AudioEngine A2 Speaker Review

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

Gadgetreview 10% off discount here.

AudioEngine A2 Speaker Not OpenAudioEngine A2 Speaker In BoxAudioEngine A2 Speaker AccessoriesAudioEngine A2 Speakers BaggedAudioEngine A2 Speakers RearAudioEngine A2 Speakers iPhone ComparedAudioEngine A2 Speakers Stereo

Also why not check out:

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."

Related Articles

10 Comments

  1. fwiw: my power supply buzzes, too… it's not an isolated incident. it is worse when the speakers are off. the speakers themselves are a little bass-y sitting on my open desk, but they're damn nice looking and are a good balance between aesthetics, sound, price and size. worth noting: the piano black finish is no longer available. they even shipped a batch with a huge silkscreened AE logo on the face (i returned a set). the owners were unapologetic when confronted with the fact that what was represented on their site was not what was shipped. this indicated to me a lack of attention to manufacturing detail — it seemed that they were trying different methods/vendors to cut costs (they said to ensure consistency, but it's clear the piano black was harder to make as the gloss highlights any defect). i'm guessing in the 2 years since i bought mine they settled on a single vendor, but again, worth noting. i was able to score floor model of the discontinued piano black and am happy.

  2. fwiw: my power supply buzzes, too… it's not an isolated incident. it is worse when the speakers are off. the speakers themselves are a little bass-y sitting on my open desk, but they're damn nice looking and are a good balance between aesthetics, sound, price and size. worth noting: the piano black finish is no longer available. they even shipped a batch with a huge silkscreened AE logo on the face (i returned a set). the owners were unapologetic when confronted with the fact that what was represented on their site was not what was shipped. this indicated to me a lack of attention to manufacturing detail — it seemed that they were trying different methods/vendors to cut costs (they said to ensure consistency, but it's clear the piano black was harder to make as the gloss highlights any defect). i'm guessing in the 2 years since i bought mine they settled on a single vendor, but again, worth noting. i was able to score floor model of the discontinued piano black and am happy.

  3. If you connect the mini-jack cable from the A2 to a Mac, use the headphone jack. The speaker connections on the Mac are already powered and will cause the extra hum through the A2 speakers.

    For optimal sound quality, I recommend using an outboard DAC with USB or Optical connections.

    You can extend the treble output a bit (some say the A2 are a too bass heavy) by lowering your A2 volume and ramping-up all the Mac volume controls.

  4. Goggled “audioengine buzz” and found this site.. yes my power supply was buzzing during hookup. before I had everything hooked up, just as I turned over the ps to look for the light, it made a small “pop” sound and the light went off. it’s dead now. I will check with support…… This is not an isolated incident, and what’s worrying is it is over a year after the review was posted.
    p.s. I live in Canada in a major city with no powerline issues.

  5. I too got some A2s the power supply does indeed buzz noticeably as soon as you plug them in. The buzzing subsides as soon as you turn on the speakers though. So if it really bugs you, you can leave them powered on and it should get rid of it. I talked to support and they sent me a new power brick, but that does the same thing.

  6. these do indeed sound amazing. truly. however, they company has just switched to a satin black finish which looks a bit “ikea” but worse, they’ve screenprinted a 3in wide logo on the face of the 4in speakers (both of them).

  7. Interesting, I just received a pair and mine also had a buzzing power supply. Then the light went out on the brick and the speakers just go thump, thump, thump until you unplug them. Waiting for audioengine support to respond…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close