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B&W updates PI7 earbuds with better battery life for the same price

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The Bowers and Wilkins PI7 S2’s charging case can also transmit audio from a wired-only listening source.

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Two years after releasing its first pair of true wireless earbuds, Bowers and Wilkins is here with two updated models. The $399 (£349 / €399) PI7 S2 are the higher end of the two, with dual drivers, more microphones, and the ability to use their charging case to transmit audio from a wired source (like an in-flight entertainment system) when Bluetooth isn’t an option. There’s also the step-down $299 (£249 / €299) PI5 S2. 

Both earbuds now offer five hours of listening on a single charge. That’s up from four hours for the original PI7 earbuds, and 4.5 hours for the original PI5s, though it falls short of our current top wireless earbud picks, the Sony WF-1000XM4, which offer eight hours of playback, as well as the six-hour AirPods Pro 2. The PI7 S2’s case offers a further 16 hours, while the PI5 S2’s offers 19. 

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B&W is also boasting about “upgraded wireless connectivity” on both pairs of earbuds, which increases their Bluetooth range to 25 meters (around 82 feet). But the actual wireless codecs listed as supported are the same as last time — aptX Adaptive for the PI7 S2, and the lower-end aptX for the PI5 S2 — and there’s no sign of support for the newer aptX Lossless.  

Other differences between the PI7 S2 and PI5 S2 include an additional built-in microphone on the former, which has three mics per earbud instead of two. The PI7 S2 also has a dual-driver configuration, which typically offers a more detailed sound, versus just a single driver with the PI5 S2. Finally, the higher-end model comes with adaptive noise cancellation, which adjusts to your surroundings, versus active noise cancellation on the PI5 S2 (which can be manually configured via the companion app). 

Both earbuds are available from today. The PI7 S2 comes in black, white, or blue, while the PI5 S2 comes in two shades of gray, lilac, and — later this spring — green. 

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