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|| Audioengine A5+ speaker system &
Wireless Audio Adapter W1 set
The first Audioengine product was the A5, released in 2005. This well-engineered,
compact, powered speaker pair quickly earned many accolades from reviewers,
and firmly established Audioengine as a player in the consumer audio scene of
the new millenia.
By the time SPCR got around to examining audio gear, the A5 had been reviewed
so well and so widely that Audioengine preferred to send us a sample pair of
their second powered speakers, the tiny A2. We
reviewed it favorably back in 2008; it was an excellent product. In October
2011, Audioengine announced a follow-up to the A5: The A5+, which retains the
size, look and shape of the original, and adds customer-requested upgrades and
features, the most visible of which is a wireless remote for power and volume
The A5+ size and shape is a near-classic <1' tall monitor, in the tradition
of the Rogers LS3/5A and the Linn Kan (if anyone remembers these things)...
and hundreds of small box speakers that have appeared in the markets over the
past 40 years since mini-speakers became popular. Unlike those classics of yore,
the A5+ has a built-in electronics, requiring AC power but no external amplifiers.
Its look is modern, eschewing any type of speaker grill and traditional wood
veneers alike. The cones of the drivers are exposed, while black, white and
carbonized bamboo are the finish options. In all three cosmetic options, the
A5+ is fairly pleasing to the eye.
The A5+ in bamboo finish on a desktop with what appears to be an Apple
iMac, in a company promotional photo. Note: Bamboo veneer is subject
to heat to produce darker shades. It has the green quality of being extremely
renewable (reaches full growth in just 6~7 years) and it is tougher than
most traditional hardwoods.
Full specifications are provided on the manufacturer's
product page. There's really no need to repeat them here, but these details
seem noteworthy to me:
- The left speaker contains all the electronics, including a heatsink on the
back, so it is heavier, 15.4
lbs vs. 9.6 lbs for the right.
- Frequency response is
claimed to be 50Hz-22kHz +/-1.5dB, very
good for small speaker. I expect some electronic equalization is used within
to tailor the response; this is one of the natural advantages of a speaker
system whose crossover, drivers, enclosure and amplier are integrated.
- The type AB amplifiers have 150W
power output and 50W RMS/ch. This is a surprisingly high figure, given the
small size of the speaker.
- Idle power is 10W, and there is a sleep mode, which draws 4W.
- The mid/bass driver is a 5" kevlar cone, while the tweeter is a
20mm silk dome; no slouches. All parts are designed specifically for this
- The remote control is a small IR device with basic functions: Volume up/down,
sleep, mute. It's all you need.
- A USB power port allows devices like MP3 players to be charged.
- RCA jacks for variable output allow a subwoofer to be connected.
- Both RCA and mini-plug inputs are provided.
- All the necessary parts are included.
- 30 Day Audition, money-back guarantee (assuming like-new condition in original
packaging) is nice, almost mandatory for a product sold mostly online. There's
also a 3-year warranty.
Overall, it's a promising package for $399.
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