Fyne Audio F500 HiFi Speakers REVIEW
I recently undertook a group test on nine standmount HiFi speakers to try and find the best affordable standmount speaker under £650
Reviewing, by its very nature, is a subjective thing and lots of factors can influence perceptions. In order to minimise the external influences, my listening room is heavily acoustically treated with panels from GIK acoustics to manage sound reflections and the rooms behaviour. To take this a step further I use DIRAC Live to manage the frequency response of the speakers I am testing to undo what negatives effects their placement in my room may have. I also take this one stage further utilising Dirac Live as a tool to get the very best sound from the speakers.
In this review, as I have done progressively in this series, I compare the Fyne Audio F500 speakers with all the group test speakers to this point.
The Fyne Audio F500 speakers are a different design to all the other speakers in the group test they are a coaxial design. The feature a 1” titanium tweeter that sits in the centre of a 6" multi fibre Mid bass driver.
Secondly the F500 have a downward firing bass port which Fyne Audio call a BassTrax™ diffuser system, which is designed to make the bass less room interactive. This is all trickle-down technology from their much more expensive flagship speakers. Visually the bass-mid driver has grooves or ‘flutes around its permiter called ‘ISO Flair’ and these are designed to help the speaker more evenly distribute its sound into the room.
There some interesting things in common between the the Klipsch RP600M and F500. Both use a 1” Titanium tweeter, or a horn-type design, and both mid-bass drivers cross over to their respective tweeters at 1.7kHz which is a low crossover point. Also, both speakers have a tractrix port for their bass. Do they sound similar? – NO!
The cost of the Fyne Audio F500 is £649 for the black Ash finish and £699 for the gloss black, making it the most expensive speaker in the group test.
You can see from the frequency response of the F500 in my room that there are some oddities, with lots of ups and downs throughout the mid-range and treble which is very unusual not ideal and compared to the Klipsch RP600M other than the obvious dip around the cross-over frequency 1.7KHz the Klipsch are a considerably more linear and smooth. The Focal and Bowers are also considerably more smooth in their in room response.
All of these are averaged results with measurements taken at multiple positions in my listening room which rules out bad placement or any oddities in my setup of the F500 and I will admit I was expecting a stellar measurement from the F500.
The Fyne Audio F500 stand out to me as being are extremely resolving of the source and system quality, you could call them a fussy speaker. I think they have been designed with a very flat frequency response in mind, to be an "accurate" speaker and can provide an open window into the music your listening to and at times its a very vivid picture for better or worse.
The Klipsch RP600M is a speaker more about dynamics, and has a quite different delivery as a result. The Fyne F500 are slightly more full sounding in the mid range than the Klipsch but not as balanced sounding overall. The F500 fall into a faster and leaner sounding category of speaker within this group test. In ways the F500 sound reminds me of the Bowers 606 and SVS Prime Bookshelf speakers much more than warmer sound of the Wharfedale EVO 4.2 or Focal Chora 806.
I like the way the F500s deliver their bass in terms of its transparency but as I mentioned they are leaner in their bass delivery and in a similar fashion to the SVS Prime Bookshelf speakers I feel more bass with them would help to balance their overall sound better
Due to the leaner sound of the F500 I found myself turning up the volume more in order to get a more perceived bass and overall dynamic. They F500 are not a ‘party’ speaker and sounded better not pushed hard, the Klipsch RP600M are a better "party" speaker if that is what you seek. The F500 with the volume up became a little unkind to music I listen to for reviews, and I am left with a sense that the very neutral HiFi system I have used for this whole group test is maybe not the ideal choice for these speakers. In other circumstances, where it is an individual speaker review, I may well have tried different electronics.
The treble from the F500 in ways is similar to the Klipsch RP600M in being fast and energetic but its delivered very differently. The F500 treble energy is delivered in a way that emphasises specific treble details whereas the Klipsch treble energy has more of an emphasis on overall sound of the speaker.
I like the what Fyne Audio are doing with their speakers and I see real potential in their designs and technologies. The F500 are what I would describe as a clinical sounding speaker but still with a pleasing presentation. I feel they lacked a some warmth in the mids and bass to balance their overall upper frequencies energy and I was able to partly balance this with a custom DIRAC Live calibration.
I do wonder if the Fyne Audio F500s would benefit from a subwoofers bass, similar to the SVS Prime Bookshelf speakers and to a lesser extent the Acoustic Energy AE300s and I would place the F500 somewhere between these two speakers. On one hand the Acoustic Energy sound sweeter and have more three dimensionality, but sacrifice some openness and liveliness, the F500 are more open sounding simialr to the SVS Primes, but the SVS prime sound more even handed as you can see in their measurements.
I have nothing but praise for the build quality of the Fyne Audio 500 speakers and you can see why they cost what they do, they are as well built as the best in the group test. They have excellent speaker cable terminals and a pleasing, curved cabinet profile. They perhaps look a little ‘hunkered down’ and I liken them to a Staffordshire Bull Terrier "a staffy" dog, low profiled but meaning business.
The Fyne Audio F500 speakers take their music reproduction duties seriously. In a slightly smaller room with well-matched electronics they could make certain Audiophiles very happy
Frequency Response - 45Hz – 34KHz
Sensitivity - 89db/1m
Normal Impedance - 8Ω
Continuous Power - 60w RMS
Weight - 7.3Kg each
An Essential Audition Award is granted in recognition of a products high performance but with a certain uniqueness that makes auditioning even more essential