Audioengine A2+ Wireless Speaker System Review

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Audioengine is well known for its range of speakers in different varieties. The company has been around since 2005 and is based in Austin, Texas, where the founders have spent time with Gibson Guitars, Harman-Kardon, and Apple. Besides producing high-quality speakers, the company manufactures components like Bluetooth transceivers and headphone amps.

Over the years, their smaller computer-orientated speakers have accumulated a lot of popularity, and with the newest release of the Audioengine A2+ Wireless Speaker, they have certainly added to that. Based upon the design of the first A2, the A2+ Wireless adds Bluetooth connectivity and USB-in, so you can access the internal DAC with a cable if you have a fixed setup. With built-in amplifiers, the A2+ Wireless Speaker functions easily as a PC speaker, analog, or digital source.

Audioengine A2+

Design

Measuring only 6 inches in height, 4 inches in width, and 5.25 inches in depth, and weighing around 3 pounds, it’s safe to presume the Audioengine A2+ Wireless Speaker is reasonably small. However, with its small exterior comes a beautiful design and an even more impressive sound. From a front perspective, these speakers look neat and clean, especially in black, because they blend in well with the drivers. Both left and right speakers are identical from the front, giving your setup an aesthetically pleasing symmetry.

Most speakers must rest on somewhat cluttered surfaces, so their size and design are most welcome. The Kevlar membrane woofer and soft dome tweeter look sleek, and the front-firing port is barely noticeable as it is situated at the bottom. The A2+ speakers also feature no grills, so they have a less rugged finish. DS1 stands can also be purchased, which raise the speakers slightly off the ground. The elevation allows the speakers to be angled upward until you find that sweet spot for maximum audio enjoyment.

Features

Audioengine manufactures its woofers, tweeters, and many other components in the speaker systems. The custom-designed speaker comes equipped with cabinets, a bass port, an amplifier, and drivers, all working together to provide incredible sound for a compact package. The Audioengine A2+ speaker features a ‘master speaker’ with all electronics inside; in this case, it is the left speaker, whereby you would need to run a cable from the left to the right.

This feature may limit how you position the speakers to get to the inputs and outputs, but sometimes, it is convenient to have one master and another slave, especially where there is a short distance between the two. This approach is probably the most cost-efficient and easiest to manage for computer audio purposes. The left speaker houses all the controls, ports, and amplifiers.

There are Stereo RCA input and output ports, volume control, stereo mini-jack input, Bluetooth pair button, USB, and power inlet. It should be noted that the volume control also doubles up with the power switch on the back. This can cause some annoyance, especially when no remote control is included. This should be fine if you only plan to use it for PC via USB-in or Bluetooth.

The Audioengine A2+ speaker’s amplifiers are a conservatively-rated class A/B analog monoblock design. This traditional amplifier configuration is said to provide better-quality audio and superior flexibility. All the circuit boards for the preamp and power sections are also vertically attached for maximum mechanical shock defense. The A2+ speakers use audiophile-quality, ferrofluid-cooled silk dome tweeters with neodymium magnets, which hold up well under high power.

The speakers’ woofers are made from aramid fiber woven glass composite with rubber surrounds, aramid fiber is durable because the woofer retains its shape when being set at high levels. The A2+ speakers are both magnetically shielded, which means they can be used as TV speakers without the worry of interaction with a monitor.

Audioengine A2+

Installation and Setup

When unboxing, you’ll find that the speakers are well-packed and covered with a microfiber bag to protect the finish from scratches or smudges. After removing all the contents, you should find two bags with a power cord and cables. Both speakers are labeled left or right, but this should be obvious as the left speaker has all the output and input controls and a volume/power button.

The quick-start guide recommends placing the speakers well away from walls, a common suggestion for speaker designs with a bass port. Audioengine also suggests being on the same level as the speaker drivers to get the best frequency response and imaging. Leave some space at the back of the left-sided speaker depending on how you plan to use the speakers and how you plan to connect. If you plan to access the controls often, the volume can also be adjusted on your computer or smartphone if that is the only control you wish to change often.

Audioengine A2+ Inputs

Sound and Performance

Sound quality is the most important aspect behind every speaker, and the Audioengine A2+ speakers produce exceptional results considering their minuscule design. The A2+ offers a variety of ways to connect your device to the speaker. The easiest option for connecting to a PC would be through the USB port at the back, as it avoids another ADC step in the signal chain.

Once the USB cable has been plugged in, your PC should immediately recognize the device and be ready for use. Other ways of connectivity are through the implementation of your laptop or smartphone using Bluetooth. The A2+ speaker comes with Bluetooth version 5, providing better sound quality, further range, and increased battery life. When tested with a smartphone, it was found that the connection was extremely strong, and the connection did not drop within 60 meters, as can be expected with Bluetooth 5.

Compared to most medium-sized smart speakers, the A2+ speakers can seriously deliver some power. You get a little less bass than medium-sized smart speakers, but the overall sound quality is much better. The extension is very similar to the A2+ speaker and medium-sized ones as they both struggle below 100 Hz, but the A2+ does so without introducing audible DSP artifacts.

The treble and midrange are also pretty good. However, there is a lower midrange bump. The bump is not detrimental to the presentation, but it was probably an attempt to get a slightly more cumbersome presentation in a system that is a little light on bass. In response, Audioengine still makes a suitable subwoofer for the A2+ speaker.

“In small spaces, these speakers are the perfect option”

EDM and Rock music sound great, even though the 3 to 5 kHz range is not overly pronounced. Female vocals are crisp without being too forward, and the sibilance is not a problem unless present in the recording. Around 10 kHz, the A2+ speaker falls short and sounds somewhat uncontrolled. In small spaces, these speakers are the perfect option, and Audioengine has been nice enough to include a sub out on their speakers so you can upgrade to more bass. In larger areas, however, the A2+ wouldn’t be able to compete with bigger stereo sets, which should be expected from PC-orientated speakers.

Audioengine also sells the DS1 desk stands, which help you position the speakers to find that sweet spot. Other desk stands will probably give you the same result, but the DS1 stands feel more secure despite being made of plastic. To find the sweet spot, you’d want to have your ears on or slightly below the axis of the tweeter for maximum performance. The sweet spot does not necessarily provide a range for everyone, so the speakers are more for a single listener unless you sit side by side.

Audioengine A2+ Wireless Speaker System Review - Outeraudio

Pros & Cons

What We Like:

  • Good build quality and finish.
  • Compact size for desk saving space.
  • Great sound quality, considering the physical size.
  • A variety of sources use analog inputs, USB components, or Bluetooth.
  • 3-year warranty.

What We Don’t Like:

  • It could have a little more bass.
  • High-end extensions can be a little unstable.
  • DS1 stands, and remote control should be included.
  • A subwoofer should be offered with the package.

Conclusion

The Audioengine A2+ speakers are small speakers designed for use as computer speakers or in smaller rooms. They shouldn’t be compared against large floor-standing speakers or flat panels. Considering these factors, they are very musical and perform great considering their price and size. These speakers are not designed to fill a living room with sound, but in a smaller room, like a bedroom or office, they sound much bigger than they are. It should be noted that the larger the room these speakers are placed, the more the bass will get lost, and the midrange will prevail.

It would have been nice if a remote was included and if the power button and volume button weren’t the same, but these are small sacrifices for an overall outstanding product. In conclusion, some larger speakers cost the same or are slightly more than the A2+ speaker, which also sounds precisely the same or even slightly deeper in the low end. Therefore, finding something that sounds better at this size would be hard.

Audioengine A2+

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Author: Zach Scheepers

Based in South Africa, Zach is an audiophile and PC enthusiast. Zach is skilled in his ability to cover the technical aspects of a product while explaining it in a way that the average Joe can still understand what all the mumbo-jumbo means! If you're new to the audiophile world, Zach is your go-to-guy!

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