CNET First Look
Fluance Fi50 Bluetooth speaker: Premium sound on the cheapWhile it may not be a truly portable wireless speaker, the beefy Flaunce Fi50 delivers excellent sound quality for $200.
I'm David Carnoy and welcome to another first-look video. Fluance, an online direct-to-consumer Canadian company, is known for serving up excellent performing speakers for modest prices. Today we're looking at its second Bluetooth speaker The FI50. It retails for $200 and is one of the best sounding wireless speakers you can buy for the money. But it has to be plugged into a power outlet and doesn't run off an internal rechargeable battery. It looks similar to its predecessor, the FI30 and features the same medium-density fiberboard cabinet. And comes in three different color options, including the black ash model you see here. This new model has a larger 40 watt amplifier, better drivers and tweeters, an LED display, and an equalizer that lets you adjust treble and bass via the touch controls on top of the speaker. As for connectivity, you get an audio input for connecting non bluetooth devices, and a USB input for charging smartphones and tablets. There's also apt deck streaming for devices that support the feature. Apt deck's is suppose to make bluetooth audio sound better, although it's debatable how much of an impact it has on sound quality. As I said, the Fi50 sounds really good for a bluetooth speaker. It's able to produce a lot of sound with good detail and deep bass without distorting. It's at least two to three times the size of most portable bluetooth speakers. And it just plays a lot bigger than those speakers with fuller sound And in fact, this model could be used to power a party in a medium sized room if you really cranked the volume. The only drawback of the speaker is that you just don't get the stereo separation and wide sound stage that you get from a pair of premium separate bluetooth bookshelf speakers. But at the end of the day, while the FI 50 cost $50 more than the FI 30, you are getting an improved sounding speaker and a couple of key feature additions, particularly the LED display that once again makes this a good option for those seeking the best sound for their bluetooth buck. I'm David Carnoy and that's the Fluance FI-50. Thanks for watching.