The Audioengine A2+ speakers, known for their compact design and impressive audio performance, have garnered considerable attention and praise from various audio enthusiasts. I’ve used them in my home office for a few months and here’s a detailed review.
Design and Build Quality
The A2+ speakers show Audioengine’s commitment to quality and unique design. Audioengine has a reputation for producing high-quality, easy-to-use PC-HIFI products, and the A2+ is no exception. These speakers feature a 2.75-inch Kevlar fiber woofer and a 20mm silk tweeter, housed in a small yet elegantly designed cabinet with a matte or glossy finish. This combination not only ensures a minimalist and aesthetically pleasing appearance but also allows the speakers to blend seamlessly into various home environments.
The A2+ speakers are designed for near-field monitoring, making them an ideal choice for desktop setups. Audioengine also offers DS1 desk stands, which help position the speakers optimally for the best sound experience. However, their performance can diminish in larger rooms, where they might be outgunned by bigger stereo sets.
Connectivity and Functionality
One of the A2+’s strengths is its versatile connectivity. It offers USB input with a built-in DAC, traditional 3.5mm plug, RCA, and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless receiver, supporting apt-X HD/apt-X/AAC/SBC Bluetooth decoding. This range of inputs caters to various devices, from smartphones and tablets to PCs, offering users flexibility and convenience. The Bluetooth module performs exceptionally well, providing a stable connection with laptops and phones.
Despite their small size, the A2+ speakers deliver a pretty impressive sound. They provide a balanced and non-fatiguing sound, with a commendable soundstage when positioned correctly. The bass quality is above average as compared to other small-sized speakers, though they struggle slightly below 100 Hz. The midrange and treble are well-tuned, with a noticeable lower midrange bump that doesn’t significantly detract from the overall sound quality. However, the speakers do show limitations in the upper frequencies, particularly above 10 kHz.
Drawbacks and Considerations
While the A2+ speakers impress in many aspects, they do have some limitations. The integrated volume knob and on/off switch on the back can be slightly inconvenient, though this can be mitigated by using a computer’s volume control for fine-tuning. Additionally, the bass extension under 100 Hz is limited, which might necessitate a subwoofer for those seeking more robust low-end performance.
Besides, there is a hissing sound audible at low volume levels or when I don’t play any sound from my computer. This can be a point of contention for audiophiles or those sensitive to background noise. While this issue doesn’t detract from the overall quality and performance of the speakers for most users, it is something to consider, especially in very quiet environments where such background noise could become more noticeable.
The Audioengine A2+ speakers, with their fine build quality, versatile connectivity options, and impressive sound performance for their size, offer significant value. They are particularly well-suited for desktop use and smaller rooms. Their ability to deliver a balanced sound with good bass and midrange performance, despite some high-frequency and placement limitations, makes them a strong contender in their category and price range of around $200.
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