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Unrealistic Sound Comes in at Under $200 for Fluance’s Stero Bluetooth Speakers

The Fluance Ai40 speakers might be short on highlights, however they will prevail upon your ears.

Source found on CNet.com by Steve Guttenberg June 23, 2018 11:17 AM PDT

The Fluance Ai40 is the 3rd self powered speaker in three weeks that I’ve reviewed. It takes after the Adam Audio T5V and Kanto YU6 speakers, and keeping in mind that the Ai40 is about 50% of the cost of the other two, the one truly got to me. There was some undefinable something about the sound that was more captivating than the other two speakers, so I continued listening long after I expected to compose the audit. Even better, the cost is correct. They’re about $200 a couple with free shipping in the US. UK and Australia costs haven’t yet been discharged, yet they change over to generally £151 and AU$269.

The Fluance Ai40 speakers

As regular Audiophiliac readers know, I haven’t covered too many wireless products, mostly because they usually cost more and sound worse then similarly priced wired products. Paying more for inferior sound doesn’t make sense to me, but I’ve now found a couple of Bluetooth speakers that rise enough above the norm to deserve positive reviews here. Last week it was the Kanto YU6, and now it’s the Fluance Ai40’s turn (the Adam T5V doesn’t have Bluetooth).

The Ai40 is a fixed (acoustic suspension), not ported plan, and the sound was free of bass blast and thickening I get notification from a great deal of little speakers attempting to sound greater than they are. The Ai40 has a 1-inch (25mm) silk vault tweeter and a 5-inch (127mm) woven glass fiber composite woofer. Power is appraised at 35 watts for each channel. Availability is restricted to two sources: simple stereo RCA information sources and aptX Bluetooth, that is it. Audiophiles observe, the Ai40 sounds clearer with the stereo RCA wired sources of info, nothing unexpected there. The included remote control flips between the RCA and Bluetooth sources of info, bass and treble controls, quiet and volume catches.

With a front-mounted volume control on the right channel speaker. Ai40s come in three vinyl completes: Fortunate Bamboo, Dark Cinder and Walnut. Grilles are excluded with the speakers. The Ai40 measures 10.9×6.5×7.6 inches (277x165x193mm).

One concern: When not playing music or motion pictures, I noticed the Ai40s produced hiss and audible noise that a few users could find distracting. Most controlled speakers deliver some clamor, however this present one was higher than normal.

Listening

The first thing that was noticable to me about the Ai40s sound was the way they reproduced female and male vocals. They sounded amazingly clear in ways I don’t recall hearing from any other self-powered speaker for this price. Next came the bass: the Ai40s’ dives deep. When I played test tones in my room, the bass went down to 55 hertz! Better yet was the bass definition, free of any sloppiness or thickening. Feeling the bass notes on the Weave Marley In Name reggae Compact disc was an uncommon excite. The Ai40 gets down!

Portuguese noir rockers the Dead Combo’s album, A Bunch of Meninos, displayed a lively dynamic presence when the volume was pumped up. Dead Combo’s music has a dark, moody quality that would be ideal for a David Lynch or David Cronenberg motion picture soundtrack.

I found the Ai40’s treble slightly heavy, so I turned it down on the remote, and that helped smooth out the sound. Stereo focus and imaging were great, and the speakers make a huge sound. My most loved Duke Ellington album without his large band, Piano in the Foreground, with stand-up bass and drums, conveyed the trio’s improvisational aptitudes with zeal and set my feet a tappin’. The Ai40 played all music types with equal skill.

I additionally played a few blockbusters with these speakers to great impact. Dialogue sounded more realistic than any $200 sound bar I’ve tested.  In small to midsize rooms, not even Avatar’s special effects will not take the Ai40 down. It’s just unfortunate that you can’t add a separate subwoofer to use with the Ai40s.

Venturing up to the Kanto YU6 speakers is worth considering in light of the fact that they have more highlights and the sound was more refined, less harsh, and more crisp. Then again, the Ai40 is 50% of the cost!