• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Review (Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 47 31.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 88 58.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 14 9.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 2 1.3%

  • Total voters
    151

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
38,050
Likes
163,152
Location
Seattle Area
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex lifestyle speaker. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $499.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Review Smart Speaker.jpg


The form factor is what we expect these days but the B&W unit is heavier than others I have tested. And that metal ring with their name gives it some style. There is some kind of grid pattern behind the thin fabric as you can barely tell from the photo.

Main connectivity is through Wifi although Ethernet is also provided:

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Review Ethernet Wifi Smart Speaker.jpg


The interface is typical of these speakers with touch sensitive "buttons" on top for power/status, play and volume up and down.

Bringing the speaker to life was a nightmare as it always seems to be the case with these speakers. Manual says to down the app but doesn't give the exact name -- again a common mistake. I found it in the app store and installed it. I then went to look for it in my Android app folder but could not see anything starting with "B." Come to find out it installs as "Music | Bowers and Wilkins." I get why they do this but sure screws up discoverability.

Once there, the app at first recognized the device quickly which I was happy to see. It then tells me to touch the power button which I thought I did. But the app quickly forgot about the speaker and would no longer see it. Adding to this is the fact that there is parallax error and you can ever be sure if you touched the darn button. Or what its myriad of blinking or color sequence means. I restarted the app half a dozen times but it would not see the unit. I think I even power cycled the speaker and it still did not work. I finally pushed the reset button and this time it all worked to the end. What a nightmare.

Why on earth don't this companies put a proper display on top of the speaker to inform the user what is happening? Or at least like Alexa speaker from Amazon have some voice responses giving some feedback? It is not like this speaker is cheap at $500 and can't afford $10 worth of parts. Why or why I have to guess what those fade in an out of the indicator light mean anything??? Style over function it is....

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.


Reference axis was the tweeter center as best as I could guess through the grill. Measurement temperature was about 62 degrees F (17 degrees C).

B&W Formation Flex Speaker Measurements
Let's start with our usual "spinorama" graph:
Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Measurement Frequency Response Ethernet Wifi Smart Speaker.png


I must say, I expected the response to be horrible but it is not. Instead, we have some shelving in two regions. I have to think they have done this for some reason. Then again we have a dip there and I can't explain why they would want that. As noted, directivity is decent so EQ should work even though such is unlikely to be used by the typical customer.

Early window reflections confirms the same:

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Measurement Early Window Frequency Response Ethernet Wifi Smar...png


Putting the two together we get this kind of response if you used the speaker in a typical stereo room:

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Measurement Predicted in-room Frequency Response Ethernet Wifi...png


There is no attempt to control directivity:

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Measurement Horizontal Beam Width Response Ethernet Wifi Smart...png

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Measurement Horizontal directivity Klippel NFS Response Ethern...png


I can imagine you want very wide directivity for such a speaker. So not controlling it is good in early part of the spectrum, but not so good in higher frequencies.

Vertical dispersion is not as important in home speakers but here, I would think it is important given that people put this speaker some place and move around/stand up and down to hear it. Sadly the response is poor in this regard:
Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Measurement Vertical directivity Klippel NFS Response Ethernet...png


When I powered on the unit, i had it on the floor and when I played the first track, I thought it was the worst sound I had heard! So audibility is there for sure.

I was impressed by low distortion of this powered speaker:
Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Measurement THD distortion Response Ethernet Wifi Smart Speaker.png


Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Measurement THD Percentage distortion Response Ethernet Wifi S...png


Some of the high cost you play clearly has gone toward better amplification.

Measuring these speakers is a pain since the analyzer can't control the unit. So I don't have full suite of measurements for you. But here is the step response:
Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Measurement Step Response Ethernet Wifi Smart Speaker.png


B&W Formation Flex Listening Tests
For my listening tests, I treated the speaker as a near-field monitor. I placed it on top of my equipment rack with the front of it aligned with the front edge of my rack and listened at about 4 feet/1+ meter. Listening angle was slightly above tweeter axis.

As is typical of speakers with elevated highs, first impression is of a sound with high resolution and good quality especially on female vocals which is where I start. Let that sink in though and in a few minutes you realize it is too bright. The point is brought home when you apply EQ to lower that high frequency response and then AB. My preference at least is for less brightness. So EQ came out:

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex Equalization EQ Frequency Response Ethernet Wifi Smart Speaker.png


The right two filters should be self explanatory. The one in bass I experimented with. With most tracks the increased warmth and more bass was welcome. On some others, likely due to room modes, it sounded boomy. So you may want to try that and see what your taste is.

Oh, please ignore the "RME ASIO" indicator. I just brought up the EQ to take a snapshot of the UI. Testing was done using Airplay to Formation Flex.

Speaker can get pretty loud as distortion measurements indicate. Pushed to max limit (volume 100), you get soft limiting, reduction of volume on deep bass notes but even then, it is not annoying.

What was annoying was this gargling/low level noise I was hearing in a few quiet tracks. I thought it was data loss related so connected Ethernet cable but made no difference. It was like a delayed static of the actual content of the track. Very odd but super annoying.

Conclusions
I can partially see where the more money has gone as far as designing this speaker. At the end though, it doesn't rise up much above average smart speaker of this type and in my view, doesn't at all justify its $500 cost. Combine this with poor usability and static/noise I was hear and you have me on the unhappy side of the fence here. As such, I can't recommend Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Attachments

  • Bowers Wilkins Formation Flex.zip
    32.4 KB · Views: 18

Newman

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
1,603
Likes
1,839
The fact that the total early reflections curve has the opposite shape to the on-axis curve, will suggest a low preference among listeners.
 

pseudoid

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
1,671
Likes
967
Location
SoCal
I don't understand why it is so bright.
Frequency response shows a trough between 1k-3kHz and a sharp 10dB dip around 16kHz.
 

Doodski

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
12,145
Likes
11,898
Location
Canada
I used one of those little speakers things that chat ya and do stuff and it was great for the patio. It was sharp as a bell and did not carry too far. We used it all times of the day at the wood stove in the back yard in the middle of a city of a ~million. Very handy that way.
 

AndreaT

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 19, 2020
Messages
193
Likes
327
Location
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Undoubtedly high in WAF (wife acceptance factor) but low in fidelity of signal reproduction. A further demerit because a global company like Bowers&Wilkins does not make the interface simple and unambiguous for the user. If it gives trouble to Amir in the set-up, it would give nightmares to me.
A product to avoid for any focused music listening.
 

Axo1989

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
510
Likes
413
... A further demerit because a global company like Bowers&Wilkins does not make the interface simple and unambiguous for the user. If it gives trouble to Amir in the set-up, it would give nightmares to me. ...
Normally I'd have a laugh at another episode of 'boomer meets app' but for B&W that's probably the core demographic, so they may be well served by prioritising some UI/UX work.
 

Maiky76

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
344
Likes
2,616
Location
French, leaving in China
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex lifestyle speaker. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $499.

View attachment 206869

The form factor is what we expect these days but the B&W unit is heavier than others I have tested. And that metal ring with their name gives it some style. There is some kind of grid pattern behind the thin fabric as you can barely tell from the photo.

Main connectivity is through Wifi although Ethernet is also provided:

View attachment 206871

The interface is typical of these speakers with touch sensitive "buttons" on top for power/status, play and volume up and down.

Bringing the speaker to life was a nightmare as it always seems to be the case with these speakers. Manual says to down the app but doesn't give the exact name -- again a common mistake. I found it in the app store and installed it. I then went to look for it in my Android app folder but could not see anything starting with "B." Come to find out it installs as "Music | Bowers and Wilkins." I get why they do this but sure screws up discoverability.

Once there, the app at first recognized the device quickly which I was happy to see. It then tells me to touch the power button which I thought I did. But the app quickly forgot about the speaker and would no longer see it. Adding to this is the fact that there is parallax error and you can ever be sure if you touched the darn button. Or what its myriad of blinking or color sequence means. I restarted the app half a dozen times but it would not see the unit. I think I even power cycled the speaker and it still did not work. I finally pushed the reset button and this time it all worked to the end. What a nightmare.

Why on earth don't this companies put a proper display on top of the speaker to inform the user what is happening? Or at least like Alexa speaker from Amazon have some voice responses giving some feedback? It is not like this speaker is cheap at $500 and can't afford $10 worth of parts. Why or why I have to guess what those fade in an out of the indicator light mean anything??? Style over function it is....

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.


Reference axis was the tweeter center as best as I could guess through the grill. Measurement temperature was about 62 degrees F (17 degrees C).

B&W Formation Flex Speaker Measurements
Let's start with our usual "spinorama" graph:
View attachment 206872

I must say, I expected the response to be horrible but it is not. Instead, we have some shelving in two regions. I have to think they have done this for some reason. Then again we have a dip there and I can't explain why they would want that. As noted, directivity is decent so EQ should work even though such is unlikely to be used by the typical customer.

Early window reflections confirms the same:

View attachment 206873

Putting the two together we get this kind of response if you used the speaker in a typical stereo room:

View attachment 206874

There is no attempt to control directivity:

View attachment 206875
View attachment 206876

I can imagine you want very wide directivity for such a speaker. So not controlling it is good in early part of the spectrum, but not so good in higher frequencies.

Vertical dispersion is not as important in home speakers but here, I would think it is important given that people put this speaker some place and move around/stand up and down to hear it. Sadly the response is poor in this regard:
View attachment 206877

When I powered on the unit, i had it on the floor and when I played the first track, I thought it was the worst sound I had heard! So audibility is there for sure.

I was impressed by low distortion of this powered speaker:
View attachment 206878

View attachment 206879

Some of the high cost you play clearly has gone toward better amplification.

Measuring these speakers is a pain since the analyzer can't control the unit. So I don't have full suite of measurements for you. But here is the step response:
View attachment 206880

B&W Formation Flex Listening Tests
For my listening tests, I treated the speaker as a near-field monitor. I placed it on top of my equipment rack with the front of it aligned with the front edge of my rack and listened at about 4 feet/1+ meter. Listening angle was slightly above tweeter axis.

As is typical of speakers with elevated highs, first impression is of a sound with high resolution and good quality especially on female vocals which is where I start. Let that sink in though and in a few minutes you realize it is too bright. The point is brought home when you apply EQ to lower that high frequency response and then AB. My preference at least is for less brightness. So EQ came out:

View attachment 206882

The right two filters should be self explanatory. The one in bass I experimented with. With most tracks the increased warmth and more bass was welcome. On some others, likely due to room modes, it sounded boomy. So you may want to try that and see what your taste is.

Oh, please ignore the "RME ASIO" indicator. I just brought up the EQ to take a snapshot of the UI. Testing was done using Airplay to Formation Flex.

Speaker can get pretty loud as distortion measurements indicate. Pushed to max limit (volume 100), you get soft limiting, reduction of volume on deep bass notes but even then, it is not annoying.

What was annoying was this gargling/low level noise I was hearing in a few quiet tracks. I thought it was data loss related so connected Ethernet cable but made no difference. It was like a delayed static of the actual content of the track. Very odd but super annoying.

Conclusions
I can partially see where the more money has gone as far as designing this speaker. At the end though, it doesn't rise up much above average smart speaker of this type and in my view, doesn't at all justify its $500 cost. Combine this with poor usability and static/noise I was hear and you have me on the unhappy side of the fence here. As such, I can't recommend Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/

Hi,

Here is my take on the EQ.

Please report your finding positive or negative!

The following EQs are “anechoic” EQs to get the speaker right before room integration. If you able to implement these EQs you must add EQ at LF for room integration, that is usually not optional… see hints there: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...helf-speaker-review.11144/page-26#post-800725

The raw data with corrected ER and PIR:

Score no EQ: 3.1
With Sub: 5.8

Spinorama with no EQ:
  • Not as Flat.
  • HF issue
  • lack LF
B&W Formation Flex No EQ Spinorama.png


Directivity:

Better stay at tweeter height
Horizontally, better toe-in the speakers by 00 to 20deg a
B&W Formation Flex 2D surface Directivity Contour Only Data.png

B&W Formation Flex LW Better data.png

EQ design:

I have generated two EQs. The APO config files are attached.
  • The first one, labelled, LW is targeted at making the LW flat
  • The second, labelled Score, starts with the first one and adds the score as an optimization variable.
  • The EQs are designed in the context of regular stereo use i.e. domestic environment, no warranty is provided for a near field use in a studio environment although the LW might be better suited for this purpose.
Score EQ LW: 5.0
with sub: 7.5

Score EQ Score: 5.7
with sub: 8.0

Code:
B&W Formation Flex APO EQ LW 96000Hz
May162022-103930

Preamp: -3 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 56.46,    0.00,    1.35
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 118.83,    -1.26,    1.64
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 625.50,    -1.82,    1.42
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1298.24,    -1.20,    4.89
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 2102.22,    3.24,    3.93
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 3860.80,    -2.46,    1.62
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 6314.20,    -2.66,    3.59
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 13434.58,    -2.85,    4.27

B&W Formation Flex APO EQ Score 96000Hz
May162022-103756

Preamp: -3 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 56.46,    0.00,    1.35
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 119.91,    -1.26,    1.54
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 608.50,    -2.14,    1.26
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1299.74,    -1.94,    4.95
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 2060.46,    3.02,    3.62
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 3821.26,    -2.89,    1.24
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 6313.20,    -2.88,    2.54
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 12877.10,    -4.27,    2.82

B&W Formation Flex EQ Design.png


Spinorama EQ LW
B&W Formation Flex LW EQ Spinorama.png


Spinorama EQ Score
B&W Formation Flex Score EQ Spinorama.png


Zoom PIR-LW-ON
B&W Formation Flex Zoom.png


Regression - Tonal
B&W Formation Flex Regression - Tonal.png


Radar no EQ vs EQ score
Large improvements
B&W Formation Flex Radar.png



The rest of the plots is attached.
 

Attachments

  • B&W Formation Flex LW data.png
    B&W Formation Flex LW data.png
    142.5 KB · Views: 15
  • B&W Formation Flex Reflexion data.png
    B&W Formation Flex Reflexion data.png
    137 KB · Views: 10
  • B&W Formation Flex Raw Directivity data.png
    B&W Formation Flex Raw Directivity data.png
    417.2 KB · Views: 11
  • B&W Formation Flex Normalized Directivity data.png
    B&W Formation Flex Normalized Directivity data.png
    281.1 KB · Views: 11
  • B&W Formation Flex 3D surface Horizontal Directivity Data.png
    B&W Formation Flex 3D surface Horizontal Directivity Data.png
    408.3 KB · Views: 15
  • B&W Formation Flex 3D surface Vertical Directivity Data.png
    B&W Formation Flex 3D surface Vertical Directivity Data.png
    400.7 KB · Views: 15
  • B&W Formation Flex 2D surface Directivity Contour Data.png
    B&W Formation Flex 2D surface Directivity Contour Data.png
    267.3 KB · Views: 15
  • B&W Formation Flex APO EQ Score 96000Hz.txt
    437 bytes · Views: 7
  • B&W Formation Flex APO EQ LW 96000Hz.txt
    434 bytes · Views: 8
Last edited:

thewas

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
4,327
Likes
9,676
Note: Rating meant for traditional monopole speakers.

Preference Rating
SCORE: 3.2
SCORE w/ sub: 5.8


Frequency response: +/- 6.5dB 50Hz-20kHz ; +/- 5.4dB 80Hz-20kHz


Funnily measures more neutral than their here measured "serious Hifi" model
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
38,050
Likes
163,152
Location
Seattle Area
Funnily measures more neutral than their here measured "serious Hifi" model
I wonder if this is subcontracted out!
 

Jukebox

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
132
Likes
181
Funnily measures more neutral than their here measured "serious Hifi" model
I would argue that it measure better than the majority of their hifi speakers :)
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
24
Likes
42
Location
Bavaria, Germany
Hi,

Here is my take on the EQ.

Please report your finding positive or negative!

The following EQs are “anechoic” EQs to get the speaker right before room integration. If you able to implement these EQs you must add EQ at LF for room integration, that is usually not optional… see hints there: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...helf-speaker-review.11144/page-26#post-800725

The raw data with corrected ER and PIR:

Score no EQ: 3.1
With Sub: 5.8

Spinorama with no EQ:
  • Not as Flat.
  • HF issue
  • lack LF
View attachment 206896

Directivity:

Better stay at tweeter height
Horizontally, better toe-in the speakers by 00 to 20deg a
View attachment 206901
View attachment 206905
EQ design:

I have generated two EQs. The APO config files are attached.
  • The first one, labelled, LW is targeted at making the LW flat
  • The second, labelled Score, starts with the first one and adds the score as an optimization variable.
  • The EQs are designed in the context of regular stereo use i.e. domestic environment, no warranty is provided for a near field use in a studio environment although the LW might be better suited for this purpose.
Score EQ LW: 5.0
with sub: 7.5

Score EQ Score: 5.7
with sub: 8.0

Code:
B&W Formation Flex APO EQ LW 96000Hz
May162022-103930

Preamp: -3 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 56.46,    0.00,    1.35
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 118.83,    -1.26,    1.64
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 625.50,    -1.82,    1.42
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1298.24,    -1.20,    4.89
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 2102.22,    3.24,    3.93
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 3860.80,    -2.46,    1.62
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 6314.20,    -2.66,    3.59
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 13434.58,    -2.85,    4.27

B&W Formation Flex APO EQ Score 96000Hz
May162022-103756

Preamp: -3 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 56.46,    0.00,    1.35
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 119.91,    -1.26,    1.54
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 608.50,    -2.14,    1.26
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1299.74,    -1.94,    4.95
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 2060.46,    3.02,    3.62
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 3821.26,    -2.89,    1.24
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 6313.20,    -2.88,    2.54
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 12877.10,    -4.27,    2.82

View attachment 206900

Spinorama EQ LW
View attachment 206897

Spinorama EQ Score
View attachment 206898

Zoom PIR-LW-ON
View attachment 206892

Regression - Tonal
View attachment 206912

Radar no EQ vs EQ score
Large improvements
View attachment 206914


The rest of the plots is attached.
Neat plots! What tool did you use to do them? Does this tool also calc the preference score?
 

ZolaIII

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
1,914
Likes
1,105
I don't understand why it is so bright.
Frequency response shows a trough between 1k-3kHz and a sharp 10dB dip around 16kHz.
It's not all that bright. I mean it is bright up to two hear able levels in upper mids, deap is a bit early in mids and it's one lv up at 12 KHz (one lv is 1.5~2 dB depending how you can distinguish it individually), 16 KHz don't matter much for most people and little to the most recordings. The 12 KHz peak is offending and should be brought down 2~3 levels (depending of hearing state) along with everything above 9 KHz. Short answers is Tinnitus. Until I sow actual pool results regarding this medical state hire it whose mystery to me. I did experience it but it's still rare to me (when I get serious inflammatory processes or so). I still prefer slight bost in uper mids - female overtones but that's my preference.
 

Dennis_FL

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
308
Likes
202
" ... interface is typical of these speakers with touch sensitive "buttons"

I know what you mean. I bought a Sonos Move for use in our Lanai and it had those same buttons which are difficult to navigate.

One day, when returning from grocery shopping, the speaker was blaring at full volume. This happened a couple more times and I got Sonos tech support involved. They had me do numerous tests and the darn speakers continued to blare (but only when we weren't home).

One day, I solved the problem. On top of the speaker was a gecko, dancing and tapping his foot on the volume up button. I presume it was a sexual high since his bright red sack in his chin was inflated.

I informed Sonos's tech support and the technician said something like "I've been here 40 year but this one is ......"

I had a cell phone video (pretty poor as it was a hurried attempt) that I sent to America's Funniest Videos but they didn't use it.
 

DudleyDuoflush

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
Messages
46
Likes
71
It's not all that bright. I mean it is bright up to two hear able levels in upper mids, deap is a bit early in mids and it's one lv up at 12 KHz (one lv is 1.5~2 dB depending how you can distinguish it individually), 16 KHz don't matter much for most people and little to the most recordings. The 12 KHz peak is offending and should be brought down 2~3 levels (depending of hearing state) along with everything above 9 KHz. Short answers is Tinnitus. Until I sow actual pool results regarding this medical state hire it whose mystery to me. I did experience it but it's still rare to me (when I get serious inflammatory processes or so). I still prefer slight bost in uper mids - female overtones but that's my preference.
That's a good point. I often wonder if it would be worth reviewers publishing their hearing profile so consumers can compare it to their own. What's bright to them might not be to me, or vice versa. I have tinnitus and anything above about 11 kHz is severely impacted. My EQ settings must sound horrible to someone who can hear properly full range.

The proper measurements on this site do help massively.
 

AudioSceptic

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
1,815
Likes
1,636
Location
Northampton, UK
Every time I see a smart speaker review, it reminds me how ahead of its time the OG HomePod was. And today, with stereo/spatial pairing and the “less bass” EQ curve they’re better than they ever were when sold as new.
Yes, the HomePod seemed a bit pricey, but compared with this B&W product it was a bargain.

Edit: £319 from Richer Sounds doesn't seem as bad as $500...
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom