This is the only system we tested that doesn’t have a subwoofer, as well as the only one we reviewed that includes floor standing speakers for the main left and right channels. This uniquely bundled package produced the best results in our listening test and had no problem competing with much more expensive systems that include a subwoofer. While we don't review home theater systems any more, we do still test soundbars and smart speakers.
Our listening panel was impressed on all fronts by the Fluance system’s performance. For testing, our evaluators watched the same scene from a movie and filled out a detailed survey to rate the different audio characteristics of each speaker system. The SXHTB package received the highest scores in the dialogue clarity and bass response categories.
Because it doesn't have a subwoofer, the SXHTB is considered a 5.0 surround sound system. Instead of the subwoofer, the two floor standing speakers handle the low-end frequencies – and they're exceptional at it. The bass isn't overpowering but is clear and concise, adding body and fullness to the sound scape.
The two satellite speakers in this surround sound system are bookshelf size, but they could be used as main left and right speakers by themselves – in fact, many of the system’s competitors have speakers of similar size or smaller as main left and right speakers. These satellite speakers did a good job of adding depth and clarity to action sequences in our test.
The center speaker shares the same impressive frequency response, sensitivity and driver size specs as the satellite speakers in this affordable package. Unfortunately, it’s bulky and tall enough to block the receiver on many televisions. As such, you may want to consider putting it on a shelf below the television or mounting it above the screen.
The Fluance SXHTB home theater speaker package is the best-sounding surround system we tested. In addition to its impressive sound quality characteristics, it is one of the most affordable packages we reviewed. You can pair this speaker package with an entry-level AV receiver and upgrade your entertainment room with high-quality audio for less than $600.