Bowers & Wilkins’ Pi7 S2 is music to my ears, but there is an edge

Carry Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 in black.


I will minimize proper to the chase: Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 earphones At $399, they don’t seem to be as skinny as your typical earphones, and also you most likely will not minimize it The perfect energetic noise cancellation sprouts available in the market.

However for what they’re and never what they could possibly be, these are among the best-sounding headphones I’ve ever listened to, interval.

The Pi7 S2 is the second model of Bowers & Wilkin’s flagship earphones, retaining the Hello-Res Audio output of its predecessor is the Pi7 Due to Qualcomm aptX Adaptive and the corporate’s proprietary 9.2mm driver unit in every earbud.

Mixed with a balanced high-frequency armature driver and a little bit of back-tuning, the Pi7 S2 earphones ship sound brilliantly, holding the underlying devices resonant and distinct whereas the vocals stay clear-sounding.

additionally: The perfect in-ear headphones you should purchase proper now

I’ve examined the earbuds throughout a number of genres and located myself again within the ’70s due to Perry Como’s And I Love You So. This turned out to be the best path for evaluating the Pi7 S2’s audio system, which proved to be very succesful. From the percussive chords filling out the background to the heightened presence of the horns, the Pi7 S2 was capable of reproduce the sound layer upon layer in a harmonious style. No musician ever beats the opposite.

This V-shaped sound signature is not the simplest to attain, particularly earlier than you contact the equalizer or set an audio profile. Actually, you could not tweak the Pi7 S2’s audio settings even should you needed to, not within the Bowers & Wilkins Music app, at the very least. The companion app solely means that you can change between noise canceling modes and different easy playback settings.

additionally: The perfect low cost wi-fi earbuds, beginning at $36

New to the Pi7 S2 this yr is improved battery life — the earbuds at the moment are rated for five hours of playback (as much as 4 hours) per cost — and an elevated Bluetooth vary of as much as 25 meters. Collectively, you get upgrades that are not as flashy as one would count on from a next-generation mannequin, however do convey quality-of-life enhancements to the on a regular basis expertise.

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 earphones out of the box.

The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 has a bigger match than most earphones. It helps to incorporate smaller ear ideas within the field.


The remainder of the Pi7 S2 expertise is a replay of what the Pi7 was, and I am not complaining. Putting in the earbuds nonetheless required a twist-and-lock mechanic; And the charging case with its rounded corners, whereas taller than different mounts, slips simply right into a denims pocket, backpack, or tote bag and holds the twin function of being an audio transmitter.

additionally: Methods to enhance your Bluetooth sign to cowl your complete house or workplace

That is proper — apart from holding the audio system powered up and prepared, the charging case doubles as a wi-fi adapter, like a dongle that you simply plug into your Nintendo Change or in-flight leisure system so you may Pair the earphones with it. I discovered the characteristic significantly helpful when connecting the Pi7 S2 to a tool gaming pc, which suffers from occasional wi-fi audio loss when the system spends its bandwidth processing graphics above all else. Why do not extra wi-fi earphones have this characteristic?

The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 in black on a desk.

Pi7 S2 (left) in black and Pi5 S2 (proper) in cloud grey.


As I discussed at the start, the The Pi7 S2 value level is $399 is what basically prevents the Pi7 S2 from being an impulse buy. Do not get me flawed, it seems nice, and it tops off the output AirPods Professional from Apple, $250 and the $230 off Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Professional which I normally use. However are they $150 higher? I do not suppose so, until you worth uncooked, high-quality audio playback above higher energetic noise cancellation and have a use for the charging case’s audio transmitter perform.

To Bowers & Wilkins’ credit score, they now additionally provide the Pi5 S2, which was examined by ZDNET’s Christina Darby. The earphones are $100 lower than the Pi7 S2, do not have audio transmission performance, and depend on a single driver as an alternative of twin drivers. From what Christina heard, the sound coming from the Pi5 S2 is as crisp as an autumn day. Each guitar chord is vocalized and I used to be capable of hear background vocals that had gone unnoticed for dozens of earlier listens. From what I hear, it’s Pi5 S2 It might be the higher purchase of the 2 for many customers.

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