Fyne Audio F301 loudspeaker

Located outside Glasgow, in a geographical area that's also home to Linn Products and Tannoy Ltd.—and also near the storied whisky distilleries of Aberfeldy and Blair Atholl—Fyne Audio got off to a fast start. A mere three years after the company's 2017 founding, Fyne already has distribution deals in 50 countries and offers 24 products in seven series.

How did they do it? There's a clue on the company's homepage, which claims "more than 200 years of experience" among Fyne employees: The founders are a core group of former senior managers from Tannoy Ltd.—including former Tannoy operations director Gabriel O'Donohue, product development director Stuart Wilkinson, and Dr. Paul Mills, who spent 27 years as Tannoy's director of research and engineering and now serves as Fyne's technical director.

Those 24 products cover a wide range of price and luxury, from the big, five-figure F1-12 at the top of the line to the small, standmounted F300. The subject of this review, from the F300 series, is Fyne Audio's second least-expensive speaker, the F301 standmounter, which sells for $425/pair.

The F301 is a compact, two-way, ported loudspeaker designed and engineered at Fyne's headquarters in Lanarkshire, Scotland, and assembled and manufactured in China. (Upper-tier Fynes are manufactured in Scotland.) Tannoy is known for its coaxial drivers, and Fyne's founders carry on that tradition, but there are no coaxials in this model. The F301 utilizes a 1" (25mm) polyester-dome tweeter, which the company says produces "a more insightful, detailed sound" than the more common silk dome. The F301 tweeter, which incorporates a neodymium magnet, is protected by a steel-mesh grille with a "phase loss compensator" said to "delay the output from specific areas of the dome to give a smooth and extended response."

The matte-silver "multi-fibre" cone of the F301's 6" (150mm) mid/bass driver is a blend of paper fibers said by Fyne to be "a proprietary mix, designed to offer stiffness at low frequencies for a piston-like behavior, but also to obtain damping and smooth rolloff in the midrange." The driver's synthetic rubber surround is dimpled or fluted at 0.25" intervals—the manufacturer calls this their FyneFlute technology—which is said to cancel the "mis-termination" effects that occur when energy not fully absorbed by the surround is returned to the cone, causing resonances and colorations. The mid/bass driver incorporates a ferrite magnet system, the rear of which is joined to the cabinet's internal crossbracing using a "lossy resonant-absorbing" mastic resin, intended to maintain support for the back of the magnet while damping energy fed into the brace. The mid/bass driver is reflex-loaded via a rear-mounted port. The speaker's stated sensitivity is 89dB/2.83V at 1m, with a nominal impedance of 8 ohms.


The F301's cabinet is built with CARB-compliant MDF panels that are cross-braced internally. The front baffle and back panel are also made of MDF, glued in place using polyvinyl acetate adhesive. Each F301 cabinet is damped internally using a fill of bonded acoustic fiber. Visually striking—and somewhat novel in my experience—is the convex-curved, 2"-high, 0.5"-deep band of polished acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) thermoplastic glued to the upper section of the F301's baffle, where the tweeter is mounted. The ABS housing is "designed to minimize diffraction, [and] is fabricated from polymer chosen for its robust properties and its ability to be aesthetically finished to a high standard," Paul Mills wrote in an email.

The F301's back panel holds a single pair of recessed, gold-plated binding posts, positioned below a 2" wide × 5" deep port—which, like the tweeter housing, is made from an ABS thermoplastic polymer (although here it is unpolished). A slip of eight peel-off rubber nubs is included for use as feet.

My review pair of F301s were nicely finished in walnut veneer. Magnetically attached grilles were supplied, but I preferred listening without them.

The F301s didn't work well in the positions I'd used for the ProAc D2R—see my review in last month's Stereophile—and the Quad S2 standmount speakers. In those positions the Fynes lacked bass, and their treble sounded forced and thin. Hoping for a stronger sonic foundation, I pushed the speakers closer to the front wall. I ended up with the Fynes 23" from the front wall and 61" apart, positioned 75" from my listening seat, all distances measured from the centers of the front baffles. As predicted by the Fyne manual, toeing in the speakers to aim directly at my listening position provided the best image focus and coherence. My ears were situated roughly ½" above the level of the speakers' tweeters.

As my Thorens TD 124 Mk.II turntable had recently developed a hum, I used my Kuzma Stabi R turntable with Kuzma 4Point tonearm and Hana ML cartridge as the source component for evaluating the Fynes. The Kuzma tonearm's phono cable was connected to a Tavish Design Adagio phono stage; a one-meter pair of Shindo interconnects connected that phono stage to the inputs of the Cary SLI-80HS and Schiit Ragnarok 2 integrated amplifiers. (I used the Cary's 8 ohm speaker taps.) Auditorium 23 speaker cables connected the amps to the Fyne Audio F301s. A pair of 24" Sanus NF24B Natural Foundations wooden speaker stands were used throughout the review period.

After a break-in period, the Fyne F301s impressed with their exceptional rendering of soundstage width and depth, reasonably wide dynamic range, extended low end (for their size), and exuberant, I-can't-stop-spinning-records presentation. The Fynes presented a finely layered, spatially convincing soundstage with images that were solid, if small. The F301's treble could sometimes have a tinge of dryness or hardness on brass and strings. Otherwise, the F301s consistently sounded warm and rich for their size.

Fyne Audio Ltd.
US distributor: The Sound Organisation
1009 Oakmead Dr.
Arlington, TX 76011

invaderzim's picture

"and flow with the music."

When that happens with whatever system you are listening to it is a really great thing.

Ortofan's picture

... presently available for $406/pr.

A TAS reviewer said that they "might just be the best five hundred bucks you’ll ever spend."




Habu2u's picture

Ah, Yes! Gino Vanelli's "Storm at Sunup"....