The Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge is a wireless, multi-room speaker that utilizes Bowers & Wilkins' proprietary Formation wireless technology to connect to other Formation speakers and create a high-fidelity, seamless audio experience throughout your home.
The Wedge features a unique, triangular shape and incorporates advanced audio technologies, such as a Continuum cone mid-range driver and a double dome tweeter, to deliver rich, detailed sound.
Additionally, the Wedge can be controlled via the Bowers & Wilkins Home app and supports streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal, and Amazon Music. It also supports Bluetooth connection.
In short, B&W Formation Wedge is a solid speaker with stunning sound quality. It's also very long lasting (which, in my opinion, is the second most important thing to look for in a speaker), just like all Bowers & Wilkins speakers. It can also particularly fit tech savvy users as it supports some premium audio formats.
It however might not be ideal if you're planning to move the speaker a lot (it's heavy and large) or to use Apple Music with it (not supported - more on this later). It doesn't support voice assistants like Alexa or Google assistant either.
It does come with a staggering price tag. That's because you're not only getting yourself a premium speaker but also a super sleek home decoration item.
Now let's get to its bolts and nuts.
Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge Review: Sound quality
Let me tell you something right off the bat.
The sound quality performance you'll end up getting from a speaker will always depend on your room acoustics - particularly room dimensions and speaker positions.
The impact of the combination of these two is actually so strong that in most cases, it doesn't even make sense to utter a single word on sound quality without speaking of them.
This is also why it's not unusual to see completely different reviews of the same speaker.
In one case the speaker might be placed in a sweet spot inside the room and hence the user might be satisfied. In other cases the same speaker might be ill placed and hence user might even have returned it.
The point most people miss here is that it mostly isn't even about the engineering behind the speaker itself. It's about where you place the speaker inside which room.
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So, in order to solve this problem, I've partnered with an Acoustics and Audio Engineering PhD and created Soundton - a simple, 2D, browser accessible online speaker placement calculator.
With Soundton, now there's a way to figure the sound quality of most speakers before you buy them.
Read more about its working principles at soundton.com.
The end colormap provides you the locations with the best (green) and worst (red) acoustics.
ASAP Science also made a video on the loudest and quietest rooms in the world. A mind blowing example of the importance of acoustics (play time adjusted video below).
Other parameters such as the age/materials of the building, the furniture & carpets in place, etc can and will, of course, have an effect on room acoustics, too. But it's much less compared to other parameters mentioned above.
Also, while you're at it, blast my Hidden Electronic Gems list to test the speakers:
As the app will also demonstrate, The Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge is best suited for use in medium to large rooms such as living rooms and home offices.
Additionally, the Wedge's support for streaming services and ability to connect to other Formation speakers via Bowers & Wilkins' proprietary wireless technology make it perfect for creating a multi-room audio setup.
Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge Review: Potential downsides
The Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge is a high-end speaker that is designed for audiophiles and music enthusiasts. And as such, it comes with a staggering price tag. It may not be the most affordable option for all users.
Another downside is that it does not support all the streaming services (it only supports Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, Deezer, Qobuz and Juke). It also does not support Apple Music natively, though you can use Airplay to stream Apple Music from your Apple device to the Wedge.
As it's a wireless speaker, it also may be affected by wireless interference which can affect the sound quality, but that's the case with all wireless speakers, so you can wipe that out.
Additionally, the Formation Wedge is a larger speaker and requires a fair amount of space. It's 9.1 inches (232mm) high, 17.3 inches (440mm) wide, and 9.6 inches (243mm) deep for reference, and is also 14.3 pounds (6.5 kg).
So it may not be the best option for users with limited space or those who are looking for a more compact speaker.
For the same reason, it also may not be a good fit for those looking for a portable speaker as it is not designed to be easily moved around.
Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge Review: Setting it up
Setting up the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge is generally considered easy. Here are the basic steps for setting up the speaker:
- Download the Bowers & Wilkins Home app from the App Store or Google Play Store. The app is pretty sleek looking and easy to use: https://www.bowerswilkins.com/en-us/bowers-wilkins-music-app
- Connect the Formation Wedge to power and then press the power button on the back of the speaker to turn it on.
- Open the Bowers & Wilkins Home app on your smartphone or tablet and follow the on-screen instructions to connect the speaker to your home Wi-Fi network.
- Once the speaker is connected to your network, you can use the app to control the speaker, including adjusting settings and streaming music.
It should take only a few minutes to set up the speaker and connect it to your network. If you run into any issues, the Bowers & Wilkins website also has detailed instructions and support information available.