Bowers & Wilkins has entered the world of streaming audio. Now you can say yes, but they had the Zeppelin… yeah… right. But Formation is a different story: multiroom, ROON Ready, multiple products and even… an active, truly hi-fi-worthy loudspeaker system. Meet Bowers & Wilkins Formation
Formation… wow… greasy name! It reminds us of something from the Borg… Tough. But Fomation – formation – is of course also a reference to cooperation. And that should rather be the purpose of the choice of name.
Bowers & Wilkins has a choice of devices to choose from at launch. We’ve already had it covered in the news report. But here again:
As audio experts, we find the Duo most interesting. These two active monitors only need one power plug (one per side). The rest can be done wirelessly. Just like the other models. Streaming can be wireless up to and including 24 bit / 96 kHz. The dacs can go higher, but in order not to get any datadrops, it’s limited at 24/96.
However, when we hear how Bowers built the system – 2.4 GHz, 2 antennas for internet connection and 5 GHz via 4 antennas for mutual communication – a higher sampling rate should be possible. After all, with 4 antennas on Wifi N, 1200 Mbit is theoretically already possible. Although 600 is more realistic. Anyway… still roomy enough for higher bitrates.
The Wedge is seen as the successor to the Zeppelin. The Audio is a streamer that can be connected to an existing system. Also vinyl is possible… …it’s nice to go around the house playing your pats… right?
The Bar is – logically – a sound bar. The Bass can lend a hand there to add some more ‘oemf’. Definitely fun with movies.
We could hear all the devices for a moment. Not enough for conclusions, of course. But still: the first impression is good. The system plays open and dynamic. The Bar is definitely a good product for those who do not want to put large speakers next to the TV. Vocals are easy to understand and the Bass is… forceful. Slightly too hard in the demo, but therefore also a high fun factor.
We hope to have a review-sample of the Duo soon!