At the budget end of the A/V spectrum, Canadian company Fluance has been making its name as a high-quality speaker manufacturer since the turn of the century. After a run of seriously impressive Bluetooth speakers, the company is spreading its design wings and gliding from entry-level up into enthusiast territory with its new Signature Series floorstanders.
The Signature Series Hi-Fi Three-Way Floorstanding Speakers are available separately for $799 or as part of a 5.0 system (with surrounds and a center channel, but no subwoofer) for $999.
We first encountered the Signature Series in February 2016 and were unimpressed with what we heard. While movie sound was fine, the speakers couldn't attempt any kind of music at all. We scored them a 6.6 out of 10. But it appears the company has made some tweaks, and while the outward design appears identical, we're happy to say the wait has been worth it.
The floorstanders' main strength remains the sizable 8-inch drivers, which virtually do away with the need for a separate subwoofer. But the midrange has now had the upgrade the speakers deserved. Music is expressive, wide-open and has a dynamic heft it lacked before.
While the Fluance's main attraction is their overwhelming size and astonishing looks, the designers have tried to ensure that the speakers now sound every bit their $800. To the designer's credit, we can say they've been quite successful.
Meanwhile, Fluance representatives have informed us if customers who bought their speakers in 2016 have an issue they should contact Fluance to discuss replacement (with potential shipping costs covered).
Editors' note: This review has been updated to reflect the new version of the speakers available as of September 2016. The rating has been raised to account for the improved sound.
It seems Fluance is participating in an arms race to create the biggest speakers possible, a race in which it is the only participant. The company's previous flagship, the Fluance XL7F, was a stupendously large speaker. We said at the time that it dwarfed the others before it.
Well, imagine a school bus being swallowed by a sperm whale and you get an idea of how big the new Signature Series is. At 4 feet tall, they could be the largest consumer speakers we'll ever see in the CNET audio lab.
And heavy. At 62.4 pounds per speaker, you'll definitely need help from a friend to set them up.
The Fluance is a three-way speaker with a 1-inch silk dome tweeter and a 5-inch yellow glass fiber driver, which looks smaller than it is thanks to the enormous dual 8-inch bass woofers it sits above.
The crossover network seems to have had some attention this time around, for while the original points were set at (an insanely high) 1.2kHz and 2.3kHz to the tweeter, the blend is much more natural.