AudioEngine 2 (A2) Premium Powered Desktop Speakers Review


My buddy Dimitri recently had the chance to review Audioengine’s A5 speakers over on WhatsOniPhone. He loved the big sound and excellent build.  I’ve recently had a chance to take a look at the far smaller A2s; at about 1/3 the size of the A5s, the A2s are like the smaller sibling and while they don’t pack the SAME punch, they hold their own rather well.

Let’s take a look…


The Hype-

According to AudioEngine the A2s are-
The new standard for multimedia sound and closes the gap between computer speakers and home audio. Audioengine 2 is the perfect upgrade for your computer, iPod, and all your music.

The Reality-

Having read Dimitri’s review of the A5s, it was immediately clear that these were an AudioEngine product. The small black cases (they come in white too) are made out of sturdy wood with a hand-polished finish. While the A2s use the same custom tweeters as the A5s, they employ newly designed Kevlar woofers that, like the A5s, are “ungrilled”. The speakers are surprisingly heavy for their size.

The Specs
2 audio inputs (RCA and mini-jack)
60W total peak power
Frequency response 65Hz-22kHz
Built-in power amps (left speaker)
Kevlar woofers for super low end
Silk tweeters for smooth highs
High-quality speaker connectors
Auto-sleep power-saving mode
Hand-built 18mm thick MDF cabinets with high-gloss polyurethane finish
Dimensions: 6.00 x 4.00 x 5.25 inches
Weight: 3.55lbs (Left), 3.18lbs (Right)

In The Box
Power supply
Speaker cable (16AWG), 2 meters (~6.5 feet)
1/8″ mini-jack audio cable, 2 meters (~6.5 feet)
1/8″ mini-jack audio cable, 20cm (~8 inches)
Drawstring power supply bag
Drawstring cable bag
Drawstring speaker bags (2)
Setup Guide

Placing the A2s next to the LogiTech speakers I have been using with my iMac reinforce just how sleek-looking these small speakers are.

From the front the speakers look exactly the same. The back, however, tells a different story as the left speaker is chock full of connectors and the right has… almost none.

The A2’s have two flavors of audio inputs– a set of RCA Left and Right jacks and a single 1/8″ mini stereo jack. Typically, you would use the RCA jacks to connect this set to your computer, TV or stereo. A 1/8″ mini jack makes connecting an iPod or other device. All of this makes setup a breeze!

The 1/8″ connector is nice but the A2s don’t come with any sort of iPod dock. Fortunately there are a number of choices around but it does mean a small added expense. The bigger issue on this front is the lack of GSM shielding that makes using the speakers with an iPhone a challenge.

This, however, is a relatively minor complaint because, when you turn them on, the A2s are very much an AudioEngine product in this department… translation… they sound great.

I’m not an audiophile, but I know what sounds good and what doesn’t. The AudioEngine A2s sound GOOD- really good! The highs sound quite nice, and even the lows have a lot of punch. And the volume? The A2s prove that loud things can come in small packages. They sound and feel like a much bigger and more expensive set of speakers.

What I Like-
Small size but big sound
Very well built
Enough connectivity options to use them in a variety of ways

What I Don’t-

No gsm shielding makes them largely unusable with an iPhone unless it is in Airplane mode
Volume control around back and no remote
No power indicator

The Audioengine A2 are available for $199.00 and can be ordered directly from the Audioengine site.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.