The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 are the brands’ first true wireless earbuds. These premium earbuds come with features such as adaptive noise cancelling and a hybrid driver configuration, and they also support high-res Bluetooth audio codecs. However, they are much more expensive than the competition. So are these earbuds good and are they worth the premium price? Below is our Bowers & Wilkins PI7 review and comparison against another pair of true wireless earbuds from a highly regarded brand—the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.
Bowers & Wilkins PI7 vs
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Comparison Chart
|Model||Bowers & Wilkins PI7|
|Amazon product||Amazon product|
|Price||Amazon product||Amazon product|
|Driver||9.2mm dynamic driver|
Balanced armature tweeter
|7mm dynamic driver|
|Frequency Response||10 – 20 kHz||5 – 21 kHz|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 5.1|
|Codecs||SBC, AAC, aptX Classic, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, aptX Adaptive||SBC, AAC, aptX|
Additional 16 hours from charging case
Additional 21 hours from charging case
|Charging Time||Qi wireless charging support|
Full charge: 1 hour
Quick charge: 15mins. for 2 hours playtime
|Full charge: 1.5 hours|
Quick charge: 10 mins. for 1.5 hours playtime
|Extra Features||Bowers and & Wilkins Headphones app|
Case audio retransmission
|Sennheiser Smart Control app|
|Color Options||Charcoal, White||Black, White|
The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 looks more premium, but both of them are well-built.
While looks are subjective, in this case, it’s safe to say that the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 have the more premium look than the
In terms of build quality, the two are excellent. Both pair of earbuds are made of dense plastic with some metal parts in the mix. You can drop these and they should be able to survive without any damage. The PI7 have an IP54 rating, meaning that they are protected against dust and water splashes, while the Momentum 2 have an IPX4 rating, so they are protected against splashes of water, but not from dust.
When it comes to comfort, these two are quite bulky, so they may put pressure inside of your ears when worn over an extended period. They will also protrude from the ears. That said, they don’t go too deep into your ears. Also, they come with three pairs of ear tips (s, m, l) so you can choose one that fits you best.
Their charging cases are about the same size, and they are small enough that they can fit inside pockets with ease. Both of them are made of plastic but they are solid and they feel durable. The case of the PI7 has a matte finish while the case of the Momentum 2 come with a fabric cover that feels nice to the touch.
The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 and the
The two earbuds feature touch-sensitive controls. You can easily control music playback, answer calls and so on. However, one disappointment with the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 is that it doesn’t have any sort of volume control on the earbuds. You’ll have to control the volume of your music via your phone. This is not an issue with the
The companion apps that come with the two pairs of earbuds are basic. The Bowers & Wilkins Headphones app and the Sennheiser Smart Control are both compatible with iOS and Android apps, and they allow you to control the earbuds’ ANC and transparency modes. That’s basically all the B&W Headphones app can do, while the Sennheiser Smart Control also gives you EQ presets and the ability to remap controls. The Sennheiser app is clearly the winner here as it offers more customization options.
As for their active noise cancelling, both are good, with the Bowers & Wilkins slightly ahead. The adaptive noise cancelling of the PI7 is slightly better at blocking out noise in the bass-range, but overall, the two earbuds’ performance are comparable. You can adjust the level of noise cancellation using their companion apps.
One feature that is exclusive to the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 is the ability of its case to act as a Bluetooth transmitter. You can connect a non-Bluetooth device to the PI7’s case via USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to 3.5mm and the case will transmit the audio to the earbuds. This is a nice feature if you have a DAP or digital audio player without Bluetooth or if you want to use it with any non-Bluetooth device.
The downside to this feature is that the range is quite limited. You’ll find that the earbuds will struggle to maintain connection when the case is not close to the earbuds. Also, the sound quality when using this mode is not as good when the earbuds themselves are connected to your audio source.
The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 have a bass-heavy sound profile while the
When it comes to sound quality, the two are very different. The Bowers & Wilkins PI7 have a more bass-heavy sound signature where the bass is overemphasized to produce extra boom and thump when listening to bass-centered genres. The mid is accurate and pretty flat and neutral, so you can hear vocals and instruments in this range clearly. The treble range is fairly accurate and neutral without any harshness. Overall, the sound of the B&W PI7 is good, if you like to listen to genres that are bass-heavy.
On the other hand, the
When it comes to battery life, it’s a clear win for the
Meanwhile, the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 only have a total of 20 hours battery life. The earbuds can last for 4 hours, while the charging case holds four extra charges, for a total of 20 hours. One advantage of the B&W PI7 is their wireless charging support.
In summary, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are better than the Bowers & Wilkins PI7. They have a longer battery life, better controls and a more neutral sound. In addition, their sound can be tweaked to suit your preferences since the Sennheiser Smart Control app has graphic EQ and EQ presets. The only advantage of the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 is that their case can be used as a Bluetooth transmitter for non-Bluetooth audio devices. However, we don’t think that this feature is worth paying extra for.
Bowers & Wilkins is a British brand that’s popular with audiophiles. They are better known for their speakers, but they also have excellent headphones and earbuds.
They have an IPX4 rating for water resistance. They aren’t completely waterproof but they are protected against splashes of water.
Yes, you can use the case as a Bluetooth receiver to connect the PI7 to a PC.