Audioengine is a well-known independent speaker company based in Austin, Texas and they have a complete line of professional studio monitors for your living room or workspace. The Audioengine A1 is the newest, most affordable, and most compact speaker system in the lineup. I’ve tested the system for a couple of months and have a lot of reasons to love it.
Disclosure: We received the speakers from Audioengine for review but we spend a lot of time testing them. Therefore, you can be ensured that the review is honest and unbiased.
Unboxing & Sound Test
Design & Features
There are a lot of similarities between the Audioengine A1 and A2+. They have the same size, design, silk dome tweeter, aramid fiber woofer, and some connections including Bluetooth 5.0, AUX, and subwoofer connection. The A1 is just missing the RCA and USB connections, besides, the finish of the A2+ looks much sleeker.
I really love the compact design of the A1 speakers and they would be a great fit for your minimalist desk setup. It doesn’t take much space on my desk and I’ve used it as external speaker system for my laptop. Since it features Bluetooth 5.0, I can connect the 2 speakers to my Macbook wirelessly and as you can see, there is almost no wire on my desk.
There are 2 speakers in the system but the left speaker is significantly heavier because it is the main unit housing the built-in amplifier, volume control, and connections. You will just need to plug in the left speaker and then connect the speaker cable from the left to right speaker. The Bluetooth connection works really well; The speaker automatically connects to my Macbook within seconds after I turn it on.
I didn’t expect much in the audio quality since the two speakers are fairly small and they are designed for small areas only. It works best when you sit in a close distance and the drivers point directly to your ears. Before testing this pair, I used two Apple HomePod units as my stereo speaker system and the soundstage was amazing; They could easily fill up my room and sound great at any position. On the other hand, the Audioengine A1 Wireless’ sound is more directional, so the stereo imaging is not as wide.
Besides, the bass of the A1 is underwhelming and the sub-bass is almost non-existent. My HomePod also outperforms the A1 in this area since it uses a large 4-inch upward-firing woofer to boost the bass. The A1 only has good performance in the lower mids; If you really need a good bass, you will need to connect it to a subwoofer.
The strength of the sound is the midrange. The focus on mids help me enjoy vocals and movies even more because everything sounds a lot clearer without any distraction. The sound is more natural and warmer since they use a Class D digital hybrid amp with no DSP and hyperactive limiting.
This is not the type of speaker that you can crank up the volume and enjoy music throughout the room. Instead, it sounds better when you sit right in front of the 2 speakers and even better when you use wedge-shaped desktop stands to direct the sound straight to your ears. In this situation, you just need to play at a moderate volume level and limitations like distortion wouldn’t be so obvious.
- Compact & clean design
- Clear & detailed mids
- Bluetooth 5.0 with AAC and AptX support
- More affordable
- Boxy sound
- Weak bass
The Audioengine A1 is perfect for most computer setups. This is absolutely not the best-sounding speaker system but it is good enough for most average consumers. I like the speakers but I think the price of around $150 is much more reasonable.
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