As an established hi-fi reviewer, I am lucky enough to get to listen to plenty of great-sounding audio equipment. It’s a fortunate position to be in and although I take care to dispel any preconceived notions about the particular audio component I’m listening to, occasionally you just get a feeling when something is going to be really special and Fyne Audio’s F1-5 standmount speakers are just that.
The small F1-5 speakers measure just 321mm tall and weigh in at a fraction under 6kg each. They are sumptuously turned out with a high-gloss, walnut finish that befits the near-£3k price tag. The 2-way design uses a downward-firing ported cabinet partnered to the company’s IsoFlare point source driver with 125mm multi-fibre bass/midrange cone and 19mm magnesium dome compression tweeter. This single point source arrangement is designed to radiate sound energy forwards in an even manner, with the lower frequency sounds fired downwards towards a diffuser on the base plate (that looks like a metal cone
The piano gloss finish looks very luxurious and the mid/bass speaker cone has a leather surround that adds a real touch of class to the overall look and feel. The cabinet is raised slightly to enable ventilation from the downward-firing passive bass radiator and sits on top of a solid, aluminium plinth. For this review, I am using my own speaker stands, but Fyne Audio has its own stylish solution for stands, should they be required.
Although smaller in stature the rear of the speaker has plenty of space to move and the single binding posts are particularly nice indeed. There is an earthing point at the rear of the speaker, possibly for the likes of an Atlas GRUN style earthing system.
There is no doubting, …. in any configuration that the Fyne Audio F1-5s have fantastic detail in delivery.
I have had the Fyne Audio F1-5s in two arrangements at home. First, I partnered them with my Naim Audio stack comprising a NAP 250 DR power amplifier with XPS power supply and NAC-N 272 streaming preamp, connected via Atlas power conditioners and using Atlas Mavros speaker cables. Additionally, I’ve hooked them up to a T+A PA 2000 R integrated amplifier partnered with Vertere Acoustics’ DG-1 turntable (review coming soon) and Auralic’s Vega G2.1 streaming DAC acting as sources.
With Naim Audio electronics
This is a rich, meaty and mature sound and I am thrilled the speakers respond so well to this combination of components. The NAP 250 power amp really drives the speakers’ low end effectively and they sound particularly good in my smaller lounge, which measures around 6 x 10 meters. The sonic feel they deliver is one of gentle precision as Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Flight from the City, which is such a beautiful piece of music, demonstrates the Fyne Audio’s wonderfully relaxed sound with all of the detail in the track (the kind that’s usually only heard when listening via headphones) expertly formed in the background.
The accuracy and resolution of the speakers is surely a reflection of Fyne Audio’s IsoFlare single source technology. The F1-5s deliver such excellent detail and imaging that is expertly illustrated when listening to Calexico’s What Heaven’s Left.
For a bit of upbeat fun, I turned to the rhythmic, bouncy Blinding Lights by The Weeknd. All the energy and punch you would expect from Naim is here and the speakers pack a confident and dynamic sound.
In seeking out a bass heavy track, I turned to Post Malone’s Better Now. Here the F1-5s are terrific at generating the energy in the room and pushing that rattle in the rib cage – it is fair to say that at this point I was driving the speakers ‘at volume’.
Despite the impressively big sound, I am always going to want more. I would be confident that the F1-5s big brother, the F1-8 standmount, not to mention any of the 300 or 500s would perform wonderfully with my Naim electronics.
I thought it would be interesting to try the speakers with the T+A PA 2000 R amplifier I have in my listening room. This integrated amplifier is at least as powerful as my Naim NAP so it should yield similar performance. The main idea was to see how the speakers would perform with a subwoofer in support of the low end that extends to 50Hz. The room is bigger than my lounge, so I needed the extra power and the support of the subwoofer, there are bags of energy here.
The Eclipse subwoofer provides a perfect platform for the Fynes to excel, the low-end sound envelops the room. The Fyne Audio F1-5s appear to have the low-end pressure lifted from them and the Fyne’s bass/mid speaker is seemingly able to concentrate on the midrange delivery, which is exceptionally agile, clear, and bright.
Leema Acoustics electronics
I happen to have a Leema Acoustics Pulse IV integrated amplifier ready for review in my listening room. It has a quite different sound to the two other amplifiers and lacks the excitement of the Naim electronics and a little reduction of the space between the speakers and the listening position sorted this out. I feel these speakers are optimal in a smaller space and I managed to prove that to myself with the Leema, but in a bigger room. There is no doubting, though, in any configuration that the Fynes have fantastic detail in delivery.
I have listened to plenty of standmount speakers over the years and the Fyne Audio F1-5s deliver a very special performance indeed. Yes, they are expensive, but they are clean, crisp and gentle on the ear for fatigue-free long listening sessions. There are plenty of alternative standmount options to consider near this price point, such as PMC’s twenty 22i, Focal’s Kanta No.1, Eclipse’s TD508 and my much-loved Jern 14 DS, but as my introduction to the Fyne brand, the F1-5s are the highlight of the year so far.
Big sound/small footprint
To hear the floorstanding big brothers
System Type – 2 way, downwards firing port, with BassTrax Tractrix diffuser
Recommended amplifier power (Watt RMS) – 30 – 100
Peak power handling (Watt) – 200
Continuous power handling (Watt RMS) – 50
Sensitivity (2.83 Volt @ 1m) – 87dB
Nominal impedance – 8 Ohm
Frequency response (-6dB typical in room) – 48Hz – 38kHz
Drive unit complement – 1 x 125mm IsoFlare point source driver, multi-fibre bass/ midrange cone, FyneFlute surround with 19mm magnesium dome compression tweeter, neodymium magnet system
Crossover frequency – 1.9kHz
Crossover type – Single wired passive low loss, 2nd order low pass, 1st order high pass. Deep Cryogenically Treated
System adjustments – Presence (2.5kHz – 5.0kHz) +/- 3dB
Dimensions – HxWxD – 321 x 186 x 289mm (12.6 x 7.3 x 11.4”)
Weight – 5.7kg (12.6lbs) each
Finishes – Piano Gloss Walnut