Review: Fluance SXBP speakers are an inexpensive surround sound alternative

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Fluance surround speakers set up in a living room, for home theater surround sound(Credit: Aaron Heinrich/Gizmag)

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Getting surround sound quality for your home theater can often mean some budget-busting options requiring multiple speakers, subwoofers, and an amplifier that could run a Five Finger Death Punch concert. Fluance takes the cost and the hassle out of that predicament, with its SXBP High Definition Bipolar Surround Sound Speakers.

We set these speakers up to run off of a small amp plugged directly into our cable box. While it limited our ability to only use the speakers for programs that came directly from cable, it still provided plenty of options to see how the speakers sounded on a variety of programs. That included sports, movies and regular network fare.

Following the included directions, we initially wired the speakers using 12-gauge speaker wire attached directly onto the gold-plated binding posts at the back of each speaker, with the other end plugged into the back of the amp. We also tried the alternative method of attaching the speaker wire to banana plugs and then inserting those into the speaker's binding posts. Neither method seemed to provide any significant change in how the speakers sounded, but it was good idea for Fluance to construct the posts with those alternatives.

The resulting sound quality was immensely improved over the internal speakers of the television. Bass was deep but not obnoxious, and the treble range was far more balanced across the spectrum. Watching a football game, for instance, was far more immersive with every hit sounding like it was happening in the room. Background sound effects in movies were also clearer but not overpowering.

That improved sound is due to a type of bipolar speaker configuration that is unique to Fluance. Inside each speaker are dual one-inch neodymium balanced silk dome tweeters and dual 5-inch polymer-coated drivers with butyl rubber surrounds placed on opposing sides of the cabinet. The speaker casing is made of audio-grade MDF wood construction, to reduce distortion and resonance. The result is virtual elimination of dead spots and sound that literally can be described as three-dimensional.

For those interested in the technical aspects, the Fluance SXBP speakers deliver 40 to 120 watts of sound with a frequency response of 60 Hz to 20 kHz and 88 dB of sensitivity. Plus, at roughly 10 x 7 x 14 inches (25 x 18 x 36 cm) and weighing barely over 9 lb (4 kg) a piece, they don't take up much room and are easy to move around, limited mostly by the length of speaker wire. That kind of output and size should be more than enough for the average room. If space is an issue, Fluance has also included a bracket on the back of each speaker for the option of mounting the speakers on the wall.

You can grab a pair of these speakers for US$150, and Fluance offers free shipping plus a full lifetime parts and labor manufacturer's direct warranty with a 30-day risk free in-home trial. If you don't like black speakers, they also come in brown.

Product page: Fluance

Buy it now: Amazon

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