The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 True Wireless are the next generation of the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 True Wireless and are premium truly wireless headphones. Like their predecessor, their carrying case acts as a wireless transmitter when connected to a device via one of the two cables included in the box. This is a pretty unique and uncommon feature, as it allows you to connect them to devices like a gaming console or in-flight entertainment, which otherwise don't support Bluetooth. They also support aptX Adaptive codec, which is nice if you want to stream high-quality audio, and they have a noise cancelling system (ANC) to help block out background noise around you. Unfortunately, their continuous battery life falls short of other high-end buds like the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless, and they aren't very customizable.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 are okay for neutral sound. They have a pretty bass-heavy sound profile, which muddies vocals and instruments. Sibilants like cymbals are also dull and lispy. Unfortunately, even though they have an app, it doesn't offer any sound customization features to help you adjust them to your liking. They also have an in-ear design, which means that their soundstage isn't very immersive. On the upside, they deliver bass and treble very consistently across reseats.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 are good for commuting and travel. These buds have a decently comfortable fit and have an ANC system. They do a decent job of cutting down the rumble of bus and plane engines but do a better job of reducing ambient chatter. With their ANC on, they have under four hours of continuous battery life, which won't last through long flights without a recharge. Luckily, their carrying case supplies an extra three charges if you need it.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 are very good for sports and fitness. These buds have a small and portable design that makes it easy to take with you on the go. Their decently comfortable fit is also stable once locked into your ears, and they're certified IP54 for resistance against dust and water splashes.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 are fair for office use. These decently comfortable earbuds can block out chatty coworkers and the hum of AC units, thanks to their ANC system. They also don't leak much audio at high volumes, so you can crank up the audio to your favorite tunes without bothering others. However, the buds have a short continuous battery life, so you'll need to recharge them throughout the day. They also don't support multi-device pairing, so you can only connect to one device at a time.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 are Bluetooth headphones. While you can connect them to your PC or consoles using their case as a wireless transmitter, this connection only supports audio, so you can't use their mic. In addition, they have high latency using the wireless transmitter, which can cause lip sync issues while gaming.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 are truly wireless headphones, and you can't use them wired.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 are just okay for phone calls. Overall, their integrated mic offers a mediocre overall performance. Although your voice is still intelligible, it sounds thin and lacking body. Unfortunately, the mic has trouble separating your voice from background noise, so you'll need to take calls from a quiet place if you want to ensure that you're heard clearly. On the upside, the buds have an ANC system that blocks out a great amount of background noise so you can focus on your call.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 come in three color variants: 'Satin Black', 'Midnight Blue', and 'Canvas White'. We tested the 'Satin Black' model and you can see our model's label here. If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 are the next iteration of the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 True Wireless. These premium and high-end buds are unlike other buds on the market as their carrying case acts as a wireless transmitter, allowing you to connect them to devices that otherwise don't support Bluetooth. They also have an ANC system, and while they don't block out quite as much ambient noise as the Bose QuietComfort Eardbuds II Truly Wireless, they still do a great overall job of cutting down ambient noise. However, for all their extra bells and whistles, they aren't very customizable, and their battery life is shorter than the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless.
Check out our recommendations for the best true wireless earbuds, the best earbuds and in-ear headphones, and the best noise cancelling earbuds.
The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 have a slight edge over the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 True Wireless. While both buds are decently comfortable and have premium builds, the Sennheiser sound a bit more neutral but can be customized using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. Their ANC system blocks out more background noise, and the buds have a significantly better battery performance. Conversely, the Bowers & Wilkins's case also doubles as a wireless transmitter.
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are slightly better earbuds than the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 True Wireless. The Apple headphones offer features like seamless pairing with your other iOS devices as well as Spatial Audio to help give you a more immersive sound. They're also more comfortable, have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, their ANC can block out background noise, and they have a better overall battery performance. However, the Bowers & Wilkins support aptX Adaptive, which is nice if you want to stream high-quality audio, and their carrying case doubles as a wireless transmitter.
Depending on your preferences, you may enjoy either the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless or the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 True Wireless. While both buds have a premium design and are decently comfortable, the Sony have a more customizable sound, a virtual soundstage support for a more immersive sound, and their battery performance is significantly better. However, the Bowers & Wilkins block out more ambient noise and their carrying case also doubles as a wireless transmitter.
The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless are slightly better earbuds than the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 True Wireless. The Bose are more comfortable, and are more customizable, thanks to their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. They're also able to block out significantly more background noise and their battery performance is significantly better too. However, the Bowers & Wilkins are better-built, support aptX Adaptive codec for streaming high-quality audio, and their carrying case can be used as a wireless transmitter.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 True Wireless are the next generation of the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 True Wireless. Both buds have a premium design, bass-heavy sound profiles, and great noise isolation performances. Just like their predecessor, the S2's carrying case also acts as a wireless transmitter, so you can connect them to devices that otherwise don't support Bluetooth. That said, the S2 have an improved battery performance and now support aptX Adaptive that's designed for streaming high-quality audio with lower latency. However, the first gen support aptX-LL, which is designed primarily to lower latency for streaming video.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 have an identical design to their predecessor, the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 True Wireless. Each earbud has a circular button with a metallic finish and the manufacturer's name across its side. They also come in three colors: 'Satin Black', 'Canvas White', and 'Midnight Blue'.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 have a decently comfortable fit. They come with three pairs of ear tips to help you get the best fit possible. They also have a locking mechanism that helps keep them in your ears. However, it can cause pressure against your concha and become uncomfortable over time. You can also accidentally activate the controls if you're trying to adjust their fit, but on the upside, using the touch controls doesn't push them deeper into your ear.
These buds have sub-par controls. They have a touch-sensitive surface on each bud, which is easy to use. You can do all call and music-related commands on either bud. However, they lack volume controls, and there are no voice prompts to let you know when you're switching between ANC on and off.
On either bud:
On the left earbud:
On the right earbud:
These buds come with a good carrying case. It's very similar to that of their predecessor, and have a magnet to hold the buds in place. However, the lid tends to open very easily and could accidentally close if you're waiting for the buds to pair with your device. Speaking of connectivity, there's a button inside the case for pairing the buds to your smartphone or PC and another on the outside of the case so you can connect it to another Bowers & Wilkins product. An LED light in the front of the case lets you see the case and buds' battery life, as well as indicates pairing mode.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 have a great build quality. They're mostly made of plastic and have silicone ear tips. If you want to use them while at the gym, they're certified IP54 for resistance against dust and water splashes. Overall, they feel sturdy enough to survive accidental drops and falls without taking too much damage.
These buds have good stability. Once you lock their fit into place, they won't fall out during a casual job in the park. While they may start to move a bit with more intense physical movement, and you'll need to adjust their fit, they won't fall out of your ears. They stick out of your ears, though, and if you accidentally hit them with your arm or shoulder while working out, they can move or fall off.
These buds have a bassy sound that's sure to please fans of EDM and hip-hop. They've got extra thump, punch, and warmth to help accentuate the bassline in your favorite tunes. However, this also muddies vocals and instruments a bit and the dip in between the low to mid-treble doesn't help improve their clarity or detail. Unfortunately, even though they have a companion app, you can't adjust their sound to your liking since they don't have an EQ.
The bass accuracy is decent. The response is overemphasized across the range, resulting in intense thump, rumble, punch, and boom. It's well-suited for genres like electronica or pop that benefit from a heavy-handed bass. However, this sound also muddies vocals and instruments.
The mid accuracy is great. There's some overemphasis from the bass range creeping into the low-mid, which muddies and clutters vocals and instruments. However, the rest of the response is very flat and neutral, ensuring that vocals and instruments still sound clear and detailed. In songs like Famous Blue Raincoat by Leonard Cohen, his vocals sound smooth and present.
These buds have satisfactory treble accuracy. Their low-treble response is fairly flat and neutral, so vocals and instruments sound detailed. However, there's a dip in the mid-treble, which dulls sibilants like S and T sounds.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2's peaks and dips performance is very good. A peak throughout the high-bass to low-mid adds extra boom and warmth to mixes while also muddying vocals and instruments. It's followed by a dip in the mid-mid, nudging vocals and instruments to the back of the mix. A small peak in the low-treble makes vocals and instruments brighter, but there's a severe dip in the mid-treble, which weakens and dulls sibilants like cymbals, followed by an uneven peak and dip, making these sounds inconsistently piercing and lispy.
The imaging performance is great. Bowers & Wilkins are a premium audio brand, so it's typical that their products have good quality control and ergonomics. Our unit's L/R drivers are well-matched in group delay, ensuring tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The drivers are also well-matched in phase and frequency response, which helps ensure a stable stereo image. However, there's a slight amplitude mismatch present, causing a slight difference in volume between both drivers. In addition, there's a small peak in the phase response's mid-mid, which is audible with real-life content. The left bud is louder than the right one, which causes the stereo image to skew a bit to the left in some songs. However, imaging varies depending on the unit.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 have a bad passive soundstage, but that's to be expected from in-ear headphones. They bypass your outer ear by design, which needs to be activated with sound to create a more immersive sound. As a result, sound seems like it's coming from inside your head, rather than from speakers placed in the room around you. They're also closed-back headphones, so their soundstage seems less open and spacious than open-back headphones.
These buds have a decent weighted harmonic distortion performance. There's a peak between the low to mid-treble at normal and high listening volumes, which is audible with real-life content. There is also some mismatch present between the left and right drivers in the low-bass range. The right driver is more prone to distortion in this range than the left, although this isn't very noticeable with real-life content like music.
These are the settings used to test these headphones, and our results are only valid when used in this configuration.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2's noise isolation performance is great. They're noise cancelling (ANC) earbuds, which help them block out background noise across the range. While they're not as good as the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless when cutting down the low rumble of bus engines, it still does a fair job. The buds can block out more mid-range noise like ambient chatter, which is good if you work in a noisy environment like a busy office. They can also reduce high-pitched noise like the hum of computer fans, but the buds do a better job of passively isolating you from this sound than the ANC.
The integrated mic's recording quality is mediocre at best. Unlike the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 True Wireless, your voice sounds thinner and more recessed. Your voice is still understandable, though. If you're taking a call, the headphones go into transparency mode by default so that you can stay aware of your surroundings.
The mic has passable noise handling. The mic struggles to separate your voice from ambient noise, and your voice can even be nearly drowned out by loud sounds like a passing train. To ensure you're heard clearly, it's best to take calls from a quiet environment.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2's battery performance is sub-par. The manufacturer advertises them to have a longer continuous battery life of five hours with their ANC off, which is an hour more than their predecessor. With their ANC on, we measured just under four hours, but keep in mind that battery life varies depending on use, and turning the ANC on can diminish battery life more quickly. That said, there are only three additional charges provided by the carrying case this time around, and the charge time has gone up, which is a little inconvenient. Luckily, a 15-minute charge will give you two hours of playback time, which is handy in a pinch.
The Bowers & Wilkins Music app is decent, but it doesn't offer much sound customization, and it's basically the same app for their speaker lineup. You can see a video of the app in use here. There isn't an EQ or presets to change their sound. However, you can turn on and off their wear sensor, activate transparency mode as well as adjust its strength, and manage the buds' connection to your devices. You can also adjust the streaming quality of the linked sound app depending on if you're using your mobile data or Wi-Fi.
The Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 have decent Bluetooth connectivity. While they don't support NFC or multi-device pairing, they support aptX Adaptive, aptX HD, and aptX codecs, allowing you to stream audio in higher quality. Unfortunately, their latency is quite high on PCs when using either aptX or aptX HD codec, and if you're using them while streaming, your audio and visuals will fall out of sync. Their latency is lower on iOS and Android devices, making them a better choice for video if you want to avoid lip sync issues. Some apps and devices compensate for latency, though.
Unlike most other truly wireless headphones, you can use their carrying case as a wireless transmitter. This is so that you can connect them to devices like in-flight entertainment, which don't normally support Bluetooth. You can connect the case to a device using either the USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to analog cable. The USB-C to USB-C connection has high latency when connected to your Android phone, which can cause your audio and visuals to fall out of sync. However, if you use the USB-C to analog cable to connect the case to your Android device, their latency is a lot lower and falls within good levels.
When using their transmitter, the USB-C to USB-C connection has a higher line of sight range at 229.6 ft (70m) than their USB-C to analog connection, which has a 108.2 ft (33 m) range. However, you'll still have to be somewhat near the transmitter if you want to avoid your audio cutting out. Conversely, the USB-C to analog connection ensures lower latency at 171 ms than the USB-C to USB-C connection at 256 ms. Both connections still have high latency and aren't ideal if you're streaming video.
These headphones are Bluetooth-only, and you can't use them wired. That said, they come with a couple of cables so you can turn the carrying case into a wireless transmitter. You can also use the USB-C to USB-C cable to charge the carrying case; it's 2.59 ft (0.79 m) long. The USB-C to analog cable is similarly long at 2.63 ft (0.80m).
You can connect the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 with full audio and mic compatibility via Bluetooth. You can also use the carrying case as a wireless transmitter and connect it to your PC using either the USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to analog cable. However, this connection only supports audio, and you can't use their mic.
If you want to connect the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 to your PlayStation console, you can only do so when using their carrying case as a wireless transmitter. You can also use a USB-C to USB-A adapter if you want to connect them to your PS4. However, all connections only support audio. Unfortunately, all connections also have high latency, and your audio and visuals could fall out of sync, depending on the app.
You can only use these headphones with your Xbox console when using the case as a wireless transmitter. However, you'll have to use the USB-C to analog cable as the USB-C to USB-C cable doesn't work with these consoles. This only supports audio, and its latency falls out of good values, so you may experience lip sync issues, depending on the app you're using.
These buds come with a carrying case that doubles as a wireless transmitter. It can only transmit audio when using its USB-C port with either the included USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to analog cables. The case also supports wireless charging and has three additional charges, one less than the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 True Wireless.