Fluance has released its next-generation lineup of Reference Series speakers, consisting of four different speaker options to meet the needs of home theater enthusiasts.
The speakers, which range from $150 to $600, are immediately available through either Fluance’s website or Amazon. The lineup includes floor-standing speakers (the XL8F), bookshelf speakers (XL8S), a center channel speaker (XL8C) ,and bipolar speakers (XL8BP).
Here’s what we know about each part of Fluance’s new home theater series.
The XL8F are the most expensive speakers of the bunch at $600, and Fluance says they’re “engineered with premium components” to create room-filling sound. Those components include a four-driver configuration with a 1-inch Neodymium balanced silk dome tweeter, a pair of 6.5-inch midrange woofers, and an 8-inch down-firing subwoofer.
The towers will be able to handle between 80 and 160 watts RMS of power, with a frequency response range of 35-25,000Hz. They’re not exactly light, at nearly 48 pounds per speaker, but packing that many drivers into a single enclosure will almost surely put you into a heavier weight class.
The XL8S are the compact alternative to the XL8F, a pair of bookshelf speakers that retail for $180. Fluance says these speakers can be used in a two-channel stereo setup for a compact home theater or as surround sound speakers in a larger system. The XL8S operates with a two-driver configuration, containing the same 1-inch tweeter found in the XL8F, as well as a 5.25-inch woofer to provide some low-end depth.
The XL8S have diminished power-handling capabilities compared to their floorstanding counterparts, with an RMS range of 40 to 80 watts. They’ve also got a slightly narrower frequency range of 50-20,000Hz. On the bright side, the XL8S weigh just 11.35 pounds per speaker. In other words, they’ll be easier to fit into a variety of home theater spaces.
As the center channel speaker that is solely in charge of reproducing clear dialogue from the content you watch, the XL8C is one of the most important pieces of this home theater puzzle. The XL8C costs $150 and features three drivers — a 1-inch tweeter and a pair of the 5.25-inch woofers also found in the XL8S bookshelf speakers.
The XL8C can take a bit more power than the bookshelves, at 50 to 100 watts RMS, but have a limited frequency response range due to their focus on dialogue. The center channel, which weighs just over 15 pounds by itself, has a frequency response range of 110 to 20,000Hz.
Fluance says its new bipolar speakers, the $200 XLB8P, are designed to “create omnidirectional acoustics for a captivating movie theater experience.” They’re wall mountable, as are the XL8S bookshelves, and have a four-driver array made up of a combination of those same 1-inch tweeters and 5.25-inch woofers.
The XL8BP feature the same power handling as the XL8C (50 to 100 watts RMS), and have a frequency response range of 95 to 20,000Hz. Surprisingly, even with the additional driver built into the enclosure, they weigh only slightly more than the Fluance center channel at 15.4 pounds.
In its press release about this new line, Fluance touted the Reference Series as a “testament to the performance that can be achieved when passion for music takes center stage.” Take this for what you will, because we can’t verify any of that until we’ve heard them. The good news is, we are going to test these new speakers from Fluance in a future review to determine just how much bang this home theater can provide for its comparatively affordable price. Given our thoughts on the traditional home theater versus the modern soundbar, we can say that we’re optimistic about this new lineup. Stay tuned.