Fyne Audio F301 Loudspeaker Page 2

As already mentioned, there are some speakers down at this end of the market offering remarkable value for money, including the likes of the Wharfedale Diamond and D300 series models [HFN Jan '19], the smaller Q Acoustics offerings and – albeit at a higher price – the Bowers & Wilkins 607s. But the Fyne Audio F301 is a design well worthy of its place on the must-listen list of those building a highly cost-effective system, or indeed anyone putting together a 'second room' set-up.

sqnote Winning Mix
Supported on my Atacama stands, slightly toed-in and with a spot of boundary reinforcement, Fyne's F301 delighted with its winning mix of smoothness and impact, making them sound anything but small, cheap speakers. What lack of ultimate extension they showed was well covered by the smartness with which the bass moved, and the way it integrated seamlessly up into the midrange. Meanwhile, the treble managed to seem open and airy without demonstrating any roughness or excessive brightness.

What's more, despite the lab testing revealing they're not quite the easygoing amplifier load their manufacturer may suggest, the F301s proved easy to drive. I used them with the relatively inexpensive Audiolab 6000A amplifier [HFN Mar '19] and a Naim Uniti Nova all-in-one streamer [HFN Nov '17] as well as my reference set-up of Naim NAC 52/52PS/NAP250. I found them both amenable to modest amp power while revealing of the benefits of upping the quality of the electronics used.


One of the more remarkable experiences was listening to the Buddy Holly Down The Line – Rarities set [Decca B0011675-02], where the little speakers did an admirable job of conveying the intimacy of these simple recordings. If the measure of a good system is how well it communicates a performance, then the F301s do just fine in bringing out the characteristics of Holly's voice, stripped of overdubs and often with nothing more than guitar accompaniment. Rather as the celebrated From The Original Master Tapes set [MCA MCAD-5540] does for the sound of Holly and his band, so this set gives further insights into the compositions and performances, and the immediacy here serves the recordings exceptionally well.

Motoring On
This combination of openness and sweet treble, allied to good low-down weight – for loudspeakers of this size – also preserved the dynamics of Cara Dillon's Live At The Grand Opera House [Bowers & Wilkins Society Of Sound 30; 96kHz/24-bit]. The speakers also delivered small ensemble jazz such as Lars Danielsson's 2014 Liberetto II [ACT 9571-2; 96kHz/24-bit] in highly convincing fashion, from Danielsson's bass to Mathias Eicke's restrained trumpet and Magnus Östrom's precise drumming. With a bit of back wall to aid the low-end, the bass never lacks conviction, but is neatly controlled, while that spot of toe-in helps 'fix' the sonic image.

These aren't the speakers you'd choose if you had a huge room to fill with rock music at live gig levels, but in typical domestic spaces they're more than willing to give it a go, and motored through the easy groove of Van The Man's latest album – where does he get the energy? – The Prophet Speaks [Exile/Caroline International 7707186; 96kHz/24-bit]. Instruments were appropriately close-focused and given space to breath, while Morrison's voice was delivered with no shortage of character.

Up the scale to a big bruiser like Fleetwood Mac's Tango In The Night and the low-end limitations of the F301s are a little more apparent, but still the speakers crunch out the big slams of the title track. And this holds true whether in its original version or the rather more stately demo iteration on the 2017 30th anniversary deluxe set [Warner Bros 018227946388; 96kHz/24-bit].

The speakers also have sufficient crispness and control to give good insight into Anna Netrebko's 2013 Verdi album [DG 479 1052]. Sounding neither brittle nor strident, instead they give a fine – or is that Fyne? – view of the warmth of the soprano's voice, balanced well with the orchestral accompaniment.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
They may show the limitations of absolute low-frequency weight inherent in all loudspeakers of this size, but the little F301s do a good job of conveying a well-integrated sound, and are as enjoyable as they are mature-sounding. In a market that's not exactly short of choice, they're a worthy addition to the entry-level 'must listen' list, and certainly bode well for what else this new company has to offer.

Fyne Audio Ltd
Supplied by: Fyne Audio Ltd
0141 428 4008