The Fyne Audio F302 have been among our favourite speakers since they were introduced back in 2018. That they were floorstanders and affordable made the deal sweeter, as speakers of this kind are rare.
Those original F302 speakers certainly weren’t broke, but that hasn’t stopped Fyne’s engineers from trying to make them better. Enter, the Fyne Audio F302i. The most obvious area for improvement was the tweeter, so the 25mm polyester dome has gone and in its place is a titanium design derived from the company’s more upmarket F500 series. The tweeter housing and crossover have also been revised to maximise performance.
These changes have increased the floorstanders' high-frequency headroom from 28kHz to 34kHz. The lower limit remains at 36Hz, but that’s no surprise considering the 15cm multi-fibre mid/bass unit and cabinet are essentially unchanged, bar the new matte black finish on the curved baffle band surrounding the tweeter.
These are nicely built towers for the price. We like that Fyne has now mounted magnets on the back of the cabinet to provide a place for the grilles to be stored when not in use. It’s a neat touch.
Negatives? We’d like the plastic two-piece plinth to feel classier, but beyond that there’s little to complain about here. The F302i are solid, made with care and, at 93cm high, not too imposing in smaller rooms.
These are accommodating speakers in more than just size, too. They’re pretty open about room positioning so long as you don’t stuff them into a corner or right up against a wall. A little bit of toe-in towards the main listening position helps to add a degree of focus to the presentation, but the precise amount isn’t particularly critical to get a good, stable stereo image.
The F302i are also easygoing about partnering equipment, forgiving enough to produce good sounds from the Denon D-M41 micro but still having enough sonic stretch to show why something like the Rega Elex-R amplifier is so good.
Our first impressions are that these new speakers sound recognisably like the old F302. Let’s be clear, that’s a good thing. As we play Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s new album Carnage, we’re getting a taut, musical presentation that is as direct as it is entertaining.
Cave’s distinctive growl dominates with clarity and bite, and the backing instrumentation is organised and comes through in a cohesive and rhythmic way. The album’s steady ebb and flow is captured well too, making it easy to focus on the music rather than being distracted by the mechanics of the hi-fi itself.
That new tweeter certainly makes a difference, as the F302i sound smoother and more refined than before. It’s still not the sweetest or most sophisticated treble we’ve heard at this level, but it’s now good enough to avoid criticism.
System Type 2-way, rear-ported
Recommended amplifier power 30-120W
Nominal impedance 8 ohm
Frequency response (-6dB typical in room) 36Hz-28kHz
Drive units 1 x 150mm multi-fibre bass/ mid 1 x 25mm titanium dome tweeter
Dimensions (hwd) 932 x 233 x 308mm (36.7 x 9.2 x 12.1-inches)
Weight (each) 13.3kg (29.3lb)
Finishes Walnut, Black Ash, Light Oak
We move to Hans Zimmer’s Inception OST and the F302i continue to impress. They dig deep and true for a floorstander at this level and remain controlled with it. It’s pleasing to find that the weighty bass is nicely integrated into the midrange rather than sticking out and causing an unwanted distraction.
These towers make a good fist of punching out the album’s brutal dynamic swings and show a good deal of composure in the process. We’re impressed with the level of detail on offer as well as the entertaining way all this information is assembled to make a sound we’re happy to simply sit back and enjoy. The F302i’s soundstage is relatively broad and nicely layered. For speakers at this level, there’s little to complain about when it comes to stereo focus and image stability.
Tonally, things are nicely balanced and, as we’ve already mentioned, notably smoother than before. This is still a lively sound, but here it’s possible to enjoy recordings that are on the brighter or more aggressive side too.
Fyne Audio has done a good job with the F302i, preserving everything we like about the Award-winning predecessors while ironing out the main weak spot. If you’re looking for a great-sounding pair of affordable floorstanders, these definitely deserve an audition.
- Sound 5
- Compatibility 5
- Build 4
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