Given the A5s are aimed at the digital music player owner, I tried them this way first. There's no doubt, these are serious, room-filling speakers. The sound's big and beefy without, and distortion free even when both the iPod and the A5s themselves - there's a volume control on the front of the left speaker - are turned up to max.
The A5s' strength is the bass which not only has all the thump you'd expect from a powerfully amplified set-up but also an isotropic quality so you feel they're pointed at you wherever you are in the room. There's also good detail there.
What the A5s lacked - at least at first - were the higher frequencies. Some recordings and music genres were worse than others, of course, but even so the sound lacks sparkle and clarity.
What we're seeing here is the limit of the medium, and the danger of stressing how handy your speaker products are for MP3 player usage. The A5s aren't deficient at the higher frequencies, as hooking them up to MacBook Pro and tweaking iTunes' EQ setting revealed. Playing CDs through the A5s showed just how clear they can be while still pumping out a solid, warm bass.
Listening environment and personal taste are important factors too, so it's a good that Audioengine offers new buyers a 30-day audition period. If you don't like the A5s, you can send them back for a refund - minus shipping costs, of course.
The price for this fine set of speakerage? Just $349 (£186/€275) a pair, so hardly a bank-breaking asking price, though overseas buyers may face significant delivery charges given the A5s' combined weight.
Audioengine's A5 speakers look good and sound even better. Hook them up to a CD or DVD player and you're in for a real treat. The company's claim that MP3 and other lossy audio formats sound great too is entirely true, but only because of the volume. These technologies sell the A5s short - the speakers deserve much better sound sources. Frankly, they're too good for MP3s. ®
Places to buy Audioengine speakers in the UK
Other places to get hold of these audioengine speakers in the UK are Ecodigital (you can also save the planet while you buy!!) and Bluestream Audio Visual. ,)
These definitely do sound like a pair of excellent speakers and I would love to get my hand on some, especially at this price.
Oh, wait, at the _U.S._ price, that is. Now I dont know what the shipping costs are but apparently someone here in the UK gets them delivered by rocket, otherwise I cant explain why they are being sold at up to £375.00! Damn, I'll add another couple of !!! just because!
(Ok, I've seen them for £249.00 as well, but still...no way)
Hints to cheap resellers in the UK would be much appreciated...
I thought I'd mention that we're now shipping with these new features:
1. 5-way speaker binding posts (gold-plated screw-down type replaces the plastic spring clip speaker connectors found on earlier versions).
2. Direct subwoofer outputs. This is a full-range output to go directly into a sub input.
The white finish is high-gloss and the new black version is semi-matte black to hide fingerprints and scratches. Both white and black include the same new features, which is something people have been asking about for some reason.
As far as availability of the A5 in the UK, we are now listed on Amazon UK:
I'm surprised you didn't mention how great these speakers work with the Airport Express! This seems to be what a large majority of our customers do and we're working on a sub that also has an AC outlet on the back to allow for a "wireless-ready sub".
Also just FYI, the AC output jack for the UK market is an EU plug - I think I sent you a US version as the EU plugs weren't shipping yet.
Brady Bargenquast, co-founder, Audioengine USA