Bowers & Wilkins debuted its first true wireless earbuds in spring 2021. In fact, it announced two models at the time: the Pi7 and Pi5. Today, the company unveiled updated versions for both, which will carry the S2 label Bowers & Wilkins typically uses for redesigned but not entirely new products. While the Pi7 S2 and Pi5 S2 have not been 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 from a charge. That’s over four hours on the Pi7 and Pi5. A 15 minute quick charge still gives you two hours of use and the included cases have 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 features Wireless Audio Retransmission. As with the Pi7, the case can connect to an external audio source, such as in-flight entertainment, and send sound wirelessly to the earbuds. This isn’t new to Bowers & Wilkins earbuds, but it’s a useful feature nonetheless. Bowers & Wilkins says it’s also updated the antenna design on the Pi7 and Pi5 to increase Bluetooth range up to 80 feet.
The main difference between the two models is the sound quality. The Pi7 S2 supports aptX Adaptive with 24-bit/48kHz streaming from compatible devices and services. 9.2mm balanced armature dynamic drivers combine with Bowers & Wilkins digital signal processing technology for higher quality audio than what the Pi5 offers with CD quality sound and regular aptX. The Pi7 S2 also includes 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 environment to adjust audio as needed for “the best possible, uninterrupted listening experience.”
Both the Pi7 S2 and Pi5 S2 are available today and replace the Pi7 and Pi5. The $399 Pi7 S2 comes in black, white, and dark blue colors, while the $299 Pi5 S2 offers light gray, dark gray, and purple. A green version of the Pi5 S2 will be available later this spring.