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Audioengine A2+ Black (Pr.) 2-way Powered Speaker System
- Excellent sound with elegant simplicity for computer audio.
- Versatile connections, including USB digital audio and subwoofer output
- Designed for your desktop but also sounds great across the room
- Integrated USB DAC delivers Hi-Fi sound straight from computer.
- Hand-finished wood cabinets. Cables included
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Audioengine A2+ Premium Powered Desktop Speakers
Started in 2005, Audioengine is an independent speaker company based in Austin, Texas that designs and builds high quality, easy to use audio gear at affordable price points. The Audioengine A2+ Premium Powered Speaker System is the industry standard for audiophile-grade performance and value.With a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC), the Audioengine 2+ allows you to send high-quality digital audio direct from your computer’s USB port. Use the variable RCA output to connect a subwoofer. The Audioengine 2+ is a great introduction to high-quality audio and the perfect upgrade for your computer or turntable.
THE PERFECT UPGRADE
The best-selling Audioengine 2+ sets the standard for mini music systems. Everyone knows the difference between custom-built, small batch products and the disappointment of mass-produced, plastic, over-marketed products. The A2+ was designed and hand-built by the Audioengine team with the goal of exceeding expectations of both value and performance and can fit anywhere in your house or office.
EASY CONNECTIONS & HIGH END COMPONENTS
All Audioengine powered speakers feature classic A/B analog amplifiers that are incredibly warm sounding and the type of amplifier prefered by audiophiles. Most consumer speakers use cheaper digital amps but Audioengine uses the best components possible to create the award-winning "Audioengine signature sound". Both amps are built into the left speaker, while the right speaker is passive and all cables are included. No software, apps, or plug-ins to install so the A2+ takes minutes to set up. With a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC), the Audioengine 2+ allows you to send high-quality digital audio direct from your computer’s USB port or you can use the RCA or mini-jack analog inputs to connect to other components such as a turntable. For more low end, the variable RCA output connects to any subwoofer, like the Audioengine S8.
The Audioengine 2+ is about one-third the size of the flagship Audioengine 5+ powered bookshelf speakers and an ideal size for any desktop or small room or apartment. We used the same custom tweeters as in the Audioengine 5+, matched them with compact Kevlar woofers, then added high-performance amplifiers with high-quality connectors. All this great engineering is wrapped in wood cabinets with a hand-polished finish to create a premium quality mini speaker system that puts all those sad plastic computer speakers to shame!
Audioengine A2+ shown with optional DS1 Desktop Stand. The DS1 stands isolate and angle the A2+ off the desktop surface for better performance.
- Amplifier type: Dual class AB monolithic
- Power output: 60W peak power total (15W RMS / 30W peak per channel), AES
- Drivers: 2.75″ Kevlar woofers, 3/4” silk dome tweeters
- Inputs: 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, RCA, USB
- Outputs: RCA variable line-out
- Input voltages: 110-240V 50/60Hz auto-switching
- SNR: >95dB (typical A-weighted)
- Freq. response: 65Hz-22kHz ±2.0dB
- DAC: TI/Burr Brown PCM2704C
- Input bit depth/sample rate: up to 16 bits native/48KHz native
- Weight (both speakers): 6.7 lbs
- Dimensions, each speaker (HWD): 6″ x 4″ x 5.25″
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Top customer reviews
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The main board looked cheaply made. It had a dusty, sticky feeling and look. Many of the solder joints were poorly done. Many had a white, crystalline look. I re-soldered every major connection. There were two pins on the main IC amplifier chip that didn't appear to have been soldered.
These speakers have only been in a protected, dry, clean climate controlled environment.
Now it seems to work, but you shouldn't have resort to this.
CONS: I was not blown away based on the glowing reviews and listings around the web as a top choice for the money I paid ($250; now $200 as of this writing; it figures); but they still have very positive aspects worth considering; all cables included, however, the satellite speaker wire was way too short for me and I replaced it. No big deal.
If you watch the prices and can get these for under $200, they seem a much better value for the output (to me). That said, I think MOST people will think these are the bee's knees if not compared to anything else above $225. If you are adding them to any laptop or all in one (iMac, etc.), you will be BLOWN AWAY by the vast improvement.
Biggest issue: These speakers are VERY dependent on direction if you sit close or intend to use them with a computer. Make sure they are situated so they point DIRECTLY at your ears -- or are at least EQUALLY NOT pointed at your ears, else you will definitely observe imbalance and lack of midrange impact left to right. If you move about your desk/office space frequently, and want these for music, do yourself a favor and place them as far apart as you can manage; when you leave the "sweet spot", the quality drops rapidly.
I have six LCD displays on three vertical VESA mounts, and added articulating VESA boom arms and made a simple adapter from painted wood to use the thoughtfully included ¼" tripod/camera mount on the bottom of the speaker to VESA 100 mounting plate. Now I am able to rapidly adjust direction/pitch/angle of each speaker for upright computer tasks, or laid-back Netflix or fill-the-room-with-sound while I work.
Most of you will not go through this, but consider an inexpensive pair of adjustable speaker stands or camera tripods/stand (tabletop are very cheap) to both elevate and adjust angle/pitch for your needs. You could also use very inexpensive threaded wall mounts intended for surround satellite speakers. The AudioEngine speaker stand accessory option *might* work for a lot of you, but all it does is adjust the pitch to try to get the sound up to your ears. If you're tall or short, it will miss.
They are otherwise quite warm sounding, good midrange and highs with no appreciable distortion at high volume when playing lossless audio. They do start to distort playing heavily or badly compressed audio (MP3, AAC, etc, under 160kb). Excellent for voice, such as podcasts or Skype, FaceTime, etc. These will get VERY LOUD; louder than any neighbors will appreciate.
If you are looking for more bass for games or dance/trance/metal, either opt for the 4" version, or add a good subwoofer. If you intend to watch a lot of movies, these are a good addition to a 3.1/5.1/7.1 output, paired with a good center soundbar or speaker. I am using the output to a second preamp to subwoofer and an extra set of 2x2 1" tweeters for a richer "surround" experience for music and movies. If I am doing reference work, I rely only on the A2+, and am reasonably happy. I would probably like the 4" version better, but did not want the larger enclosures or expense.
I very much appreciate the multiple (3x) inputs and outputs (1x RCA), the primary reason (after sound quality reviews) for choosing this item. Many people are extremely upset by the volume knob being on the back; however, for my purposes, the input/output volume is always controlled by computer or preamp or AirPortExpress WiFi input, so I set it a notch shy of full and never have to touch it.
I wish they had covers for the rear to hide ugly connections for an open-back, front-facing desk installation. Recommend 90º right angle banana plug adapters.
Power adapter is an inline brick, which, again, for most people is not a big deal; this keeps the heat of a power transformer outside the speaker enclosure, which is fine by me. The power input plug even has a lock button to prevent accidental disconnection; a very nice touch reflective of the price you are paying. The length from the brick to the enclosure could stand to be 2-3 feet longer, but I'm an outlier with equipment placement.
Preamp enclosure gets quite warm to hot on the back plate; should not be an issue for most people, but they will add to the heat of a small room.
I may be wrong, but I think these speakers are musically excellent.
I was looking for something small, but good, as I travel a great deal. I have for two or so years been using a tiny little pair of speakers, with one-inch cones; for their size, excellent. However, they were wearing out and anyway, I wanted to improve audio quality.
The A2+ are still portable, if you have luggage. They're too big to really carry easily in a bag. They are rather heavy (which again makes them luggage worthy, rather than bag worthy).
One minor flaw. The left speaker, which has the power socket, is at low volumes (by this I mean low volumes on the volume dial on the speakers) noticably louder than the right speaker. On my system, I'm using USB, and I need to turn the computer volume down very low (like, 2% or 4%) if the speaker volume is reasonably high.
However, see this link;
On modern operating systems, audio is scaled to 32 bit floats, so even though I'm using USB and the DAC in the speakers, I'm not suffering from quality loss by reducing the volume at the source.
Addendum 28th Sep 2015
I've had these speakers now for a couple of months. Everything I've written above remain true but there is something to add; every now and then, maybe every few hours, the speakers disconnect and then reconnect, i.e. the system loses them and then sees them again. Audio cuts out for a moment, there's a loud "click" (from the amp resetting I guess) and then audio resumes.
*HOWEVER*, every now and then, reconnection doesn't occur; and then the easiest way to get audio back is to pop the cable out the back of the speaker and re-insert. This happens maybe two or three times a day.
Unfortunately, when I'm using Firefox with Google voice to make a landline call, it doesn't resume audio when I do this and I lose the call.
Now, the question is - is this just something nutso about my particular system (a well-looked after Windows 7), my particular laptop, USB hub, etc, etc, or is it something fundamental about the speakers? I don't have this problem with other devices hanging off the USB hub, but that doesn't say much.
Most recent customer reviews
One star off because at this price and level of speaker, it should have bluetooth standard just like its...Read more