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BT Headphones: Sony 720n vs XM4's vs Bose QC 45's vs B&W PX-7 S2 vs B&W PX-8 vs Focal Bathys


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 Been playing with headphones as of late trying to keep it in the sub $400 range I have to say all three of these models sound really good but for me the clear winner is the PX-7 S2's. The Sony's have a lot more bass than the other two but they're kind of veiled sounding, not sure it would be that noticeable if not compared to the other two. The Bose were a nice change, more open sounding and seemingly higher resolution with more details compared to the Sony's, very different but they can be a bit bright on certain tracks and the bass is just not there. The PX-7's are kind of a blend of the two with even better clarity and resolution than the Bose with a slightly bigger sound. Bass is maybe halfway between the two? Most songs it is very balanced and although not as much as the Sony's still satisfying.   


 I started out with the Sony 720's and after about 30 hours they seemed to get better- clarity and openness improved either I adapted or they broke in but they went from pretty muddy sounding at first to pretty decent headphones if you can pick them up when they go on sale for $100 I think they're bargain just let them break in a bit. With this experience I'm cycling through all three of the models want to give them a good amount of time before settling on a pair. So far it seems the Sony's are improving a bit with some time on them, haven't noticed any change with the Bose and I just got the PX-7's today but right out of the box I feel they best the other two. 

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  • jjptkd changed the title to BT Headphones: Sony 720n vs XM4's vs Bose QC 45's vs B&W PX-7 S2 vs B&W PX-8

 Thought I'd give a quick update- the Bose QC45's got sent back they were the most comfortable to wear, had the best noise canceling and I think the most "open" and "airy" sound but they just had no bass and were bright sounding, even with EQ adjustments they got very fatiguing to listen to. 


 The Sony XM4's actually opened up quite a bit with some more break in and are neck and neck with the PX-7-S2's. The XM4's sound great with excellent bass impact giving them a nice thick, full sound even at the lowest volume levels. Resolution and openness still isn't quite what the PX-7's are but it's really close. 


 The PX-7-S2's seem to have the highest resolution of the three listed so far here but are a little lighter in the bass compared to the XM4's. The bass they do have is very clean tight and accurate sounding but at lower volumes and on certain tracks they can sound a bit thin. For me it's really a toss up between the XM-4's and the PX-7's, both are very good headphones, each are a bit of a compromise when compared to each other but could be happy with either one. If I had to choose one I'd lean towards the XM4's just because of the bass response and fuller sound at lower volumes but both are very close.


 The PX-8's arrived Friday afternoon and I've been running them all weekend. Now the cost of these things is quite a bit above and beyond the others in fact even at a discount I paid exactly the same for these as both the XM4's AND the PX-7's. Are they worth it? Well, as you'd expect they do best all of the others I've tried so far, they seem to combine the best of the XM4's with the best of the PX-7's and maybe even push it above a bit more. Nice thick but very articulate bass, open and very clear full sound, clearly the best phones I've owned but I'm not convinced they're worth the price of both the other phones, this isn't a 1+1='s 2, maybe a 1+1='s 1.5? 


 All of that being said I'm very happy with the PX-8's so I'll be returning the PX-7-S2's tomorrow it's now between the XM4's and PX-8's. The PX-8's are the winner so far in sound quality and comfort, which are the two most important factors for me it's just whether or not there's enough of a difference to justify the increased cost. And of course in this newer, higher price bracket there are other sets of headphones to consider if I want to keep this going.. 

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  • jjptkd changed the title to BT Headphones: Sony 720n vs XM4's vs Bose QC 45's vs B&W PX-7 S2 vs B&W PX-8 vs Focal Bathys

 Thought I'd give one last update as I've tried another fairly expensive pair (Focal Bathys) and have made up my mind on which ones I'm keeping. I almost stopped at the PX-8's-- they do things so well and are very comfortable but a lot of reviewers really seem to love the Focals so I thought it only fair to give them a shot.  


 I listened to the PX-8's weekend before last and most of last week plus let them play overnight at higher volume to help break them in. Thursday morning I thought I'd throw the Sony XM4's back in the mix and initial impressions were very positive they have a very similar presentation as the PX-8's I was thinking these things are 75-80% of the 8's-- until I put the 8's and my opinion changed immediately MAYBE 60% the PX-8's are like if someone took a pair of XM4's and just made them better in every way. XM4's shipped back on Saturday.


 The Focal Bathys arrived on Friday and I've been putting  them through their paces they have a noticeably bigger soundstage and overall sound to them, very open they remind me of the Bose QC45's but better. At first the bigger sound was very attractive I can see why they review so well but for me there just seems to be an upper midrange bite I actually got listener fatigue with these things like the Bose and that was after I adjusted the Focal EQ I don't know if its just my ears but I never got this with either of the Sony's or the B&W's.


 I'm going to keep burning the Focals in every night and as often as I can before I make a final decision but listening to the PX-8's now they make me very happy, very smooth yet extremely detailed bass is solid and articulate I can listen for hours with all types of music without fatigue or discomfort they're great headphones. Not quite as "big" sounding as the Focals but plenty good enough and they do everything else so well I'm pretty sure the PX-8's are going to be the keepers here. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

there are two kinds of people in the world... PX8 people and Bathys people.




I found that the px8 were to 'thick' and much less detailed... although they were very good overall. I personally prefer the Focal signature sound so I will support them.

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1 hour ago, Schu said:

there are two kinds of people in the world... PX8 people and Bathys people.


 That's funny! I allowed over 100 hours break in on both and in the end it was very close I could have been happy with either but ended up sending the Focals back. The Focals needed a ton of break in but eventually smoothed out nicely I found the PX-8's to be more a bit more detailed and realistic sounding and more comfortable but like I said I thought they are both excellent I'd recommend either. 

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