Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Wireless Earphones: The Best Earbuds with a Simple Neckband for Convenience

As sound manufacturers shift their focus to real cordless earbuds, it is ending up being unusual to see new neckband-style cordless earphones, so we’re happy that Bowers & Wilkins is maintaining the category to life with the PI3 ($199.99). With 2 drivers for each earpiece, they deliver a solid sound experience with abundant bass and detailed highs, and they do so in a polished design with user-friendly manages. If there is a grievance here, it is an acquainted one in the Bowers & Wilkins world: These earphones are expensive. That said, the high price obtains you with a stylish design with superior sound efficiency.


Available in blue, lotion, or grey models, the earphones have a matte rubber finish on the cable television itself, and the ear tips and fins have a comparable appearance. The earpieces are metal, with an eggshell-like finish that suits the appearance of the inline control areas on both sides of the neckband. The earnings and ear tips are separate and can be mixed and matched to obtain an ideal in-ear in shape. In all, there are 3 sets of ear tips and 3 sets of ear fins in small, medium, and large. There is no water-resistant score, so do not intend on using these earphones at the fitness center.

The inline control area on the right side of the neckband houses a three-button array. The main multifunction switch manages playback, track navigating, and call management, depending upon how often times you tap it. The external 2 switches are dedicated, quantity managers. This same area houses a USB-C port for the consisted of billing cable television. The left area holds the power switch.

Bowers & Wilkins consists of a small canvas bag, and the earpieces have magnetic external panels that snap with each other for stowing. Simply bear in mind that breaking them with each other does not immediately power the earphones down.

The Bowers & Wilkins application (for Android and iOS) offers some tips to start, as well as a moderate setups food selection that allows you to disable articulate triggers, change the power-off timer (or disable it), and obtain software updates. There is also a soundscape area, with relaxation that seems like campfires and falls on loops to assist you to focus or area out. What’s missing out on? Lots of applications for cheaper earphones consist of EQ, and the lack of flexible EQ or EQ presets here seems like a missed out on an opportunity.

Bowers & Wilkins prices battery life at 8 hrs, but your outcomes will differ with your quantity degrees.


The earphones support AAC and AptX (Flexible, Classic, and HD) Bluetooth codecs. Inside, there are 2 drivers in each ear, which is quite outstanding for a cordless model, also at $200. For the lows and mids, there is a 9.2mm full-range chauffeur, while the high-mids and highs are handled by a smaller-sized balanced armature chauffeur. These are coupled with 2 separate amplifiers and integrated to deliver a regularity range of 10Hz to 30kHz.

On the right track with extreme sub-bass content, such as The Knife’s “Quiet Yell,” the drivers deliver a durable low-frequency reaction. There is more of a concentrate on splendor compared to greatly increased thump, and there is also lots of balance with the high-mids and highs, which sound sculpted to a level but not hugely so. At the top, unwise paying attention degrees, the bass on this track does not distort.

Expense Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with much much less deep bass in the blend, gives us a better sense of the PI3’s basic sound trademark. The drums on this track receive some included bass deepness, but absolutely nothing over the top. Callahan’s baritone vocals receive an enjoyable quantity of low-mid splendor, and the high-mids provide some included treble side and shape. The acoustic strums and higher-register percussive strikes also take advantage of the sculpting in the high regularities, yet points never ever sound excessively bright. The balance here’s ideal, as the lows never ever overshadow the highs, and the highs never ever sound too increased.

On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop’s attack gets enough high-mid presence to keep its punchiness, but it is the plastic hiss and crackle that is usually delegated to the historical condition that we notice one of the most at the beginning. This informs us the highs are perhaps called up a little bit greater than the high-mids. The sub-bass synth strikes that punctuate the beat are delivered with gusto—nothing that approaches the mega-bass sound trademark that’s common in many models we test today, but the lows are also not disregarded. Thus, bass enthusiasts will not be disappointed, mainly because the lows are well-represented, and you do obtain a strong sense of the low-frequency deepness on this track. The vocals are delivered with excellent clearness, however, sometimes there appears to be a little bit of included sibilance.

Orchestral tracks, such as the opening up scene from John Adams’ The Scripture Inning in accordance with the various other Mary, sound excellent through the PI3. The higher-register brass, strings, and vocals are delivered with bright information, and wonderfully secured by the refined bass reaction, which presses the lower-register instrumentation ahead slightly in the blend, but in a manner that sounds all-natural.

The mic offers strong intelligibility. Using the Articulate Memos application on an iPhone 8, we could understand every word we tape-taped, and there had not been a lot in the way of Bluetooth distortion. The mics indicate seemed fairly solid, and not too far off from the mouth.

Final thoughts

Bowers & Wilkins maintains it simple with the PI3 and obtains simply about everything right. The shape is secure, the design is good-looking and easy to run, and above all, the sound efficiency is solid. As mentioned, most of the similarly valued competitors we’re seeing nowadays remain in the real cordless world. For $250, the Apple AirPods Professional offers a more smooth user experience and some outstanding energetic sound termination, while the Defeats Powerbeats Professional is ideal for the fitness center. And if you prefer a neckband design, the $250 RHA T20 Cordless earphones deliver an outstanding sound experience with detachable earpieces that can be used with standard cable television, or you can conserve $50 by getting the PI3.