Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 overview: A troublesome promote

Bowers & Wilkins do not precisely do issues on a budget, so the very fact the Pi7 S2 are significantly dearer than all of their nearest competitors may not come as a lot of a shock – significantly when the Pi7 predecessors they substitute launched on the similar value two years in the past.

Nevertheless, the best true wireless headphones market is altering, and quick. Charging (at the least) $100 greater than a few of your closest competitors – which are not precisely low-cost themselves – is a daring transfer in such a aggressive market.


To make it make sense, you actually need to again it up with a efficiency and have set that blows the competitors out of the water. Do the B&W Pi7 S2 succeed? This is our full overview.

Bowers & Wilkins/Pocket-lint

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2

The B&W Pi7 S2 are beautiful trying earbuds that provide a wealthy and refined sound. Nevertheless, they’re very costly and we’re undecided the providing right here, when in comparison with the competitors, makes that price ticket make sense.


  • Wealthy, refined sound
  • Attractive design
  • Steady, dependable efficiency

  • That value…
  • Noise cancelling is simply okay
  • Battery life is missing
  • Bass may be an excessive amount of for some


  • Dimensions (carry case): 61mm (w) x 28mm (d) x 56mm (h)
  • Weight: 7g (per bud), 47g (charging case)
  • Black, white and midnight blue

You will not be shocked to listen to that the B&W Pi7 S2 look pretty and really feel supremely nicely made. Bowers & Wilkins would not fiddle with design, and the result’s an attractive pair of headphones accessible in a alternative of three colors – canvas white, satin black and the reasonably placing midnight blue of our overview pattern.

Should you’re accustomed to the unique Pi7, nicely, you will not discover a lot completely different right here (aside from that blue color, which is new this time spherical). They’re nonetheless the twist-to-fit in-ear design, with the earbud connected to an oval-shaped most important physique that rests comfortably in your outer ear.

B&W Pi7 S2

That is topped with a classy round endcap, which sits simply exterior the ear. It is what folks will see whenever you’re carrying them – so all eyes are on this for hitting the B&W premium design transient.

They completely succeed – there is a tactile, ridged end right here, which catches the sunshine superbly, and a metallic ring at its base. The Bowers & Wilkins brand can be written subtly on its underside.

It is greater than only a design choice although – it additionally works as a touchpad for the Pi7 S2’s controls (extra on these in a bit), and as a one thing to grip onto whenever you’re placing them out and in of your ear (and out and in of the case for that matter).

We discover the match very snug certainly. They do not impress themselves upon you too closely and sit flippantly within the ear, with the bud doing the work of making an honest seal – you get a alternative of three tricks to discover your match.

They keep put, too. We all know that is been a bone of rivalry for some folks, however we have had no issues with them shifting in use in any respect, and discover the 7g weight no issues both – even whether it is heavier than opponents just like the 6.2g-per-bud Bose Quietcomfort II.

The design déjà vu extends to the charging case, which is way the identical as final time spherical. It is curved and palm sized, with a lid that flips open from the highest.

B&W Pi7 S2

There is a button on the skin for checking the battery stage remaining – you will get a inexperienced, orange or crimson gentle to let you understand how near needing a recharge you’re – whereas a small button of the within of the case works because the pairing button. Merely maintain it for just a few seconds to enter pairing mode.


  • 5 hours’ battery life; 21 hours with the case
  • Help for aptX Adaptive
  • IP54 rated
  • Bluetooth re-transmission performance

Not rather a lot has modified on the skin, then, however there have been a handful of modifications on the within. They’re arguably small tweaks, contemplating these have been two years within the making, however do present B&W has listened to suggestions from the primary technology at the least.

A number of the largest complaints had been patchy connectivity and a less-than-stellar battery life.

Each of those have been addressed right here, with a repositioned antenna and extra clear materials for the endcaps enabling the Pi7 S2 to double the Bluetooth vary they’re able to to 25 metres, and a barely improved, if far-from-market-leading, battery efficiency – up from 4 hours to 5.

You may will get one other 16 hours from the charging case for a complete of 21 hours, plus there’s quick charging of quarter-hour for an additional two hours of playback, so that you’re – realistically – unlikely to seek out your self wanting. Nevertheless, in contrast with Sony’s WF-1000XM4’s at eight hours, and the six hours managed by the Bose QuietComfort II, the improve feels somewhat unremarkable amongst its competitors.

B&W Pi7 S2

You may nonetheless get Qualcomm’s high-res succesful aptX Adaptive Bluetooth connectivity after all, which may help wi-fi playback of as much as 24-bit/48kHz with suitable gadgets, the identical IP54 ranking for water resistance, and B&W’s useful Bluetooth re-transmission performance that is nice for frequent travellers.

This implies you may plug the case, through its USB-C port, in to any supply that does not help Bluetooth natively, to introduce wi-fi playback.

This come significantly in useful with an in-flight leisure system, for instance, and prevent from the horrors of these flimsy airline-supplied headsets.

What you will not discover right here, are some much-requested additions at this value – specifically the power to alter quantity on the earbuds themselves, and the power to tweak the EQ.

Each are a disgrace, and do not appear vastly tough to implement – significantly for the reason that B&W Music app has been upgraded for the reason that authentic buds launched.

It now permits you to higher management the buds’ connections (there is not any true multipoint right here however you may manually change between a few gadgets), entry music streaming providers like Tidal and Qobuz straight, and tweak the ANC efficiency, relying on the place you’re.

With no quantity management handy, the contact controls stay easy with a collection of faucets to entry music controls, voice help, ANC management and name dealing with choices. They work nicely, as does the damage recognition, however needing your cellphone handy with the intention to change quantity is somewhat annoying.


These characteristic tweaks are just about the start and finish of the Pi7 S2’s modifications – every earbud options the identical two-way drivers that the originals did. Which means you may count on a 9.2mm dynamic driver and a high-frequency balanced armature driver – each independently amplified.

We loved the sound this setup produced two years in the past and that is no completely different this time spherical. Nevertheless, these beforehand talked about strides forwards the trade has made does give these buds some new competitors.

What cannot be taken away from these buds is what enjoyable they’re to hearken to. They’re vastly musical, and we misplaced time to albums penning this overview, after we’d deliberate to hear to at least one music. It relies upon how critically you hearken to your earbuds as as to if you think about their efficiency any additional than that, although at this value, we’d recommend a extra crucial hear is warranted.

B&W Pi7 S2

The bass response of the Pi7 S2 is admirable for a pair of in-ear buds and people who like their bass loud and proud will actually take pleasure in how the Pi7 S2 deal with the low finish. It is by no means allowed to get unruly, however the bass is undeniably boosted right here – moreso than you will hear within the Bose Quietcomfort Earbuds II, Airpods Professional 2 or Sony WF-1000XM4.

It isn’t stunning, contemplating B&W’s sound signature with different headphones, however we might say the Pi7 S2 lean somewhat additional into that heat than we’re used to listening to from the model. Take a hearken to Man by Skepta and you will hear that the daring – albeit exact and punchy – bassline is entrance and centre, and at occasions feels a contact overwhelming.

It might impress itself, ever so barely, on the midrange too. Whereas that creates a strong, authoritative and assured sound, we might favor to listen to the Pi7 S2 give the midrange the ground when it is presupposed to – reasonably than the jostle for the limelight that at present occurs within the decrease mids.

That is to not say that the midrange is missing readability. Truly there’s loads of element right here, as will be heard with If I Ain’t Obtained You by Alicia Keys. The piano intro is exact and textured, and vocals are expressed superbly, significantly the place there is not a lot of a struggle with a pulsing bassline.

B&W Pi7 S2

The B&W deal with on dynamics is evident too, and the Pi7 S2s masterfully exhibit the distinction in tempo and quantity as you’d count on them to. It is barely extra express at greater volumes than it’s at decrease ones, however we did discover ourselves listening to those at 75% quantity and above more often than not anyway.

That is a credit score to them being a snug hear up till just a few notches earlier than full whack, so for those who crave quantity, you may take them there with out subject. They’ve loads of headroom too, and their total spacious presentation is not put underneath stress when the quantity creeps up both.

Whereas the fastidiously judged treble helps right here, a bit extra sparkle within the prime finish would assist to stability out that larger-than-life bass response, and provides a bit extra chunk and assault to the presentation. They are not sluggish, however they do not drive tracks ahead with maybe fairly a lot power as we have heard in competitors, just like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II.

Noise cancelling is simply okay. It’s going to do the job of slicing out the large low-end visitors sounds that you just’d need it to, however greater pitched noises or workplace chit chat will creep in.

It is simply bested by the likes of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II and Sony WF-1000XM4, so for those who’re in search of the perfect in ANC efficiency, you are higher served elsewhere.


The B&W Pi7 S2 have arguably taken too lengthy to make too few modifications, in a market that’s transferring and bettering rapidly. The largest subject is their value – they’re significantly dearer than their closest rivals and we’re undecided they handle to make that make sense.

That is to not say they do not sound good. They do – although you’ll need to be proud of a low-end that desires to have a reasonably appreciable say in proceedings. After all they give the impression of being good too, however this does not have fairly the identical swing because it does with over-ear headphones.

ANC is ok, however removed from market main – you’ll wish to purchase these for the total package deal reasonably than noise cancellation, and it looks like different fashions, just like the Bose QuietComfort II or the Sony XF-1000XM4 provide a way more compelling providing – and at a lower cost too.

That is a tough promote for the B&W Pi7 S2. If you’d like a pair of premium buds that serve up a wealthy, assured and refined efficiency, you will not be disenchanted – however yow will discover comparable for much less.

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