If TWS isn’t your thing, the only brand that can swing you is Bowers & Wilkins. This Brit brand has catapulted many a casual listener into audiophile notoriety. The PI7 is the flagship TWS model in their collection and the price tag doesn’t shy away from proclaiming it either. So what do you get for your cash aplenty
The most unique feature of the PI7 is its wireless re-transmission feature that lets you plug in the case via the supplied USB-C to 3.5mm cable to any external source like in-flight entertainment systems or older laptops that may not have Bluetooth. It could be life-changing if you’re a frequent flyer and downloading content on your own device just isn’t your thing.
But it’s a Bowers & Wilkins after all, so shouldn’t sound be of paramount significance here? Yes, of course. Starting with the supremely comfortable fit in almost any lug hole, the twist-and-lock type earbuds provide a solid passive noise-cancellation seal as well.
Although the PI7 is a miniature representation of the brands’ prowess, it does have a 2-way driver system. Consisting of a 9.2mm dynamic driver for the lows and a balanced armature driver for the highs, the necessary HD codecs support the hardware via Bluetooth AptX Adaptive. This includes AptX HD, AptX Low Latency, AptX Classic and of course AAC for use with Apple i-devices.
The PI7 has an obvious bass boost to its tuning that emphasizes the low-end and can stress out the dynamic driver on Be Your Man by Cub Sport. Thankfully, the PI7 redeems itself when it comes to detail and resolution and it has plenty of both. In typical B&W fashion, the midrange is recessed just the right amount to control the forwardness of instruments or vocals and it’s the characteristic that makes it easy to listen to them for long durations. Low-level detail on acoustic music is superbly resolved and there’s a refinement to the sound that sets it apart from lesser competitors. If it’s engine drones you want to get rid of though, the competitors do a better job of active ANC and the price tag of the PI7 sets it in a different stratosphere.