The perfect speaker if you want it easy and high quality with no HUM.
Revisado en el Reino Unido 🇬🇧 el 3 de febrero de 2019
What I was looking for was high quality audio for under £400 - the problem was I was plagued with HUM and HISS, INTERFERENCE from my computer, especially when gaming. My previous speakers (eris) would hum constantly and it would unbearable when gaming. These speakers do not hum at all.
In this review I wont talk about SOUND QUALITY in detail, as this is something I think defers per person, instead Ill write about the use of these speakers, things that affect everyone no matter how tuned your ears are. I did however get a second hand D1 DAC to use with these to increase the sound quality a little, however I didnt REALLY need it, its just a love having a central little volume control ontop of my headphone dac.
I'm going to give some bullet points and make some comparisons to audio stuff I have owned and used for some time:
- These do not hum or hiss unless you turn them above 65% volume on the speaker itself, however this isn't needed. Above this volume they could fill a large apartment. I dont know why they dont; compared to other speakers that hummed for me (KRK, ERIS, MACKIE) Those listed speakers had hum even when using balanced TRS connections, It was not a ground loop, I checked. I dont know the reason for this, but Audioengine boasts completely in house parts; active speakers have and internal amp inside them to make them 'plug n play' so you dont need your own; my theory is that audioengine's internal in house one has been tuned perfectly to reduce the hum/hiss. Not only this, but MAYBE the fact that only one speaker has power running through it; the other is connected to the main speaker with copper gauge wire. Having only one power plug compared to one on each speaker (KRK, ERIS, MACKIE) could reduce noise and get rid of that hum. (Again no science here, just my intuition)
- The build quality and packaging is support; the little velvet bags everything comes in is a nice touch.
- The LED on the front is blinding and distracting to me as I use these on my PC and they are always in my vision. I bought some sticky black dots from ebay and covered it with that.
- The volume knob on the front is lovely; tactile and makes a feint click noise as you turn it. The fact is turns and has no stopping point is annoying, meaning you have to use the LED to see when its full. I however dont mind as i always turn the speakers back down when im finished, a quick rotate is enough to make them quiet again. A small caveat.
- The remote is a pure novelty; I dont see why you'd use it; I cant see a use. If you had your phone plugged in or whatever you cant pause, you can just lower volume, mute or put the speakers into sleep mode. Why would you do that? If you put them to sleep its because your not using them but the audio source continues on the device, as it only controls the speakers. If you think your going to get the remote, get the a5+ Wireless edition, they are about £90 more on sale and are actually useful if you want to use them wirelessly.
- The usb port also seems a novelty. I dont want to charge my phone from my speakers.
- They need some sound insulation on the bottom, they come with tiny little pads stuck to them, but they wont really do anything. You can get a pair of isolation pads or audioengine's own branded ones. I got the branded ones purely because they look aesthetically pleasing to me.
If I had to describe these speakers in one sentence - 'Well made speakers for anyone looking to get a high quality setup easily.'
Previous Audio equipment Ive owned for over 3 weeks of use:
KRK rokit 5, KRK rokit 4, Eris 5, Mackie CR4, Audient id14, focusrite 2i4, Logitech g533, Logitech Z623, Audio technica at40hx, beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro Headphones
My current setup:
MASSDROP o2 +sdac, Seinheisser hd660s, Audioengine D1 Dac, Audioengine a5+ speakers, audioengine sound absorption pads.
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