Watch out, AirPods Pro 2 — Bowers & Wilkins just released new adaptive noise-cancelling earbuds

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 being taken out of case
(Image credit: Sound United/ Bowers & Wilkins)

Bowers & Wilkins has just announced its Pi5 and Pi7 Series 2 earbuds. The new S2 versions are on sale today (January, 25), and replace the originals with improvements to battery life and noise-cancelling performance, as well as introducing a wider choice of color options. 

Unlike the British audio company's update to the PX7 S2, which stayed at the same price as the original version, the Pi5 S2 increases to $299 (£249 / AU$450) — the first-generation model launched at $249 in April 2021. This is a significant price increase on its entry-level earbuds, and makes the Pi5 S2 more expensive than the second-generation AirProds Pro and the same price as the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2, which both launched last year.

The updated flagship Pi7 S2 earbuds remain at the same $399 (£349 / AU$700) price as the original.  

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 being worn by female model

(Image credit: Sound United/ Bowers & Wilkins)

Bowers & Wilkins Pi5 S2 and Pi7 S2 upgrades

Bowers & Wilkins says that both the Pi7 S2 and Pi5 S2 feature upgraded wireless connectivity thanks to a re-engineered antenna design that promises increased Bluetooth range to over 80 feet (around 25 meters). They are fully compatible with the new Bowers & Wilkins Music App, bringing features like set-up and configuration access, noise cancellation modes, and wear sensor adjustment.

As with the originals, the Pi5 supports standard aptX codec over Bluetooth, while the Pi7 offers aptX Adaptive for higher audio handling from services such as Qobuz, Tidal, and Apple Music.

B&W has increased the battery life on both new earbuds to 5 hours of playback time, which is an improvement on the Pi5 at 4 hours, and Pi7 at 4.5 hours. Quick charge is said to deliver an additional 2 hours from a 15-minute charge, and the charging cases provide a further 16 hours for the Pi7 S2 and 19 hours for the Pi5 S2.

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 in midnight blue with charging case

(Image credit: Sound United/ Bowers & Wilkins)

Bowers & Wilkins Pi5 S2 and Pi7 S2 analysis

When we compared the original Pi7 vs. Pi5 earbuds in our face-off, we loved the striking appearance and superior build quality but found that the design did protrude from our ears. From the images and the press release we've seen, the design looks remarkably similar, which could possibly score against the latest version given that smaller and more comfortable designs are emerging from rivals. 

The IP54 dust and water protection of the originals is retained, and color options now include cloud gray, storm gray, spring lilac, and sage green (available in spring) for the Pi5 S2. Colour options for the Pi7 S2 run to satin black, canvas white, and the very attractive midnight blue (pictured above).

To find out how effective the adaptive noise-cancelling is in the S2 versions compared to the original earbuds, look out for our full review coming soon. And bookmark our best wireless earbuds page to keep track of our favorite earbuds you can buy right now.

Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.