A perfectly matched and flawlessly sounding five speaker system, the SXHTB+ has the best of both worlds. With high reproduction qualities in music as well as surround sound home theater, this system is perfect in any application. When the SXHTB+ is used in Dolby surround and DTS systems you can truly experience what home cinema is supposed to be. Plus, this system can easily be integrated with an active subwoofer for a true low frequency effect.
I know what your thinking, your saying to your self, well if I can't hear these in the store then I'm not gonna take a chance on not liking them. Well tha'ts where I can stop you. I asked the same questions when reading all the other reviews about this product. I found it hard to believe that everyone raved about these without even had heard them prior. Once you take the risk and buy these, I can promise you that you wont be disappointed. Why should anyone spend a grand on speakers that thier brand denotes their worth based on the name? I say you buy your thousand dollar speakers, I will still enjoy my Fluance set and have over half left over compaired to what you paid. I'm not trying to make you think these are the next generation 2.0 version, ground breaking next big thing in audio because their not. Don't get me wrong these speakers sound great, but there is nothing space aged, or scientist developed in these puppies. They just play sound good. Using nothing more than any other manufacturer. Quality parts put together with care and precision, all combined to what makes these simple but effective speakers work. If you think my review is over the top and you are still not convinced, then don't take my word for it. Just look at all the others that say basically the same thing. They just sound good. Of course they have their short comings, everything does. The color is hard to match if buying additions, and I would have loved to see bigger drivers in the center channel. WIth that being said, let your ears tell you weather I am right or not.
I was looking to purchase an affordable home theatre setup without the high price tag. I looked around, did some research and came across Fluance on Ebay. After reading the rave reviews by happy customers I decided to give them a shot. And I am sure glad I did so.
Their speakers towers are defintely high quality mdf construction, terminal connections are top notch, and the speakers sound clean, 3 dimensional, and non distorted. It was a brilliant decision and I'm glad I did so. Make sure you use 12 gauge wire and bannana plugs to get optimum sound. You'll notice the difference.
This is an extraordinary set of speakers. I combined them with an HK 230 amp that I bought as a warrantied refurb from H/K's Ebay store for about $150. Combined with the $230 (after shipping) H100 subwoofer, and the $370 (after shipping, but $100 more than they've sold for in the past), this is one hell of a $750 5.1 system.
A few specific comments:
The bass is plenty for music. The mains are rated to 50 hz, but they're flat down to at least 10 hz lower in a room setting. The bass response isn't quite enough for movies, however, and I connected mine to an Acoustech H100 subwoofer. Extremely capable HT system; playing Twister at reference volumes was a terrifying experience.
Music sounds best from the two towers alone. The center channel doesn't draw attention to itself in movies, but it's a bit on the nasal, colored side for music. A bit, not a lot; one could get used to it. If you want to use the surrounds, Dolby II also sounds very good.
The towers can be bi-amped, but they certainly don't need to be. The binding posts are all gold-plated, very high quality.
I recently auditioned these Fluance against a pair of $350 Ascend 170SEs, a bookshelf speaker reputed to run with others at double the price. This is the result:
I took the Ascends home today and compared them back to back with the Fluance SX+. The Fluance were in stereo mode, mains only. No subwoofer. The room is hardwood floored, 10' ceiling, 12x24', with both sets of speakers about two feet from the far walls.
I didn't do any serious comparisons with the Harman AVR 230 amplifier. It was ponderous to change the speakers from one amplifier to another; too long for me to preserve a memory of the music. The character of the sound was far more influenced by the speaker, so I used the Panasonic XR55 amplifier for these comparisons.
I also invited my Mom to listen to three tracks in particular. She's a classically trained pianist with an excellent ear. I only played three tracks for her; she preferred the Ascends for two tracks of three, saying the Fluance sounded slightly tinny on the piano in John Hiatt's 'Have a Little Faith'. She also preferred the Ascends in Jurassic Park. She did point out that in Deanna Carter's 'We Danced Anyway', Deanna sounds like she's singing from behind the instruments on the Ascends.
My impressions are similar, though I wouldn't go so far as to call the Fluance tinny. A very slight metallic, more like, on the higher midrange frequencies. The Fluance have a stronger midrange, a noticeably forward sound. The extreme high range is recessed compared to the Ascends, which sounded immediately airy when I switched to them.
The Ascends have more neutral tweeter. High tones, like trumpets, sound slightly strident on the Fluance speakers, with some color. The Ascend version is very neutral, and certain extreme recordings that play harshly on my Grados, the Fluance, and my Klipsch (Future Corp's 'Maleguena') become more tolerable on the Ascends.
I tended to prefer the Fluance vocals. The Fluance put the singer almost universally front and center. The lisping quality of the Ascends at the end of certain notes isn't present in the Fluances, and while there was some color to them, it seemed more a different rendition to the Ascends than anything particularly objectionable. As per the Ascends, the vocals are better in this room than they were in my room at home. The accuracy is better than the Fluance, but the pushed midrange of the latter makes the Ascends sound veiled. It's the other way around with certain very high-pitched singers like Sia.
Another area the Fluance excelled was in lower midbass, but this was to be expected. They're tower speakers. Strangely though, even when the Panasonic crossover was set to 80 hz, the Ascends sounded quite a bit thinner in the low end, so much so that I have to wonder whether the 'B' speakers are affected by the crossover settings on this amp. The Fluance are double-rear ported, and because they're physically deeper, also closer to the wall.
Anyway, the point of all this is not to be a Fluance advertisement. As before, I found the Ascends exceedingly good at instrumental music and most vocal tracks where the instrumentation didn't overwhelm the singer. Imaging was also better than the Fluance; the Fluance singer was dispersed in front of me, only occasionally coming into focus on higher attacks. The Ascend singer sounds like he's coming exactly from the unconnected Fluance center channel.
However, given the fact that the entire Fluance 5.0 system with floorstanders goes for less, or if you're clever in auction timing, WAY less than the Ascends, that I can even make this comparison is a major win for Fluance.
I was looking for reviews of 5.1 speakers to replace some Cambridge Soundwork Cube's I had in my livingroom setup. It had to fit within a budget of under $500. After finding reviews of the Fluance line, I decieded to order them. of course, at that time they were on back order due to heavy interest. I waited several weeks. (normally its under 1 week). when I got them, it was packaged very good, as I unboxed them I was shocked that the front main's were so large and heavy. These speakers had immediately surpased what I had expected to recieve for such a low price. based on their looks alone. after hooking them up and calibrating my system with an SPL meter, for a subwoofer (which is somewhat needed to compensate for the lack of bass) I use an SVS PCi and Aura Bass Shaker Pro's in my couch running off of a 100 watt plate amp.
Since they are so cheap, Im not afraid to let my daughter play near them during the day, if she breaks them, It wont break my bank to replace them.
I must say these speakers are keepers. Even when I upgrade to higher end equipment, there will always be a place for these speakers in my house.
Infact, Im considering ordering the smaller black ones for my bedroom setup. (I have to stay small in there due to lack of room, and I need black because they would look better next to a 42" black bezeled plasma),
Since ordering the SX-HTB's, Everyone is SHOCKED when they find out how much I paid. No one initially guessed I paid lower than $800. my cousin has also ordered himself a set since hearing them, and my friend ordered the lower black model (which I have heard and they also sound great for it's price point)