Audioengine A5+ Speakers and Wireless Audio Adapter

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The Audioengine A5+ represent an uncommonly good value in today's fractured consumer audio marketplace, and a bonafide entry-level high end product. The integration of all the various components in the A5+ is outstanding, especially at the $399 asking price. Some of the most challenging engineering tasks involve optimizing and balancing multiple objectives within many limitations. The A5+ is a perfect example of such a challenge well met. There are very few products I've encountered which balance price, performance, functionality, convenience and size with such aplomb.

Used with an MP3 player, the A5+ with its wireless remote makes an instant, compact, high quality audio system that is all many apartment dwellers seek. Connect it to a PC with a high quality sound card, and a collection of CD quality (or better) music files, and you move straight into an entry level audiophile system. Place a HDTV between them, with a Bluray player and/or a PC, and you get instant home theater. Use them as an extension to your main sound system to expand the music into other parts of the house, a task that's made so much simpler by the Audioengine Wireless Audio Adapters.

Considered purely for its sonic qualities, the A5+ plays well above its league. Its slightly warm quality, good transparency, excellent imaging, amazing bass and big volume capacity are enough to compete against pricier, bigger speakers with and without built in amplifiers. The icing on the cake is its versatility and relative indifference to placement to deliver this performance. A prima donna the A5+ is not.

The Audioengine Wireless Audio Adapter set is also a great addition for the modern music lover. Again, versatility, functionality and simplicity are key: It works with very little fuss to send an audio signal from one component to just about any other, within its 100' range. About the only quibble I have is that a couple of very short cables should also be included; there's no need for one used on an A5+ to be more than a few inches long. I also wonder how the dongle (the actual device dongles from its USB plug) will stand the test of time and abuse. Unfortunately, the W1 set has just been discontinued, to be replaced with the W3, coming next month, in May 2012. Audioengine says, "The main difference between W3 and the now-retired W1 is that while the W1 can only 'hop' between multiple receivers, the W3 can transmit to up to 3 receivers simultaneously. In addition, the W3 provides greater resistance to interference from other Wi-Fi devices."

Our thanks to Audioengine for the A5+ and Wireless Audio Adapter samples

Audioengine A5+
and Wireless Audio Adapter receive the SPCR Editor's Choice Award

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