Noticed Best Buy now has the Bowers Formation Duo up. It essentially looks to be a 705 S2 in new fancy boxes with 250w of power. Can’t wait to get more detail on how well it supports Roon and any tweaks and improvements it offers over the stock 705. Initial comparisons with the Key LS50W should be very interesting.
It offers Airplay2 support. Yet another quality speaker with Airplay2 and not a peep from the Roon developers.
Looks like the embargo ended today. Handful of people showing the NY meetup for press with photos and observations about the Duo. Interestingly no one has any info on the Wedge and what it sounds like so that may be delayed a bit. I don’t know if the Wedge supports Roon…let me check the data sheet.
What Hi-fi? describing them as “Roon Ready” - styling cues are more 800 than 700, and the bass/mid driver is from the 800 series, but the tweeter is carbon dome rather than diamond. Looks tasty.
Bowers’ data sheet also describes them as Roon Ready.
Yes …casing resembles 800 Series but the driver sourcing is clearly from the 705 S2 which is solid. I did see the Roon Ready in the lineup. Looks like all we really need is for them to finish adding Tidal Premium, Qobuz and let us know about MQA and DSD support. I imagine they’ll get access to Apple Music directly like Sonos.
Seems to be 24/96 PCM according to What Hi-fi— which is perhaps unsurprising as the connection between the speakers is wireless.
Geez, B&W truly have mastered fugly since the D3 series were introduced.
Not sure I like the idea of speakers with built-in DAC. I’d rather have the choice of which DAC I want in my audio chain. Still, interesting to see where hi-fi is headed.
I think these Duo speakers almost require the matching stands because they don’t svelte enough until they’re sitting atop the stands.
No one has mentioned the price yet…$3,999 for the formation Duo. Don’t know if that includes the stands.
From Endgadget UK (so not sure why the prices are USD - copy’n’paste of a press release presumably):
The Wedge will cost $899 while the Duo speakers and Bass subwoofer will set you back $3,999 and $999 respectively. The Bar, meanwhile, will go for $1,199 and the Audio box will be pitched at $699. That’s a combined price of $7,795
Stands are extra at $799 a pair
I’ve been really looking forward to B&W releasing Roon Ready products but the speakers are some of the ugliest products I have seen. They might sound fantastic but hell, they look horrific
Inspiration probably drawn from a flanged tee coupling. A little too industrial for me:
Hilarious. Now I can’t un-see that
Well if you fancy building your own there are plenty of ready made cast iron cases available to buy… You just need one that will fit a 6 or 8 inch driver on the flange. Could look good as a steampunk version.
I heard them all this week at a press event at a swanky location in London and they’re really very good indeed. The Duo annihilates the wireless KEFs in every way and so they should given their relative price differential. The issue is, as I see it, is who will spend over £4.5K (with stands) on a pair of wireless speakers? It won’t be the Spotify user who listens to their music on a mobile phone. Audiophiles may find that passive speakers matched with suitable amplification is the better option.The jury’s out! Also, the Bar and Bass sound bar and subwoofer were very good too! I hope they’re successful, however we’ve seen many a wireless system come and go and sadly, I fear that Sonos is just good enough for most. To quote Jon Snow aka Aegon Targaryen, to his Aunty Daenerys “I wish you (them) good fortune in the wars to come…”
If they sound good I may be interested… I’ve previously demo’d Dutch & Dutch 8C, Kii3 and Devialet Phantom Golds (with matching Devialet stands) and LS50W’s.
B&W have put a feature request in for me, to allow integration of a pair of the Formation Bass units to work with the Duo speakers… because at the moment only a single wireless sub is supported. If dual wireless subs are supported at some point and they sound good on demo, I may be keen…
With the big speaker grill sticking out the front they remind me of cheap Binatone speakers from the eighties, I can’t look at them.
I didn’t like the latest D3 800 series B&W’s when I first saw the press release images.
But it was a completely different thing when I saw them in person… it may be similar with these, so I’m trying not to be too negative initially based on photos, based on this prior experience. I’ll need to have a look and listen when they land here.