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126 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality construction and performance
These really do deliver remarkably clean, powerful sound for their size, and they also do well at lower volumes. There's no shortage of gushing reviews for these on the web, so I'll just add a few tidbits of possible additional interest to prospective buyers:

- Each speaker is satisfyingly heavy, and the entire bottom surface is covered by a solid rubber pad to...
Published on September 12, 2007 by Roquentin

versus
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, but they overheat
As many, many reviewers have already said, these speakers sound great to a non-audiophile like myself who just wants a decent, not ridiculously expensive stereo system to play once in a while.

Unfortunately, they have a serious heat problem.

Playing the speakers at anything over about 20-30 percent of maximum volume (measure by the position of the...
Published on September 8, 2010 by A. Wayne


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126 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality construction and performance, September 12, 2007
By 
Roquentin (Austin, Texas) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Audioengine A5 Powered Multimedia Speaker System (Black) (Electronics)
These really do deliver remarkably clean, powerful sound for their size, and they also do well at lower volumes. There's no shortage of gushing reviews for these on the web, so I'll just add a few tidbits of possible additional interest to prospective buyers:

- Each speaker is satisfyingly heavy, and the entire bottom surface is covered by a solid rubber pad to help keep the speaker in place when you're driving them hard.

- The speaker enclosures are silky smooth (no sharp edges or seams anywhere) and feel thick and well made. Overall fit and finish is lovely to behold. You can't help but believe that these will last for a long time.

- The large speakers are exposed (as pictured), but they're made of kevlar, so they look tough and feel tough, and you won't think twice about the lack of a speaker grille.

- The volume control is on the lower-right corner of the left speaker. It's a knurled dial the size of a standard button, and it turns with a nice, smooth resistance for a feeling of scratch-free precision. Ideally, I'd like to see the volume knob on the top of the speaker for easier access, and I'd rather it extended outward a bit further (it's a bit shallow). But tastes will differ depending upon speaker placement.

- The LED power light is on the lower-left of corner of the left speaker. It's a muted, cool blue that looks great when the lights are off. Not too bright to be a nuisance. The kind of blue light that you know is there but almost seems to disappear into the blackness.

- The power on/off switch is on the middle back of the left speaker, near the outside edge, so you can easily wrap your fingers behind the speaker and feel for the switch to turn it off. Not as easy as I'd like it to be, but not a big hassle. Still, if you like to turn your devices off when not in use, you'll want to place them in a way that allows you easy access to the left side of the left speaker.

- The USB port on the top is for charging only, not for audio pass-through from your iPod, but the makers helpfully provide several short lengths of audio cable suitable for connecting your iPod or other device.

- The secondary audio input jack on the back is analog, not digital, so you won't be able to take advantage of the digital audio-out option of an AirPort Express, for example, but the analog connection sounds fine.

- There's no remote control. Here the speakers suffer in comparison with some similarly priced systems that appeal to iPod users, but clearly the decision was made to divert the cost of that feature into creating the best possible sound at this price point.

- When driving these speakers hard for extended periods, the back of the left speaker (containing the power supply) gets very hot. Very hot. Seriously--you could fry an egg back there, so you'll want to ensure proper ventilation if you plan to rock out a lot. My only concern here is that the hottest area is the area surrounding the AC jack into which I plug my AirPort Express. Can the AirPort Express take the heat? Well, it has so far.

- The bass response is great on these, but if you want even more, you can always hook up a subwoofer, because a subwoofer jack is provided. What more could you ask?
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, but they overheat, September 8, 2010
By 
A. Wayne (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Audioengine A5 Powered Multimedia Speaker System (Black) (Electronics)
As many, many reviewers have already said, these speakers sound great to a non-audiophile like myself who just wants a decent, not ridiculously expensive stereo system to play once in a while.

Unfortunately, they have a serious heat problem.

Playing the speakers at anything over about 20-30 percent of maximum volume (measure by the position of the volume knob) causes the master speaker -- the one with the amplifier -- to heat up. The back of the speaker actually becomes too hot to touch. And if the speakers remain at that volume for more than about an hour they will cut off.

Once the speakers cool off for a while they seem fine.

I e-mailed Audioengine about this and they say it's a safety feature. The speakers are built to cut out if they get too hot, and playing them loudly won't damage them, the CSR told me. He recommended running a fan on the master speaker if I planned to play them at elevated volume, which I think is an unacceptable solution. I told him I wasn't sure I would have purchased the speakers if I had known about the overheating issue.

Still not sure I'd return them, because they sound so good and work so well at lower volume. I'd give them five stars without the heat problem.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, May 14, 2007
By 
Isaac Luria (Gainesville, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Audioengine A5 Powered Multimedia Speaker System (Black) (Electronics)
These speakers are just plain awesome! There's no excuse for buying an iPod hifi, EVER. These speakers are the same price and so much better. Which is to say they are a bit pricey but they have the sound of much more expensive speakers. People say they are too big for my desktop, but I just tell them that their sound is too big for my apartment and their quality too big for my budget, but they magically fit into both of those spaces anyway. So bottom line, if you are looking to spend anything close to this amount on some speakers, I would definitely recommend shelling out just a bit more to get these Audioengines.

A side note to any buyers, these speakers benefit greatly from a break in period. First time I listened to them they sounded nice but gave me a headache after 20 minutes of listening. Don't be discouraged. Leave them with music playing for 24-48 hours (like the manual suggests) and the harsh sound just smooths out and is so much better. I can't say enough good things about these speakers.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too good for MP3, November 26, 2007
This review is from: Audioengine A5 Powered Multimedia Speaker System (Black) (Electronics)
These speakers are amazing. I have had them for 5 months and they produce amazing sound regardless what I am using them for. Only downside to them is that you can hear the compression on MP3 files. So what may sound acceptable on your ipod when your on the go may sound flat on these speakers. So make sure you encode your music files to at least 192kps with a variable bit rate. Anything lower and your music will sound flat.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Audioengine A5, August 9, 2009
By 
NCguy (NC Piedmont) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Audioengine A5 Powered Multimedia Speaker System (Black) (Electronics)
How good can a $350 speaker be? To preface this "review", I am a bit jaded when it comes to audio equipment after decades of exposure to some very high end equipment capable of exquisite sound reproduction. Therefore I was a bit surprised to note the remarkable build quality of the Audioengine A5's the moment they were removed from their unique cloth packaging. The solidity, fit and finish of the speaker is first class by any standard.

The A5's are easily and quickly connected in a matter of minutes with the comprehensive assortment of interconnecting cables/wires. These cables/wires can easily be upgraded with higher quality aftermarket connections if the user so chooses.

Listening to the A5's with a variety of good quality source material shows that my positive first impression was indeed warranted! These do not sound like $350 department store speakers, but rather more like...real music. Vocals have a wonderful breathy tonality and projection into the room. You can hear the reed resonating on wind instruments, and percussion instruments have a "snap" and a sort of spontaneous dynamic that (I think) is part of the live music experience. The speakers performance from the mid-bass upwards is really quite impressive!

My smallish apartment living room does not show the bass performance of the speaker in it's best light. Careful positioning of the speakers (mounted atop sand-filled Lovan Affinity 29" speaker stands) has mitigated many of this rooms problem resonances, but the quest for the ideal placement shall continue.

With attention to symmetrical placement in the room, the A5's image quite well, as I would expect a good quality speaker to do. Vocals and instrument placement is quite well defined in space, and the speakers themselves seem to disappear. There is no phasey, pseudo-soundstage chicanery going on here. These speakers image for real.

For those who'd like to know....the A5's can play at lease breaking levels and remain clean and clear. Perhaps more impressive to me is the A5's ability to retain it's musicality and dynamic even at low volume levels.

How good can a $350 dollar speaker system be? Wow. Really good! I've given the A5's a 4-star rating, deducting a star only because I don't yet feel that the bass performance (definition, etc) is quite up to the standard set by the rest of the speaker. Not necessarily a fault of the product, but I can't give a full 5 stars just yet.

The Audioengine A5's are clearly well engineered, and presented. These speakers belong on the short list of anyone looking for top notch sound, but not having an audio budget equaling the GDP of a small nation.

Highly recommended!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My beautiful, terribly abused little speakers!, October 31, 2009
This review is from: Audioengine A5 Powered Multimedia Speaker System (Black) (Electronics)
I received mine a bit over 3 years ago, after reviewing stellar reviews. The blue power light stopped working almost immediately, but customer service, as the speakers, has been stellar. Brady B at AudioEngines optioned me with replacement or a partial rebate. Blue's cool, but I took the rebate, since I didn't want to part with the speakers for the necessary interim. It's now 3 years later, and I am using and abusing the little buggers at this moment. By that I mean: --Stone floor. -High ceiling. -14' x 30' room. -Not small, no siree, Bob. -And I'm mildly hearing impaired, to boot. So, I'm currently working on further noise-induced hearing loss. In short, these little suckers have been flogged mercilessly for 3 years and, as I say, I am enjoying them as I write. Disclosure: Though largely unnecessary, because of the room size and because I had an extra, I use a powered subwoofer.

Here's the only reason I don't give 5 stars: The input from the Airport Express is a simple headphone plug-in; No other easy in-put. It's sometimes hard to get a good connection to both speakers. Disclosure 2: I live in Kailua, Hawaii: Windward, salt-laden, corrosive atmosphere beyond the understanding of anyone that hasn't lived here. That the connection works at all after 3 years is, in itself, amazing.

Another thing that I won't deduct stars for: I believe I mentioned I flog these puppies. Ambient temperatures here are low 70, high 90 with 100% humidity. The things do get hot when you push the volume. Fortunately, they are overload protected. Unfortunately, that tends to get in the way of my late night floggings, so this has been my fix:

I have fashioned a bra for the back of the left speaker, in which I place a falsy consisting of a ziplock freezer bag filled with ice and water, held snugly against the hot back. In this way, I can listen to Janis Joplin repeatedly sing Bobby McGee at ridiculous volumes without interruption (except from the neighbors). I used to feel bad about this equipment abuse, but the little buggers haven't complained yet. Mucho mahalo to Brady and AudioEngines, BTW.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I strongly recommend these speakers, May 11, 2007
This review is from: Audioengine A5 Powered Multimedia Speaker System (Black) (Electronics)
I bought these speakers direct from the manufacturer a few months ago. They came packaged in double cardboard individually wrapped in cloth bags. All wiring needed was included with the speakers. Though I do not own an IPOD I do have a MP3 player and portable CD player. Once connected and plugged in, these speakers simply shine. The sound is very, very good for the size of the speakers. I own a pair of "soundworks" speakers from Cambridge Soundworks and the Audioengine speakers blow the Soundworks away. They have a much cleaner sound with crisper highs and much better mid range. Get a set and hear for yourself then post your review. Yes, they are worth every penny!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible sound and great value, December 15, 2007
By 
This review is from: Audioengine A5 Powered Multimedia Speaker System (Black) (Electronics)
Wow, I'm impressed! I've been looking at these speakers for a while and finally took the plunge. I have a Bose Sounddock and these are far superior for approximately the same price. I've placed them in a 20 ft by 30 ft eating room and kitchen with very high ceilings (12 ft plus). The sound is incredible! Quality of the speakers is first rate...great attention to detail. Don't hesitate to get them.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST Speakers made period for digital audio devices..., March 12, 2007
This review is from: Audioengine A5 Powered Multimedia Speaker System (Black) (Electronics)
I bought these babies for my iPod and they are hands down the best speakers you can find for mp3 or any other digital audio device made. I bought a second pair for my Squeezebox and I'm amazed by the incredible audio quality that comes out of them! Highly recommended find!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Audio Solution for Budget Home Theater, July 7, 2009
By 
This review is from: Audioengine A5 Powered Multimedia Speaker System (Black) (Electronics)
You'll find that the Audioengine A5 bookshelf speakers are best known as iPod/music speakers. However, these self powered bookshelf stereo speakers are an excellent low cost home theater solution and an alternative to soundbar solutions.

All of the reviewers here and elsewhere will tell you how good these speakers sound, and I agree, but I want to focus on what a good audio solution these speakers are for home theaters in small to medium sized entertainment rooms.

Many people turn away from 5.1/6.1/7.1 speaker systems and AV receivers due to their technical complexity and physical placement/wiring issues. Soundbar systems have become very popular as they are one or two box systems with a minimum of wiring. They are easy to operate as they have their own internal amplifiers and don't require an AV receiver. Most soundbars hookup directly to the TV and turn themselves instantly on or off when the TV is on or off - very simple to operate.

The problem with most all of the soundbar solutions is that they each have their own method for technically messing with the sound in order to "expand the soundstage", or make the sound appear that it is covering a wider area than they really are. As such, soundbars can sound "off", the vocals can seem distorted at times, they can't process music very well, etc.

I've owned a Zvox Mini and a Mainstage HD and used them with my 42" flat screen TV. I've spent considerable time listening to a variety of other soundbar solutions such as the Yamaha YSP series, Boston Acoustics Tvee, Sony HT-CT300, the Polk IHT and the Philips series. In short, they all have their sonic shortcomings.

It now seems so simple to me now - the best alternative to full room, multichannel speakers systems are - good old fashioned stereo bookshelf speakers! There are many excellent low cost bookshelf speaker systems that sound very natural. They have big enough speakers in them to forego a subwoofer. Want a wider soundstage? Spread them further apart! Duh!

So, the Audioengine A5's offer the best of two worlds. Like high quality bookshelf speakers, they provide a full, natural, unprocessed sound with a wide soundstage. Like soundbar systems, they are self powered, so all you have to do is hookup all your components to your TV, then simply connect the A5's with a single cable to either your audio out jacks on the back of your TV, or use your headphone jack on the side of your TV. Set the volume on the A5's as loud as you want, and set your TV volume at full level. Simply lower your TV volume via your TV remote or your satellite remote and the sound of the speakers is decreased. Turn off the TV and the speakers automatically turn themselves off. Turn on the TV, they turn themselves on. Very simple, very easy for the entire family to use.

Minor complaints? I'd like to have grill covers. It's too tempting for my children to poke at these speakers. While I can adjust the sound characteristics from my TV's equalizer, I'd like to leave the TV's settings flat and simply adjust the bass/treble settings via knobs on the main speaker. I also think Audioengine should consider making an even larger version of this speaker with 8" woofers. But that would cost more, of course.

I really don't understand why more audio manufacturers are not taking the approach of providing self powered bookshelf stereo speakers for a simple home theater solution. I think that Audioengine has an excellent, low cost home theater solution in the A5's, and the company should really get more aggressive in promoting these speakers as such.
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