Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo Wireless Speakers Unveiled
As part of its introduction of the formation Suite line of wireless audio products, Bowers and Wilkins unveiled the Formation Duo wireless speaker system. This is a stereo pair of high-end Bowers and Wilkins speakers that have built-in amplification and high-res wireless capability built on the company's proprietary wireless platform. With an MSRP of $3999/pair these are the most expensive offering in the lineup, and an ultra high-end alternative to products like dual Sonos Play:5 speakers or other similar "bookshelf size" stereo pairable wireless speakers.
As part of the buildup to the announcement of the speakers, I took a trip to England and visited the Bowers and Wilkins factory for in-depth discussions with engineers and such. The long story short is that to maintain the fidelity required for proper stereo imaging, you need wireless speakers that stay in sync, that don't drift. I am sympathetic to this argument, having noted the inadequacy of some other wireless systems when attempting to play stereo music. Small fluctuations in timing will distort what would otherwise be a "perfect" stereo soundfield. The Bowers & Wilkins solution to this was to increase the precision of the synchronization to just 1 millisecond.
These are easily recognizable as Bowers and Wilkins speakers, they feature the separate "tweeter-on-top" design that is a signature of the brand's higher-end offerings, with a carbon dome. Frequency response is listed as 25 Hz to 33 kHz. I heard a pair demoed during my trip and can attest that these are the real deal. This is complete high-end system that performs all the tricks you expect from pricey audiophile speakers, miniaturized and made self-contained. Toss in a Formation Bass sub for an extra grand and hey, it's party time.
Editor, AVS Forum