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Fluance ES1 Surround and Center Measurement and Analysis

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The measurements were conducted in conformance with Audioholics Loudspeaker Measurements Standard

ES1 on-axis Frequency Response

Fluance ES1 Center Channel and Surround On-Axis Frequency Response

 Since the center channel and surrounds are identical, a single on-axis frequency response measurement was conducted.  The on-axis frequency response of the Fluance ES1 surround and center was conducted with the measurement microphone at 2 meters with a 2.83V excitation signal.  The results are scaled to 1 meter mathematically.  The manufacturer rates this loudspeaker’s sensitivity as 91dB at 1 meter with a 2.83V input according to their website.  Audioholics measures sensitivity as the average sound pressure level (SPL) from 300 to 3kHz.  The ES1 center and surround loudspeaker’s Audioholics rated sensitivity is average at 84.6dB, this is significantly lower than the manufacturer’s rated specification.  The sensitivity of the tweeter itself appears to exceed 91dB but the crossover point for this loudspeaker is very high at 13kHz which is not within the 300Hz to 3kHz sensitivity rating window.  As was the case with the ES1 pillar loudspeaker, the mid-woofers have a resonant frequency of approximately 150Hz.  With the sealed acoustic suspension alignment, the bass rolls off fairly high requiring a subwoofer crossover point well above the recommend 80Hz.  From approximately 1300Hz on, the mid-woofer response becomes pretty ragged.  The 13kHz crossover point for this loudspeaker is way too high considering the size and response of the 5-inch mid-woofers.  

Listening Window Surrounds

Fluance ES1 Surround Listening Window

The listening window response for the ES1 surround was conducted with a 2.83V input signal at 2 meters from 7 locations.  The measurement provides a picture of how the loudspeaker performs from seating locations that are not directly on axis with the speaker.  The top curve is the average of the other positions and provides an average of how the speaker performs throughout the listening area.  The off-axis response within the listening window area is pretty uniform in the horizontal plane.  The 15 degrees vertical measurements have suck outs due to lobing error based on the mid-tweeter-mid driver arrangement.

Listening Window Center

Fluance ES1 Center Listening Window

The listening window response for the ES1 center was conducted following the same procedure as the surround.  With a mid-tweeter-mid on it’s side, huge suckouts are expected as the listener moves further off axis.  In some listening conditions this is desirable because the acoustic output off-axis is less and tends to reduce interference with other speakers and reduces room excitations. 

Polar Response Surround

Fluance ES1 Surround Polar Response

The polar response graphs show how a loudspeaker performs at various angles.  The polar response graph above is generated by measuring a loudspeaker at 7.5 degree intervals around a circle on the tweeter axis from 2 meters.  The Fluance ES1 surround exhibits normal polar response from 0-30 degrees.  The off-axis response beyond 30 degrees is not great due to the high crossover frequency.  The color variations at given angles versus frequency are primarily due to the uneven frequency response and are not due to changes in off-axis performance.

Polar Response Center

Fluance ES1 Center Polar Response

The polar response of the ES1 center channel speaker is typical of center channel speakers with a mid-tweeter-mid configuration.  

Impedance

Fluance ES1 Surround/Center Impedance

The impedance of the Fluance ES1 surrounds and center channel remains well above the IEC 8 ohm minimum threshold of 6.4 Ohms throughout the entire audio band with its minimum impedance above 8 ohms. This loudspeaker represents an easy load for the majority of amplifiers on the market.  Due to decent sensitivity, a 100-watt amplifier is a good match to drive this loudspeaker to loud volumes. 

Harmonic Distortion

Fluance ES1 Surround/Center Harmonic Distortion 

The harmonic distortion graph was generated using a 90dB stepped sinusoid sweep measured at 2 meters.  The above harmonic distortion is marginal with 3rd order distortion products reaching over 2% in the high frequencies.  This may be attributed to cabinet resonance issues.  The mid-woofers exhibit high distortion levels below the mid-woofer’s 150Hz resonant frequency. 

Cumulative Spectral Decay

Fluance ES1 Surround/Center Cumulative Spectral Decay

Cumulative spectral decay is derived from the impulse response measurement made with a 90dB excitation signal at 2 meters.  The cumulative spectral decay shows how sound at various frequencies dies out as a function of time.  It is important to note that the left most ridge is not valid and is a product of the measurement technique.  A strong ridge is noticed at about 1500Hz and 7000Hz.  Although the extruded aluminum cabinet is suspected, this measurement does not pinpoint the source.

Group Delay

Fluance ES1 Group Delay

The group delay graph shows the rate of change of the slope of a loudspeaker’s phase.  As a rule of thumb, values below 1.6ms in the mid to high frequencies will likely not effect perception of sound quality.  Increasing group delay in the low frequencies is not as objectionable as it is in the mid to high frequency ranges.  

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

gene posts on September 19, 2013 22:18
Pruis, post: 989301
Thanks for posting this review of the ES1 center and surrounds. I'm considering the 5.0 ES1 setup for HT, so this review is of particular interest.

The posted SPL versus frequency plot appears to be identical to the ES1 towers, and I suspect this is incorrect. The center speaker sensitivity was noted to be 84.6dB between 300 and 3kHz, but the provided graph indicates the sensitivity stays above 85dB over nearly the entirety of the suggested frequency band.

Great catch on the Frequency Response graph. I just fixed it but give it about 20 min for the page to cache out. Thanks!
Pruis posts on September 19, 2013 20:36
Thanks for posting this review of the ES1 center and surrounds. I'm considering the 5.0 ES1 setup for HT, so this review is of particular interest.

The posted SPL versus frequency plot appears to be identical to the ES1 towers, and I suspect this is incorrect. The center speaker sensitivity was noted to be 84.6dB between 300 and 3kHz, but the provided graph indicates the sensitivity stays above 85dB over nearly the entirety of the suggested frequency band.
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