Tower speakers

Fluance Ai81 Elite Powered Floorstanding Tower Speakers

A while back, we reviewed the Fluance Ai41 Powered Bookshelf speakers and walked away impressed. Now, Fluance has extended their lineup of powered speakers with the addition of the Ai81 Elite Powered Floorstanding Tower speakers. These tower speakers promise lots of bass, internal amplification, and tons of connectivity at a price you probably won’t believe. Let’s take a closer look.

Fluance Ai81 Powered Floorstanding Tower Speakers Specs

SPEAKER CONFIGURATION2 Way – 3 Driver Powered Floorstanding Speaker System with Integrated Amplifier (Pair – 1x Active, 1x Passive)
BLUETOOTHYes; Bluetooth 5.0
INPUTS2x RCA L/R, Bluetooth, & Digital Optical TOSLINK
TWEETER1 inch Silk Soft Dome Neodymium Ferrofluid Cooled
WOOFERDual 6.5 inch Woven, Glass Fiber Composite Drivers with Butyl Rubber Surrounds
AMPLIFIER POWERClass D 150 Watts Continuous Average Output (2x 75 Watts RMS)
INTERNAL LEAD WIRE18 gauge Internal Lead Wire to Reduce Signal Degradation
POWERInput: 100-240V AC (50Hz/60Hz)
CROSSOVER FREQUENCY2200Hz Phase Coherent 12dB/Oct – PCB Mounted Circuitry
ENCLOSURETuned Down-Firing Port Bass Reflex Design Dampened
DIMENSIONS37.8 x 8.50 x 10.24 inches / 96 x 21.6 x 26 cm (HxWxD) feet installed
SPEAKER WEIGHTActive Speaker: 30.61 lbs (13.88 kg)
Passive Speaker: 29.02 lbs (13.16 kg)
SPEAKER TYPEFloorstanding
SUBWOOFER OUTPUTYes, 80 Hz Low-pass Frequency Cutoff 
WIFI CASTINGPairs via Bluetooth with Google Home, Amazon Echo, and AppleTV (Ai81 is not a WiFi speaker)
WHAT’S INCLUDEDAi81 Powered Floorstanding Speakers (pair)Remote Control1x CR2032 Battery6ft Power Cable8ft 18 Gauge Speaker WireQuick Start GuideFluance CatalogLifetime Customer Support2 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

Fluance Ai81 Overview

The Fluance Ai81 Powered Floorstanding Tower Speakers are a 2-way, three-driver design with a 1″ silk-dome tweeter and dual woven fiber composite woofers. They have a down-firing port on the bottom for extended bass response. In fact, the entire speaker is tuned and DSP controlled so that it hit a claimed 30Hz. That’s pretty impressive for a 75 watt (per speaker) amplifier.

The Fluance Ai81 speakers come in a variety of color combinations including black or white fronts with a number woodgrain sidewall finishes. For those that care about aesthetics as well as sound, Fluance certainly has heard your concerns! There is a single control knob on the back of the active speaker for volume and input control but Fluance has included a remote as well. The remote will be necessary to control some of the DSP features.

As we found with the Fluance Ai41, the Ai81 Powered Floorstanding Tower Speakers have an amp on the back of the active speaker (the right speaker). The left speaker has a simple speaker wire connection that receives power from the active speaker.

Fluance Ai81 Connections and Features

On the amp, there are dual RCA inputs, an optical digital input, and a subwoofer output. When a subwoofer is connected, an automatic 80Hz crossover is engaged. As long as the subwoofer cable is connected, the crossover will be in effect (even if you turn off or disconnect the subwoofer).

On the remote, there are buttons for volume and input selection (of course) as well as tone controls. The treble and bass controls allow you to dial in the performance of the Fluance Ai81 Powered Floorstanding Tower Speakers to your liking. Because of these controls, Fluance recommends that any device or app that is connected to the speakers with an EQ be set to “Flat.” Anything else could conflict with their internal DSP.

Lastly, there is a Bluetooth 5 connection. This allows you to wirelessly stream to the Fluance Ai81 Powered Floorstanding Tower Speakers. The remote will allow you to control your content as well. There is no internal preamp for those with a turntable (you’ll need your own preamp). The digital connection only accepts PCM (sometimes called “Stereo” in your device’s settings). There are no internal decoders for Dolby or DTS.

Take Away

Powered tower speakers are rare so when Fluance released the information about their Ai81 floorstanding speakers, we had to take a closer look. At $499 a pair, these are an incredible value. If they sound as good as the Ai41 Bookshelf speakers, they are sure to be a hit. With all the possible color combinations, lots of connections options, and dead simple subwoofer integration, these speakers are sure to be a hit.

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