Today marks the launch of the Fluance AB40 sound stand ($240). It’s the company’s first-ever sound stand—or soundbar for that matter—and it claims that owners will experience “commanding, room-shaking” bass response down to 30 Hz without the need for a subwoofer.
The AB40 uses four 3″aluminum mid/bass drivers as well as a pair of 1″ soft-dome tweeters to produce sound. Fluance says that two of the mid/bass drivers are positioned near the sides the cabinet and angled outward by 35 degrees in order to provide a wide soundstage. The company describes its sound stand as a “tuned side port bass reflex design.”
A surround-sound effect is achieved through DSP processing thanks to a 3D mode that Fluance says uses “Grammy Award winning sound processing technology.” There is no indication anywhere in the specifications that this sound stand decodes actual surround formats such as DTS or Dolby.
The Fluance AB40 measures 3.9″ (H) x 26″ (W) x 14″ (D). It weighs 24 pounds, is rated to hold TVs up to 150 pounds and comes with a dedicated remote control. There are also touch-sensitive controls for adjusting the volume, changing inputs, as well as toggling power.
Flaunce claims that “The AB40 uses engineered MDF wood for a warmer more natural sound, unlike plastic soundbar enclosures which do not create quality audio reproduction.” That, of course, is nonsense. I’ve heard numerous soundbars featuring plastic enclosures that sound great.
Accurate specifications turned out to be a little bit tough to come by. On the Fluance website, the company lists a power rating of 90 watts RMS (no word on if that’s stereo or total power) while the press release claims 60 watts per channel RMS and a total power rating of 120 watts.
Inputs include a digital optical connection, a 3.5 mm stereo auxiliary connection, and Bluetooth connectivity featuring aptX. What’s missing? A subwoofer output.
Fluance has carved itself a niche as a hyper-aggressively priced purveyor of hi-fi gear. It’ll be interesting to see if the AB40 sound stand lives up to that notion.