Bowers & Wilkins launch the PI7 and PI5 True Wireless earphones. B&W wouldn’t be a worldwide powerhouse in audio if they didn’t look deeply into the emerging market of True Wireless headphones. With the ever-increasing loss of 3.5mm headphone ports on mobile devices, the adaptation of earphones that fully separate from wires (from device and from each other) are only going to draw higher and higher demand. Last week Bowers & Wilkins introduced two new earphones to help meet that market, the mid-$200 PI5 and a new flagship PI7 True Wireless.
In addition to conforming to a fairly small form factor, the flagship Bowers & Wilkins PI7 True Wireless boasts a 6-mic array of for voice calls. Bluetooth transmission is done via “24-bit audio processing” according to the press release, likely due to the incorporation of aptX Adaptive. Qualcomm lists this tech announced in 2018 as being able to transmit “audio file playback with 16 and 24 bit-depths at 44.1 and 48kHz sample rates.” It is noteworthy to mention that bluetooth tech itself is still inherently lossy when it comes to most applications outside of this standard.
Both headphones come with sensors to tell if you have the IEM placed in your ear or not, a nice bonus. The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 True Wireless makes its music via “Dual Hybrid Drive units”, which appear in website breakout photos as one dynamic driver and one balanced armature driver. These drivers are powered by four separate amplifiers.
Bowers & Wilkins PI5 True Wireless include 4 mics for call clarity and also includes aptX connectivity for transmission along with the standard package of codex for all major brands. From the press release:
Both PI7 and PI5 models deliver the unrivalled high-resolution sound quality that audiophiles and music lovers have come to expect from Bowers & Wilkins. Now, that same signature sound quality is offered for the first time in True Wireless form, incorporating innovative and intuitive smart features designed to fit seamlessly into an on-the-go lifestyle.
Drawing on over fifty years of industry-leading audio excellence and innovation, Bowers & Wilkins reveals another best-in-class portfolio of products that deliver your favourite music the way it is meant to be heard – as the artist intended it.
PI7 – The new industry-defining True Wireless headphones from Bowers & Wilkins.
Every element of the flagship PI7 model has been crafted to deliver the very highest level of audio performance, redefining expectation in True Wireless. PI7 features unrivalled sound quality, driven by
high-resolution 24-bit audio processing in each earbud and Dual Hybrid Drive units that work just like high- performance speakers to create a rich and immersive listening experience.
In addition, PI7 features Adaptive Noise Cancellation that automatically adapts in real-time to its surroundings to produce the best possible listening experience – so you can block out the world and focus on the music you love. It’s driven by six microphones – three in each earbud – for crystal-clear sound quality with every call, all activated though an intuitive, one-touch user interface.
Even the Smartcase is designed for an intuitive and seamless user experience. As you would expect, it can conveniently charge your device wirelessly while you are on-the-go. But, and in an industry first, PI7 raises the bar by offering a unique wireless audio retransmission feature via its Smartcase. That means you can continue to use your PI7s even when on a plane: just connect your case directly to an audio source – such as an in-flight entertainment system – and it will retransmit sound directly to your earbuds.
PI5 – The class-leading, Bowers & Wilkins True Wireless sound that’s with you all day.
PI5 is the class-leading True Wireless headphone with all of the high quality, audio-enhancing features expected from a Bowers & Wilkins product – the perfect accompaniment to an on-the-go lifestyle.
Alongside the exceptional audio performance and call quality, the PI5 offers over 24 hours of battery life, ensuring you stay connected throughout the day. This is accompanied by advanced Active Noise Cancellation, allowing you to easily adapt to your listening environment, whether you’re working from home or on a busy street, and a fast-charging case that provides a boost of up to two hours of battery life from just a 15-minute charge.
Bold design and Smart technology.
Both models embody the Bowers & Wilkins bold design to stand out from the crowd, with accents of color to highlight the beautifully precise detailing.
Smart technology makes living with PI7 and PI5 more convenient. Both models can be configured via the Bowers & Wilkins companion App and feature a simple one-button user interface, coupled with voice assistant support via either Siri or Google Assistant. Multiple source devices can be wirelessly paired to either model allowing the user to easily and conveniently reconnect to each source as and when needed.
Developed by the same team behind the Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers found in Abbey Road Studios, PI7 and PI5 both embody the same industry-leading engineering and design philosophy that has led to the creation of some of the world’s finest audio products.
Geoff Edwards, Brand President, Bowers & Wilkins, said: “We are excited to be venturing into the True Wireless category with our new headphones. It’s long been our philosophy, established by our founder John Bowers, that we would only enter a new category if we believed that we could set a new standard for audio performance in that space. With PI7 and PI5, we truly believe we have achieved that.”
The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 and PI5 True Wireless earphones are available for purchase from the company site direct and retail for $399 for the PI7 and $249 for the PI5.