Hear music like never before with this Bowers and Wilkins Formation Wedge wireless music system. Two 1-inch tweeters, two 3.5-inch midrange speakers and a 6-inch subwoofer deliver high-fidelity audio across a frequency range of 35Hz to 28kHz. This Bowers and Wilkins Formation Wedge wireless music system provides a high-quality streaming experience using Formation wireless technology.
Multiroom compatible portable speaker
Plays music in multiple rooms at once.
Wireless streaming lets you access all the music you love in one place
Enjoy your music library, radio stations and online services.
Rich, powerful sound
Includes a subwoofer, 2 mid-ranges and 2 tweeters.
I like the fact that the form factor fits in a small living room. One critique that I have is really around the fact that it is app dependent.
If there is a suggestion for improvement, have a bit more open architecture so, it can be more "future-proof"
I have embraced the B&W Formation lineup for its all-in-one simplicity and sound quality. And I would say so far it's a seamless experience.
Having a Formation Duo + Bass in my living room, 2 Formation wedge in my kitchen and bedroom, I was able to use the B&W app to play audio in PERFECT SYNC. The app allows individual volume setting, and also a overall volume which change the individual volume relative to its current level. It's intuitive and works great.
The downside of this closed ecosystem is I can only get the synchronization via the app. Using groups in Roon, there is a delay and obviously not the way B&W intended. As a result, when I use full house sync in the app, Room still thinks that the speaker that initiated the playback is the only one active. A bit of a disconnect, but something I can live with.
In terms of sound quality, it does it's job, very well. I found the bass to be too much for my taste, overpowering the mid and high, so I dialed it down by 2 ticks in the app and I'm happy with the sound.
The sound is full bodied and with good details, instrument separation and sound stage is nowhere near the Formation Duo (obviously); the same is true with the marketed stereo tweeters, the sound I hear
still sounds like it came from a single location rather than 2 distinct channels. But with all that said, all Bluetooth speakers in the same category share the same property, I'm really happy with what I'm hearing in terms of tonality, details and transparency, enough for me to recommend this speaker.
The price on these units are very high, but for me I went with the ecosystem and wanted to have to cohesive experience from 1 brand rather than many. I was debating whether to get 2 or 3 sonos 1s or even bluesound speakers now BB carries them, but after experiencing the seamless playback experience and quantity of the sound, I probably won't bother. B&W kind of did an Apple over here, and I am satisfied with the level of quality (sound and build) and simplicity that it offered to my audio experience.
First off the audio quality is fantastic on this piece and that is its saving grace, where this unit fails is in its setup / implementation / use.
1. Setup - if you have a more modern WiFi implementation in your home utilizing a mesh topology, you are walking into a world of despair with attempting to setup this device. The cheap WiFi implementation in this device is shocking given its astounding price tag. This device will ONLY connect to a 2.4GHz endpoint. If you have a shared SSID with all of your home devices, both 2.4GHz and 5GHz this device will refuse to connect. After much troubleshooting and actually taking the first Formation Wedge back because I thought the device was broken I made this realization. Fortunately for me I was able to deploy a standalone 2.4GHz network with a single device on it to make it function. Of all of the IoT devices I have deployed throughout the house, the single most expensive IoT device in the house (nests, roombas, ecovacs, you name it), has the WORST internet connectivity implementation.
2. Bluetooth - The Formation Wedge is a gorgeous product. Its a statement piece, the placement for mine is in my dining room on a console table. So naturally with it so prominently displayed people want to interact with it when we have guests. That is where the hassle begins. Did B&W walk through the product story of enabling Bluetooth for mobile device connectivity? You have to have the Formation app, be on the discreet WiFi Ap (see point above), and then in the app you can enable pairing. What a pain. Why can't we just hold down the Formation Button for 3s or something simple to put the device in pairing mode? Is that too much to ask? I have seriously considered simply replacing the Wedge with a significantly cheaper but still robust Bar style speaker that has figured out how to implement Bluetooth for those spur of the moment Spotify needs.
3. Latency - When you are able to overcome the top two, you are hit with the Latency issues. Admittedly I'm not using the device in a whole home audio setup, I don't have other Formation products in the house, I wanted a visual focal speaker and this one wins hands down. But when I am using the device with weapons in its arsenal I want it to be effective. The Wedge is setup via Spotify Connect on the family plan. When cooking / eating dinner and I want to listen to music its a frustrating game of "is this going to work?". Connecting to the Wedge via Spotify and then counting the seconds to see if audio will begin playing. Once its playing, try changing the volume either via Spotify or your mobile device, again its a frustrating game of latency. Volume Up, one one thousand, two one thousand, etc.
I really want to love this device, again its saving grace is its audio. I even went as far as attempt to hook up a cheap Amazon Echo to the 3.5in in-line audio port on the Wedge, which turns out isn't enabled or functional, thus dashing those dreams of overcoming the bluetooth connectivity and latency issues outlined above.
I'm really at a loss on what to do at this point.
We’re sorry to hear that you are having problems with your Formation Wedge. We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. Feedback like this helps us hear what our customers are looking for and take action on it. There were a few parts of your review that do make it seem you may be experiencing some technical issues as well, and we’d like to help you through those. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help you work through them.
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
You should buy this.
Owned for 1 month when reviewed.
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
Keeps well to BW's reputation of quality, both in build and in sound. No regrets. No disappointments.