Speakers such as these are few & far between in a world that is full of traditional cabinet based speakers, which predominantly rule the roost in home audio.
Seldom does a speaker so unique, come to the notice of not only AV Enthusiasts but AV Distribution companies as well.
I was fortunate enough to be invited by the distribution company for these speakers in India, to not only hear them but also be present for the unboxing process.
Fonica International is an Italian company, making isodynamic speakers & basically have 3 models named Flag S, M & L (denoting the size) as well as the flagship Grande. They have passive as well as active equivalents in the Flag M & L models, whilst the Flag S is passive only & Grande is fully active only. Nexus AV are the distributors for the brand in India.
What Are Isodynamic Speakers?
Isodynamic speakers consist of a large surface made up of a very thin and light Mylar membrane that moves uniformly over its entire surface with the help of neodymium magnets.
The speakers therefore have a very slim design, making them very convenient to place in a room, compared to traditional box speakers. Since such speakers have no acoustic enclosure(box), they are free from colouration caused by internal resonances of a cabinet/box.
How are they packed?
The Fonica Flag M Speakers come in a crated box to ensure bullet proof safety of their wellbeing, during shipping & handling. They are easy to unpack as shown in the pics attached and even easier to install once you have read the not so helpful manual (can be due to literal translation from Italian to English being the proverbial fly in the ointment)
Quality, Fit & Finish are excellent and so is the attention to detail in the provision of the hardware supplied. Once you figure out the Installation instructions, setting up the speakers is a breeze. The panels have a pleasing micro perforated cloth which covers the front & back sides of each panel.
The aluminium frame around the panels are beautifully finished and complete the look that just oozes elegance. A couple of color combinations with regards to the cloth & aluminium frame are available, which one can inquire for prior to placing an order with the distributor.
One must be aware of which speaker is the left & which the right as the Tweeter portion of the panel should be on the inner side, thereby determining the left & right speaker prior to placement.
Easiest way to figure this out is by seeing the speaker terminal panel at the rear end of each panel, which clearly denotes this aspect by placement of the LF & HF cable binding post terminals. A picture showing the same is as under.
How do they sound out of the box? (Nice pun!)
The manual shares a bit of information about speaker placement and such, though ultimately it will also depend on the room where they would be placed. After figuring out the speaker’s position, one gets taken aback by just how good they sound.
They will take a few minutes to get used to, given the fact that the majority of listeners ears have been tuned to listening to coloration of cabinet based speakers their entire lives. Hence, a mature/seasoned music listener might appreciate these more swiftly than an amateur one.
The High & Mid Frequencies are so breathtakingly large, clean, detailed yet not fatiguing, that you are very pleasantly surprised with instantly.
The lower frequencies however do take a bit of time getting adjusted to, that too because yet again the preconceived notion of coloration from cabinet speakers play a huge part in getting one’s brain disoriented.
Having said that, they become more defined and coherent once you spend more time carefully listening to them. Therefore, one needs to be patient as well as attentive in what these speakers do with regard to the entire frequency spectrum coverage.
I have been listening to ‘Still loving you’ by the Scorpions for a very long time, but when I heard this track on the Flag M’s, it literally made me shake my head in disbelief as never have I heard it play like this in my lifetime. Suffice to say, I heard this track 3 times, just to take it all in again & again!
Once the speakers are played for a couple of hours and post finessing the ideal positioning of the speakers, it all seems to fall in place, locked in a zone that creates a huge dynamic sound stage that is not only detailed but is extremely refined as well.
How about the partnering electronics & cables?
We heard the Flag M Speakers paired with an Octave HP500 Pre with Audio Research VT100 Power Amplifiers, coupled to an ancient Arcam CD Player. Cabling was via Wireworld & Van Den Hul.
What sort of Music works with the Flag M’s?
We heard a variety of music genre’s right from Western Classical to Modern Pop, Hard Rock, Jazz and Vocal based Music, that save for EDM’s heavy bass filled tracks, played with aplomb and composure even at high volume levels.
A large picturesque sound stage with placement of musicians across the stage, is what is immediately noticed and felt. Playing with the position of the speakers with regard to toe-in, distance between the inner sides of the left & right speakers, greatly changes the sound stage as well as the texture of the instruments, so one needs to understand these aspects very well.
The Fonica Flag M’s are something special indeed. One needs to experience them and Isodynamic speakers in general. They do spectacular things but need time to understand as well. They are definitely not for everyone but having said that one needs to give them a listen to understand what they can do.
At 9L, they certainly aren’t cheap but at the same time, they are a very worthy option when considering the traditional box speaker’s competition at the said price might not be in the same league. In my humble opinion, that itself says a lot and something needing a strong consideration.
Where can one hear the Flag M’s?
For listening to the Flag M’s, kindly get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call/whatsapp on 9820086384, to fix an appointment.