Apple has some new AirPods-style rivals to offer, and these devices offer something that the US company can’t compete with right now. Premium audio company Bowers and Wilkins just announced the launch of their first wireless earbuds, which come with a nifty trick up their sleeve. Not only do the brand new PI7 earbuds offer immersive sound and adaptive active noise cancellation that changes depending on where they are used, they also have a clever swap case that ends the nightmare of using AirPods buds in places like airplanes.
That’s because the cute little smart case can be connected to an external audio source such as an in-flight entertainment system using a 3.5mm or USB cable and then wirelessly transmit audio from that source to the earbuds. This is definitely something that the AirPods just can’t compete with and that Apple may want to consider in the future.
Further extras of the PI7 are the aptX adaptive wireless transmission from Qualcomm, which offers high-resolution music transmission from suitable streaming services such as Qobuz.
There’s also a 4-hour battery life that means things are full again as soon as they’re back in the charging case, and they’re fully compatible with Alexa and Google’s voice assistants.
They sound pretty impressive, but like all Bowers and Wilkins products, they aren’t cheap.
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If they arrive later this year they will need £ 349 in your bank account, which is £ 100 more than the Premium AirPods Pro.
If that sounds a bit rich, Bowers and Wilkins are also launching a slightly cheaper version called the PI5 that will cost £ 199.
These earbuds also come with ANC – though not adaptive like the PI7 – and offer 4.5 hours of battery life as well as great sound via a bespoke 9.2mm dynamic drive unit. A waterproof design and access to Google and Alexa are also provided.
You don’t get the same clever charging case. So forget about watching a movie on the plane, but you have little extra money in your pocket as these are clearly far cheaper.
Commenting on their new earbuds, Bowers and Wilkins said, “After a long period of development, Bowers & Wilkins is proud to introduce two new products that bring the brand’s famous True Sound promise of absolute performance to the True Wireless In-Ear category Bring a headphone.
“Both the new PI7 and PI5 offer the sound quality music lovers expect from a Bowers & Wilkins product, coupled with an extensive range of intelligent and practical features, exceptional call quality and beautiful premium design.”