Bowers & Wilkins PI7 Earbud Review

Bowers & Wilkins PI7

Bowers & Wilkins PI7 earbud offers a true 24-bit connection between left and right earbuds for superior sound quality plus high-resolution wireless audio that adjust dynamically to optimize performance. In addition, the earbud includes Adaptive active noise cancellation, Audio retransmission technology, 9.2mm Dynamic Drive with Balanced Armature and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity.

Pros
  • Fabulous design
  • In-ear detection
  • aptX Adaptive, aptX HD, aptX LL, aptX, AAC, SBC
  • IP54 dust and water resistance
Cons
  • Poor battery
  • Limited companion app features
  • No multi-connectivity

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Price and availability

Bowers & Wilkins P17 earbud come with a premium quality colour option such as Charcoal and White colour. The earbuds coming in at 400 USD. You can purchase this earbud from the company’s official website bowerswilkins.com.

Who should Buy the Bowers & Wilkins P17?

  • The earbud is best option for those who loves the bass.
  • Fashion-forward music lovers will appreciate the design and build quality—these stunning earbuds certainly turn heads.
  • With an IP57 rating, it is the best for sports.

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Box Content

Bowers & Wilkins PI7
  • The Earbud
  • charging case
  • USB Type-C charging cable
  • User Guide

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What is the design of the Bowers & Wilkins P17?

Bowers & Wilkins PI7

The Bowers & Wilkins P17 come with  the support of  an Qualcomm’s aptX HD Bluetooth. Which is a high-quality codec that enables the wireless transmission of 24-bit hi-res audio. With that, you can hear your favourite music and movies as they were meant to be heard. The 7g of earbuds looks and fell premium. Which is expected of earbuds that cost equal to the price of a new release Sennheiser SPORT TW.

Just like the predecessor, the Bowers & Wilkins P17 includes audio Retransmission technology. Which is connecting directly to external audio sources such as in-flight entertainment systems. Plus, it sends audio from any audio source to the earbuds simply by connecting the audio source to the charging case. For example, you can plug the 3.5mm end into the entertainment system on an airplane, and the charging case will transmit the audio to your earbuds.

Moreover, the earbud come with a three set of earbuds: small, medium and Large. You need to select the one, which perfectly fit into the ear to create a tight seal between the ear and tips. Which help to improve the passive isolation for clear voice calls. Despite the size of the buds, they never fall out of my ears. In addition, with IP54 dust and water resistance, you can take earbuds outdoors or to the gym without worrying about damaging them. Comfort is no problem with Bowers & Wilkins PI7, but you may want to swap out third-party foam ear tips for a better seal.

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How do you control the Bowers & Wilkins PI7?

The touch controls are pretty much simple and reliable than the previous earbud. You can customize playback, calls, battery and listening mode. However, the single tap to pause music is particularly annoying, as every time you accidentally touch the earbuds or adjust them in your ear it pauses your music. In-ear detection automatically pauses your music when you remove an earbud from your ear, though you can disable this within the companion app.

SINGLE TAPDOUBLE TAPTRIPLE TAPHOLD FOR ONE SECOND
LEFT EARBUDPlay/pause or answer callSkip track or end callPrevious trackNoise cancelling mode
RIGHT EARBUDPlay/pause or answer callSkip track or end callPrevious trackVoice assistant

Is there an app available for the Bowers & Wilkins PI7?

The Bowers & Wilkins Headphones app (iOS/Android) is still an important complementary piece to the PI7 earbuds. Once connected to the PI7, you can do the following things:

  1. You can toggle noise cancelling on or off and select auto noise cancelling, which adjusts the ANC intensity to your environment.
  2. There’s also a toggle for ambient passthrough mode and this inputs environmental noise at various volume levels depending on your preference.
  3. The app includes toggling in-ear detection on or off, and installing firmware updates.
  4. It will enable you to install any future tweaks and (hopefully) upgrades to the earbuds.
  5. Get tips & support
  6. Download and install firmware updates

The Bowers & Wilkins Headphones app has no premium features like Custom Equalizer, Find My Buds or Ear Tip Fit Test. These are all common features on more affordable headsets, so it’s disappointing to see such barbells functionality on the Bowers and Wilkins PI7.

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How does the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 sound?

Bowers & Wilkins PI7

The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 significantly expands the low and high frequencies compared to our home curves. However, the earbud does not offer equalizer features inside the customizable app. Means, there’s is no other way to adjust the sound of the earbuds. The low frequency response will reduce the sound quality of the headphone and does not provide a clear voice during voice calls.

Furthermore, the earbud come with a 9.2mm Dynamic Drive with Balanced Armature. These drivers provide a louder, tighter bass and more attack, without using too much power. But, the company is certainly taking a different approach to tuning compared to that of its other high-end competitors, though only those that prefer a thumping bass over vocal and instrumental clarity will appreciate this type of frequency response.

How well does the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 cancel noise?

Bowers and Wilkins PI7 block out significant amounts of external noise, though not comparable earbuds from Sony or Bose. Passive isolation from ear tips alone makes most sounds half as much as one-eighth, depending on how well they fit your ears. Not only do tight seals and ANC protect your ears, but they will also help avoid the effects of auditory masking so you can listen to all parts of your music in any environment.

Turning on active noise cancellation results in an additional 10dB reduction for low-frequency sounds below 300Hz. This extra attenuation, compared to standalone passive isolation, is especially useful for reducing the roar of airplane engines. You won’t see much impact when you toggle the ANC on / off, and better with something like the Denon AH-C830NC. Which is less than half the price of the B&W PI7. Although the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 may not perform as well as the best sound-cancelling wireless earbuds, the noise attenuation is still good enough to enjoy music in most environments.

Can you use the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 for phone calls?

The mics of the earbud is good enough y use for daily works such as for phone calls or some meetings. However, you should not use this earbud for any professional audio recording. Because, the earbuds struggle to block out ambient background noises in a simulated office environment. If you plan on taking calls in a noisy environment, don’t be surprised if you get some complaints from the person on the other end of the line.

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What connectivity does the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 support?

Bowers & Wilkins PI7

Bowers & Wilkins PI7 comes with Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity. Which connects your earbuds wirelessly to other devices such as smartphones, PCs and TVs. The earbud also comes with aptX adaptive via Bluetooth 5.0, the best one-size-fits-all solution in the world of Bluetooth codecs. It is an adjustable codec that dynamically scales the bitrate between 279kbps and 420kbps to adjust the quality while maintaining a 24-bit connection. The codec also incorporates the capabilities of aptX HD, aptX classic and aptX low latency for less than 50ms lag. With this, you also get improved voice call quality.

The earbud also supported AAC codec, which performs well across Apple devices. The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 also supports the standard SBC Bluetooth codec for any other devices you want to connect to.

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How long does the battery last on the Bowers & Wilkins PI7?

Bowers & Wilkins PI7

Battery life with PI7 earbuds is fully juiced four hours. There are four more charges in the case, i.e. 20 hours before you need a power source or Qi wireless charging mat. That’s acceptable, but hardly class-leading – and PI7 is definitely the bill and the price. On the plus side, a ten minute fast charge via the case’s USB-C socket gives you two hours of play time.

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Conclusion

Sound clarity offers by Bowers and Wilkins PI7 are excellent in terms of depth and equity. It defines clear sound during long hours. Battery life can be easily beaten by low-cost competitors, such as the Comfort, Fit, on-ear and in-app feature sets – and we also experience some unpleasant drop-outs during our time with them. This beautiful set of wireless in-ears costs a bit more than many of its closest competitors and despite the impressive sound presentation, we can’t afford that extra cost right now.

What should you get instead of the B & W PI7?

Jabra Elite 7 Pro earbud is best buy option against the Bowers and Wilkins PI7 earbud. It come with a Action noise cancellation, Hear through, in-ear pressure relief, AAC/SBC audio codec, Multi sensor voice with 4 microphone, wind noise reductions, Voice assistant, Mono mode, up to 30 hours total music, sleep mode, Bluetooth 5.2, Bluetooth Multipoint connectivity, IP57 Ratings, and more. At just price of $248.

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 is also good option to buy with a Unrivalled stereo sound, Active Noise Cancellation, up to 28 hours of playtime, Ergonomic design, customizable touch controls, 7mm dynamic drivers, 107dB sound pressure level, 2 Microphone Beamforming Array, 600 mAh battery, Bluetooth 5.1, IPX4 ratings and more.

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