AudioEngine A2 Speakers Upclose

It really is true!

What’s that you say? I can’t hear you over the AudioEngine A2s!

I said the ‘Audioengine A2′s are a clear representation of good things do come in small sizes’.

I won’t dispute that the price tag ($199) is a little steep for a pair of computer or book shelf speakers, but where can you find Kevlar, a glossy finish, and self powered for that price. Furthermore, I was pleasantly surprised by AudioEngine’s packaging job. They took it a step further and placed the necessary cords in suede like bags (see pics). They also provided the headphone-to-headphone cord in two different lengths – which in my experience is the least likely of cords one would have lieing around – although I noticed that the headphone jacks aren’t iPhone compatible (errr – more upset with Apple). Ok moving on…

Performance
The AudioEngine A2′s deliver some top notch sound. The timbre quality is almost there, but simply lack the final finish because of their small size. Put it up to any ‘tower speaker’ and judge them on a sliding scale and they’re sure to compete, if not beat. The bass ports on these things are super slim and can literally blow your hair back (check out the below video). I ran the A2′s off my Macbook – figured why not since they’re intended for computers and iPods – and cranked the volume to max. With my iTunes and computer at max volume I did manage to achieve some minute distortion in the highs, but was once again pleasantly surprised with how well they held out. The bass held tight but couldn’t hit the low-lows you’d experience from a dedicated subwoofer (no surprise there considering the speakers frequency range).

Design
These things are rock solid. The glossy finish and sans grill look is killer. As a result they’ll fit in with the professor’s bookshelf or on the dorm room desk lined with beer cans. The slim bass ports are a nice touch, and reduce speaker size all the while maintaining sound quality. Kevlar ain’t so bad either. This insures long lasting woofers that shouldn’t blow for ‘time to come’.

Conclusion
I gotta give it to AudioEngine. They’ve built a solid pair that rock out some top notch sound quality at l-o-u-d. The buzzing in the power pack/converter (not in the speakers/audio) was a little disconcerting, but hopefully an isolated incident and not a representation of poor grounding (not sure exactly how this would work but in my experience this is the case). The lack of the USB plug (aka iPod/iPhone) hookup is a little annoying, but considering the other options available (RCA or headphone) I really can’t make a good case. I am gonna have to mark the AudioEngine A2′s with a ‘buy’!

Update: The buzzing in the power supply seems to have subsided. I spoke with the founder of AudioEngine and they’ve sold hundreds without a reported problem. I am going to write it off as an isolated incident.

  • 2 audio inputs (RCA and mini-jack)
  • Built-in power amps (left speaker)
  • Kevlar woofers for super low end
  • Silk tweeters for smooth highs
  • High-quality speaker connectors
  • Auto-sleep power-saving mode
  • Hand-built cabinets with high-gloss finish
  • Video-shielded
  • All cables included
  • 3 year warranty on parts and labor
  • 60w peak power total
  • 65Hz – 22kHz
  • Speaker size (WHL) 10.5″ x 15″ x 7″

Available directly from AudioEngine

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Christen Costa

 
Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."