Bowers & Wilkins debuted its first true wireless headphones In the spring of 2021. In fact, it announced two models at the time: Pi7 and Pi5. Today, the company announced updated versions of both, which will carry the S2 label it usually uses for Bowers & Wilkins. reworked but not brand new products. While the Pi7 S2 and Pi5 S2 aren’t rebuilt from the ground up, both still have some notable improvements.
The Pi7 S2 and Pi5 S2 now offer five hours of battery life on 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 take an additional 16 hours for the Pi7 S2 and 19 hours for the Pi5 S2. Although the case for the Pi7 S2 is equipped with Wireless Audio Relay, both still have wireless charging capabilities. As with the Pi7, the case can connect to an external audio source, such as in-flight entertainment, and send audio wirelessly to headphones. This isn’t new to Bowers & Wilkins headphones, but it’s a useful feature nonetheless. Bowers & Wilkins says it has also updated the antenna design on the Pi7 and Pi5 to increase the Bluetooth range to 25 meters.
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. The 9.2mm balanced armature speaker drivers are combined with Bowers & Wilkins digital signal processing technology for the high-quality audio the Pi5 offers with CD-quality sound and regular aptX. The Pi7 S2 also packs an additional microphone in each earcup, which should make it a plus for calls. While both feature active noise cancellation (ANC), the Pi7 S2 has an adaptive setup that automatically monitors your surroundings to adjust the volume as needed for “the best possible, uninterrupted listening experience.”
Both the Pi7 S2 and Pi5 S2 will replace the Pi7 and Pi5 starting today. The $399 Pi7 S2 comes in black, white, and dark blue color options, while the $299 Pi5 S2 offers light gray, dark gray, and purple. The green version of the Pi5 S2 is scheduled to arrive later this spring.
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