowers & Wilkins sounds more like a wired headphone. Actually, the PX Wireless is the most “wired” sounding wireless headphone set to date. The problem occurs when active noise cancellation (ANC) is turned on. When you set ANC to “Flight” or “City,” the sound absolutely degrades. But when the sound is at its best, it really is the best.
The winner — It’s pretty much a tie here, but Bowers & Wilkins would win if it wasn’t for degraded sound during ANC.
Bowers & Wilkins has finally added active noise cancellation to their latest pair of Bluetooth headphones after being criticized for leaving it off in the past. But the PX Wireless has such a tight fit that you won’t have a need for noise cancellation — at least most of the time. The ANC works well, but it doesn’t block out all the noise that new wireless headphones from Bose and Sony do.
The WH-1000MX2 has the best ANC out of any headphone set on the market. Using ANC to its full capabilities puts some pressure on your ears, but the sound quality doesn’t deteriorate. You can set the headphones to Ambient Mode, which allows outside noise to come through. Sony’s wireless headphones make a great sleeping aid as long as you don’t sleep completely on your side.
The winner — Sony WH-1000MX2.
Both headphones from Sony as well as Bowers & Wilkins provide such good sound quality that you will be wearing them a lot. And chances are that you will receive a phone call during one of the times you are wearing your headphones. Both companies know that, so they provided wind-canceling microphones that allow you to make and receive calls as clearly as possible.
Both offer great quality when speaking or listening to a caller, but the Bowers & Wilkins PX cans sound the most natural. There is a little bit of treble added to your voice, but Sony makes your voice sound slightly more robotic. When testing phone calls with both the Sony and Bowers & Wilkins headphones, four out of five said this author sounded the best with the latter.
The winner — Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless.
If you absolutely need to have the best all-around sound and don’t care about the extra $50 to $100, the Bowers & Wilkins PX 1000 is patiently waiting for you. But the sound quality is only slightly better than Sony’s WH-1000MX2, and even that may be arguable to hip-hop or EDM listeners.
When it comes to a combination of overall features and value, the Sony WH-1000MX2 is the winner. But no matter which pair of wireless headphones you choose, you’ll find yourself in a wireless audio paradise.