Bowers & Wilkins Australia has announced local pricing for its new suite of wireless home audio 'Formation' products that together represent a new wireless multiroom platform to rival the likes of Sonos, Bluesound, HEOS, MusicCast and others.

One key differentiator is its use of a proprietary mesh wireless network to stream at high-res-capable 24-bit/96kHz between the different components.

“The Formation Suite is the newest and most technologically innovative line of wireless products our development team has ever created, says Philip Newton, the new CEO of Bowers & Wilkins Australia. "We are setting a new standard in the world of wireless sound, proving that wired fidelity can be achieved wirelessly.” 

The pricing in Australia on their release in October will be:

Formation Bar – soundbar $1999
Formation Bass – subwoofer $1699
Formation Wedge – stereo sound system  $1499
Formation Duo – wireless stereo speakers $6400/pair, with matching stands $1199/pair
Formation Audio – wireless hub/preamplifier $1149

The range combines multiroom operation using the mesh network (called Formation Wireless Technology) with a wide range of other connectivity options, including traditional home networking via Ethernet and Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Roon readiness, and Bluetooth including the aptX HD codec and AAC in addition to the base-level SBC codec.

As for the visual design, B&W hasn't held back, as you can see from these images. And so confident of its technology is B&W that the new range is described throughout as "takes just moments to set up and start playing". 

Formation Duo – wireless stereo speakers $6400/pair, with matching stands $1199/pair
Leading the suite of products is the B&W Formation Duo powered loudspeaker system above, which has a 25mm carbon-dome tweeter-on-top ‘borrowed from B&W’s 700 Series, plus a 165mm Continuum bass/midrange driver ‘borrowed’ from B&W’s 800 Series. Both are driven by a 125-watt amplifier to deliver a claimed in-room frequency response extending from 25Hz to 33kHz.

The Formation Duo speakers have been reviewed in the new issue of Audio Esoterica, the performance audio special edition of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. 

In addition to its proprietary mesh 24-bit/96kHz wireless network the B&W Duo powered speaker system is also compatible with WiFi, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and Bluetooth, and will synchronise with any other Formation product, but in particular with the new B&W ‘Formation Bass’ subwoofer ($1699, pictured below). This new unit features a Class-D amplifier with on-board DSP that drives two 165mm long throw bass drivers, for which B&W claims a frequency response of 20Hz to 150Hz.

The design stakes are raised still further with the multi-faceted Formation Wedge (above, $1499), a stereo system 28cm across, delivering its sound from twin 25mm double-dome tweeters, twin 90mm FST midrange drivers, and a single 150mm woofer, backed by a quoted 240W of power. 

There's also a Formation Bar ($1999) for your TV sound, which builds on the successful performance of the company's Panorama soundbars with another fascinating aesthetic with its swirling diamond facets and shining silver endcaps. Rather than aiming for pseudo-surround, the 124cm-long Formation Bar delivers three-channel sound from a total of nine drivers - 3 x 25mm double-dome tweeters and 6 x 65mm woven glass-fibre mid/bass cones arrayed as pictured below.

As with the other speakers, the Bar can stream music at 24-bit/96kHz as well as playing your TV sound from its optical input. Previous Panoramas have proven more musical than most soundbars, so hopes might be considered high for use as a combination movie/music unit. 

Also available is the Formation Audio Wireless Hub ($1149) that allows you to integrate your existing passive components, such as your turntable and CD player, into this new B&W system.

The app which links the system's elements together is called 'Home', and is released by EVA Automation, the company which bought Bowers & Wilkins three years ago, led by its entrepreneur Chairman and now co-Chairman of Bowers & Wilkins, Gideon Yu. 

“Three years ago, we had the vision to take Bowers & Wilkins 50 years of acoustic history and
success and combine it with Silicon Valley automation expertise, creating an amazing user
experience that is simple, powerful and incredible to listen to," reads Gideon Yu's statement in B&W's Formation news release. "Today, it’s amazing to witness that vision come to life, ushering in the next chapter of sound experience. The Formation Suite introduces consumers to wireless sound technology that is unparalleled in the audio space and showcases the true innovation this company is capable of and this is just the beginning. There is so much more to come.” 

The Formation Suite will be available in Australia some time in October. For more information visit B&W Australia.

You can view the company's Formation introduction video below.