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Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo

Wireless powered speaker system with Apple AirPlay® 2 and Bluetooth® (Black)

Item # 749FDUOB

Wireless multi-room audio built to the exacting audio standards of Bowers & Wilkins.

Wireless multi-room audio built to the exacting audio standards of Bowers & Wilkins.

Item # 749FDUOB

In stock
$3,999.98

Other options

About the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo

Amazing high-resolution streaming music

The Formation Duo powered speaker system lives up to the exacting audio standards of Bowers & Wilkins. These wireless speakers feature 24-bit/96kHz streaming audio resolution to deliver exceptionally clear and accurate sound.

Amazing high-resolution streaming music

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo

For optimal sound mount your Duo speakers on dedicated Formation FS Duo speaker stands (available separately).

The Formation Duo powered speaker system lives up to the exacting audio standards of Bowers & Wilkins. These wireless speakers feature 24-bit/96kHz streaming audio resolution to deliver exceptionally clear and accurate sound.

Formation speakers create their own patented, robust mesh network. This ensures proper bandwidth for high-res audio streaming, without overtaxing your home Wi-Fi® network, as well as near-perfect speaker synchronization.

Advanced speaker design

The Duo speakers benefit from Bowers & Wilkins' long history of audio innovation. Each speaker has a top-mounted 1" Carbon Dome tweeter, a design borrowed from the company's acclaimed 700 Series passive models.

The separate enclosure ensures the tweeter delivers pristine highs. The 6-1/2" high-performance Continuum™ cone woofer — a technology borrowed from their even higher-end 800 Series — reproduces midrange and low tones with astonishing accuracy.

Matching stands strongly recommended

Bowers and Wilkins strongly recommend the Duo speakers primarily be mounted on Formation FS Duo speaker stands. These stands are custom-designed to optimize the performance of the speakers.

Simple multi-room app control

Formation wireless speakers are easy to use, thanks to the Bowers & Wilkins Home app. Download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play to your smartphone or tablet. The app walks you through the setup process. It also lets you add other Formation speakers easily as you build out your multi-room audio system.

You can assign room names to your Formation speakers, group them to simultaneously play the same song, or play different songs from different sources in each room.

Wireless options

The Formation Duo speakers feature Bluetooth 4.1 for playing audio sources from a wide variety of apps on your mobile device. Built-in aptX HD and AAC decoding provides high-quality music streaming from compatible devices.

Spotify Connect is built-in, too, so you can easily stream from this popular service if you have a subscription.

Built-in Apple AirPlay 2 technology lets you play audio directly from your iPhone®, iPad®, or Mac® computer through the Formation Duo. That includes soundtracks from YouTube® videos and Netflix movies.

Roon-compatible for serious music lovers

The Formation system is also compatible with Roon, a subscription digital music player for your smartphone, tablet, or computer. It gives you multi-room audio playback for all your Formation devices and more.

Roon accesses your digital music collection from your iTunes library or NAS drive. It also works with your TIDAL subscription. Roon lets you do deep dives into your music, showing artist bios, photos, reviews, and lyrics. Roon can also suggest other artists and songs based on your selections, making it easy to discover new music you'll enjoy.

A rich history of audio excellence

Founded in England in the 1960s, Bowers & Wilkins is known worldwide for their innovative hi-fi speaker designs and their premium headphones. Crutchfield is proud to offer a diverse selection of products from this legendary audio brand.

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Product highlights:

  • built-in Bluetooth 4.1
    • aptX-HD and AAC decoding provides high-quality music streaming from compatible devices
  • Apple AirPlay 2 for streaming music from an iPhone, iPod, or computer's iTunes®
  • proprietary Formation mesh network for wireless multi-room audio
    • up to 24-bit/96kHz streaming audio resolution
    • 1 microsecond sync between in-room speakers to virtually eliminate latency
  • 1" Carbon Dome tweeter and 6-1/2" Continuum cone woofer (each speaker)
  • total system power: 250 watts (2 x 125 watts)
  • frequency response: 25-33,000 Hz
Bowers & Wilkins Home app:
  • free download from Apple® App Store and Google Play
  • Spotify Connect built-in (subscription required)
  • control multiple compatible Formation speakers to play the same song simultaneously or different songs in different rooms
  • customizable speaker and group names
  • displays current song and artist information
  • control volume and EQ settings
General info:
  • Roon-ready (subscription required)
  • Formation FS Duo speaker stands recommended for optimal audio performance (available separately)
  • connects to your home network via Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi
  • requires AC power, cable included
  • dimensions (each): 7-13/16"W x 15-5/8"H x 12-1/16"D
  • weight (each): 23.4 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # FP38296

What's in the box:

  • 2 Wireless audio loudspeakers
  • Two 6.5' AC power cords
  • Bowers & Wilkins Formation Brochure
  • Safety & Warranty Information
  • Roon Brochure

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More details on the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Connections
Ethernet Port Yes
USB Port No
Aux Input No
Phono Input No
Digital Input No
HDMI Input No
Headphone Jack No
Subwoofer Output Wireless
Wireless Features
Bluetooth Built-in 4.1
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Wi-Fi Bands 2.4 GHz
Audio Specs
Max. Digital Audio Bit Depth 24-bit
Max. Digital Audio Sample Rate 96 kHz
Ecosystems
Apple AirPlay AirPlay 2
DTS Play-Fi No
Chromecast built-in No
Roon Ready
Sonos No
HEOS No
MusicCast No
SoundTouch No
Bose Home Speaker No
WiSA No
BluOS No
Klipsch Stream No
KEF Stream No
Music Services
Amazon Music No
Apple Music No
iHeart Radio No
Pandora No
Qobuz Yes
SiriusXM No
Spotify Connect
Tidal Yes
TuneIn Yes
YouTube Music No
Control
Handheld Remote No
Control by app Apple iOS, Android
Amazon Alexa Optional
Google Assistant No
Other Specs
Width (Inches) 7.8125
Height (Inches) 15.625
Depth (Inches) 12.0625
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research

Features

High Quality Stereo Sound: The Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo consists of a pair of high performance wireless audio speakers for high quality, room-filling stereo sound. Each Formation Duo wireless speaker features a 1" Carbon dome tweeter (borrowed from B&W's 700 Series) on the top of the speaker cabinet and houses a 6.5" Continuum cone midbass/midrange driver (borrowed from B&W's 800 Series) that make your music soundtracks come alive with a precise and accurate soundscape. Each Duo wireless speaker is powered by a 125 watt Class D amplifier with digital signal processing (DSP) and a Dynamic EQ for optimized, distortion-free sound performance at any volume level. The Formation Duo wireless speaker system has a frequency response of 25Hz to 33kHz.

Wired & Wireless Network Connectivity: The Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo supports a wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi) network connection. The Formation Duo is equipped with an RJ-45 LAN jack for a wired connection to your network router. It also offers built-in WiFi (2.4GHz) for a wireless connection to your network router. By connecting the Formation Duo to your network, you gain access to select online music services, Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 2, Roon, and B&W's proprietary Formation Wireless Multiroom Audio Eco-System.

Music Bowers & Wilkins App: The Music Bowers & Wilkins App (for Apple iOS 12.0+ and Android OS 5.0+) provides simple setup and control from your compatible Apple iOS or Android mobile device. Use the Music Bowers & Wilkins app to connect the Formation Duo and other Formation Series speakers to your WiFi network. The app also lets you access select online music services, while also controling basic functions - such as Source Selection, Volume Up/Down, as well as Bass & Treble of the speaker. In addition, the app lets you create a wireless multiroom audio mesh network with other Bowers & Wilkins Formation speakers for a whole house audio experience. You'll be able to control each Formation Series speaker in your home through this one application on your compatible Apple iOS or Android OS device. Software and firmware updates are also enabled through the Music Bowers & Wilkins app.

Note: The Music Bowers & Wilkins app (for Apple iOS 12.0+ and Android OS 5.0+) is required to connect your Formation Duo to your home network and also to establish connection with other Formation Series speakers in your home.

Formation Wireless Multiroom Audio: The Formation Duo is part of Bowers & Wilkins Formation Series of products (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) that can be used together to create a wireless multiroom high-resolution audio system. B&W Formation Series products wirelessly connect together through a proprietary mesh network, independently from your WiFi network, to ensure 24-bit/96kHz high-resolution audio performance throughout your home. Each Formation Series product dynamically chooses the optimal path to route audio-data between products, in order to ensure a robust streaming experience with near perfect speaker synchronization (1 microsecond sync between speakers).

  • Number of Speaker Groups: You can have up to six Bowers & Wilkins Formation Series speakers on one wireless mesh network. You can group Formation speakers together and play the same audio source through each speaker or have different audio sources playing through each speaker.
  • Compatible Sources: Tidal, Tune In, Qobuz, NTS, Soundcloud, Dash, Spotify Connect, and Bluetooth audio are supported by Formation wireless multiroom audio. Roon & AirPlay 2 are not compatible because they are independent and alternative multiroom audio platforms.

Notes: Click here for Bowers & Wilkins Formation Series support page.

Online Music Apps: Within the Music Bowers & Wilkins app (for Apple iOS 11.0+ and Android OS 5.0+) you can access select online music services; including Tidal, Tune In, Qobuz, NTS, Soundcloud, and Dash. You'll also have browsing and playback control, plus song/artist/album information (including album art) from the Music B&W app for the listed online music services. The Music Bowers & Wilkins app even gives you cross-service personalized track and playlist recommendations, plus exclusive access to curated Bowers & Wilkins content.

Alexa Voice Control Compatible: B&W has added support for voice-control via Amazon Alexa to their Formation Series. This new Formation Skill is a convenient way to wirelessly stream music and control the Formation product via an Alexa-enabled device (sold separately) using only your voice. You'll be able to use Alexa to access and control additional online music services such as Amazon Music, Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartradio, and Tune In (Tidal, Qobuz, NTS, Soundcloud, and Dash are not supported by Alexa). In addition to an Alexa-enabled device (sold separately), you allso need to install the Alex app (for Apple iOS 11.0+ and Android OS 6.0+) on your compatible smartphone or tablet device.

  • Volume Controls: You can ask Alexa to increase or decrease the volume (0-100) on a specific Formation Series product or in a particular room. You can also ask Alexa to mute or unmute your music.
  • Playback Controls: You can ask Alexa to playback a compatible online music service, a specific artist, or music genre on a specific Formation Series product or in a particular room. Alexa can also be used to control basic playback functions such as Play/Stop, Pause/Resume, Previous/Next Track, and Fast Forward/Rewind. You can even ask Alexa "what's playing" to be told the song title and artist.

Notes:

  • The B&W Formation does not feature its own built-in microphone and requires a separate Alexa-enabled device (such as the Echo; sold separately) to use voice control.
  • Only music services that have been certified to work with the Formation Series are supported; other services may appear but will not be supported.
  • Alexa playback control is music service dependent (the music service must support the same features). Click here for a full updated list of Amazon Alexa Formation Series Skills.

Spotify Connect: The integration of Spotify Connect will enable Spotify Premium users to instantly select and wirelessly stream music to the B&W Formation Duo from within the Spotify app (Apple iOS or Android). Spotify is a digital music service that gives you on-demand access to one of the largest music libraries in the world (over 15 million tracks and counting). Spotify makes it easier than ever to discover, manage, and share music with your friends. You can browse music by artist, album, track, or most popular; and create your own music library with customized playlists.

Apple AirPlay 2: AirPlay 2 is an advanced and easy-to-use wireless multiroom audio platform for iTunes, Apple Music, and other compatible Apple iOS apps. With AirPlay 2 you can play any sound from your Apple iOS device (running iOS 11.4 or later) or Mac computer (running OS X 10.13.2) on the B&W Formation Duo and other compatible AirPlay 2 components throughout your home. You will also be able to ask Siri-enabled devices (like your Apple iPhone, iPad, or Watch) to control playback of your Apple Music on the Formation Duo. You can choose to play audio in one room, play the same audio in grouped rooms, or play the same audio in every room (you can control and group directly from Apple's Music App and Home app on your Apple iOS device). If you are an Apple Music subscriber, you can even play different music in different rooms (you can control and group directly from Apple's Music App and Home app on your Apple iOS device). You can even watch videos and movies from YouTube and Netflix on your compatible Apple iOS device or Mac computer with perfectly synced audio on the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo.

Roon Ready: Roon is a feature rich music library and playback application that compiles all the music files available to your network and makes them easily available to play across all your B&W Formation Series products and any other Roon enabled audio devices. Roon manages digital music files (including FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, and DSD) collected on hard drives and networked storage. It can also watch your iTunes library, and optionally integrate with the Tidal and Qobuz music streaming services. Roon is available for mobile, laptop or desktop devices. When you open the Roon app, it will display your complete audio library together with its metadata and artwork along with all the available Formation and Roon enabled devices. Simply select the music you wish to play and the Formation or Roon device in which you want to hear it on.

Note: To use Roon you will need a Roon Core running on the same network as the Formation Duo and other Formation Series products. The Core is media server software that runs on your computer, NAS, or turnkey appliance (like Nucleus or ROCK - sold separately), located on the network within your home.

Bluetooth Audio w/ aptX HD: The Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo features built-in Bluetooth 4.1 with support for wireless audio streaming (A2DP). You'll be able to wirelessly stream stored music, music apps, and other audio content from your Bluetooth-enabled source device (such as your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer) to the speaker. You'll continue to use your Bluetooth-enabled source device to control playback functions and view song/artist info (album art).

  • Supported Codecs: In addition to support for Bluetooth's standard SBC audio codec, the Formation Duo supports AAC for higher quality playback from Apple iOS devices, as well as support of aptX HD for 24-bit/48kHz audio playback from compatible devices. aptX HD supports 48kHz/24-bit LPCM audio over a Bluetooth wireless connection for a "better-than-CD" listening experience.
  • Multi-Device Pairing: Up to eight Bluetooth devices can be paired with the soundbar, but only one can be connected and used at a time. The Formation Duo does not support auto reconnection with previously paired Bluetooth devices.

Note: The Formation Duo will require a network connection and the Bowers & Wilkins Home app to complete to complete the pairing process of your Bluetooth-enabled source devices.

Mounting & Placement Options: The Formation Duo speakers are primarily intended to be used on B&W's Formation FS speaker stands (sold separately). The Formation FS Duo stands will provide the best performance and place the Formation Duo speakers at the correct height; approximately head height (or ear level) when listening. The Formation FS Duo stands are supplied with rubber and spike foot options. The spike foot option should be used when the stands are to be placed on a carpeted floor. The spikes pierce the carpet to rest on the surface underneath. Adjust the spikes to ensure that the stands are vertical and don't rock. Use the rubber foot option if the stands are to be placed on tiled or wooden floors. The Formation Duo mains cables and network cable (if required) should run through the legs of the speaker stands.

  • In the majority of listening rooms the Formation Duo speakers should be positioned between 6.5' and 13' apart and a similar distance from the listening area. If the speakers are positioned too close together, the stereo reproduction may lack scale; if they are too far apart, the stereo focus may be weak. There is no need to angle the Formation Duo speakers inwards towards the listening area, however doing so may tighten the stereo focus.
  • The Formation Duo radiates sound energy not only forward but also to the side and, particularly at bass frequencies, to the rear. As a result, if they are positioned too close to room boundaries their performance will be affected. Try to keep the Formation Duo speakers at least 1.6' away from any room boundary. Even with the Formation Duo speakers placed away from room boundaries, the material and acoustic character of the boundaries will still have an effect on the sound. Try to ensure that immediate surroundings of each speaker have similar acoustic qualities.

Notes:

  • We only recommend using the B&W's Formation FS speaker stands (sold separately) with the Formation Duo. We do not recommend using any other speaker stand or mounting option with the Formation Duo wireless speakers.
  • The Formation suite of products are not moisture resistant, as they are not designed to be used in high-humidity or moisture rich environments. Positioning a Formation product in a moisture rich environment such as a bathroom or sauna, could cause damage to the product that would not be covered under its manufacturing warranty.

AC Power with Auto On/Off: Each Formation Duo speaker comes with a detachable 6.5' AC power cord that plugs into the bottom of the wireless speaker and into an AC wall outlet or surge protector (sold separately - see Accessories Tab). The Formation Duo will automatically turn on when it senses a wireless audio source signal. The wireless speaker will automatically power off after twenty minutes of no audio signal and no operation.

Note: The Formation Duo wireless audio speaker is not battery powered.

Optional Wireless Powered Sub: Add the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Bass wireless powered subwoofer (749FRMBASS, sold separately) for deeper bass from your music soundtracks.

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