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Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bar All-in-One Wireless Soundbar

MSRP 1200 USDNEX score 72%

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Product Overview

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bar is a premium all-in-one wireless soundbar in B&W's new Formation series. It shares the similar wave design across the series and packs 3 tweeters and 6 mid-woofers in an elegant chassis that is just over 4" in diameter.
Part of the new Formation lineup introduced by B&W in 2019, the Formation Bar is the model designed to complement premium TVs. As such, it adds an optical TOSLINK input.
Meanwhile, the Formation Bar supports wireless connectivity via both Bluetooth and WiFi. This affords it a range of streaming options. The Formation Bar support B&W's proprietary WiFi mesh system that uses 2.4GHz for streaming from the source and 5GHz among Formation devices: this allows for ultra-low latency when paired with other speakers or the Audio streamer in the Formation range.
Other models in the Formation series include the Duo (stereo speakers), Wedge (stand-alone speaker), Bass (subwoofer), Audio (wireless streamer), and Flex (compact speaker).

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Ratings

What we found**

Pros
  • Powerful audio performance with deep bass and wide stereo separation
  • Built-in subwoofer
  • Easy setup
Cons
  • Doesn't support Dolby Atmos or DTS:X

What external reviewers found***

NEX score: 72% (not directly comparable across industries)
Pros
  • Excellent build quality
  • Gorgeous design
  • Beautiful, detailed sound signature
  • Powerful, detailed sound
  • Easy to install
  • High-resolution audio
Cons
  • Subwoofer lacks depth and body
  • No HDMI
  • No surround channels
Read More

Price Comparison (incl. referral links)*

Specifications

Connectivity

Ports
TOSLINK + RJ45 + USB (service only)
Wireless Connectivity
Bluetooth 4.1 + WiFi

Construction

Colors
Black
Drivers | Tweeter
3 x 25mm (1 in) double dome
Drivers | Woofer
6 x 65mm (2.6 in) woven glass fibre cone
Form Factor
Wireless soundbar

Dimensions

Size | Depth
107mm (4.2 in)
Size | Height
109mm (4.3 in)
Size | Width
1240mm (48.8 in)
Weight
5.5kg (12.1 lbs)

Function

Amplifier
Class D
Bluetooth Profiles
AptX HD, AAC, SBC

Performance

Frequency Response
40Hz - 28kHz ±3dB
Power Output
6x 40W

Production

Debut
2019-04

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3rd-Party Review Videos

External Reviews

pcmag[1]

Sentiment Score 80%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following***:
The Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bar costs $1,200. At high volumes, this mix sounds glorious—vibrant, rich, bright, and with a wide stereo image. At maximum volumes, DSP (digital signal processing) kicks in and dials the bass back.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Gorgeous design
  • Beautiful, detailed sound signature
  • Built-in subwoofer
Cons
  • Subwoofer lacks depth and body

trustedreviews[2]

Sentiment Score 52%
Reviewers from trustedreviews have found the following***:
The Formation Bar is aimed at the custom install market, which often avoids HDMI to bypass CEC issues. The lack of any HDMI connections is disappointing for a soundbar at this price point. There’s no denying the Formation Bar delivers an impressive sonic performance, with a wide front soundstage and plenty of power. The inclusion of a dedicated centre channel ensures that any dialogue is clear and focused on the screen, and the low-end is good.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • High-resolution audio
  • Excellent build quality
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • No HDMI
  • No surround channels

whathifi[3]

Sentiment Score 83%
Reviewers from whathifi have found the following***:
The B&W Formation Bar has a formidable footprint. It measures 124cm wide, six centimetres wider than the Sony HT-ST5000. Connectivity comes in the form of a digital audio optical connection. No support for next-gen audio formats such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X (or even DTS)
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Powerful, detailed sound
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
Cons
  • No HDMI connection

User Reviews

References

1. ^ Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bar Review. [pcmag]. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/bowers-wilkins-formation-bar. 2019-06-05. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
2. ^ Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bar Review. [trustedreviews]. https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/bw-formation-bar-bass. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
3. ^ Hands on: B&W Formation Bar and Formation Bass review. [whathifi]. https://www.whathifi.com/reviews/bandw-formation-bar-and-formation-bass. 2019-04-22. Retrieved 2021-05-10.

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***These key takeaways ("pros" and "cons") and summaries are identified from third-party review by our AI using advanced language models.

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