I searched for information on the B&W Formation Duo system on these Forums, but didn't find anything, so I thought I'd post my experiences and how I set things up, in case anyone else tries the same setup as me.
The B&W Formation Duos are powered speakers, and really appealed to me based upon a bunch of glowing reviews, and also when I listened to them at my local HiFi dealership.
I looked at a ton of options for a unit that would connect to the B&W's, stream from Tidal, etc, but would also allow me to connect legacy devices (TV in my case) and also let me access my entire CD collection, ripped to .FLAC, and connect to network shares to listen to music on my PC, my Wife's Mac and also my music collection of miscellaneous songs on my Cloud drive. Seems like the only unit that met all those criteria was the Node 2i (and also the other units that Bluesound makes).
I have the Node 2i connected to an Ethernet gigabit switch, that in turn is connected to my main firewall/router in another room. On the switch, I also have one of the Formation speakers connected via Ethernet as well. Because I couldn't run Ethernet cable to my main living room area, I used a Tenda Ethernet extender which uses the electrical wires in the house to transmit the Ethernet signal over.
Once I had set up the Formation Duos, I moved on to setting up the Bluesound Node 2i, which was really easy, EXCEPT for getting the Node to connect to my Speakers! I looked all over the menus, etc., before contacting support and asking them how to do it; turns out, I have to connect the speakers as if they were Bluetooth headphones!
I connected my TV via the Optical input on the Node 2i, and the great thing is that you can control the delay settings of each input, so I can sync up the speech on the screen with the sound coming out of the speakers.
Once connected, everything works incredibly well; music played from Tidal, in MQA/Masters format sounds utterly amazing. Before I had kids, I had a custom made set of Tyler Acoustics full range speakers, that were huge and sounded great; the bass extension was incredible, but even though the Formation Duos are quite small comparatively, MAN do they have some bass in them!!
Overall, I think the Node 2i is an amazing piece of kit, especially for the money. I can't think of another product that would have let me do everything I wanted to do, in the way the Bluesound Node 2i has done.
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