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Fluance AB40 Soundbase review: This speaker delivers a bona fide theater experience in any room

Fluance’s AB40 High Performance Soundbase is another in a long line of well-built, high-value home audio products (though there have been occasional exceptions). This speaker delivers a chest-punching performance that’s sure to please home theater aficionados on a budget. Read on to find out why I liked the AB40 Soundbase so much.

What’s a soundbase?

Don’t confuse Fluance’s AB40 Soundbase with a soundbar. A soundbase is specifically designed to sit on a cabinet and support the weight of a television. Soundbase enclosures tend to be physically bigger and deeper—though often not as wide—as soundbars. A soundbase cannot be mounted on a wall. A soundbar, in contrast, is typically designed to hang on a wall or sit on a cabinet in front of your TV.

Soundbases can be put inside cabinets, too. If you choose to do this, follow the user manual’s recommendation and move the soundbase as close to the front edge as possible to achieve optimum audio performance. Should you choose an in-cabinet placement, let your ears be your guide. Fluance’s AB40 Soundbase lacks a bass contour switch or EQ for closed spaces, so you won’t be able to tone down the unit’s excellent bass response. Given that it’s a ported design, you might get overly boomy bass with an in-cabinet placement.

The AB40 is a two way design with six drivers. Fluance

The Fluance AB40 Soundbase is a two-way design, with six active drivers.

Build quality

The first thing you’ll notice about the AB40 is its size. This baby is big—and it needs to be to support TVs. It measures 3.9 inches tall by 26 inches wide by 14 inches deep, and it has a tank-like construction. I noted the Soundbase’s 24-pound heft while unpacking it. There’s no hint of cheap plastic anywhere in the cabinet. Fluance says the Soundbase is rated to support TVs up to 65 inches wide and weighing up to 150 pounds.

Should your TV have a single pedestal, you’re all set. If you have a TV with feet more than 26 inches apart (such as the 65-inch Vizio P-Series…

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