Bowers & Wilkins Formation

Bowers & Wilkins Formation 5.1 Home Theatre Systems Review

Introducing the BaoHua WeiJian Formation Bar+ Bass+ Flex 5.1 desktop home theater speaker system – a wireless combination that requires just a few minutes to set up and configure, providing a speaker system that caters to almost all your sound playback needs.

The package includes one Formation Bar, two Flex speakers, and one Bass unit, which can be configured as a 5.1 home theater system or freely combined to adapt to various listening requirements. Additionally, it supports multi-room music synchronization, enabling delightful romantic music throughout the house experience.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation

Bowers & Wilkins, established in 1966, is a renowned British premium audio brand dedicated to manufacturing and researching speaker technology for many years. They have set the industry standard in various categories, ranging from high-fidelity speakers, home theater systems, and new media products to car audio systems. The Formation 5.1 system I recently acquired is no exception to their impressive product lineup.

As mentioned earlier, the Formation 5.1 system consists of three independent yet synergistic components: the Bar, Bass, and Flex. Let’s take a closer look at each subsystem.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bar

The Formation Bar is designed to sit below your TV, making it incredibly easy to set up with minimal space and simple wiring connections. The front of the speaker features a logo-free design with a glossy diamond-patterned fabric.

Beneath its stunning appearance lies a Hi-Fi-grade speaker unit, enhanced with a dedicated center channel and aptX HD Bluetooth technology, delivering consistent excellence. The speaker’s side displays the Bowers & Wilkins metal nameplate, combining metal and fabric for a subtle yet textured look that seamlessly blends into our home environment.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation bar

In addition to wireless Bluetooth connectivity, the Formation Bar includes interfaces such as optical and Ethernet inputs, catering to our common household audio source needs. On the top of the unit are operational buttons for easy power and volume control. Conveniently, if the remote control is not immediately accessible or near the speaker, these buttons suffice.

This sleek and powerful 3-channel soundbar packs a punch with its impressive sound technology. Featuring (3) 1″ double-dome tweeters and (6) 2.5″ glass-fiber bass/midrange drivers, along with a dedicated center channel, the Formation Bar produces room-filling sound with crystal-clear dialogues, making every movie night an unforgettable experience.

One of the coolest features is its synchronized multi-room audio capability, allowing you to play the same song throughout your home or have different tunes in each room using the iOS/Android compatible B&W Music App. With state-of-the-art music streaming at 24-bit/96kHz sound resolution, you’ll enjoy top-notch audio quality like never before.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation bar

Worried about complicated setups? Fear not! The Formation Bar easily upgrades your TV’s audio with its optical digital audio input, supporting Dolby Digital for a cinematic audio experience. You can even use your TV’s remote control to command the soundbar through the B&W App – it’s that convenient!

Get ready to cut the cords and embrace wireless audio playback! With built-in Bluetooth 4.1, Apple AirPlay 2 & Wi-Fi, you can stream music directly from your mobile or computer using popular services like Tidal, Tune In, Qobuz, Soundcloud, Dash, & Spotify Connect (subscription required). Say goodbye to tangled wires and hello to seamless, effortless music streaming.

But that’s not all – the Formation series also supports voice control via an Alexa-enabled device (sold separately). You can access additional wireless streaming services like Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartradio, Tune In, and more with simple voice commands. It’s like having your own personal DJ at your beck and call.

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Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bass

The Formation Bass, drawing inspiration from a drum design, exudes a sense of unique sophistication. Employing a horizontally opposed configuration, it features 6.5-inch long-throw subwoofer units on both sides of the cabinet, producing an impressive output power of 250W.

The Bass adopts a design that combines fabric and metal, distinct from but complementary to the Formation Bar, creating a harmonious combination when placed together.

The B&W Formation Bass Wireless Sub delivers distortion-free, rumbling bass that will take your movie nights, music sessions, TV shows, and gaming experiences to a whole new level.

This compact yet powerful subwoofer boasts (2) 6.5″ side-firing, long-throw drivers with rubber surrounds powered by a 250-Watt Class D Amplifier. The result? Deep, booming lows create an immersive soundscape, pulling you right into the heart of the action. Whether it’s explosive action sequences or thumping beats, the Formation Bass ensures optimized bass performance, enhancing your audio experience like never before.

Controlling the sub with the B&W Music App (iOS/Android compatible) is a breeze. Seamlessly integrate it with other Formation Series speakers to create a whole-home audio system. What’s impressive is that the subwoofer intelligently configures its low pass crossover frequency based on the type of Formation speaker it is paired with, delivering a tailor-made and well-balanced sound signature.

 Bowers & Wilkins Formation bass

The Formation Bass is designed with convenience in mind. Its space-saving cylindrical shape allows for flexible placement, so you can position it in an area that best suits your sonic preferences. You’ll experience maximum impact and a more cohesive audio performance by keeping it closer to the paired speaker.

And the best part? The Formation Bass is a perfect complement to other Formation Series speakers. Pair it with the Formation Bar, Formation Duo, Formation Flex, or Formation Wedge (all sold separately) to build your dream home theater system. Create a 3.1 or 5.1 surround sound setup for a truly immersive and cinematic experience in the comfort of your home.

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Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex

The Flex takes on a traditional vertical design, incorporating dual-layer aluminum decoupled tweeters and glass fiber midrange drivers, ensuring exceptional sound quality. Concealed wire routing holes are at the back, maintaining a clean appearance.

Get ready to be blown away by the mighty B&W Formation Flex Wireless Speaker – the smallest speaker packing a big punch! With its (1) 1″ double-dome tweeter, (1) 4″ glass-fiber midrange driver, and a 100W Class D amplifier, this speaker delivers bold and room-filling sound that will take your movies, music, TV shows, and gaming experiences to a whole new level of audio bliss.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation flex

One of the standout features of Formation Flex is its synchronized multi-room streaming capability. Using the B&W Music App (iOS/Android compatible), you can play the same song in every room or different tunes from various sources in each room, creating a seamless music experience throughout your home.

The speaker also supports state-of-the-art music streaming at an impressive 24-bit/96kHz resolution, ensuring top-notch audio quality.

Embrace wireless audio playback with built-in Bluetooth 4.1, AirPlay 2 & Wi-Fi, allowing you to stream music directly from your mobile or computer via popular services like Tidal, Tune In, Qobuz, and Spotify Connect (subscription required). The Formation Flex is also Roon-ready, catering to audiophiles searching for a high-quality streaming experience.

Voice control becomes a breeze with the Formation series, which supports Alexa-enabled devices (sold separately) with simple voice commands. Enjoy access to additional wireless streaming services such as Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartradio, and Tune In, and transform your living space into an audio paradise.
The versatility of Formation Flex knows no bounds.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation flex

Use it as a single mono speaker, pair it with another Flex for a high-performance stereo setup, or incorporate the rear surround speaker with the Formation Bar and Formation Bass Sub (all sold separately) to create a mind-blowing 5.1 surround sound system. The possibilities are endless!

Are you worried about making significant changes to your existing setup? Fear not! The Formation series allows you to convert your current passive system or components into a completely wireless streaming ecosystem by adding the Formation Audio Network Streamer (sold separately). Embrace the future of wireless audio in your home without any hassle.

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Bowers & Wilkins Formation Audio

Get ready to revolutionize your home entertainment with the B&W Formation Audio Wireless Streamer. This incredible device brings your existing audio system into the future, delivering high-resolution music streaming like never before. With a stunning 24-bit/96kHz streaming resolution, you’ll experience exceptionally clear and accurate sound from various digital and analog sources.

But that’s not all – Formation Audio offers a transformative experience for your current passive system or components. Whether it’s your CD player, turntable, or other sources, you can effortlessly convert them into a sophisticated wireless streaming system anywhere in your home. Say goodbye to tangled wires and hello to a seamless and sophisticated sound experience.

What sets Formation Audio apart is its perfect D/A and A/D conversion. This means your music always sounds its best with no lag or breaks in the audio, even when streaming between rooms. You can count on the legendary B&W sound quality to elevate your listening pleasure.

With synchronized multi-room audio capability, the B&W Music App (iOS/Android compatible) allows you to play the same song at home or choose different tunes in each room. Expand your audio experience by adding other Formation Series speakers for a seamless, whole-home audio adventure.

Embrace the freedom of wireless audio playback with built-in Bluetooth 4.1, AirPlay 2 & Wi-Fi. Stream music directly from your mobile or computer using popular services like Tidal, TuneIn, Qobuz, Soundcloud, Dash, & Spotify Connect (subscription required). The options are endless.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation  audio

Voice control becomes a breeze with the Formation series, supporting Alexa-enabled devices (sold separately) with simple voice commands. Access additional wireless streaming services like Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more with just a few words.

With versatile connection options, including RCA analog ports and optical/coaxial digital ports, the wireless hub seamlessly connects to traditional audio components like AVRs, CD players, turntables, or speakers. Enjoy high-quality sound resolution in any format, effortlessly.

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The Formation 5.1 system, composed of the Bar, Bass, and Flex, offers various modes of operation, allowing for both independent and combined configurations. While it may seem daunting at first glance, the setup and usage are very straightforward, making it user-friendly even for those without experience.

Once we install the Bowers & Wilkins Music App on our smartphones, we all need to follow the app’s user-friendly prompts, add the corresponding devices step by step, and click on the options to complete various wireless configurations for the speakers. They can function independently or work together in harmony.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation flex

As a front three-channel speaker, the Formation Bar, combined with two Flex speakers for surround sound and the Bass handling low frequencies, when connected to the TV or another media player via optical cable, creates an impressive 5.1-channel true surround sound system, perfectly catering to my movie-watching needs.

When sitting on the couch watching shows, with the Flex speakers as rear surrounds closest to us, we can easily control the entire audio system using the touch-sensitive buttons on the top of the Flex without the need to search for a remote control or get up to handle the main speaker, making it extremely convenient.

In addition to its setup and configuration capabilities, the Bowers & Wilkins Music App offers a rich collection of online music content and supports integration with other platforms. For example, I have integrated the “Spotify” app and my local music sources on the phone, allowing Formation to become a fully personalized “all-in-one” player.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation flex

During music playback, I find it more suitable to use Formation 5.1 in separate components based on different needs. When enjoying music or using it as background music, Flex’s solo performance is more than sufficient. However, if I’m with family and friends and need a livelier atmosphere, the combination of Flex and Bar will serve us perfectly.

Sound Performance

As the blockbuster begins, the Formation Bass wireless subwoofer immediately enhances the movie’s mid-to-low frequency with a powerful and deep bass response that remains agile and dynamic, delivering a seamless and controlled experience. The various sound effects in the film are emitted through the entire 5.1 system, creating an immersive sensation as if they are happening right beside you.

The surround sound from different directions feels authentic, providing a significantly larger soundstage than the TV’s built-in speakers. When watching movies, the Formation 5.1 system offers a much more realistic and immersive experience, and the improvement in sound quality is truly evident.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation  bar

The combination of Formation 5.1’s surround sound effect greatly satisfies me, as the 5.1-channel surround sound brings a vivid and awe-inspiring 3D audio experience, greatly intensifying the sense of immersion and making it feel like being transported into the movie scene.

Using Bluetooth wireless connection, I can wirelessly play high-bitrate music from my smartphone and appreciate the clear and smooth sound of the Formation Flex speakers. The dual-layer aluminum decoupled tweeters and glass fiber midrange drivers ensure a natural transition between the high, mid, and low frequencies, offering excellent layering.

The two speakers form a Hi-Fi system with impressive soundstage performance, unlike ordinary small speakers where the sound lacks separation and everything seems to blend without any sense of space. The Formation Bar also joins in music playback, enabling multi-room music synchronization in our home, allowing us to enjoy beautiful sounds anytime, anywhere.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation audio

During music listening, the high tones are clear and bright without being sharp, displaying excellent resolution and delivering a clean and rich listening experience. Male and female vocals sound flavorful, and the powerful mid-to-low frequency is energetic without being boomy, providing ample presence. The three-frequency balance is well-controlled and overall very satisfactory.

The Formation Bar can also be used as a standalone wireless soundbar when paired with a projector. The sound quality is superior, and the dialogue is clear. Since it plays sound from the front, the common issue of the projector’s built-in speakers producing sound from behind is eliminated. This results in a more comfortable experience, with no awkward feeling of audio coming from the wrong direction. I noticed no significant audio delay during wireless transmission, and the characters’ dialogue perfectly matched the on-screen action.


the Bowers & Wilkins Formation 5.1 system has been in my possession for about a month and a half now, and I must say that I am thoroughly impressed with its performance, making it worth every penny. Compared to the built-in speakers of both my TV and projector, the improvement in sound quality and audio effects is like a “quantum leap.” The 5.1 surround sound capability immerses me in movies and games, experiencing a truly captivating and directional audio effect.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation

The Formation 5.1 system’s ability to be combined and used independently offers great versatility, making it ideal for watching movies at home and convenient for daily TV viewing, online music streaming, and listening to podcasts.

The Formation 5.1 system has significantly enhanced my audio experience and exceeded my expectations. It delivers a high audio fidelity and immersion level, elevating my home entertainment to a whole new level. Whether it’s enjoying a thrilling movie, playing games, or simply relaxing with some music, the Formation 5.1 system has proven to be an excellent addition to my entertainment setup. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking a top-tier and versatile audio solution for their home.

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