There are a number of options for Bluetooth speakers and over the years I've purchased a few to use around the house. You can find decent ones for about $80 all the way to high end speakers for $400.
Today, Fluance announced its new Fi50 high performance Bluetooth speaker and I've had one in my home office for the last few days.
The speaker arrived last week and I was at first a bit surprised by the size of the box. I guess I didn't pay much attention to the size when Max Borges Agency representatives asked if I was interested in checking it out.
I opened up the box, pulled out the speaker, power cord, and accessory pack. The accessory pack includes both rubberized footpads to use if you plan to place the speaker on a desk or table and metal floorspikes if you plan to place the speaker on the floor. Fluance states that using these will help reduce sound resonance while the metal floorspikes will help improve sound quality.
The Fluance Fi50 does not have a rechargeable battery and is not designed as a portable Bluetooth speaker. You need to keep the A/C adapter plugged in so it's best to mount it on a shelf, desk, or floor of your home or office. I set it up on a table in my home office to test it out.
The Fi50 is a wood speaker system available in black ash, natural walnut, and lucky bamboo. I was sent the black ash one to evaluate and it perfectly matches my office decor.
The Fluance Fi50 has 5 inch woven woofers, coaxial tweeters, and a 40 watt amplifier. It has a Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR radio with aptX support. The handmade wood cabinet speaker is 20.4 x 5.7 x 7.1 inches and weighs in at 13.4 pounds.
There is a small LED display on the front with four touch sensitive areas centered on the top. These are not buttons, but areas of the wood that function as buttons. The first button is used to toggle the LED display brightness and the second button accesses volume, bass, and treble settings. The third and fourth buttons function to decrease or increase the volume, bass, and treble settings.
On the back you will find the power switch, 2.1 amp USB port that is used for charging your phone and not for connecting your music, and a 3.5mm headset jack so you can connect via the included cable rather than via Bluetooth.
Out-of-the box experience
I pulled all of the contents out, put the speaker on a table, connected the power cord, and then turned on the speaker. It immediately went into Bluetooth pairing mode and then connected to my iPhone 6 Plus within seconds. I then started Apple Music and was enjoying classic rock within about a minute of unboxing the speaker.
I've tested a lot of Bluetooth speakers and this was honestly the easiest to setup ever. There was no question about how to enable Bluetooth pairing mode or what code to enter. Everything just worked.
Usage experiences and speaker performance
As I continued to listen to some classic rock tunes, I tested out the volume level and bass/treble settings. My wife heard me cranking some Van Halen and entered my office to see what was going on.
She saw the Fluance Fi50 sitting on my office table cranking the music and immediately said we need to buy the speaker. It sounds absolutely fantastic with clarity and volume that was some of the best I ever heard. I thought the speaker must cost somewhere in the $400 to $500 range so was quite surprised to see it being offered at just $199.99.
The Fluance Fi50 is a great option for your home or office where you want to enjoy great sounding music at an affordable price. I tested it out with an iPhone and Android phone with music playing perfectly.