Category Archives: Custom Installation Projects

Setting Up Your Bowers & Wilkins Formation Products (Duo)

Bowers & Wilkins have changed the game when it comes to Wireless Audio, this is their newest range called “Formation” and trust me when I say, it’s truly something else. I shall give you a brief overview before we dig into the setting up of the Duo.  The Formation Range consists of five different products; Formation Duo, Wedge, Bar, Bass and Audio.

Formation Duo – The first Wireless Speaker System that will provide the listener wired fidelity experience. The Duo features the incredible Continuum Cone Technology found on their 800 Series.

Formation Wedge – Fill any room in your home with the spectacular high-resolution 96/24 bit stereo sound. Bowers has given the Wedge a unique 120-degree casing, a full range of stereo components and obviously adding their new Formation Wireless Technology

Formation Bar – Experience an outstanding yet truly immersive audio and video experience with this remarkable soundbar featuring 9 optimised drive units and a dedicated centre channel to make you constantly feel like you’re smack-bang in the middle of all the action

Formation Audio – Stream music in 96/24 bit high-resolution sound to your passive system or to your passive system or turn most passive components into part of a Formation multi-room audio system.

Formation Bass – Add a new dimension of a breath-taking sounding bass to your music and movies with Bowers’ opposed dual driver technology and Dynamic EQ. Like all other Formation Products, you can pair them all up to achieve the ultimate audio immersion.

Combine all these together to experience the highest-quality, wireless home setup. Not only do these sound incredible, but they also look the part too, effortlessly blending in with any sort of environment in your house. Right, let us get started on how to set up your Formation products.

Let’s get started:

Firstly you will need to head on over to your app store and download ‘Bowers Home’ (Download them here – Apple / Android) Once downloaded you will be greeted with this screen. It’s technically searching for devices that are currently set up, but as you will have none, nothing will appear.

After a few seconds, you will have this screen, as it couldn’t find any Formation products, the option to ‘Add Formation product’ will appear at the bottom, select that option to get this set up started.

Once pressed, you will have to make sure that your Formation products are plugged into the mains before entering the next step. This will automatically pick up the box you have plugged in.

For our instance, we had the Duo’s and the Bass set up, so it picked up both but for this tutorial, I will be selecting the Duo, note it will say ‘Two speakers found’ your left and right speaker. Select ‘Formation Duo’ to advanced to the next step.

Once advanced, you will be asked to ‘Name your Space’ You can either choose from the default selections Bowers & Wilkins provide or you can create your own custom space; for our case, I went with the custom space to make it easier for the stores benefit.

When selecting custom space, you have the freedom to name it to what you desire. For example, you can name it ‘Speaker’ or ‘Room 1’

For our set up, I named it ‘Formation Duo’ as we have multiple Formation products set up around the shop and it is a bit more convenient when it comes to demonstrating.

When positioning the speakers, take note of which one you want to be left and right as they aren’t labelled. What we did was stick L and R on a sticky note and put it on the plug just so we know which is which when it comes to moving the speakers around.

Press the little Formation logo on the Duo to get this one set up as the left speaker, one pressed your screen will advance to the next step.

This is what you will be directed to once you’ve pressed the Formation logo on the Duo, what happens now is that it will search for your Wifi, it may take a couple of seconds to pick up your own Wifi Router.

Once your Wifi appears, selected it and it will prompt you to enter your password.

Once entered your password correctly, the Duo will now connect to your Wifi, please note this may take a few moments as its the first time the Duo is being set up.

Once synced, you will have to pair the right speaker up, so also press the Formation Logo on the Right Duo to start up the sync progress once again.

You will be redirected back to the same sync page as you were when setting up the left Duo, but this time you won’t be asked to connect to your Wifi as it’s already paired up to the left Duo.

Once this process has finished, you are then set up on the Duo’s, giving you access to Spotify Connect, Roon, Airplay and Bluetooth.

Boom, that’s it, you’re ready to go. There’s a lot of competition in the market for wireless audio, for the likes of Sonos, HEOS, Ruark and Naim. I feel that they all have their own unique differences and obviously, people have a different taste when it comes to sound. For Bowers and Wilkins, I feel like the technology used to put together this Formation Range is on the next level, not only with the technology but with the sound quality as well. A direct competitor for this will be the KEF LS50 Wireless which is also an exceptionally brilliant speaker, but who has the edge? That’s all down to a personal standpoint but we personally love them both.

The easy part about setting up any Formation product is that it is dead simple to do, once you have set one up, setting up the others is pretty much identical to setting up the Duos. From personal experience, I found it very easy to navigate through the steps to get all of the foundation range set up. I will be writing a new blog post soon on my initial thoughts and opinions on the entire Formation range. I hope this helps!

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Staff Wanted: Full-Time Sales Assistant

hifigearwww.hifigear.co.uk
FULL-TIME POSITION – SALES ASSISTANT

Sales assistant required for busy retail, CI and e-commerce based hi-fi & home cinema business with retail store in the heart of Hereford. Joining a team of four, you will be keen to learn about and assist with sales of luxury, high-value audio products. High motivation and a proactive attitude are a must, with a desire to fully support our customers at all stages of the sales process. Computer skills will be required and a full, clean driving license would be of benefit. A passion for music will be a distinct advantage. Previous sales experience is not necessarily required, but a keen attitude to learn is essential.

Key activities include:-
• In-store demonstration of hi-fi equipment to customers
• Creating customer sales invoices via PC
• Communicating with both suppliers and customers via telephone, e-mail and face to face
• Quoting for custom installation projects
• Social media marketing of the business
• Occasional deliveries to customers
The position is full time, with 22 days holiday per year. Hours of work are 9am until 5pm with 1 hour lunch break, five days per week, which can include Saturdays. Full on the job training will be given.

To apply for this position, please email your CV together with a covering letter to phil@hifigear.co.uk stating what you believe you could bring to this role.

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Cyrus streaming addition plus new Hifi Racks furniture

We recently had a customer come to see us about an existing Cyrus setup that they had been enjoying for a number of years. The existing Cyrus system featured two Cyrus X Power amplifiers in a Mono configuration fed from a Cyrus Pre X, preamplifier. Also present were a Cyrus CD player and Tuner, along with two PSX power supply upgrades.

You can check out the current Cyrus Audio range here

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ProJect VTE-BT + Ruark Audio MR1 (Mk 2) Bluetooth Vinyl System Start-Up Guide

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The VT-E vertical Bluetooth turntable is the first of its kind, at least that we’ve seen, to offer such an optimal level of functionality and still retain a brilliant sound quality. When combined with the Ruark Audio MR1 Mk 2 loudspeakers, the result is a highly innovative, high-fidelity vinyl player with minimal cabling and a really compact profile. This guide seeks to help simplify the process of pairing your VT-E BT turntable and Ruark MR1 Mk2 speakers together for wireless playback. The ProJect VT-E BT Turntable and Ruark Audio MR1 Mk 2 is available from our website as a complete set order package.

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The Beefy Boys – Meat Boutique Meets Music Chic

The Beefy Boys are an award-winning burger team hailing right here from our hometown of Hereford. Starting out from a BBQ and a back garden, the boys have progressed their hobby from pop-up shops to championships and have recently acquired a new permanent premises to operate from. We had the pleasure of providing the sound system.

 

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Programming the Logitech Harmony Ultimate remote control for your home cinema system

Harmony UltimateRecently, we installed a home cinema system featuring two displays in the same room, a LCD projector and a LCD flat screen TV, both fed from an AV receiver with main and Zone 2 HDMI outputs. In setting out to program the Harmony Ultimate remote to control the system, we encountered a number of potential ‘banana skins’ which I thought you AV enthusiasts might benefit from knowing about, should you decide to get your own Harmony Ultimate. Continue reading

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Home cinema with both projector and flat screen TV

We have recently completed a high end home cinema room in Herefordshire which features a 55″ flat screen TV for day to day viewing, and a projector with drop down screen for movies, sports and concert viewing.

High definition 5.1 surround sound is provided by a Marantz SR6008 AV receiver and B&W M1 speakers with a REL 528 subwoofer.

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