Is there an echo? Bowers & Wilkins' new Music app looks a lot like Sonos'

Bowers & Wilkins Music App
(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)

Bowers & Wilkins has just released a new app that will give you direct control over your entire multi-room setup across the B&W Formation range of speakers. The app is available on both Android and iOS, and is compatible with the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge, Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex, Formation Duo, Formation Bar, Formation Bass and Formation Audio system.

To help you find something new to stream, the Bowers & Wilkins Music app collects music from Qobuz, TIDAL, TuneIn, Dash Radio, NTS Radio and SoundCloud in one place, allowing more of a birds-eye view of your music streaming options.

According to Bowers & Wilkins, the app supports high-resolution (24-bit/96kHz) playback via Qobuz and says more services and platforms will be added in the coming months.

Before the arrival of the new app, Bowers & Wilkins’ popular Formation series of speakers required you to use Roon, AirPlay 2 or Spotify Connect to control your music, but the app brings Bowers & Wilkins into line with other, more user-friendly multi-room speaker makers like Sonos, Google and Amazon

 More services. More speakers. Fewer headaches.

The Bowers & Wilkins Music App  app is set up in four distinct sections: services, library, search and settings. Services is where you’ll go to see all the services you’re currently connected to while the library section shows all the songs you’ve added and playlists you’ve created. Search, well, searches. 

It’s the same four main components that Sonos has and, to be honest, feels like the basis for the B&W Music app. Both apps have a similar layout along the bottom with many of the same services and features supported.


The Sonos S2 iOS app, for reference. (Image credit: Sonos)

That said, if you’re going to look to anyone for an example of a good companion app, Sonos is a good one to go for – it has a near perfect 5-star score and over 191,000 ratings on the Apple App Store. 

Just how much of an impact it will have on the Bowers & Wilkins’ Formation series closing the gap to the Sonos One and Sonos Play series remains to be seen but, from what we’ve seen of it, it looks like a big step forward from the company’s previous software.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.