Fluid Audio F5

Active 2-Way Monitors

  • 5" Woofer with a highly compressed paper diaphragm
  • 1" Tweeter with silk diaphragm
  • Bass reflex port on the front panel
  • Class AB power amplifiers (40 W woofer, 30 W tweeter)
  • External heat sink
  • Auto-standby mode
  • Maximum SPL: 101 dB
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: >100 dB (A-weighted)
  • Frequency range: 49 - 22,000 Hz
  • Balanced XLR input
  • Balanced 6.3 mm jack input
  • Unbalanced RCA input
  • Volume fader on the front side
  • Shielded against RF interference
  • Output current limiting
  • Overheating-, transient- and subsonic protection circuits
  • Housing: Vinyl coated MDF
  • Dimensions: 260 x 175 x 195 mm
  • Weight: 5 kg (per box)
  • Incl. self-adhesive felt underlays

Further information

Speaker size 1x 5"
Amplifier power per unit (RMS) 70 W
Magnetic Shielding Yes
Analogue XLR Input Yes
Analogue Input (Jack) Yes
Analogue Input (Mini Jack) No
Analogue Input (RCA) Yes
Digital input No
Manual frequency correction No

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5 customer ratings:
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4.8 / 5.0
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Perfect for first monitor set

02.07.2015
Before getting a pair of Fluid Audio F5 I had not owned an actual pair of monitor speakers reserved just for music production purpose before. Therefore I shall write about my experiences from this novice perspective and hopefully give some insight for people thinking of using monitors for mixing alongside headphones.

The primary question on my mind was simple: are they worth it? Does a pair of monitors give enough surplus in home use so that buying them becomes justified? After a couple of weeks of working with Fluid Audio F5 monitors my answer is definitely yes.

It is noteworthy that I use monitor speakers on a relatively low volume level. Part of this is because of necessity since I am not living in a house where I could raise the volume to high levels whenever I want. However I quickly noticed that it is exaclty this way the monitor speakers are for me most useful. Because of low volume, the room acoustics does not matter as much as if the decibel level were higher.

This brings in another question: how well do the Fluid Audio F5 speakers differentiate sound when the volume is low? My experience is that they do a splendid job with frequencies that matter perhaps most in mixing: the mid frequencies from 1000 kHz to 5000 kHz. The low frequencies are the ones which benefit most from the increased volume, hence their popularity in EDM and such. My view is however that a mix played loud can be/should be first mixed on a lower volume level since otherwise the bass frequencies necessarily take over too much. Remember that you do not have try to to recreate a club in your room volume-wise to be able to create a mix that sounds good in a club.

Perhaps the key question for potential buyers is the following: how does using a pair of Fluid Audio F5 monitors alongside headphones affect the workflow? In my case I have used headphones and monitors together and switched the output whenever I have felt necessary. For example I may take the bass and drums through speakers and then start adding other tracks one by one to see if their levels are too low or high etc. After that I listen to what the result sounds in my headphones and go back to speakers for further refienement.

Using monitors have helped me make changes to mixes I otherwise wouldn't have made. Often they are about the mid/side balance or using more eq on specific channels. The Fluid Audio F5 monitors are especially efficient in differentiating the depth effect in mixes, which sometimes is hard using only headphones. I also like the experience of mastering tracks with Fluid Audio F5. Then the mixing work is done, but still the monitors help me along different plugins to reach a more balanced mix had I used headphones only.

I already owned an old pair of monitor stands, which I used when placing the Fluid Audio F5 pair. One very useful feature in these speakers is a small blue led light in the middle of their front panel. When power is connected, the led can be used to set the monitors so that the listening position is the best possible one. The rule is simple: you should see both leds equally when listening to the sound.

Again I did not rebuild the room where the monitors are, I only placed them the best way I could. Especially when using low volume level this is quite enough since the lower the volume, the less the room acoustics matter, as mentioned. So don't be scared about thinking your wall panel materials or bass traps, these are features reserved for professionals.

For beginners it is good to note that both speakers use their own power input unlike for example most computer desktop speaker sets. Another notable detail is the speaker weight, which I believe is 5 or 6 kilograms per speaker (the exact number is in the product details). Therefore solid monitor stands are pretty much a must and definitely increase the monitors' uselfulness.

I must admit I hesitated quite a while before buying the Fluid Audio F5 speakers. It was not because I was unsure about the product, since these speakers have been reviewed by several professional audio magazines and websites and the verdict has been indeed positive. If you search by the product name online, you will find the same reviews I read before making my decision.

My reason for hesitating was as I described it. I am a beginner in monitor use, and as someone making music at home merely as a hobby I did not know if the purchase of monitor speakers would be an overkill, so to speak.

My main observation after using the Fluid Audio F5 speakers wor a while have been that they have definitely improved the quality of mixes I have come up with. It is like a whole new world has lately opened to me, enabling me to create more nuanced and better sounding music.

The biggest false perception I had was that music people consumed via headphones has been mixed and mastered by using headphones. The Fluid Audio F5 speakers quickly made me realize that this is not true. Monitor speakers do help me to create also better mixes for headphone environment.

My final word on these speakers is indeed positive. They are excellent value for money, and especially for beginners they give an affordable access to the world of monitor mixing. The Fluid Audio F5 speakers come highly recommended when I am concerned.
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Workpack

29.04.2016
The boxes come with power cables, instructions and unlike in various descriptions with a five-furled volume fader on the front. Three connections on the back (XLR, jack sym, RCA), voltage selector and switch - that's it. The processing is good, everything is effective. Protective circuits and standby function, no power-on crack, no noise - good.
Connected to an external converter and studio level is everything as it should be.
Sound: The small boxes impress instantly through an extraordinarily airy, dynamic sound in the middle and high frequencies. The presence area appears as under a magnifying glass, without staining the sound appreciably. The fundamental range and bass are clean and neutral, but you just want a subwoofer to be as good as the mid and low frequencies. Freely set up it sounds bigger and more expensive than it is, the sound dissolves far from the boxes, the locability is outstanding, fantastic and deep staggering are good. Also clean bass is there. Overall, the tuning is rather slender and Nordic, some will miss pressure. Individual instruments and effects can easily be adjusted and judged, and hissing and distortions are clearly visible. Mixes should however be produced in a frequent comparison with reference material until you have a feeling for the boxes, otherwise mix the presence area easily.
When placed close to the wall, an over-emphasizing of the fundamental range, which overcomes the basses - at high volume, it sounds very like a shoe box. Well placed, the sound is superior to size and price. If you are able to balance the whole thing with an equalizer, you can adjust the sound to your own taste, but it always returns to the neutral position - this is an ideal match for the components.

Conclusion: Small, solid tools for small money with fine analytical sound, great dynamic and also quiet still great. A really good near-field / desktop speaker, if it is not too close to the wall. In the bass range, a subwoofer would be good.
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