We’ve looked at quite a few portable Bluetooth speakers here at Techaeris and it’s about time we stepped it up a level. The latest Bluetooth speaker we were able to get our hands on came by way of Fluance, a company that is known for great quality and great sounding speakers. Find out what we thought about it in our Fluance Fi30 review.
The Fluance Fi30 Bluetooth speaker features:
- Audiophile grade MDF wood to suppress resonance for accurate response and increased warmth
- Dual premium woven glass fiber composite drivers
- Two finely tuned bass ports
- Integrated power amplifier
- Connection indicator light (complete with “BLOOP!” connection sound)
- USB input for device charging
- Auxiliary 3.5mm input
- Bluetooth pairing reset button
- 16.5 x 5.5. x 5.5″
The Fluance Fi30 is no small device. When I first took it out of the box I was actually surprised at how large and heavy it was – in a good way. This is one solid looking and feeling speaker. The entire speaker has a smooth rounded finish, our review unit was the Piano Black version and it is also available in White or Bamboo. The front of the speaker is pretty non-descript, two large speaker grills frame the Fluance logo and connection indicator light.
The back of the unit features the two bass ports, the panel where you can connect a device with a 3.5mm AUX cable, reset the Bluetooth pairing, a USB port to plug in your device to charge it while listening to music on the speaker, the power switch, and the power cable. In some ways the shape reminds me of the old boombox players of the past.
My only suggestion about the design of the unit would be to move the power switch to the front of the unit, if you don’t want to leave it on all the time and instead toggle the power switch whenever you start and finish using it, it can be a bit of a pain to simply reach behind and flick the switch depending on where you set it up. It’s easy enough to plug in a USB to microUSB cable and leave it tucked away, unfortunately you can’t do the same with the AUX cable as plugging into the AUX jack will disable the Bluetooth connection.
Connecting via Bluetooth is simple, I did chuckle at the instructions when I first read them as it actually contained a picture with the word “BLOOP!” on it to indicate a successful Bluetooth connection, but sure enough the Fi30 definitely BLOOPs! when you connect to it.
Fluance takes great care in shipping the speaker as well. Upon opening the box, I pulled out another box, which held the speaker surrounded in a couple of more pieces of cardboard lined with foam. The entire unit was wrapped in plastic, and upon removing that plastic one more layer of plastic needed to be peeled off of the actual surface of speaker. A bit overkill perhaps, but I don’t think you’d have any worries with the speaker getting damaged during shipping.
According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the Fluance Fi30 features Bluetooth with EDR (enhanced data rate) that has a 33′ range. I tested the speaker in a couple of locations, the first outside on my deck, and the second inside on our mantle in front of the TV. We have quite a large yard and I was definitely testing the limits of the 33′ range, but I was able to wander around close to 3/4 of my yard without losing the Bluetooth connection. Inside I was able to keep the Bluetooth connection anywhere in the living room and kitchen/dining room so the range was more than adequate.
As for sound, this speaker is simply outstanding. Everything from hip hop to rap to rock and more, treble and midtone levels were crisp and clear, and the bass was very strong. Depending on the song if you were close enough to the speaker you could almost feel the vibration. Even when my Nexus 5, which is my main music streaming device, was at full volume the sound was clear and there was no audible distortion. Mid-level volume is really all that’s needed to fill a standard sized room with this speaker, and I’m sure my neighbours weren’t terribly pleased when I was blasting Rage Against the Machine in the backyard at full volume. I also found that I had much louder sound when connected via Bluetooth as opposed to through the AUX jack, but that could just be my phone. In all honesty though, the sound was great when streaming via Bluetooth.
Fluance recommends you use the speaker at regular levels for 10 hours to break it in, but I didn’t hear any noticeable difference in sound quality after using it for more than 10 hours – it sounded great out of the box and continues to sound great after many hours of use.
The Fluance Fi30 has an MSRP of $199.99USD, but both the Fluance website and Amazon.com have it on sale for $149.99. Given the build and sound quality, this is a good price for the value. Even better, if you order it before June 15th from the Fluance website, it’ll only set you back $119USD as part of their Father’s Day/Graduation sale.
If you’re looking for an affordable, great sounding Bluetooth speaker for your living room, den, family room, or heck even the bedroom, you’ll definitely want to give the Fluance Fi30 a look. It’s well constructed, sounds awesome, and is a great value for the price – and you can’t beat a 30 day risk free trial.
*We were sent a demo unit of the Fluance Fi30 Bluetooth speaker for the purposes of this review.
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