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Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge

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This wireless speaker beats the competition by some distance

The Formation Wedge is part of B&W’s Formation series. It’s a standalone wireless speaker, but is also optimised for multi-room integration with other Formation series models, such as the excellent B&W Formation Duo active stereo speakers.

Formation products feature B&W’s proprietary wireless mesh system, which partners with your home wi-fi but works independently to enable hi-res streaming and a basically imperceptible one microsecond sync between speakers. The Wedge supports 24-bit/96 kHz hi-res audio, too.

There’s a three-way driver configuration under the silky, honeycomb-like shell. Two 2.5cm double-dome decoupled aluminium tweeters (from B&W’s 600 series) sit top-right and top-left, with 40W of amplification apiece.

Underneath each of those is a 9cm midrange driver similarly amplified by 40W, and in the middle a 15cm, 80W subwoofer brings the driver total to five – and the amplification up to 240W.

From the front, you’d think this was a flat-backed, half-moon ellipse, but it’s actually an interesting, if slightly divisive, 120-degree wedge design. At 23cm tall, it’s larger than you might imagine too, and as such, sits well in a corner.

On top of the unit, there’s a small light-up display for basic volume and play/pause functions, while the rear panel has the feel of quality craftsmanship.

For playback, there’s Apple AirPlay 2, aptX HD Bluetooth and Spotify Connect, and like the rest of the Formation range, it’s Roon Ready. B&W recommends using the Roon app as your main music playback controller, but you also need the dedicated B&W Home app for initial set-up.

While Roon is strongly recommended, it is possible to play music without it; just launch your preferred streaming service and look for the Wedge under available devices. You can also adjust EQ settings using the B&W Home app.

 

 

 

 

 

Stellia - What Hifi - ★★★★★ - 03/2019 - WHAT HI*FI?