Bowers and Wilkins’ first pair of noise-canceling true wireless earbuds, the PI7, address one of the main form factor issues – it can be used with in-flight entertainment systems as the case doubles as an audio transmitter. Connect the case to an audio source using an included 3.5mm USB-C cable, and the audio will be wirelessly transmitted to the earbuds. Alongside this, Bowers and Wilkins also announced the cheaper true wireless PI5 headphones, which also offer noise cancellation.
Bowers and Wilkins claim the PI7’s transmitter housing is an industry first, and it is certainly the first time we’ve heard of such a feature. In contrast, you’re trying to use other popular true wireless earbuds like the AirPods Pro with an airplane’s built-in entertainment system requires a third-party dongle. Of course, the PI7’s transmitter housing should also work with other non-Bluetooth devices you own, such as B. an old iPod.
Aside from the PI7’s fancy case, it offers a number of standard features for a pair of true wireless headphones. The earphones are noise-canceling and equipped with a total of six microphones for calls or voice assistants. It uses the AptX Adaptive StandardThis should allow it to dynamically compress audio to maintain a stable connection, and its case can be wirelessly charged. The earbuds themselves have a modest 4 hours of battery life (compared to 4.5 on the AirPods Pro), while the case offers 16 hours more. The buds are rated IP54 against dust and water, so they should withstand light splashes and limited amounts of dust.
The cheaper PI5 earbuds also offer noise cancellation and come with a case that can be charged wirelessly but only has four microphones in total. There is also no mention of AptX Adaptive – just plain AptX – and there is no evidence of the PI7’s audio retransmission event. However, the battery life of the PI5 appears to be slightly better than that of the more expensive PI7. The earbuds offer 4.5 hours of playback time on a single charge. The case offers 20 hours more. The PI5 also has a dust and water resistance of IP54.
Both earbuds are available starting today. The PI7 was priced at $ 399 / £ 349 / EUR 399, while the PI5 was priced at $ 249 / £ 199 / EUR 249.