Fluance XL8F review: Home theater heart stoppers

Way again in 1999 two businesses that would loom significant in CNET’s check labs received their start off: Aperion Audio and Fluance. Even though Aperion has stayed on its property theater route above the past few decades, Fluance has branched out to equipment such as the RT82 turntable, winner of our Editors’ Alternative award. The business is on a authentic tear, and the XL8F floor-standing speaker is the most current example.


  • Massive, generously proportioned speakers
  • Superb seem high quality fantastic for prolonged binge sessions
  • Absolutely nothing holds a candle to it for the cash

Really don’t Like

  • Could be smoother, primarily with its decrease sign-up
  • Dustcaps didn’t rather line up

The XL8 variety is a cost-successful property theater speaker variety incorporating rears, facilities and bookshelves, led by these remarkable floor-standers. The in shape and finish of the XL8F is luxurious for $600 (£600) a pair, and its pure dimensions is unmatched by other speakers at its degree. The seem of the XL8F is open and thrilling, but never ever shrill, and when fed a movie soundtrack these speakers only zing. They are no slouch with audio either.

The XL8 features substantially far better worth than Fluance’s flagship $800 Signature sequence and a far better layout far too. The seem is also far better well balanced than what I recall from the Signature variety.

Even though the very same cash will get you a really wonderful bookshelf speaker from name models like Elac or Klipsch, if you really want the utmost speaker for your cash, the substantial Fluance XL8F has no equal.

Layout and functions

Twin 6.5-inch glass fiber motorists flank a 1-inch smooth dome tweeter.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The Fluance XL8F is a fashionable a few-way floor-stander but it provides as a 2.5-way, with a bass driver hidden in the foundation. The Fluance has two, 6.5-inch glass-fiber motorists separated by a 1-inch fabric tweeter (called a D’Appolito configuration, named following the designer who perfected the arrangement, Joseph D’Appolito). I did find that just one of the mid driver’s dust caps appeared a tiny tough when seen up near — they are all made from a piece of glass fiber, and this just one wasn’t glued on square. But from the sofa I couldn’t definitely convey to.

Elsewhere the finish is exemplary, and I choose the layout to the uncomfortable Signature sequence with its tiny, yellow midrange driver at the top. The XL8F towers are rather tall at forty six inches substantial, only 1.5 inches shorter than the monster Signature. They are deep, far too, in order to accommodate that base-mounted 8-inch bass driver. 


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The speaker cabinet tapers at the again, to cut down interior reflections, and culminates in two rear bass ports (so it performs far better if you leave a couple of ft length from the wall). The front baffle functions a piano-black finish in a decision of either black ash or walnut for the sides. 

The fixtures are just as luxurious as the relaxation of the speaker, commencing with a magnetically attaching grille. The gold plated binding posts are reliable-searching and there are two sets in situation you want to experiment with bi-wiring or bi-amping.

The speakers are rated at a 87dB sensitivity, indicating they could be driven by most receivers or amps, and are capable of a 35Hz-25KHz frequency response.

Even though no-just one is definitely auditioning speakers in stores at the minute, the business helpfully features a 30-working day cash again trial on speakers purchased by way of its web-site.

How does it seem?

As I count on from a speaker with a base-firing bass driver, the Fluance has a massive, bold seem, but it really is also capable of subtlety I didn’t count on. That midrange-tweeter-midrange arrangement is equipped to reproduce a great deal of detail in audio and films, with a generously open character. I when compared the speaker to my go-to reference speaker, the $900 Q Acoustics 3050i and found that the Fluance sounded far better in various important areas, primarily when it arrived to watching movies.

The Fluance XL8F’s mixture of deep bass and a revealing midrange built it a fantastic companion for the lobby scene from The Matrix. This scene mixes balletic slow-mo, ricocheting bullet seem outcomes and a pumping electro score, and the Fluance welded them collectively in a fulfilling way. Though the Q Acoustics was equipped to manage the very low-conclusion portion far better, the Fluance delivered the shout of “Freeze” and its echoing tail in a a lot more revealing fashion.

Looking at Avatar, the Fluance shown its eager ear with the lush rainforests of Pandora. During the Thanator chase scene the simply click of Jake’s device gun was a lot more jarring when he realized the Thanator desired a cat-individual food as a substitute of the elephant-like Hammerhead Titanothere. The seem of the chase was only a lot more visceral when read on the Fluance than its counterpart. In comparison, the Q Acoustics have been a tiny a lot more inert, a lot more bass-targeted and a little bit much less fascinating all round.

When it arrived to audio the two have been near, but the Q Acoustics’ a lot more laid-again high quality and top-to-base consistency gave it a slight edge. I listened to all the things from Claude Debussy’s nocturnes to jazz to rock audio, and found that the Fluance’s abilities lay in audio with a great deal of detail. The XL8F can definitely give you a vivid feeling of the overall performance space and make the speakers themselves disappear — as prolonged as points do not get far too unfastened. 

For example, the opening times of Phoebe Bridgers’ Know The Close gave me goosebumps when read by way of the Fluance, and this ongoing as the chorused electric powered guitar slithered all around powering the singer. At 2:45 the bass drum that propels the next fifty percent of the song was deep and pulsing. Only when the song received definitely chaotic did the information turn out to be a wash.

Astonishingly the Q Acoustics introduced a diverse song, and just one which was in the long run substantially a lot more fulfilling. The song’s intro guitars sounded bigger, and as a substitute of remaining in thrall they have been thrust outwards into the listening space, enveloping me. When the song received frantic the speakers retained all the things in emphasis far better than the Fluence, and the 3050i’s eager midrange on the chanted vocals and the enraged “rahhhhhh” have been a lot more finely expressed.

Ought to you get it?

Sure, you can get you a very killer soundbar for $600, but there’s no way it could match the Fluance XL8F for either actual physical existence or the means to reproduce a thundering movie soundtrack. There are couple of floor-standers that can do what the XL8F does — marry crushing bass electric power with an open, comprehensive seem — and none of them cost $600. The Q Acoustics 3050i is a a lot more refined speaker, primarily for audio, but it expenses $350 a lot more and it is just not as properly-developed. The Fluance XL8F features an extraordinary worth and if your funds is less than a grand, and you have the room, these speakers ought to be at the top of your audition checklist.