We’ve reviewed a ton of Bluetooth speakers over the years here at AndroidGuys. There are thousands on the market and a search on Amazon may turn up an overwhelming amount of small, portable, inexpensive speakers that are almost disposable. But, what if you’re looking for a little bit more?
Fluance is a name you may know from its audio products. Not only does it make speakers like the Fi30, Fi50, and Fi70, but it also has a foothold in the home theater system area too. While the Fi50 isn’t a home theater system speaker, I point this out to illustrate that these guys know what they’re doing when it comes to audio equipment. They aren’t a random company that just shows up on Amazon or eBay.
The Fluance Fi50 isn’t a portable speaker. That isn’t to say it has to be stationary, but this isn’t a speaker you’re going to take with you to the beach or on a day out. It’s big, it’s meant to stay in one place and it lacks any kind of battery power. That’s not a negative. In fact, I think it’s a positive because Fluance is able to do away with a lot of the little things since they know this speaker isn’t moving.
The Fi50 comes in three colors, Black Ash (the color of our review unit), Lucky Bamboo, and Natural Walnut. I like how Fluance changed up the color of the face to match the Lucky Bamboo color, but I really think the design of the speaker shines in the two darker shades. We have a darker entertainment center and darker furniture and it really goes well in our living room. We’ve got it in the center of our entertainment center and it doesn’t look remotely out of place.
On the front of the speaker, you’re greeted by and LCD display and dual full-range 5″ woven woofers. While the LCD doesn’t display useful information like the time, it does give you a readout of the current volume level. A dot will appear in the bottom left corner of the speaker if a device is connected and you have the option to turn the LCD off if you so please.
The top of the device houses the touch-sensitive controls. Fluance opted for these controls instead of buttons that stick out and it was definitely the right choice as they look like they belong here. All you get are buttons to control the brightness (3 stages), an options button and volume up and down. The options button gives you the ability to increase and decrease bass and treble but those are the only two options.
The rear of the device houses ports for power along with a power button, aux in, a USB port and a pairing reset button. The USB port is a nice touch and will charge your devices at 2.1A, which is a little bit higher than you might expect to find on a speaker.
One of the nicer things about the Fluance Fi50 is that it’s always in pairing mode. This is one of those features that Fluance was able to include since it doesn’t have to worry about battery life. I’ve had several friends or family members over that wanted to show us a video of their kid’s dance recital or a cool video they found off YouTube. I had them jump into Bluetooth settings and pair to the speaker in about four seconds.
Another advantage to having a bigger body is just how good this thing sounds. It may not be the best sounding speaker on the market but is certainly in the upper echelon of what you can get for $200 and might be the best in its price range. I’ve listened to speakers that reach up into the $400, $500, and $600 ranges and this matches them in most respects.
Frist off, this thing gets LOUD. If you have a neighbor you want to annoy, get this thing because they’ll definitely be able to hear it unless you have incredibly thick walls. We have generally kept the speaker between 10 and 20 volume and it’s more than loud enough.
Lows are truly awesome. Fluance states the Fi50 gets all the way down to 40 Hz and it shows through in bass-heavy music like EDM or Rap. Again, if you want to annoy your neighbors….
Moving on to the mids and the highs. Fluance did a great job tuning the Fi50 to have a rich midrange and a nice wide soundstage for a Bluetooth speaker. The highs aren’t as harsh as I’ve heard on other mid-tier to high-end speakers and that’s a nice change. Overall, there’s a really nice balance to the Fluance Fi50 between the lows, mids, and highs with a slight tilt towards some of the bassy lows. It’s not Beats worthy, but it does make some more bass-heavy tracks more enjoyable if you’re into that sort of thing.
While the Fluance Fi50 won’t be perfect for everyone, it will be a very nice addition for those seeking something like this. My wife and I often like to turn off the TVs, kick on some music in the background and read Reddit or just hang out and this is perfect for that. The audio sounds fantastic and can get extremely loud if we feel like being a little rambunctious.
The Fi50 is going to sound better than almost all soundbars with Bluetooth and is an improvement over something like a Google Home, so if you care about having a persistent, excellent sounding speaker in your living room that is a snap to use, check out this out. The Fluance Fi50 is easily worth the money you’ll spend on it and beats out a lot of speakers in higher price ranges.