B&W refreshes its PI5/PI7 wireless headphones with improved battery life


Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) has released new versions of its two models noise canceling headphones: has Pi5 S2 ($299) and Pi7 S2 ($399). They will be available from January 25th and offer small but welcome improvements over their predecessors, ie PI5 and PI7which was launched in 2021. The company says both new models have improved battery life and better Bluetooth connectivity.

Man wearing Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2.
Bowers & Wilkins

The headphones now come with new color options. The Pi7 S2 is available in Satin Black, Canvas White and Midnight Blue. The Pi5 S2, a $50 price bump from the PI5, comes in three new color options at launch: Cloud Grey, Storm Gray and Spring Lilac, with a fourth color – Sage Green – coming later this spring.

B&W claims the refreshed headphones have better battery life, but it’s only a modest gain over previous versions. The Pi5 S2’s battery life is now five hours, 30 minutes more than the PI5’s 4.5 hours. Curiously, the charging case has a lower capacity than the PI5: just 19 hours rather than 20 (24 hours in total). For its part, the Pi7 S2 also boasts 5 hours of continuous playback on a single charge, compared to the PI7’s four hours. Its case maintains the same 16-hour reserve for a total of 21 hours of use.

Bowers & Wilkins Pi5 S2.
Bowers & Wilkins

The only other hardware change is the Bluetooth operating distance. B&W says you can now put 25 meters (about 82 feet) between these headphones and their music source, which is a big jump from the 10 meters (almost 33 feet) of the first-generation products. It acknowledges a material change – the beveled aluminum end caps are now plastic – and a change to the Bluetooth antenna design. Unfortunately, Bluetooth Multipointwhat was missing in the first generation, has not been added.

On the software side of the story, B&W continues to consolidate all of its products into the Bowers & Wilkins Music app. The PI7 and PI5 were controlled via the company’s Headphone app, but this was strictly limited to making changes to eye settings. Under the Music app, the Pi7 S2 and Pi5 S2 can be managed, along with any other compatible B&W speakers, as their own. Panorama 3 soundbar or his latest wireless headphones Px7 S2 and Px8. The app provides users with direct access to streaming services such as Qobuz, Tidal and Deezer.

Apart from these minor changes, all other aspects of the headphones remain the same. Both have active noise cancellation (ANC), transparency mode, an IP54 rating for water and dust resistance, and wear sensors for auto-pause and resume music. The Pi7 S2 also keeps a smart Bluetooth transmitter function inside its case. Simply connect the case to an analog or digital source with the included cables and the case will act as a wireless link for use with headphones. aptX low latencymaking it a useful option for gamers who need as little time as possible between seeing something on the screen and hearing it through their headphones.

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