NEWS: Bowers & Wilkins releases new Music App for Formation platform

stuman

Active Member
Good headway,

I'm holding off for either WiSa support or another method of getting TV audio out with low input latency without the need for a big (and £500) box.
 

hubiedub

Standard Member
This is a huge improvement. The company has been through the ringer since the Eva acquisition...I had all but lost hope that they would update the app as previously promised. Was pleasantly surprised when this dropped onto my iPhone with zero fanfare and fuss. They now have a proper in-house software development capability...and this release really shows its potential. The content aggregation, auto-playlist and recommendation engines are concise, useful and quick to navigate. Multiroom speaker management is already nicer than BluOS. Formation now has a proper platform that can be built upon.

If they could just add the following to the range:

1. A soundbar with HDMI eARC input that supports lossless and object-based formats. Having just optical in was a massive oversight.
2. A stereo-configurable speaker around the €1K mark (something to fill the gap between the Flex and the Duo)
3. A beefier sub...perhaps a wireless DB3D...or the potential to add multiple subs to a single space...the current one is nice but loses impact a bit in larger rooms.

I’m hoping this isn’t a last gasp but a new beginning for the Formation range.
 

bernado

Well-known Member
This is a huge improvement. The company has been through the ringer since the Eva acquisition...I had all but lost hope that they would update the app as previously promised. Was pleasantly surprised when this dropped onto my iPhone with zero fanfare and fuss. They now have a proper in-house software development capability...and this release really shows its potential. The content aggregation, auto-playlist and recommendation engines are concise, useful and quick to navigate. Multiroom speaker management is already nicer than BluOS. Formation now has a proper platform that can be built upon.

If they could just add the following to the range:

1. A soundbar with HDMI eARC input that supports lossless and object-based formats. Having just optical in was a massive oversight.
2. A stereo-configurable speaker around the €1K mark (something to fill the gap between the Flex and the Duo)
3. A beefier sub...perhaps a wireless DB3D...or the potential to add multiple subs to a single space...the current one is nice but loses impact a bit in larger rooms.

I’m hoping this isn’t a last gasp but a new beginning for the Formation range.
Haven't they answered your No. 1 with their Stage?
 

hubiedub

Standard Member
Haven't they answered your No. 1 with their Stage?
Unfortunately not...the Stsge is a Bang and Olufsen soundbar not Bowers and Wilkins.
 

hubiedub

Standard Member

willjmitchell

Novice Member
Is the lack of MQA something they can fix with a firmware update; or is that a hardware issue? I was thinking about whether it is worth switching to Qobuz given it will now now stream high res natively through the Formation app, whereas it seems Tidal is limited to CD quality streaming.
 

hubiedub

Standard Member
Is the lack of MQA something they can fix with a firmware update; or is that a hardware issue? I was thinking about whether it is worth switching to Qobuz given it will now now stream high res natively through the Formation app, whereas it seems Tidal is limited to CD quality streaming.
For native full MQA support, It's a hardware / DAC limitation. However you can have Roon do the first MQA "unfold" which will get you part of the way there but you'd be missing the rendering part which is full fat MQA.
 
Hi there, I'm new to this forum but since you seem to know a lot about the Formation Audio I wanted to know if the app has any functionality for playing my local files? It mentions Tidal, Qobuz etc but I also have a small collection of HiRes albums in iTunes and am wondering how I would play these with the Formation Audio. Thanks!
 

hubiedub

Standard Member
Hi there, I'm new to this forum but since you seem to know a lot about the Formation Audio I wanted to know if the app has any functionality for playing my local files? It mentions Tidal, Qobuz etc but I also have a small collection of HiRes albums in iTunes and am wondering how I would play these with the Formation Audio. Thanks!
There isn’t support within the app natively but Roon works flawlessly.
 
Thanks for the reply! Yeah I'm trying to make things work without Roon if possible–I trialled it once and found it a bit cumbersome with space and RAM, not to mention the cost. Is there a way to do without? I know the Formation Audio does AirPlay but you can't do HiRes with that, I believe?
 

hubiedub

Standard Member
Yes AirPlay is CD quality max AFAIK. I don’t know of any other (simple) way to do this right now. If you had the Formation Audio component you could technically plug in something like a Bluesound Node to the digital input and use the Node to stream your local files into the Formation Audio but that’s getting very convoluted and expensive.
 
Yeah I would be buying the Formation Audio as an alternative to the Bluesound Node. I really should just buy a Node as all I'm looking for is a box to stream as an alternative to my MacBook, but regrettably I'm a bit fussy when it comes to looks and the Bluesound doesn't really appeal in that department.
 

willjmitchell

Novice Member
I am somewhat hopeful B&W will enhance the app to allow native streaming of local network files, hopefully in the not too distant future. For what it’s worth, I have two formation audios now, both connected to vintage hifi setups, and they sound great. You can pick them up for circa £400 on Ebay and you get yourself an excellent streamer and dac combo with multi room capability. I actually think they’re a bit under-rated given the performance and functionality you get for the money.
 

hubiedub

Standard Member
I am somewhat hopeful B&W will enhance the app to allow native streaming of local network files, hopefully in the not too distant future. For what it’s worth, I have two formation audios now, both connected to vintage hifi setups, and they sound great. You can pick them up for circa £400 on Ebay and you get yourself an excellent streamer and dac combo with multi room capability. I actually think they’re a bit under-rated given the performance and functionality you get for the money.
Agreed. I have Denon Heos upstairs and B&W Formation downstairs. Formation much more stable and frankly a joy to use in comparison to Heos, which is flakey and positively archaic in how it handles music services and libraries. The B&W 'Music' app has been updated continually in recent months which is a promising sign of their commitment to the platform.
formation-music2.PNG
 

screemer

Active Member
Anyone else having problems using the app on iOS? It has been fine but now it can’t find my speakers. I’ve done a reset and nothing. It can’t even find them to do a full new install. Speakers work fine via Roon.
 

willjmitchell

Novice Member
Since the new version of the app software was released I have had a ton of problems: regular drop outs, app taking absolutely ages to start playback, app not finding devices. Really disappointing and a big step backwards. Do they do any testing before they release? It appears not.
 

willjmitchell

Novice Member
Update: I switched everything off including all Formation devices, my router and my modem. Then I switched everything back on and now it all works perfectly. So in fairness doesn’t appear to be the iOS app that is at fault.
 

screemer

Active Member
Didn’t work for me. My speakers now don’t work at all, when I am in setup, enter Wi-fi passcode and it loses connection.
 

screemer

Active Member
All sorted, needed to open ports on the router, don’t ask me why
 

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung S95B QD OLED Review - A Quantum Leap for OLED!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

PSB Speakers unveils Passif 50 loudspeaker
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Samsung Gaming Hub goes live
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Huawei unveils FreeBuds Pro 2 true wireless earbuds
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Sony unveils Inzone gaming brand
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Bowers & Wilkins launches Px7 S2 wireless headphones
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom