May 13, 2012
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Computer speakers. For over a decade, I had a pair of beige, no-name ones, a pair of small satellites with a subwoofer. They were fine. But gadget freak that I am, after reading a review in Stereophile magazine, I needed to upgrade them.
Audioengine has made a name for itself by building high quality components for the computer market. Stylish as a Mac, affordable as a PC, their powered speakers, dac, amplifier, and wireless adapters have earned the company top marks. The smaller brother to the A5s, the A2's are self-powered speakers that feature a very efficient 15W RMS amplifier and accept both stereo mini-jack and RCA connections. The 2.75" Kevlar woofers and 20mm silk dome tweeters deliver a stunning frequency response of 65Hz-22kHz +/-2.0dB; very impressive for their diminuative size. The speakers are AC powered and include a 100-240v adapter, speaker cable for connecting right to left speaker, and a few short audio cables for connecting analog signals.
How do they sound? Amazing. In fact, so amazing that you'll want to pull your chair back a few extra feet from your desk so you can take in that amazing sound. Even with the optional speaker stands (that provide a 30 degree tilt up from the desktop), the A2's are so in your face with brilliant, resolute audio that may just not enjoy it. After all, a pair of speakers sandwiched between a computer monitor on two-foot desktop is as far from an ideal sound stage! The A2's may not be big enough to fill a larger room, but they will more than saturate your desktop's listening area.
The A2's will accept line level inputs from two sources simultaneously, a great feature and perfect for two computers that share a KVM. The volume knob is on the back of the left speaker, which is slightly inconvenient for me because I don't use my computer's software volume control – I much prefer the physical knob. But all in all, the A2's are everything they're billed to be, and a bargain at $199 a pair. Be sure to search for coupon codes when ordering direct.
On The web:
Audioengine 2 (A2)