Fi70 Three-Way Wireless High Fidelity Music System
- Product Review (submitted on January 31, 2018):
I have reviewed a great many bluetooth speakers in the ultra-portable (Bose Soundlink Mini Bang and Olufsen A1) semi-portable (Klipsch KMC-3 Aiwa Exos 9 Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200) and tabletop (Klipsch The Three Polk Woodbourne) ranges. What you expect them to be able to do is proportional to their size portability and ostensible use cases. I have tried a good many of each size/form factor and so although I wouldn't claim to have an audiophile's ear I do appreciate good sound - all the time everywhere headphones home work car. And trying enough different ones lets me at least claim to give a reasonable degree of input with A/B testing.
I ordered this at the same time as the Fi50. I received the Fi50 first tested it and regurgitated it along with panning it in an unapologetically negative review that somehow never saw the light of day after I submitted it. It arrived today and I unboxed it with some trepidation worried about wrestling it back into the packaging if it underperformed as much as the Fi50 did.
First impression: it's big. I don't mean a tabletop bluetooth speaker I mean it's BIG. I knew it was 8' 3-ways but it's still bigger than I expected it by a few inches in every dimension. I mean this is the honkin' big mamma jamma bluetooth speaker. My first thought was: when my wife sees this she's going to say 'What the bleep is that?!' My first thought turned out to be an exact precisely correct prediction. She said are you building a space ship in here? Then she said: oh that's a speaker. Then she told the 5-year-old that the way it works is you light the outside on fire then small trained circus animals like cats and rabbits leap through the ring in the center. So there's the aesthetic: it's well made very neat so big that your wife - and probably visitors as well - will say 'What the bleep is that?!'. Oh and it's heavy. It's over 80 pounds... plus the pedestal accessories and packaging. I also didn't expect to nearly break my back picking it off the porch but I nearly did so there's that too.
There is no battery. The touch controls on top work very precisely crisply as they did on the Fi50 - very well implemented controls. The remote control works very well. Everything is well executed. The grille snaps into place with magnets precisely and accurately. It has an AM/FM antenna optical and analog line in a clock and apparently an alarm. I'm not sure I'd use this as an alarm clock on my nightstand but maybe other people have much much larger nightstands than I do. Or giant trolls... golems... stone giants could use it as an alarm clock?
So far so good. It's a very big very heavy very well-executed object.
The next worry: sound performance. If I have to spend the next month icing my back in order to get it positioned under the TV is it worth it?
The title of my review says it all: more is just more. It's a LOT of kit. A lot of drivers big ones with a lot of power. The bass is undefeatable - it claims usable frequency response down to 30Hz and it sounds exactly right. Initially I thought the bass was while deep and tight understated compared to especially midrange. Then... the remote control has bass and treble buttons! I cranked up the bass - and there you go - it has bass. The soundstage is great the treble is sparkling and while it seems the response curve isn't completely even it does sound really nice - big wide musical.
Now this isn't the most boosted inky bass you'll hear. But it's deep and pronounced. What IS spectacular about it is the bass scales up right to 100% volume. The Fi50 distorted horribly at high volumes. This one goes to 100% volume on the speaker and the phone and it is indeed using all 280 watts RMS loud enough to be rude to the neighbors with all of our doors and windows closed and all of their doors and windows closed... two doors down. And the bass is absolutely smooth and controlled even while it's rattling your windows and shaking nails out of the rafters in the roof. That's what a well-tuned ported 8' enclosure can do for you.
Where's the 5th star? This speaker sat on it. You can get comparable power with comparably controlled but window-rattling bass out of a Klipsch The Three Aiwa Exos-9 Polk Woodbourne Marhsall Woburn or Peachtree Audio Deepblue. Each sporting a single long-excursion bass driver in the 5.5' to 6.5' range. This is a very good speaker seems to be done well but you don't need something this big to make sound this big. So it's good - but you have other options. Much smaller ones that make crazy big controlled boom with a quarter of the size.
Happy listening! - Verified Store