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Bowers and Wilkins Takes Networked Audio To New Level

They screwed up by not taking on Sonos with a networked Zeppelin speaker when the US company first launched back in 2005, now the Brit Company Bowers & Wilkins is taking on the US sound Company with a superior networked sound offering.

British audio company Bowers & Wilkins which was acquired by US technology Company EVA Automation has rolled out a Sonos competitor that is 24bit and capable of delivering 96kHz sample-rate streaming. The Company has also developed a new audio OS system which may be licensed to other Companies.

The new networked speakers are expected in Australia shortly, pricing and availability are yet to be confirmed.

The ‘Formation’ suite as it is known, offers and includes a soundbar, a two-piece bookshelf-style speaker duo, a wedge speaker, a subwoofer and an audio box that enables streaming capabilities in older speakers.

Analysts are tipping that the Bowers and Wilkins technology will seriously hurt Sonos as it not only delivers superior sound, but all five pieces can work independently or together in a multi-room experience via a mesh networking system co-developed by EVA Automation, the parent company of Bowers & Wilkins.

The Formation Bar soundbar (US$1,199) contains three 25mm tweeters and six 65mm woofers and can support Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Room Ready, aptX HD, Bluetooth 4.1. and Dolby Digital plus a few basic ports — however, it omits an HDMI slot.

The bookshelf speaker pair, Formation Duo (US$$3,999), emulates B&W’s classic wired speakers of the 700 and 800 series and feature an isolated tweeter and mid-range woofer.
The eye-catching Formation Wedge speaker (US$899) offers a wide 120-degree shell which houses two 25mm tweeters, two 90mm woofers and one 150mm subwoofer.

Like the series’ soundbar, both the Duo and Wedge support Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, and Apple’s AirPlay 2.

The subwoofer, Formation Bass (US$999), can pair with any of the speakers and features opposed drivers, powerful amplifiers and Dynamic EQ.

And to upgrade older speakers, Bowers & Wilkins offer the Formation Audio (US$699), with multiple audio-in ports to convert CD players and turntables into wireless players.

This isn’t Bowers and Wilkins first foray into wireless speakers, it already offers the Zeppelin and T7 speakers and wireless headphones.

For more information visit Bowers & Wilkins.

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