Published on December 18th, 2013 | by Greg0
Audioengine A2+ Powered Speakers: Better Than Ever
We’re rushing to listen, watch, and test as much gear as possible before the holidays, which has us burning in two or three speaker systems at a time, and stringing cables and cords across rooms as we compare different sources and styles with old products and new. One of the always-in-use test systems- a pair of speakers that we continue to love and use regularly- are the audioengine A2s, reviewed about a year ago.
Now the company has released an updated version, the slightly refined A2+. The changes aren’t major- we wouldn’t suggest that owners of the previous models rush out and purchase the newer sibling- but are nonetheless a definite step in the right direction. The best parts of the A2s are the excellent performance/size/price ratio- they are quite heavy, packed with enough power to impress jaded ears, and we liked their $200 pricetag. The newer ones up the hit on your wallet by $50, but add several pretty awesome features that are definitely worth it- if you need them.
For starters, some audiophiles requested a subwoofer output option via RCA, a way to connect an external sub to these little guys. For us, using them as bookshelf or computer speakers, this was a nice extra- but not a need-to-have. After all, one of the best parts of the A2s, either model, is their impressive bass output. We rarely felt the need to have added lower frequencies, though in a living room or home theater setup, it could prove pretty useful.
The next major addition was the inclusion of a USB input, allowing you a direct connection to your PC- something we specifically requested in our previous review and were excited to use. It’s plug and play- no drivers- and we definitely noticed improved audio quality primarily on higher bit-rate lossless files. If you already have a good DAC, then you can certainly stick with it instead, but a built-in DAC should help keep sound free of noise and . Regardless, it’s a great addition. Cables are all included, and the wires are decent stuff too. RCA and 3.5 mini-jack connectivity mean that just about any device can hook up to these guys easily. As before, the volume control can be a bit hard to reach, and there is no remote included. With the A2+, you don’t need an amp or receiver, and they look great without taking up too much space.
Available now online and in stores, we still highly recommend these, especially for those who don’t already own a DAC. Your music will fill the room, with much deeper lows than you might imagine possible from a 2.0 speaker system that can fit on your desk.