FX50 & FX80: New nearfield actives from Fluid Audio

Published 20/2/19
Company's second-generation coaxial studio monitors make their debut

Fluid Audio's new FX50 nearfield monitor, sporting its five-inch LF driver (the larger FX80, with an eight-inch woofer, is not pictured).

Fluid Audio's first FX-series coaxial monitors, the affordable FX8s (which, logically, featured eight-inch LF drivers), were reviewed in SOS February 2015, winning praise from Paul White for their detailed sound and imaging. The company has now returned to the coaxial concept, updating the FX8 design to create the FX80, and also introduced a smaller design (pictured above) with a five-inch woofer, the FX50 (with equally logical nomenclature). As with the FX8, an immobile waveguide is used for the concentric treble driver; Fluid claim this prevents the high- and mid-frequency smearing that can occur in concentric designs that use the (moving) cone of the woofer as a treble waveguide.

The new speakers also feature Class D amplification (100W for the FX50, 140W for the FX80; the FX8 had a built-in Class AB design) with mid and treble Trim and adjustable low-frequency roll-off controls for room tuning and optimum subwoofer integration (the FX8 lacked these controls). There's a DSP-controlled crossover for a smooth handover from the LF to HF driver, and a composite woofer cone is employed (the FX8 used paper cones). The FX50 uses a slightly smaller one-inch silk-dome tweeter than the FX80, which features the 1.2-inch design from the FX8.

Best of all, like the original FX8s, the FX50 and FX80 remain keenly priced, retailing respectively for $299.98£258 and $498£438 per pair in the USUK.