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I ditched AirPods Pro for Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 – here’s why

Updated Apr 12th, 2024 7:43AM EDT
Image: Maren Estrada for BGR

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Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 earbuds are the latest flagship earphones from one of the top personal audio brands out there. These sleek in-ear headphones offer phenomenal sound quality, including teeth-rattling bass that has no business coming out of compact little earbuds like these. Unfortunately, however, they also come with an astronomically high price tag.

With a price tag of $399, Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 earbuds are difficult to rationalize when premium earbuds from Sony, Bose, and Apple cost so much less. Right now, however, Amazon is offering a huge 23% discount that slashes them to $306.23, which is a new all-time low price. That levels the playing field a bit more, and it makes them a serious contender.

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I have been using these flagship Bowers & Wilkins ANC earbuds for almost a year now. I’m just as impressed with them today as I was when I first tried them.

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 MainImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 are undoubtedly the most popular ANC earbuds I cover here at BGR Deals. They go on sale quite often, which certainly helps with their popularity. As a matter of fact, they’re currently on sale for $189 instead of $249. That’s within $9 of the lowest price ever, so it’s a great time to pick up a pair.

I have AirPods Pro 2 myself, and I use them quite often. The active noise cancelling feature is a clear highlight, and I also love how deeply they integrate with my other Apple devices. I can’t even remember the last time I took a call or jumped on a Zoom without my AirPods Pro.

But when I want to use my earphones to listen to music, I reach for a different pair of earbuds 100% of the time.

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 earbuds vs. AirPods Pro

To put it bluntly, AirPods Pro 2 have pretty poor overall sound quality, at least to my ear. Apple’s flagship earbuds sound tinny and hollow to me, with barely any bass response. The clarity is great, and as I said earlier, Apple’s ANC tech is quite impressive. But that’s not my top priority when I’m listening to music.

Instead, I prefer the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 earbuds. They’re the best-sounding true wireless earbuds I’ve ever tested, and they’re on sale today with a rare discount.

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For me, Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 earbuds are all about sound quality. Yes, they offer a bunch of great features like touch control and impressive battery life. You’ll get up to 5 hours of listening time per charge, plus another 16 hours from the battery case. The case also offers audio retransmission, which is something you won’t get with any rival earbuds.

But the star of the show is the high-fidelity audio that beats all the other earbuds I’ve tried. If you like a bass-heavy audio profile, which I definitely do, these are by far the best earbuds in the business.

The Pi7 S2 earphones feature 9.2mm dual hybrid drivers with individual amplifiers. They also offer a true 24-bit connection and Qualcomm aptX Adaptive Technology. I’ve tried every pair of premium cord-free earbuds out there, and these offer the best overall sound quality for people who prioritize bass response.

Bowers Wilkins Pi7 S2 ANC EarbudsImage source: Bowers & Wilkins

There are a few downsides as well, but they’re definitely not deal-breakers. For me, the biggest one is that the included wireless charging case feels so cheap and plasticky. It’s not a big deal, but I expect more from $399 earbuds. Heck, M&W earbuds come with a case made of stainless steel or carbon fiber.

The other main drawback to note is the ANC on Bowers & Wilkins’ earbuds. If I’m being honest, ANC is lackluster in general on true wireless earbuds. Even on class leaders like the earphones from Sony and Bose, the “noise cancelling” feature doesn’t actually cancel any noise, it just dulls it to varying degrees.

Pi7 S2 earbuds dull the surrounding noise a bit less than rival earbuds from Bose and Sony. For me, however, sound quality is much more important. After all, when you’re listening to music, you don’t hear any of the surrounding noise anyway.

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As I said before, Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 earbuds are by far the best-sounding premium ANC earphones I’ve ever tested. But they’re also the most expensive, with a $399 price tag.

That’s why the sale happening right now is such a terrific opportunity. If you miss this deal, there’s a good chance you won’t find them on sale again for a very long time. Do yourself a favor and save 23% while you can.

The current sale drops these awesome earphones to just $306.23 for the first time. It’s a new all-time low price, albeit by a slim margin, and I highly recommend taking advantage of this deal. You’re not going to see a better price anytime soon.

Sony WF-1000XM5 also crushes AirPods Pro

Sony WF-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling EarbudsImage source: Maren Estrada for BGR

If you’re not interested in Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 earbuds and you’re looking for another good option that blows Apple’s AirPods Pro out of the water, look no further. Sony WF-1000XM5 wireless noise cancelling earbuds are by far the best all-around ANC earphones on the market, and they cost even less than Pi7 S2.

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If you prioritize bass as much as I do, the Bowers & Wilkins earbuds are as good as it gets. I’ve tried every premium pair of earbuds, so I would know. But when it comes to overall sound quality, the Sony WF-1000XM5 buds are far superior. And Sony’s noise cancelling performance is on an entirely different level.

Sony Sony WF-1000XM5 are still very new, so they haven’t had any discounts yet, as of the time of this writing. But at $298, they cost less at full retail than Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 earbuds do, even when they’re on sale at a discount. That being said, the margin is slim since B&W’s flagship earbuds have such a big discount right now.

If you value deep bass above all else, definitely pick up Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 instead of Sony’s top-of-the-line earbuds. But Sony’s XM5 earbuds outclass B&W when it comes to overall sound quality and active noise cancelling, so keep that in mind.

Maren Estrada Deals Editor

Maren Estrada has been the Editor of BGR Deals since it launched in 2013. She has more than 20 years of experience testing more than 1,500 products, and reviewing a wide range of consumer electronics including mobile devices, smart home products, computers, and home appliances.

Previously, she was a leading consultant specializing in copywriting, product development, and new product launches.