Throw a late night party and the cops MIGHT show up. Throw a party with the Fluance FITSD600 2.1 Speaker system and it’s all but a guarantee that the police will coming knocking at your door at any hour, day or night. In other words, the FITSD600 is one loud speaker dock.
The Fluance FITSD600 is something of anomaly. Sure, speaker docks for the iPhone have long existed, and continue to exist despite the launch of the iPhone 5. What separates this speaker dock from others is its size and shape; a tower speaker that stands about 3.5 feet tall. Hidden behind the mesh grill are two 0.8” neodymium-balanced pure silk dome tweeters, dual 3” polymer-treated and butyl rubber midranges, and a front firing 6.5-inch subwoofer. Powering this array of speakers is a 36-watt amplifier, though my ears deceived me, as the Fluance FITSD600 sounds much louder and clearer than other speakers with a comparable power set. But more on that in a bit.
Perched atop the FITSD600 is Apple’s now past generation 30-pin docking system. There is no room for an iPad, though the RCA inputs and included cords should help facilitate such a device, as well any other not of the Apple ilk. For those seeking a more analog experience there is an FM/AM radio built-in, and a composite and S-Video connection for pulling up track info onto a big screen – I didn’t bother to test this since it’s hardly necessary. Fluance also includes a credit card slim remote, though its length is anything but pocket friendly as it measures about 6-inches long. Nevertheless, the remote allows you to adjust the speaker’s volume, bass, treble, and access a variety of iPod controls – I tested it with Spotify exclusively since I don’t store any music on my iPhone 4s.
If the remote goes missing you’ll be stuck with the configured bass and treble settings, as these aren’t available on the face of the 2.1-channel speaker dock. You can however adjust the volume, source, alarm, and time using a set of touch like controls. They’re infuriating to use due to their lack of responsiveness, so only depend on them in a pinch.
In addition to a few inputs found on the back of the Fluance FITSD600, there is a bass port, as well as a spring loaded, foldable handle. The last may seem like a moot feature, but I assure you it’s one that comes in quite handy (no pun intended) as it makes moving this behemoth of a speaker from one place to the next a synch. That said, it’s not ridiculously heavy, though given its rather large size we applaud Fluance for adding such a feature to their speaker dock.
The Fluance FITSD600 is crafted from audio grade MDF wood and constructed with what Fluance calls an “advanced enclosure design to reduce cabinet resonance.” The entire cabinet is finished in a glossy piano-black finish. I removed the mesh grill from my test unit, which exposes the 5 speakers and adds a more rugged feel to the system. It’s an acquired taste, but the bottom line is that the Fluance FITSD600 is fit to match just about any decor, though for those seeking a more subtle or minimal approach might want to look else where.
Aesthetics aside, the Fluance FITSD600 cranks like no other iPhone speaker dock that I’ve listened to. For $350 it’s exceptionally loud, and might be best compared to that of the Beat’s Beatbox. Bass is vastly evident, as are the highs, but something is lost in the middle. The result is a bright audio signature that performs admirably, but not amazing for music that utilizes string instruments; rap and hip hop are best suited for the Fluance FITSD600. Since no true equalization options are available, you’ll want to utilize your iPhone’s iPod’s, or simply adjust the bass and treble on the fly – this is what I did when using Spotify. Exceeding the 90% amplitude mark resulted in distortion, though your mileage will vary with the genre of music that you choose.
Fluance FITSD600 iPhone Tower Speaker Dock Bottom Line: Christen Costa 3.5 5.0 an exceptionally loud and somewhat affordable loud speaker system for your iPhone 4s or older device. It suffers from distortion at close to max volume levels as well as a bright audio signature.
Pros: A loud and robust speaker for $350. RCA inputs for non-Apple products, or the newest generation of iOS gear. Solid construction with a nice glossy black finish.
Cons: Distorts at high volumes, and displays a bright audio signature.