Bowers & Wilkins’ Formation Flex is a pricey HomePod alternative

The line, should you want a fast refresher, is Bowers & Wilkins’ large push into Sonos-style multi-room streaming. The firm has dabbled within the wi-fi area earlier than with a couple of audio system, such because the bombastic Zeppelin, and a few headphones, together with its high-end PX cans. Formation, although, is a way more critical and bold play in your residence. Back in April, the corporate launched the platform with 5 items of {hardware} — a soundbar (Bar), two bookshelf-style audio system (Duo), a non secular successor to the Zeppelin (Wedge), a standalone subwoofer (Bass) and a slanted field (Audio) that offers older units streaming capabilities.

Formation Flex

All of them leverage a wi-fi audio platform that was initially developed by Eva Automation. (The little-known firm purchased Bowers & Wilkins for an undisclosed charge in 2016.) It helps 24-bit audio and 96kHz sample-rate streaming, which is increased than something Sonos and Apple presently provide. The software program additionally retains retains speaker synchronization at roughly one microsecond, no matter the place the merchandise are in your house. The new Flex speaker presents this similar know-how — for a worth. At £399 (roughly $493), it is dramatically cheaper than the $900 Wedge. That price-tag, although, places it far above Apple’s HomePod ($300) and smaller Sonos audio system just like the One ($199).

One for critical audiophiles solely, then.

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