Fluance is a Canadian company in Niagara Falls Ontario, celebrating its 20th year as a business, and it continues to make fascinating, premium speakers aimed at the audiophile crowd. Its products aren't exactly inexpensive, which is why I was surprised to see the new Fi20 show up with a price tag of $100. I was offered one for review, and having reviewed the incredible Fi70, I was curious to see what a Fluance speaker one-fifth the cost would sound like.
Here's the Fluance Fi20 portable Bluetooth speaker.
- Affordable price tag of $100
- Great-looking design
- Excellent sound
- Lovely LED accent
- Touch controls can be finicky
- Awkward shape for portability
Awesomely affordable audio
Fluance Fi20 What I love
I'll start with the obvious: the sound. This is a relatively big speaker, especially for one dubbed "portable," so it makes sense that it would sound good, but this one sounds great. It has a warm, full audio profile, though it can be pretty bass-heavy if placed close to walls or in a corner. Call audio quality is superb, and the microphone on top picks up quite well. I talked with my mom from across the kitchen and she heard me just fine.
The Fi20 looks just as good as it sounds. It's slanted, triangular design makes it look like the perfect patio accessory, but it also makes a great conversation piece inside. It comes in three colors: black, brown, and tan wood wrap. It feels substantial without being too heavy, and it has rubber feet for stability. The plastic top has touch controls and a power button above a semi-open housing with an LED inside, which gives this device more patio favorite potential. The leather carrying strap is a nice accent, if a bit awkward, and it's very secure.
I'm not trying to be a salesman, but I love that the Fi20 is only $100. Fluance sells some very expensive speakers, so to make such a premium-looking device so affordable is a welcome move. The first time I saw it, I figured it'd be $250 or $300. I'm a frugal Winnipegger, which means it's $130 for me, and I still wouldn't think twice about buying it.
Fluance Fi20 What I don't like
Truthfully, the only thing I don't like about the Fi20 is the touch control panel. If you don't touch the "buttons" in just the right way, they simply don't work. You have to essentially place your finger over the buttons on the first knuckle so that you cover both over and under the button. This can be especially frustrating when you're trying to hang up on a call.
One other minor nitpick is the size. It has to be this big to sound this great, but it certainly has its place. While it's called a "portable Bluetooth speaker," it may be easier to move it around your home or take it to a party. It's certainly not the best thing to lug around in your backpack.That being said, there's nothing wrong with that. It's good to have a quality piece just for those occasions.
I'm trying to come up with more I don't like to make this a balanced review, but it's just an excellent speaker.
Fluance Fi20 Bluetooth speaker Buy it!
For $100 there's really not much to dislike here. The Fi20 has a well-balanced sound (so long as it's not in a corner — then it's bassy) and has an alluring design. With a great look and excellent quality for the price, it is worth the buy. Yes, the touch controls are finicky, but that's minor, and you'll probably control your music from your phone anyway, given the Fi20's size.
4.5 out of 5
The three color options are gorgeous, and the LED adds a simple, but lovely effect, again, making this perfect for summer nights on the deck. If you're looking for a wireless audio option for your home and don't want to break the bank, there's no reason not to order the Fi20.