I’m an unabashed budget speaker connoisseur. Sometimes—especially in this industry of Hifi—the sonic rewards you reap for shelling out wads of cash aren’t always met with superior sound. The bang for your buck usually happens in the budget audio sphere and these days with technology being as sophisticated as it is, the consumer really has the luxury of choice. Fluance has a line of speakers on offer that they believe can offer that ‘bang for your buck’. Enter their Signature Series.
Fluance Signature Series HiFi Two-Way Bookshelf Surround Sound Speakers
- 2 Way – 2 Driver Surround Speaker
- 1 Inch Neodymium Balanced Silk Dome Ferrofluid Cooled
- 5 Inch Glass Fiber Treated Butyl Rubber Surrounds
- 30 – 120 Watts RMS
- 8 Ohm Compatible
- Ideal for use as surround sound speakers in a Dolby Atmos™ Surround Sound System
Fluance is a proudly Canadian, online only HiFi company. Their Signature Series aims to crack into the bigs with a full range of affordable speakers; a monster 3-way floor-standing tower, a center speaker, a bipolar-surround and bookshelf speakers. It is the bookshelf that I’ll be focussing on in this article. Fluance supplied me with their ‘Signature Series Hifi Two-Way Bookshelf Surround Sound Speakers’ which retail for just $249 CAD. $249!! (That’s approximately $190 USD) Fluance believes that they have a winner on their hands.
2 Way – 2 Driver Surround Speaker (Wall Mountable)
1 Inch Neodymium Balanced Silk Dome Ferrofluid Cooled
5 Inch Glass Fiber Treated Butyl Rubber Surrounds
30 – 120 Watts RMS
60Hz – 20KHz
85 dB @ 2.83V / 1m
2300Hz Phase Coherent
8 Ohm Compatible
Dual Tuned Front Port Bass Reflex Design
DIMENSIONS (H X W X D):
12.8 x 7.87 x 8.22”
Bookshelf, Fluance Bookshelf, Two-Way Bookshelf Surround Sound, Surround Sound Bookshelves, Fluance Bookshelves, Bookshelves Speakers Review 2018
The Fluance Signature Series HiFi Two-Way Bookshelf Surround Sound Bookshelves not only offer up possibly the longest name for a product ever but, also a few different uses for this product. According to the company literature it can be used as (A). Part of the Signature Series Package which is offered up in many configurations on fluance.com as fronts, rear or side channels in a Dolby Atmos™ Surround Sound System or (B). As a stereo pair in a traditional Hifi set up. I decided to test out their usefulness in both areas. Fluance supplies an HFS frequency response chart on their site for every speaker in their range. It shows a roll off starting around 80Hz.
These Bookshelf Speakers utilize 5” midrange drivers made of lightweight, woven glass fiber with a black pointed dome center which make the drivers look eerily like my B&W 685 S1’s. Taking care of the high-frequencies are ‘ultra-high-end’ Neodymium tweeters. The tweeters are flanked by dual tuned front bass reflex ports. The entire range is crafted from engineered MDF. The front is a gloss black adding a touch of class. The grilles are magnetic which for me adds more value as non-magnetic grilles usual tend to see damage in my hands over time from the constant attaching and removal. Around back you’ll find speaker terminals that accept banana plugs and a bracket for mounting on a wall should you choose to. The speakers stand about a foot tall and are about 8 inches deep. Overall, they get a check for a good finish.
I started off my listening with the bookshelves as the rears to my home theater system. My theater consists of a Marantz SR6009 powering my B&W 683 (s1) towers, HTM1 center and 686’s as rears. I mounted the Fluance Bookshelves on stands which are positioned just behind and to either side of my couch. They blended seamlessly into my system. To my ears, I didn’t notice a difference between them and the 686’s that they replaced. With The Avengers Infinity War streamed via iTunes the effects were steered well and the everything seemed just fine. I don’t have a Dolby Atmos™ so I was unable to give that a go.
With Fluance Signature Series Bookshelves warmed up I decided it was time to see how they fared as stereo speakers in a proper two-channel system.
Where I really found these speakers shine was in a two channel set up in our main room. I used them in place of my B&W 685s which retail for about $800 CDN. Thanks to Fluance’s handy frequency chart I knew off the bat that certain tracks probably wouldn’t have the sort of heft that I’m used to hearing due to its 5” driver and shallow cabinet depth, but I kept an open mind. Online, Fluance boasts that the Signature Series Bookshelf are ‘As powerful as Tower Speakers’ that’s quite the claim.
I assigned the Fluance Signature Series Bookshelves the duties of replacing my favorite pair of speakers—the B&W 685 S1’S)—in my living room powered by my lovely Cambridge Audio CXA60 with my trusty Marantz cd5001 as a source, alongside our cable box for light tv watching. Out of the gate, we started watching Ballers on HBO. There isn’t much in the way of dynamics on this show but there’s quite a bit of music across most popular genres. The title track features a Drake verse off the top over one of Lil’ Wayne’s trademark and god-awful beats. The Fluances do well with it and almost disappear letting us just ‘enjoy’ the intro. They handle dialogue quite well, everything is clear, lifelike and nothing is muddy.
Because we have children, Pixar’s Coco gets played quite often and luckily (for review purposes) there’s a whole bunch of music in the movie. The standout track Remember Me sounds spectacular through the Fluance’s. The Singer’s voice has ample weight as does the music at both low and moderate volumes.
Speaking of children, my 3-Year old daughter Winnie now knows how to use our cd player (sadly she doesn’t know that CDs are not chewing toys) and one cd in particular from was from my wedding day. It’s a selection of some of our favorite tracks and some that my wife and I were just into about a decade ago. Winnie has learned how to fire up the cd player, crank the volume on the amp and shuffle through to her favorite track of the day. So about every night for the past few weeks, my wife April and I take a fond trip down memory lane.
The tracks on the cd alternate between ‘his’ and ‘her’ select and proved to be great testing material for the Fluance Bookshelves.
While it isn’t my favorite OC track ever it’s a great track nonetheless and one that I have fond memories of.
Being from the golden era of hip-hop the bass isn’t overblown. Instead, it’s quite a bit more musical with a nice break and piano sample and it is rendered really nicely on the Fluance.
This is a great show off track for Fluence. And more often than not we crank this one up. At unruly volumes, Amy’s voice can get a tad shrill but at normal to slightly loud listening volumes it wasn’t noticeable.
I would have thought that Drum and Bass would be disappointing listen on these but that did not prove to be the case at all. With this gorgeous track from Seba, the Fluance’s were able to thump along and dig just low enough for this to be an enjoyable listen.
Much like the Me and Mr. Jones, this track gets cranked up quite a bit. Unlike the Winehouse track, Feist’s voice doesn’t become shrill on the Fluance’s but there is a bit of flatness to the sound where I wish it could feel a little more dynamic.
Winnie absolutely loves this track. She doesn’t always make it through its entirety as is a fairly long house track after all but when it’s playing, she is sure to be dancing. The bass note sounded a tad thin here.
Old School Hip Hop is much less bass heavy than the newer breed of Hip Hop. And this is no different.
So Dubstep was pretty big 10 years ago and this was a huge standout early on for me. It takes a beautiful soul sample and backs it with great ambiance and frenetic drumming. The bass through the Fluance’s dips out making the track sound lean and tinny. But that is to be expected. A sub would be of great help here.
In a noticeable trend, most of the ‘Her’ tracks fare well on the Fluance’s. This one continues this trend. It sounded a bit flat but it also follows a very dynamic tune.
I love this song. The vocals sound sweet through the Fluance and the bass actually has a nice weight to it.
What wedding cd would be complete without this song? This would be another show off track for these speakers. I tried this at unruly volumes to see how the Fluance’s fared and I was not disappointed. They handled it without strain.
The bass drops out a here but there’s enough oomph to make it an enjoyable listen. The vocals carry well.
So this was our default wedding song. Default because neither April or myself could remember the name of our actual song. Lovely Day by Bill Withers. Much like track 10, it plays good and loud without issue.
This sounded great. When the volume gets loud the speakers don’t strain too much making this an enjoyable listen. Again, this lower reaches are non-existent here.
Remember this one? IF I was purposely trying to find fault with the Fluance I would pick this as my go to track. The first two minutes is just bass. And to be honest, if you’re going sans-sub, these are not the right speakers for the job. You really need a larger speaker to pull off these sort of tracks. We usually just skip this altogether.
Fluance has come up with a very interesting proposition. If you are on a budget, or if you are building your first system you would do well to give these a listen. $250 CND buys you great speakers that will immediately make your music collection sing. In a smaller room, like a bedroom or office, they will in no doubt provide room-filling sound. And should you ever move to a larger space or upgrade to larger fronts you can easily make these rears of a surround system.
- Nice fit and Finish
- Front-firing bass Ports
- Mounting hook on Back
- Magnetic Grills
- At this price nothing.
Over-all I’m quite impressed by the Fluance Signature Series Bookshelves. For a very modest price, you get a lot of speaker. I went into this thinking that they couldn’t possibly sound great in a two channel set up and I’m happy to say that I was totally wrong. I was impressed with how well these fared. Especially over weeks of listening I didn’t long to have my old speakers back in place. That being said I wouldn’t back Fluance’s claim that these are as powerful as tower speakers because unlike a solid pair of towers they simply lack bass extension. A subwoofer would be ideal with these speakers in a two channel set up. Fortunately, Fluance sells those too!