A few weeks ago, Fluance announced the release of their newest product, the Ai40 Powered Bookshelf Speakers. These brand new 5-inch speakers feature an integrated 70W Class D amplifier and a premium design. For the past week, I’ve been able to test them out and have found them to be quite impressive. The speakers are built with superior elements like an MDF-engineered cabinet and silk soft-dome tweeters. The Ai40’s are designed to provide a precise, warm, distortion-free sound. The speakers can connect to audio sources through RCA or Bluetooth aptX. This gives users the option to connect using their mobile/Bluetooth compatible devices, their home theater system, or even a simple turntable. The Ai40 speakers come in three different color options — black, lucky bamboo, or walnut.
The Ai40 speakers arrived in a fairly simple cardboard box. The box was designed for shipping and not for shelf viewing. It had the Fluance logo/branding stamped on the outside of it, but other than that is was pretty plain. When you open the box, you will find a layer of protective styrofoam laying on top of the speakers and their accessories. The accessories are boxed/wrapped up in plastic and the speakers are individually wrapped in plastic as well. Once you pull the speakers out of the box, you will discover that the right speaker is the main speaker with the left one being the ‘satellite’. The units have a combined weight of 15.1 pounds, but they really don’t feel that heavy individually. In addition to the speakers, Fluance included a Quick User Guide, speaker wire, RCA cable, and power adapter.
To get started, you connect the speakers to power using the power adapter and then you connect the two speakers to each other using the provided speaker wire. At this point, you can connect to the speakers using Bluetooth or connect to an analog device by using the RCA ports. I opted to connect using Bluetooth since I was primarily playing music and video audio from my MacBook Pro. At first, I thought the speakers were automatically in pairing mode but I quickly discovered that wasn’t the case when I pressed the ‘pair’ button on the back of the right speaker. You only have to press it once and then the LED on the front of the speaker will flash indicating it’s ready for pairing. The speakers showed up quickly in my Bluetooth menu and my computer connected easily to them.
At this point, I simply turned up the volume on the speakers — which was amplified internally — and then adjusted the bass level using the provided remote. The remote actually came in quite handy as I set the speakers up behind me — they were outside of arm’s reach. I did find that the play button did not pause or play music I was listening to through iTunes on my laptop. The sound quality was superb. I was very impressed with how much depth the speakers provided without being connected to a subwoofer. I was equally impressed when I evaluated other 5″ bookshelf speakers on Amazon for the price. The Fluance speakers are priced at $200 and while there are some available for about half that price, there are quite a few that are twice as expensive.
The Fluance Ai40 Bookshelf Speakers are a nice investment and a lovely addition to any home theater or office. They seem to be well balanced and have fantastic sound quality. I listened to several different styles of music and other types of audio tracks and the Fluance speakers provided a crisp, clear sound with ample amount of bass. I love that you are given the option to control both the bass and treble levels with the use of the remote and that they have an easy set-up. I can recommend these to someone who wants to upgrade to larger speakers but still want something that is cost-effective with budgets.
Originally published at macsources.com on May 29, 2018.