Fluance’s AB40 High Performance Soundbase is one other in an extended line of well-built, high-value house audio merchandise (although there have been occasional exceptions). This speaker delivers a chest-punching efficiency that’s certain to please house theater aficionados on a price range. Read on to search out out why I preferred the AB40 Soundbase a lot.
What’s a soundbase?
Don’t confuse Fluance’s AB40 Soundbase with a soundbar. A soundbase is particularly designed to sit down on a cupboard and assist the burden of a tv. Soundbase enclosures are usually bodily greater and deeper—although usually not as extensive—as soundbars. A soundbase can’t be mounted on a wall. A soundbar, in distinction, is usually designed to hold on a wall or sit on a cupboard in entrance of your TV.
Soundbases might be put inside cupboards, too. If you select to do that, observe the person guide’s advice and transfer the soundbase as near the entrance edge as attainable to realize optimum audio efficiency. Should you select an in-cabinet placement, let your ears be your information. Fluance’s AB40 Soundbase lacks a bass contour change or EQ for closed areas, so that you received’t have the ability to tone down the unit’s wonderful bass response. Given that it’s a ported design, you would possibly get overly boomy bass with an in-cabinet placement.
Build high quality
The very first thing you’ll discover in regards to the AB40 is its dimension. This child is huge—and it must be to assist TVs. It measures 3.9 inches tall by 26 inches extensive by 14 inches deep, and it has a tank-like building. I famous the Soundbase’s 24-pound heft whereas unpacking it. There’s no trace of low cost plastic anyplace within the cupboard. Fluance says the Soundbase is rated to assist TVs as much as 65 inches extensive and weighing as much as 150 kilos.
Should your TV have a single pedestal, you’re all set. If you have got a TV with toes greater than 26 inches aside (such because the 65-inch Vizio P-Series Quantum I used to be utilizing), you’ll have a possible drawback. The Soundbase’s 3.9-inch peak made it too tall to slip underneath the Vizio, so I needed to put the Vizio’s legs on wooden blocks to elevate the TV excessive sufficient to offer the wanted clearance.
Fluance’s AB40 Soundbase is available in your selection of black or “lucky bamboo” veneer finishes. My assessment pattern got here in black. The Soundbase makes use of the identical high-quality wooden veneer end as Fluance’s different audio system. Fit and end handed muster.
The perforated entrance grille is all metallic and conceals the Soundbase’s two-way, six-driver system: Two 1.0-inch silk dome tweeters, and 4 3.0-inch aluminum cones with rubber surrounds. A 90-watt Class D amplifier does the heavy lifting.
The AB40 Soundbase is all about audio efficiency. You will, nonetheless, discover some primary high-tech options. The AB40 Soundbase sports activities a 3D DSP mode and a bass-boost EQ setting. The former supposedly creates a “more room-filling soundstage” whereas the latter boosts the amount of low-end frequencies. These synthetic modes hardly ever attraction to me personally (and that hasn’t modified right here), although you would possibly discover them euphonic in your house setting. DTS Virutal:X, which is my favourite amongst DSP modes, isn’t out there on the AB40.
The AB40 Soundbase helps three enter modes: TosLink optical, 3.5mm analog, and Bluetooth. The AB40 can pair with as much as eight gadget profiles, although it could possibly solely play music from one gadget at a time.
Fluance takes Bluetooth wi-fi streaming high quality up a notch with native aptX assist. The Qualcomm aptX codec is a low-latency codec that yields close to CD-quality streaming. You’ll want an aptX-compatible supply to benefit from this characteristic.
Fluance has provide you with an ingenious resolution to decipher which enter is energetic. An LED mild behind the grille adjustments colour relying on the chosen enter.
A white mild means TosLink the optical is chosen, inexperienced stands for aux analog, and blue means Bluetooth. Fluance features a small sticker on prime of the soundbase detailing the that means of every colour for many who don’t prefer to learn person manuals.
You can change the depth of the LED or flip it off fully through the wonderful distant management.
It’s all in regards to the efficiency
To mimic a typical house setup, I related the Fluance to a Vizio P-Series Quantum through TosLink optical. Sources included the Vizio’s native apps and Chromecast streaming through Tidal from my iPhone XS.
For me, any speaker or soundbar should play music nicely to have any value. If a speaker can cross music muster, then films and TV programming ought to be a chunk of cake. Fluance’s AB40 Soundbase didn’t disappoint.
The AB40 sounded great with just about any style of music. I performed the Avengers Endgame soundtrack through Tidal and was pleasantly shocked on the Fluance’s capacity to render a superb sound stage and stable prime to backside efficiency—particularly the bass. Orchestral works are sometimes a troublesome problem for all-in-one items at this value level.
The AB40 confirmed an uncanny capacity to render foundational bass notes on tracks resembling “Time” from Hans Zimmer’s Inception soundtrack, Lorde’s “Royals,” and nearly every other monitor I threw at it. The AB40 Soundbase will completely fulfill your bass cravings though it doesn’t include a subwoofer.
I did discover some compression right here there, however nothing surprising on the $250 value level.
If your main goal 4 a speaker is watching TV packages and flicks, you’ll love the AB40 Soundbase’s efficiency. I hung out skipping although completely different channels and streaming programming through Vizio’s built-in app. I famous the AB0’s capacity to render dialog intelligibly throughout all kinds of programming. And I didn’t want that to be a Hollywood-produced blockbuster with excellent audio. For instance, I got here throughout the 1982 movie, They Call Me Bruce, the place the protagonist finds his life hopelessly difficult with folks frequently complicated him with Bruce Lee. I had no drawback by any means making dialog out clearly on this and different streamed packages.
I ought to be aware that the AB40 Soundbase has a sonic candy spot lifeless middle. You’ll discover an ever-so-slight shift when you transfer to the appropriate or left. Those of you with giant couches that may accommodate 4 or extra viewers shall be blissful to know that the Fluance maintained superb off-axis efficiency regardless of the place I selected to sit down.
A no-frills, high-value proposition
Fluance’s AB40 Soundbase delivers a bona fide, earth-shaking, theater-like expertise to any room. If you’re searching for a stable, no-frills, high-value speaker system to pair along with your TV, look no additional than Fluance’s AB40 Soundbase. This speaker blew me away for the value.
Audio high quality and dialog intelligibility are this speaker’s chief strengths. And at this value level, any drawbacks are actually nitpicking. Fluance affords a beneficiant 30-day, risk-free, in-home trial that features free delivery in each instructions, so you don’t have anything to lose. Something tells me, Fluance doesn’t get many items again.