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4.5 out of 5 stars
Audioengine A5+ Premium Powered Speaker Pair (Black)
Color Name: BlackChange
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114 of 118 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 19, 2012
Color Name: WoodVerified Purchase
After months of research, I decided to go with Audioengine. The A2's looked like all I would need, but after reading the great reviews of the A5's, I chose the A5+ Bamboo. I ordered them on Friday late AM, and received them on Saturday morning (overnite FEDEX, $3.99). I've been breaking them in all day (not that I noticed a problem out of the box), as the mftr suggests. I'm feeding them the signal from a Fiio E-10 DAC, plugged into the USB on my iMac. They are mounted on a pair of dense foam blocks, to raise them slightly. I'm not sure I see the advantages of using the optional stands since they tilt the speaker back and change the plane of the tweeter and woofer. I had to re-arrange some items on my office shelves to prevent resonance during some of the lower bass passages.

The packaging was stellar, with cables and speakers covered by some nice soft, cloth bags. The bags will come in handy to put over the speakers while I'm away, and help prevent dust settling on the speaker cones. Anyway, the setup is straightforward, and AE even provides some good speaker wire to connect the two units. They look fantastic. The manual says the sugar compounds in the bamboo are 'carbonized' and 'caramelized' to bring out the darker wood tones. It also provides a sweeter sound (ahem). Whatever. They look great, and seem to be finely finished. Worth the extra money for this option, I think.

Okay, now for the sound. An audiophile of sorts, I have a history of buying the best-value components based on my readings of Stereophile, Absolute Sound, and high end audio blogs. My tunes are all Flac, Apple Lossless, or AIFF-C files. Of course, my iTunes purchases are 256Kb conversions...can't help that. I train my ears by going to many pop and classical concerts and listening for the qualities that make live music so enjoyable. So, I don't take my speakers lightly...I have some expectations. How do I rate the A5+'s? I couldn't be happier considering what I paid. The speakers never seem to strain, even at very high volumes. The only thing I notice is some compression of the midrange at VERY high volumes. The bass hangs in there, albeit cutoff below 50hz. I do miss that very bottom octave, however. Kettledrums just don't have that extra punch you expect. This is not a criticism; maybe it's just a reason to get a subwooofer. I rarely listen at very high levels since I'm usually working while listening. Female vocalists sound very natural, with no boxiness in the lower ranges. Sibilants sound very natural, and maybe a tad soft. Acoustic instruments have some body to them attesting to the good midrange. Imaging is excellent, and I find the placement is not super-critical. Equidistant spacing, lightly angled in seems to be just fine. (Note that AE suggests having at least 6" of space behind the speakers, and they should be at least 6" away from a side wall.) When I move, I don't notice shifting of frequencies, which means the dispersion of the tweeters seems to be very good. The soundstage is wide, very wide on some tunes. No problem with that. The sound is so darned neutral, that I can listen for hours and not get weary.

As much as I enjoy listening to music through my IEM's (Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10 Pro's), it is really nice to be 'sitting in the audience' and listening to these speakers. With the lights down, they disappear, and you get that great experience of being there in the studio or concert hall. I'm sure there are better speakers out there that probably cost more, however I just can't fault the A5+'s. An audio bargain in my humble opinion.

Update 10/30/2013
I'm still loving these speakers. I missed the lower octave however, so I took a subwoofer I bought at Radio Shack several years ago, and plugged it in to the speakers. Now, I have a fuller experience of my music. I really love this system, and I have had no problems with it. No hum, pops, clicks, and the cases look as beautiful as the day I bought them.

Update 10/12/2014
After adding the subwoofer, I became aware of some mid-bass boominess, and found it hard to balance the sound using the cutoff on the subwoofer. I looked in to the DS2 foam speaker stands as a possible solution. These stands will raise not only the speaker, but the angle of the woofer. When the speakers sit flat on a desk, the woofers double some of the bass frequencies causing some imbalance. Tilting them back seems to resolve this problem. The stands are expensive, so maybe you can find a makeshift way of testing this theory to see if its worth pursuing. I have recently taken the Radio Shack subwoofer out of the office and into the living room. I'm thinking of upgrading the A5+'s with the Audioengine subwoofer. I really have fallen in love with these speakers over the years. I've had NO issues with them.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2011
Color Name: WoodVerified Purchase
I originally bought the A5's and was experiencing a persistent hum like many people in outside forums had mentioned. Instead of abandoning Audioengine for something else I gave them another chance and I'm really glad I did. Everything about these speakers is top notch. Audioengine is obvious a company that takes tremendous pride in what they build dare I say in even an Apple-like way. The improvements over the original A5 (beyond for me personally the elimination of the hum which most A5 owners probably did not have) are 1) the minimalistic rubber backed remote, 2) the volume control allows for much finer control at low volumes, 3) the awesome bamboo enclosure is no longer defaced with a usb and audio in jack on top of the powered unit - this made no sense for something so beautifully crafted - these are on the back where they belong. 4) The powered enclosure has a heat sink to protect the electronics. Other changes are the enclosures are slightly larger than before and there is no auxillary power outlet on the back. The latter change is no problem for me since I run an extension cord with multiple sockets to the back of the powered unit anyway (for the Airport Express). And, of course, the most important thing is that the sound is absolutely amazing for speakers of this size.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2011
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
First off, these speakers sound great. The sound coming out of these things is truely powerful and overall I can't really complain. I've been listening to a lot of recent progressive rock and can't help closing my eyes and marvel at how beautiful some of this stuff sounds.
Few things:
-The left speaker (active) seemed to be a bit louder than the right at first. After having used them for 30+ hours I'm not sure if that's still true and I've just gotten used to it, but I don't notice it as much anymore. It's probably less of a gap than before. Maybe part of the break-in process. I want to get a second opinion on this.
-The volume knob seems a bit quirky. Often times you'll want to quickly turn the volume down and you'll notice short spikes where it actually goes way up before going down again. I've since been handling volume from the source and just keep the speakers at a high setting.
-I've read about the A5's overheating and shutting down. I've experienced something similar with the A5+'s. After driving these really hard for about 10 minutes the heatsink will get blistering hot and the sound will go completely muddled. It's happened a couple of times and I've always immediately shut them down. Before it happens though, the sound is just amazing. I'm thinking of maybe getting a small dedicated fan to point at the heatsink and go crazy.
-The bass can sound quite boomy. I had to bring up the EQ on foobar2000 and play with the low frequencies a bit. The bass sounds pretty excellent now.
BTW my source is my PC (with foobar2000 and no special components) and a FiiO E10 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2012
Color Name: WhiteVerified Purchase
Original 12/12 : First, let me start by explaining how huge of a bose fan i was/am. I own a bose 3,2,1, sounddock portable, bluetooth portable, sounddock 10, Quiet Comfort 3, In ear sport, and the 2.1 gems. I finally decided to make a switch and give another brand a chance. I chose the audioengine A5+ after a good bit of research. Once powered up I knew I had made the correct choice.

Bose (in my opinion) offers a room filling, loud, bass heavy sound stage no matter the size of the speaker. If you prefer to listen to music while cleaning the house or while having a party (secondary listening), bose will do great. If you are concerned with keeping the music as natural and crisp and as close to the original as possible, go audio engine. There is no comparison between the two in that respect. I am hearing parts of my favorite songs that i feel weren't even in the song when played over bose. You really realize how much detail is missed. I stayed up all night listening to old favorites and they all sounded new to me. Great Buy

Edit/Update 2/14 : It has been a little over a year since purchasing the A5+ speakers and have bought a second pair since then. The speakers sound better than ever and have not given me a single problem other than constant questions from friends about where to get them. Will soon be adding the woofer and will update again.
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72 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2012
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
Sound is such a subjective matter so please bear that in mind in reading my review. See if you think what I like and listen to might concur with your own personal tastes.

Background.

I own a high end stereo system probaly costing $30K that I never use. Also a Bose 5.1 surround sound system for the TV and DVD's. And for my 2nd computer a Klipsch THX 2.1 system. Also a Klipsch player for an iPod. Of couse they all have their unique sounds - well the expensive stereo system has no sound as of now as I felt the speakers (very, very large KEF's) were not sounding right and even after a sound engineer told me they were fine my ear said "No" because I knew how they could sound from a class A amp - so I've listened to no quality music system these last few years. I don't class the Bose system as suitable for serious music listening, but they do OK for movies. Oh, and my choice for headphones are 2 pairs of Sennheiser.

So given that background lets get to the business. In my opinion, and for my taste, these Audioengine A5+ speakers + S8 woofer are remarkable. I would describe the sound a neutral (hard to find these days). That does not mean there is no bass but its only there when it should be and then its tight and does not sound like its being played through a pillow. This is the kind of sound that is not tiring and can be listened to for hours on end.

When I first connected the Audioengine system up, by mistake, I did not connect the woofer. Even without it the A5+ speakers sound good, really good, but adding the woofer does make a difference for sure, and I think if you are after quality sound it is needed. Of course it can be added later as funds allow because just the A5+'s are good on their own.

For a low priced system the Klipsch system replaced a pair of Bose (no woofer) on my 2nd computer and were noticable cleaner sounding with better bass because of their woofer, than the pair of Bose with no woofer. For a low priced system I could certainly live with the Klipsch. But my listening habbits have changed over 40 years and I now spend many hours a day working in front of a computer at home. That's the only time I get to listen to music - as well as in the car. I hadn't heard good sound for so long I decided to try the Audioengine system for the computer but was really blown away by how good it was. I didn't really trust the many good reviews I'd seen.

The stereo image is so good with the A5+'s they create a very wide sound stage that seems to emanate slighting above and between the 2 speakers. I could hear singers taking a breath and new sounds on a violin that the bow made as it was pulled across the strings, that had not been there before. Bear in mind I am feeding only lossless MP3 files played out of iTunes - not vinyl tracks played on my Linn LP12 turntable.

Are they perfect - no that's not possible for just over $700 (I am adding the DAC and stands now so will be into the system for close to $1,000) but in terms of the sound quality at this price they are quite remarkable. Beautifully packaged even the UPS driver who bounced the box down his truck steps could not hurt them as they sit a couple of inches inside their box surrounded by foam packaging. They are heavy and look like a quality product that the manufacturer has been proud to produce.

Like all good speaker systems they sound better loud as you can feel the bass. It's tempting to set the woofer volume too high but playing the system loud then over cooks the bass and it looses something. The music is not balanced. I also had a little recording business in my youth so became very critical on how sound was mixed. What would be nice is a low volume setting on the remote that boosts the bass when playing at low volume. The woofer has a Phase control so the woofer cone can sync with the speaker cones to improve bass sound. Also a Crossover knob to set where in the frequency range the woofer comes in - just a matter of setting where you like it. And then a Volume control. Again I say don't be tempted to set this too high. I would set it where it sounds right then turn down just a hair. If you play at really high volume then it probably needs setting even lower. After 50 hours of burning in they can only improve. I wish I had gotten better with age!

So yea I like em very much. One of my better buying choices.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2012
Color Name: Black
First of all every time I play these speakers they bring a smile to my face. They are absolutely incredible and I'm just using the headphone jack from my MBP going to these guys, no doubt it will sound even better with a external dac like the D1. Even my girlfriend who thinks Im just compulsive about audio stuff thought they sounded like the best computer speakers she has heard. First impression opening the box was wow $399 buys you excellent speaker packaging. The speakers and components come in shammy like bags that any crown royal bottle would feel more than comfortable in. I was also considering the Bowers MM1 but after reading countless forums these audioengines seem to take the cake. The mm1's are small, have built in external dac, and look awesome but they just dont sound as good as the audioengines. Other options I was considering were makers from swann, emotiva, stanton, and paradigm, but these seemed like the best option after reading all the reviews. If you have the room on your desktop, the speakers are about the side of a milk jug each, then these are the tickets. The overall build quality is exceptional. I used to have some bose media mates and thought those sounded pretty good until I bought these. The imaging of these speakers is truly awesome. You can pick out sounds in your favorite recording that you probably have not heard before. They also have great bass for such a small size, helped by the new horizontal port on the speakers back side. Overall, these are pretty expensive but you get what you pay for in sound. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another pair. If your going to spend under $500 for a self powered speaker set up good luck finding a better pair than these. Just check around the internet these are on just about everyone short list for best computer/powered speakers and for good reason.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2012
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I still have a very, very old Zenith console stereo that has massive speakers and really thumps the floor. And I run one of my computers through it, so I know that music still has a full range of sound in all of the 1s and 0s on CDs and .mp3 files. But most speakers available most places are just dreck. These Audioengines, plugged into a wireless device (like an Apple airport express) will allow you to listen to music like it was meant to be heard. Your ears will thank you.

This rendition of the A5 (the "plus") includes a heat sink on the back to address the overheating issue some had with the earlier version. What you lose is an AC adapter in back. But what you gain is confidence that your speakers can handle volume for long periods of time.

And, like the Zeniths of old, these babies have some heft. They give legitimate bass response and true sound through the rest of the audible range of sound.

The only drawback is that such sound comes at a hefty price to match. I still shake my head that I spent this much. Other things have come down in price significantly since I bought my stereo in college--but not real, honest speakers. You still have to pay for what you get.

So my advice--swallow hard and buy them. I know, I know. It's four times what you think they should cost. But in life, that is the general rule: anything worth having costs four times what you are willing to pay for it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 27, 2012
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I bought a pair of the A2's well over a year ago and love them! Amazing sound for such a small speaker with such a small footprint. After a year or so, I decided I wanted more bass and more sound! Being such a huge fan of the AudioEngine A2's, I couldn't help butt steer directly towards the A2's big brother, the A5+.

While the sound is very similar from the A2 to the A5+, the A5+ definitely sounds better, crisper, cleaner, more clarity, especially at higher volumes with less distortion compared to the A2. I think the A2 is more impressive in regards to size:sound and that's what initially amazed me and blew me away about the A2's, however the A5+'s sound is just so amazing that with a USB DAC, quality cables and wires they are a force to be reckoned with all together.

The A5+'s bass response is far cleaner, punchier, deeper and better overall which is expected from a bigger speaker. The Mids and Highs on the A5+'s are also better all around from frequency response to clarity.

I highly recommend the A2's and the A5+'s, either way you CANNOT go wrong, they are both amazing.

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A2
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SOUND
*Highs 4/5
*Mids 4/5
*Lows 3/5

SIZE
5/5 - Such a small footprint with such amazing sound is astonishing.

BUILD
5/5 - These speakers are so very well built and designed, they look and sound amazing.

QUICK REVIEW
By far the best speakers I've EVER heard from $200 or less, they even rival speakers twice their costs, such as the B&W MM-1's. Amazing sound, amazing build, amazing design, all around amazing and audio enthusiasts and audiophiles will not be disappointed. The bass is great for a small speaker, but DO NOT expect earth moving lows/bass from these.

-----
A5+
-----
SOUND
*Highs 5/5
*Mids 5/5
*Lows 4/5

SIZE
5/5 - With a bigger footprint than the A2's but still a great bookshelf or desk size speaker with more than exceptional sound is astonishing.

BUILD
5/5 - These speakers are so very well built and designed, they look and sound amazing.

QUICK REVIEW
By far the best speakers I've EVER heard from $400 to even $1000 price range. The overall sound spectrum from highs to lows is just dumbfounding. The added features such as USB Power, built-in Amp, remote control, etc are all bonuses to this speaker. Audiophiles will not be disappointed, I highly recommend these with a USB DAC and UltraViolet USB cable.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2014
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
If you love, I mean really really love music, especially if you love more than one genre of music, you have found the best speakers on the market. I tried the Bose companion 2(ugghh) the Audioengine 2+(awesome but I knew there could be more) and finally the A5+.

I feel like goldilocks finding the bed that was just right.....

I have crazy high end klipsch reference monitors I run through my stereo (yes I still listen to LPs) and am a former professional singer, board chair of a major music school, and have spent time recording in sound studios, so I have great ears for sound and and know true clean fidelity.

These guys have such clean reproduction of highs mids and lows and channel separation, OH MY GOSH

They sit on my desk about three feet from me at equal distance, with the audioengine DAC converter on the audioengine speaker stands.

I keep going through more and more of my favorite all time songs from rock, soul, blues, pop, musical theatre, acoustic, classical, new age...it just doesnt matter...you get the best possible

Loud, mid level, quiet...these babies deliver at any volume level

It's better than wearing the greatest headphones youve ever worn, and you feel the music and bass connecting with and through you.

My only warning is you may get less sleep because you will want to keep listening all night long

Audioengine A5+ black monitors, if you had wig on and some lipstick, I'd take you out and buy you the best steak in town....

many thanks to the geniuses at Audioengines that can deliver this quality in a beautiful design
at a crazy great value.....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2014
Color Name: WoodVerified Purchase
These are easily and by far the best speakers I've had and I've had all the popular models from JBL, Klipsch, Bose, Sennheiser, Marshall, etc.. And the USB charger port is awesome. You can just plug a tiny $5 Bluetooth Receiver (e.g. http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HT07QXI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) in it and have Bluetooth capability that doesn't require recharging. I actually plugged a 5 port AUX hub with several bluetooth receiver's and I can play all my computers/phones/tablets at the same time. I have the extra sub and bamboo color and it does make them a lot better. I love these and they have changed my outlook on life and music.
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