Bowers & Wilkins has announced two new true wireless in-ear headphones — the P17, and the P15. Both sets of earbuds look relatively similar but the flagship model, the P17, is distinguishable with a gold metal finish that can be found on both the charging case and earbuds. The P15 provides a cleaner, more minimalist look overall.
Apart from how it looks, the P17 distinguishes itself by offering support for Qualcomm aptX adaptive wireless transmission from select devices. This allows the buds to transmit high-resolution music from different streaming platforms. Combined with the capability to transmit 24-bit/48kHz between each earbud, the P17 becomes one of few true wireless earbuds to truly support high-resolution audio from its source.
The P17’s earbuds, according to the company, have specifications that are “remarkably close to that of an advanced conventional loudspeaker.” The P17 features a 9.2mm bespoke Bowers & Wilkins drive unit joined by a high-frequency balanced armature driver. There are two drive units in each earbud with its own amplifier that allow for deep and accurate bass.
There are three mics onboard each of the P17’s earbuds which make for a total of six microphones overall. This helps the buds with its Active Noise Cancelation to help the user filter out environmental noise.
Another unique feature that the P17 offers is hidden in its case. The enclosure of the P17 can be connected to an external audio source via a 3.5mm or USB cable. This allows the case to wirelessly transmit audio from the connected source. An example of this would be connecting the charging case to the in-flight audio during a flight so you can use the plane’s entertainment system to maybe watch a movie or listen to music using your own earbuds.
The P15 offers much of the features of the P17 but at a lower price tag. It has the same 9.2mm driver size and is also equipped with ANC for each earbud. Unlike the P17, though, the P15 uses two microphones for each earbud instead of three. The P15 is also able to provide CD-quality playback through aptX wireless transmission of music from aptX-compatible devices.
The P17 and the P15 are capable of wireless charging through compatible accessories or through a charging case. The P17’s earbuds can last up to 4 hours each while the P15 can last up to 4.5 hours. The P17’s charging case and provides an additional 16 hours while the P15 offers an additional 20. Both are able to get about 2 hours of battery life from a 15-minute charge.
Both models can also be paired and configured to the Bowers & Wilkins mobile app which offers a simple one-button interface. This button can be used for different tasks depending on the connected device.
The Bowers & Wilkins P17 retails for $399 while the P15 for $249. Both are available in either white or charcoal.