Bowers & Wilkins debuted its first true wireless earbuds in the spring of 2021. In fact, it announced two models at that time: the Pi7 and Pi5. Today, the company revealed updated versions for both which will carry the S2 label Bowers & Wilkins typically uses for retooled but not entirely brand new products. While the Pi7 S2 and Pi5 S2 aren’t rebuilt from the ground up, there are still some notable upgrades to both.
The Pi7 S2 and Pi5 S2 now both offer five hours of battery life on a charge. That’s up from four hours on the Pi7 and Pi5. A 15-minute quick-charge feature still gives you two hours of use and the included cases carry an additional 16 hours for the Pi7 S2 and 19 hours for the Pi5 S2. Both still have wireless charging capabilities, although the case for the Pi7 S2 is equipped with Wireless Audio Retransmission. Like it did for the Pi7, the case can connect to an external audio source — like in-flight entertainment — and wirelessly send sound to the earbuds. This isn’t new to Bowers & Wilkins earbuds, but it is a handy feature nonetheless. Bowers & Wilkins says it also updated the antenna design on the Pi7 and Pi5 to increase the Bluetooth range up to 25 meters.
The key difference between the two models is audio quality. The Pi7 S2 supports aptX Adaptive with 24-bit/48kHz streaming from compatible devices and services. 9.2mm balanced armature dynamic drivers are paired with Bowers & Wilkins’ digital signal processing tech for higher quality audio that what the Pi5 offers with CD-quality sound and regular aptX. The Pi7 S2 also packs one additional microphone per earbud which should make it the preferred option for calls. And while both feature active noise cancellation (ANC), the Pi7 S2 has an adaptive setup that automatically monitors your surroundings to adjust the audio as needed for “the best possible, uninterrupted listening experience.”
Both the Pi7 S2 and Pi5 S2 are available starting today, replacing the Pi7 and Pi5. The $399 Pi7 S2 comes in black, white and dark blue color options while the $299 Pi5 S2 offers light grey, dark gray and purple. A green version of the Pi5 S2 is slated to arrive later this spring.
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