There is an eternal argument when setting up a music system. Are speakers or the amplifier more important? It is an unanswerable question because they both are. They rely heavily on each other. A good amp can never make bad speakers sound good. Here though, we are going to concentrate on just the speakers.
Good speakers will recreate the sound very precisely. That means they will not color it anyway. A look at the chart of the frequency responses for any speaker will tell you the range it can produce. You will need the widest range you can find.
Some will have eye-catching designs. But plain or fancy, the speaker has one job. To produce audio, and that is it. You should be looking at what a speaker can do rather than what it looks like. Sometimes though, you will find a speaker that produces a great sound but also looks good.
This is what we are looking at today in our Fluance Signature Series HiFi Review. It is a bit of a mouthful to say, but it has a certain style about it.
But before we get to it, let’s find out who Fluance are?
When you think of Canada, you think of great Ice Hockey teams, Niagara Falls, Maple Syrup, and some rather cold winters.
You might be forgiven for not thinking about audio. Fluance though, has begun to change that. They were established in 1999 and have very quickly become a very recognized brand name for speakers and turntables.
Fluance is an online-sales only company that is based in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The speakers are made in China with quality control in Canada. The Signature Series are one of the speaker’s systems they design and market. They already have a big reputation for being a quality product.
So, let’ s take a closer look at one of their products…
Fluance Signature Series HiFi – An Overview
There is an expression we use, ‘you get what you pay for’. We would agree with that usually, this is correct. But every now and then something slips under the radar. A product performs well above what its price says it should.
We have that situation with the Fluance Signature Series. Finding a set of quality speakers that might be considered bookshelf size at a reasonable price is not easy. It is possible, though, and these speakers are one of the products that would be included as an option. You could say that for the price point, these speakers have it all. Stylish good looks, a nice design, they are well-made and have a great sound.
Possibly one thing, versatility. It is sometimes a good idea to buy speakers that have multiple options. Music, of course, will be one, but also other uses like being part of a home cinema system. Did we mention they are good for that as well? Perhaps we had better stop talking about them and start looking and listening.
First Impressions are always important, and Fluance is clearly aware of this. The Signature Series looks the part.
They are built from engineered MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) and finished in a very stylish natural walnut. The front baffle board offsets the walnut color with its glossy black finish. This gives a mature and understated look when the front grilles are removed.
The front grilles themselves are magnetic. Always a good idea for those that like the grilles off. Then you haven’t any unsightly screw holes to look at. The grilles themselves are made from a black mesh, and the magnetized attachment is very secure.
With the grilles on, they look like a lot of other speakers. But when you remove them, there are differences. The speakers measure 12.8 by 7.87 by 8.22 inches, and each weighs just over nine and a half pounds. Each speaker has a five-inch mid-range driver. This is made from a woven-glass fiber.
The center of the dome has a black point. But the center of attention is drawn by the bright yellow cone. It is not gaudy or over the top in its coloring and sits well with the black baffle and walnut finish of the cabinets.
The drivers have a butyl rubber surround. This acts as a vibration dampener. Rubber is a better option than foam-based surrounds. It is flexible and very resilient and has a longer life span. Not a good idea to expose it to direct sunlight, though if possible. The pointed dome in the design of these drivers lets the sound travel from the center of the cone giving a wider soundstage.
For the high frequencies, each cabinet has a one-inch neodymium tweeter. These are high-quality tweeters that give clarity to the top end without being too bright. The tweeters are ferrofluid cooled. But more on the sound later.
Between the driver and the tweeter are two bass reflex ports. It is a good setup and well-designed, as are the acoustically inert cabinets. The wood adds to the warm sound the cabinets generate. On the back of the cabinets are the terminals for wiring that will accept banana plugs.
There is also a bracket for wall-mounting if you prefer that option. They also have sound isolation pads if you choose to place them on a shelf.
They will handle an output of between 30 and 120 watts and have a frequency response of 60hz – 20khz. A decent top end but maybe a bit light in the low frequencies. We shall discuss this more later. We should make the point there that these are passive speakers. Therefore they will need to be connected to an amplifier.
The design resembles other speakers in the Signature range, and as we have already remarked, they are quite attractive. They have their options for use as well. Not only will they be very good for your music system, but they will also be fine as part of a surround sound system. These can be used in a Dolby Atmos setup, which is a big plus.
No complaints about the quality of the build, the appearance, or the materials used. The cosmetics are good and with a very attractive design.
Let’s now move on to what many will call the real issues, how they sound…
One of the problems that some bookshelf speakers encounter is their size. Yes, they are conveniently designed to not take up too much space. But in having small cabinets, there are certain sacrifices to be made. One of them is at the low-end.
It is not unfair to say that the low end on these speakers is not what it might be. Producing a good bass sound from speakers requires a clever cabinet design and good materials. The materials are fine, but as in most cost-effective speakers, they don’t quite make it at the bottom end.
Perhaps that might be considered unfair. There are not going to be speakers in the lower price ranges with a great bass sound. The five-inch woofer and small bass ports on the front do not give you a rich depth of sound. Perhaps we are asking too much. Sound is subjective, and what suits one person will not suit another. We are sure that the bass displayed will be enough for some. But if you like your music bass-heavy, it is time to move on.
However, the performance at the high end is very impressive. It is not uncommon today for the high frequencies to be given a bit of a boost to accent them. The presence they apply makes the speakers sound sharper. Not needed here.
They are bright sounding without ever being harsh, even at volume. The tops are clear and concise but not aggressive. And this applies to most genres of music. It is most noticeable though in orchestral and folk music where the reproduction is very defined. The low frequencies might be ordinary, but the highs are excellent.
The mids also are nicely balanced. Without any encroachment from the low frequencies, the vocal sound is clear and uncluttered. They are also not treated to any high-mid boost, and so the sound is quite natural. Put the package together, and the sound stage is quite wide.
When looking at the sound as a whole, we must remember the price point. And at this price, the sound is more than acceptable and would take some beating.
Fluance Signature Series HiFi Pros & Cons
- High fidelity sound.
- Immersive surround sound.
- Sturdy design.
- Attractive look.
- Lifetime manufacturers warranty.
- Excellent customer support.
- Low-quality bass sound.
Are You Looking For More Great Speaker Options?
If Fluance isn’t for you, there are so many options out there. So, check out our reviews of the Best Bookshelf Speakers, the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under 200 Dollars, the Best Powered Speakers, the Best Floor Standing Speakers, the Best Home Theater Speakers, the Best In Wall Speakers, the Best 7.1 Home Theater System, and the Best Wireless TV Speakers currently on the market.
So, What Do We Think?
If you’re thinking about a new set of bookshelf speakers, it is unlikely you will find better than the Fluance Signature Series. At this price level, there isn’t anything to complain about.
They are versatile. You can use them purely as a set of stereo speakers for your music system. In a small or medium-size room, they will pack a loud sound, and they will have no trouble filling the space. If you want them to supplement an existing surround sound system with Dolby Atmos, they are a perfect choice.
If you were going to try and find an area where they might disappoint, it would only be in the low frequencies. But as we said, that might be unfair because you don’t get budget level speakers with an excellent bass sound. Apart from that, the sound is very good with clear and sharp highs and defined mids.
They have a nice look about them either with the grilles off or on. And they are well-built with good materials. Be patient with them, though. As is common with some speakers, They will take a few hours of operation to really bed the speakers in especially with the low frequencies.
Fluance has a growing reputation in the audio world for the quality of its products. The Signature series is only going to improve that reputation. They certainly live up to the Fluance name. And at this price point, they outshine other speakers at a similar level.
Do you want a set of bookshelf speakers that deliver a good performance, look great, and at a good price? Then, these are worth considering. We don’t think you will find much better.