Bowers & Wilkins to launch enhanced Home app for Formation range in 2020

Bowers & Wilkins to launch enhanced Formation Home app in early 2020
(Image credit: Future)

B&W has announced that an "enhanced" Home app is on the way in 2020, promising improved control of streaming music services across its new B&W Formation multi-room range. 

B&W launched its Formation family earlier this year, claiming to have perfected the necessary technology for optimum wireless and multi-room playback. And we were impressed, with positive reviews of the Formation Duo, Formation Flex and Formation Wedge. But we did have issues with the app.

The B&W Home app allows for set-up of the products but the company then encourages the use of Roon for day-to-day control, or that you simply stick to AirPlay 2 or Bluetooth. It looks like that will change in the new year, with the launch of a more comprehensive Home app.

B&W says the new Home app will allow users to "easily browse tracks, albums, playlists, radio stations across multiple services including personal libraries and collections, along with other high-resolution content". 

The new app will also allow Formation devices to access content directly from streaming music apps, which should improve the overall user experience.

There's no word on the precise release date, but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later in "2020".

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).

  • Mugen
    I am at the search of upgrading Wireless speaker ecosystem from current HEOS setup at my home. B&W Formation is one of top contender (as all sites seem to agree it has the highest sound quality) but the software limitation seems significant.

    One can always hope software is fixable in the future, but that is never guaranteed and I got burned so many times with such assumption.

    I hope B&W will release the enhanced (or perhaps REAL) Home app soon. Though the first iteration still seems to lack Amazon HD support and voice control compatibility.
  • gowiththeflow
    Apart from upgrading the app to allow direct access to a range of streaming services, from the likes of Tidal, Qobuz etc, the other upgrades that the Formation Duo could benefit from are some form of basic DSP room adjustment, similar to that provided by Dynaudio and KEF; and a modification to the Formation Audio box, to allow more than one external digital source to be connected to the system, with a choice of connector types (optical, co-ax and usb).
    Only having a single digital and a single analogue input on the Formation Audio, is scandalous at a price of £600.
  • gowiththeflow
    10 months on from this announcement and the promised update to the app hasn't materialised.

    EVA Automation, who acquired a controlling interest in B&W 4 years ago and brought the Formation wireless technology to the speaker brand, have gone bankrupt and departed the scene.
    Another group, Sound United, have stepped up to take over majority ownership of B&W.

    Which begs the question; can B&W continue developing their Formation range?
    Who was developing the app, EVA or B&W ?