(Pocket-lint) – Bowers & Wilkins is synonymous with audiophile-standard speakers and headphones, and it is now ready to add that expertise to true wireless earbuds.
The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 and PI5 are the brand’s first TWS in-ears and it certainly seems to have used the extra development time effectively.
The top-of-range PI7s feature a custom 9.2mm drive unit in each ear, coupled with a high-frequency ‘balanced armature’ driver. Each ear is also served by its own amplifier and three microphones (sic mics in total). These double for adaptive noise cancellation and clear vocie calling.
They support aptX Adaptive audio streaming technology for 24-bit / 48kHz high-res music playback over a wireless connection.
The PI5 in-ears have a single 9.2mm drive unit in each ear, aptX support and twin-microphones for voice calls. There is no ANC on the PI5s.
Both of the new buds come with a wireless charging case that matches their colour (white or charcoal). Battery life for the PI7 is claimed to be four hours, PI5 four-and-a-half. The cases store four full charges.
The smart case for the PI7 has an extra feature in that it can also be used as a wireless transmitter. You can connect it to an in-flight entertainment system through USB or 3.5mm cable, for example, and it will wirelessly send the audio to the buds.
Both pairs are compatible with Siri and Google Assistant, and can be paired to multiple devices simultaneously.
The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 TWS earbuds cost £349 / €399 / $399 and are available now. The Bowers & Wilkins PI5 buds are also available now, priced at £199 / €249 / $249.
The main visual difference between the ranges is that the PI7s are tipped with a gold finish, the PI5s alluminium.
Writing by Rik Henderson.