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Nathan Edwards

Jun 25, 2008

Audioengine A2 Speakers

At A Glance

Difference Engine

Amazing sound in a tiny form-factor. No subwoofer necessary.

Indifference Engine

Lacks the front-mounted volume control and USB port charger of the A5.

If you think deploying a subwoofer is a prerequisite to obtaining big-time bass, you haven’t heard Audioengine’s A5 speakers. And if you’re convinced you need huge cabinets for thumping bass, you haven’t heard the company’s new diminutive A2 system.

We’ve been using Audioengine’s A5 speakers as our reference point for speaker evaluations for many months—and they’ve been on our Best of the Best list ever since we laid ears on them—so we couldn’t wait to see what the company’s A2 system would deliver.

The A2’s cabinets are about one-third the size of the A5’s, which means they’ll fit just about anywhere, and they feature an absolutely luscious black lacquer-like finish that reminds us of a concert grand piano. The drawback to the glamour is that dust and fingerprints show up instantly, and the latter are hard to obliterate.

The A2 features the same 20mm silk tweeters as the much bigger A5, and we were pleasantly surprised that Audioengine didn’t overpower the 2.75-inch Kevlar woofers. The walls of the MDF cabinets are about a quarter-inch thinner than those in the A5.
The amp, located in the left speaker, delivers 15 watts RMS and provided more than enough power to fill a good-size bedroom. The amp has two sets of inputs in back, one RCA pair and one 1/8-inch stereo. Audioengine provides about 6.5 feet of 16-gauge speaker wire with bare ends, but the binding posts will also accept banana plugs if you roll that way. The company also includes drawstring pouches for the speakers, cords, and power cables.

While an all-around solid system, the A2’s volume control would be much handier if it were located on the front of the cabinet, and we miss the convenient USB charging port that the A5 boasts. But we have no complaints with the A2’s sound—it rocks, delivering spectacular sound with a wide variety of tunes. These speakers don’t get as loud as some larger systems we’ve auditioned lately, but that’s the only thing that holds us back from giving them a Kick Ass award.

THE VERDICT

Audioengine A2 Speakers

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