Frequent Drop Outs with Roon + Bowers & Wilkins Formation System

Roon Core Machine

Apple iMac 3.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM, 1TB

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Eero Mesh Wifi system and fiber optic cable
Music from Roon on Mac is from Tidal Hi-Fi and from local files on desktop
Wifi network is robust and speeds are fast. All components are on the same network

Connected Audio Devices

B&W Formation System:
Formation Audio
Formation Duo
Formation Bass

Bluesound Node 2i

Enabled in Roon software (both Roon Ready):

  1. Master Bedroom (name of the space created comprised of the 3 Formation components all located only 8 feet away from the iMac)
  2. Bluesound Node 2i (in living room on different floor)

Number of Tracks in Library

6163 tracks

Description of Issue

Drop outs are occurring every few minutes and last 1-2 seconds, or stop the track entirely, or skip to the next song in the middle of a track. They occur both when Tidal tracks are playing as well as when local files are playing. They occur with both high res tracks, and non-high res tracks with lower bitrates. I use the parametric equalizer for all tracks.

Drop outs are only occurring with the Formation system, and never once when Roon is streaming to the Bluesound player. They don’t seem to start until I’ve been playing music for about 3-4 minutes.

A TV is also connected to the Formation Audio via an optical cable and so sound from TV is streamed from the Formation Audio to the Formation Duos/Bass with never a single drop out.

I’ve tried factory resetting every component of the system several times, starting from the modem/router system and all other components and this hasn’t helped. I’ve also tried reinstalling Roon to no avail.

Hi @treble_head

We’re sorry to hear about your troubles here. Let’s see if we can figure out the source of your issue.

I have a couple questions that will help us narrow this down:

It sounds like your dropouts problems are occuring just on the B&W Formation setup; is that correct? If you play directly to the System Output of your Core machine or the Bluesound do you have these problems?

Can you tell us if your Core machine is connected the network via Wifi or wired connection?
Is the Formation Audio device using a wired or wi-fi device?

If you temporarily turn off parametric EQ does it have any effect?

If you play to the B&Ws via Airplay do you still have dropouts?

Thanks in advance for working with us to troubleshoot this issue. We’ll be watching for your response and get back to you as quickly as we can.

I seem to have solved my issue. I’m not getting any more dropouts, at least not as nearly as often as before. In the Roon software on my mac, I went into Device Setup for my space created containing all of the Formation products, and switched the MQA capabilities setting from “Renderer,” to “Decoder and Renderer,” and also set the Resync Delay to “6000 milliseconds”. If anyone knows which of these was the likely solution leading to the end of my dropouts, I’d be curious to know.

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Hi @treble_head,

Thank you for getting back in touch to let us know your issue has been resolved and to sharing the troubleshooting steps that resulted in your success. In this case I think adjusting the resync delay did the trick!