Bowers & Wilkins’ PI7 and PI5 True Wireless
The how and why of Bowers & Wilkins’ PI7and PI5 true wireless active noise-cancelling in-ear headphones.
In our line of work it’s certainly nice to be first. But if you work for decades to establish a reputation for peerless audio performance, as Bowers & Wilkins has, it’s far more important to be best.
That’s why it’s taken until now for us to launch our true wireless in-ear headphones with active noise-cancellation. The idea of simply delivering another product that’s indistinguishable from its competition is anathema to us - we are constantly striving to develop and manufacture audio equipment that builds on our heritage and that could only come from Bowers & Wilkins. And that’s not something that can be achieved overnight.
Our PI7 true wireless in-ear headphones with active noise-cancellation are the result of extensive research, uncompromised engineering and an unyielding desire to make the best-sounding in-ear headphones possible. That means incorporating the features you’re expecting, some unique features you’re not, and the sort of superlative sound quality that is only available from Bowers & Wilkins.
We’ve thought about every aspect of performance. First and foremost about sound, of course - if the sound isn’t convincing in every single respect then we simply won’t be satisfied. But we’ve also thought about comfort and stability (of both physical fit and wireless connection), about effective noise-cancellation, about call quality, about usability… basically, about all the things that need to be spot-on before we can say our true wireless in-ear headphones are ready to face the world. And on top of all that, we’ve thought about technologies that are unique to Bowers & Wilkins in-ear headphones.
Our PI7 true wireless in-ear headphones with active noise-cancellation represent the state of the art. With 20 hours of battery life, they’re ready to entertain you all day and all of the night. With intuitive, responsive single-button touch-control, they’re simple and logical to operate - and with the Bowers & Wilkins Headphones app (for iOS and Android), they can be operated directly from your music player or smartphone. Thanks to compatibility with Google Assistant and Siri, you can control them simply by asking.
We’ve included adaptive noise-cancellation technology - and because they have three mics per earbud, your PI7 can constantly assess your surroundings in order to offer the most effective noise-cancellation possible. In conjunction with Qualcomm cVc2 echo-cancelling and noise-suppressing technology, those mics also deliver crystal-clear call quality. So no matter if you need to make yourself heard or shut yourself off from your surroundings, the PI7 will do exactly what you want.
We’ve used aptX Adaptive Bluetooth, capable of 24-bit high-resolution audio quality, for wireless connectivity. aptX Adaptive combines the best elements of aptX HD and aptX Low Latency for a flawless, high-quality, low-latency connection no matter if you’re listening to pure audio or enjoying some video content.
And because we want to cover every eventuality, the compact charging case has a contribution to make, too. We’ve given it audio retransmission capability - connect a source to the case’s USB-C input using the USB-C to USB-C or 3.5mm to USB-C cables that we’ve included, and the case will wirelessly transmit the signal to the in-ear headphones. Which means you can, for instance, connect to an in-flight entertainment system without having to endure a tangle of cables. Only PI7 can do this, because this technology is unique to Bowers & Wilkins.
So far, PI7 incorporates everything you’d expect - as well as one or two features you might not. But because the most important aspect of Bowers & Wilkins in-ear headphones is the way they sound, PI7 is specified to exceed your expectations where sound is concerned. Even if you’re expecting something special.
We set out to make PI7 sound like our loudspeakers. We designed them to sound open, focused, lavishly detailed and effortlessly dynamic. We designed them to sound expansive and intimate, muscular and tender, attacking and refined. We designed them to be the most convincingly musical true wireless in-ear headphones ever made.
Each earbud contains dual hybrid driver units: a balanced armature dealing with the highest frequencies and a 9.2mm dynamic driver handling all the frequency information below there. Each driver is powered by its own discrete amplification. So that’s four carefully tuned and implemented drive units, and four bespoke amplifiers, per pair of PI7 in-ear headphones. As a jumping-off point for our engineers to work their magic, it’s ideal - and thanks to their expertise, along with some advanced digital sound processing, we’ve achieved everything we set out to.
The PI7 sound exactly as a Bowers & Wilkins product should. Which means you won’t have heard a pair of true wireless in-ear headphones that sound remotely like them.
And this extraordinary standard of audio fidelity and sonic gratification is also available in the slightly more affordable and attainable form of the PI5 true wireless in-ear headphones with active-noise-cancelling.
Like the PI7, PI5 has a quick-charging case - but here the battery life is a truly epic 24 hours. Like PI7, PI5 works with the Bowers & Wilkins Headphones app, has the same simple and responsive one-button user interface, and is compatible with Google Assistant and Siri.
The PI5 uses the same 9.2mm dynamic driver as PI7, too - but here it’s configured to deal with the entirety of the frequency range. Those drivers are being supplied by aptX Bluetooth that’s capable of CD-quality wireless transmission - which means that PI5 demonstrate similar superiority of sound quality when lined up against price-comparable alternatives. And you can add active noise-cancellation and outstanding call quality into the mix, too, thanks to a pair of mics in each earbud.
Fundamentally, PI5 is a simplified and slightly more orthodox version of PI7. Which means, fundamentally, it’s everything you’ve come to expect from Bowers & Wilkins.