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Audioengine A2 Review - Page 7

post #91 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradleyP View Post
 

Agree.  I have searched far and wide for a solution that costs less than the speakers themselves to no avail.  The A2 speakers never sounded so good as when I placed them directly on my friend's granite counter top all the way to the front edge.  I fantasize about a pair of made-to-measure granite blocks to acoustically isolate the speakers completely from my desk, but that would cost hundreds.  For now, thick, heavy books paired with the A2 rubber stands do pretty well. 


just go to a tile  countertop maker/installer place they should have loads of offcuts. even old sample slabs for showing people.

 

By the way i see the NEW A2+ has a few upgrades over the regular A2

built -in 16 bit DAC

RCA output

bigger binding posts

revised power supply

mini-xlr power connector

improved bass response

 

Do I need another set? Could give these as a gift maybe. hmmm.


Edited by nick n - 11/17/13 at 5:20pm
post #92 of 114

Thanks for all the great reviews and info on the A2s. I finally gave in and pulled the trigger on a set today.

post #93 of 114
a
Edited by csnr - 9/4/14 at 9:16am
post #94 of 114

If you are of average height or taller, buy the official stands, but also buy two foam yoga blocks for about $5 each.  Sit the official stands on the large faces of the blocks and you will keep the "boom" out of the desktop and get the stereo image up to a more pleasing height.  Midrange will be cleared up even more and bass will be better defined.  In my experience, the official stands do not do enough for acoustical isolation unless the desktop is a very solid one.  Professional studio monitors are usually sat on angled foam stands from Sonex for about $40 or more a pair.  Yoga blocks give the same or better acoustical isolation for much less money if you are angling the speakers up rather than down.  (Monitors often sit on a hutch and are angled down.)  

 

Also, the better the signal you feed the Audioengines, the better they sound.  Many like the Audioengine D1 DAC, which I use for headphones when I travel, but they tend to overdo the bass in the A2, although less so since I put the yoga blocks in place. Try the Audioengine D3 or the Dragonfly; or the iFi DSD Nano is you want a physical volume knob.  I've gone even higher end than these, and it makes a nice difference.

 

Finally, get a good RCA interconnect, like the Audioquest Evergreen at minimum.    

 

Enjoy!      

post #95 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradleyP View Post
 

If you are of average height or taller, buy the official stands, but also buy two foam yoga blocks for about $5 each.  Sit the official stands on the large faces of the blocks and you will keep the "boom" out of the desktop and get the stereo image up to a more pleasing height.  Midrange will be cleared up even more and bass will be better defined.  In my experience, the official stands do not do enough for acoustical isolation unless the desktop is a very solid one.  Professional studio monitors are usually sat on angled foam stands from Sonex for about $40 or more a pair.  Yoga blocks give the same or better acoustical isolation for much less money if you are angling the speakers up rather than down.  (Monitors often sit on a hutch and are angled down.)  

 

Also, the better the signal you feed the Audioengines, the better they sound.  Many like the Audioengine D1 DAC, which I use for headphones when I travel, but they tend to overdo the bass in the A2, although less so since I put the yoga blocks in place. Try the Audioengine D3 or the Dragonfly; or the iFi DSD Nano is you want a physical volume knob.  I've gone even higher end than these, and it makes a nice difference.

 

Finally, get a good RCA interconnect, like the Audioquest Evergreen at minimum.    

 

Enjoy!      

This is really good advice.  Audioengines really need to be kept off the desk, which is a shame considering how they are advertised and photographed.  IMO, they are not at their best unless they are a good 12 inches above a desk surface, or ideally, on stands away from a desk, with no monitor in the middle.  

post #96 of 114

Here's a further tweak that makes a difference with the Audioengine stands and foam yoga blocks: lay a pencil down under each of the front and back edge of the Audioengine stands between the stands and the foam blocks.  This step finally achieved total mechanical isolation between the A2 and the desktop.  It wasn't subtle.  I'm sure other prettier solutions are available.

 

Since my last post, I moved the A2s to my TV where they are doing a great job.  On my desktop now sit a pair of JBL LSR305 studio monitors. They are a nice step up from the A2s--mostly in the bass--for the same money.  (On sale for $240/pr)  IF and ONLY IF you have the real estate on your desktop and can put them four feet apart and can sit them each on a pair of foam yoga blocks, these are the way to go.  If you don't have the room, stick with the A2 and be happy.  The JBLs also sound great on traditional speaker stands in a regular hifi setup.  Neutral, big, musical sound for peanuts.  It just don't get no better for the money.

post #97 of 114

Will using the official Audioengine stands achieve the same isolating effect?

post #98 of 114

In my experience on my somewhat flimsy desk, no.  They were essential for image height, but they still needed the yoga blocks for further isolation and proper image height.  On sturdier surfaces like a granite countertop, the Audioengine stands were enough, or even no stands at all.  Start with the Audioengine stands and if your whole desktop booms or if the image is lower than you want, apply the $10 fix.  Good luck!

post #99 of 114

Just picked up a pair of the A2+ today on sale (C$179) for my office, replacing a crappy pair of $30 Creative PC speakers. Being an office, I can't really blare the tunes, but am loving the SQ compared to my previous set-up. At equivalent volumes, the music has greater bass and mid range, with depth and vibrancy. Have my laptop connected via USB, utilizing the in-speaker DAC, and am very pleased with my new sound environment. Listened to some classical, some jazz, some 70s rock, and 90s house this afternoon, and was well pleased with all genres.

post #100 of 114

i got a pair of A2+ from craiglist for a steal and i love them! they look so nice and sleek its a buestiful addition to any mac friendly setup.

post #101 of 114
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Itbesandrodoe1 View Post
 

i got a pair of A2+ from craiglist for a steal and i love them! they look so nice and sleek its a buestiful addition to any mac friendly setup.

gratz

post #102 of 114

Hope I'm not resurrecting a dead thread (I've only posted here once, a while back), but i couldn't figure out how to start a new post. This may jump back and forth a bit, but I'll try and keep my thoughts/questions in order.

I recently have been learning I can't wear headphones. I noticed it a while back on my Astro a50s (no longer owned, btw) that they would put pressure on my jaw just below my ears, and it would ache (not hugely, but enough to cause my shoulders/neck to tense) for a day or so. I recently have been using HD 558s and after nearly a month, same issue! Anyway, long story short, I pretty much used them for gaming, music, and youtube, though mostly gaming. I enjoy positional audio and would like to avoid sacrificing some of that, but it's not the most important thing for me, gaming-wise. I was considering the Promedia Klipsch speakers when I started reading people suggesting the Audioengine A2 instead (plus the Klipsch at my local best buy aren't working, so there's no way to test the audio in person). Are the A2s good for gaming? Hearing the game's nuances is important, but I also don't mind a nice thump of bass for immersion.

I'm still learning my preferences, but I would assume a nice balance is ideal for both gaming and music (I like to be able to hear the other instruments in music, and the only music I pretty much can't stand is heavy rock/rap/country. I mostly listen to my local Christian stations, some soundtracks from Last of Us/Tomb Raider, and Youtube artists like Alex G/Peter Hollens).

Before I really started on my path to better audio (hopefully), I was using Altec Lansing 621 speakers, and I loved them immensely. Sadly, they started having issues (hand me downs) and I passed them on to a cousin who needed something for his rig. I was then steared towards gaming headsets because of friends and got suckered into the marketing hype for a while (thus the a50 purchase a while back, which has since been rectified).

All of that to say this: Are the A2 speakers worth it for gaming (PC and PS4) and music? I prefer a clean and minimal-looking setup, and I plan on getting a decent desktop mic and using push to talk (NT-USB or AT2020 USB, or maybe an ATR 2100 to reduce background noise if recommended).

I just need help getting my audio life straightened out and don't want to waste a bunch of space/money!

 

P.S. I'd like these to be good enough for music for when I'm doing my photo/video editing.

post #103 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriswalden View Post
 

Hope I'm not resurrecting a dead thread (I've only posted here once, a while back), but i couldn't figure out how to start a new post. This may jump back and forth a bit, but I'll try and keep my thoughts/questions in order.

I recently have been learning I can't wear headphones. I noticed it a while back on my Astro a50s (no longer owned, btw) that they would put pressure on my jaw just below my ears, and it would ache (not hugely, but enough to cause my shoulders/neck to tense) for a day or so. I recently have been using HD 558s and after nearly a month, same issue! Anyway, long story short, I pretty much used them for gaming, music, and youtube, though mostly gaming. I enjoy positional audio and would like to avoid sacrificing some of that, but it's not the most important thing for me, gaming-wise. I was considering the Promedia Klipsch speakers when I started reading people suggesting the Audioengine A2 instead (plus the Klipsch at my local best buy aren't working, so there's no way to test the audio in person). Are the A2s good for gaming? Hearing the game's nuances is important, but I also don't mind a nice thump of bass for immersion.

I'm still learning my preferences, but I would assume a nice balance is ideal for both gaming and music (I like to be able to hear the other instruments in music, and the only music I pretty much can't stand is heavy rock/rap/country. I mostly listen to my local Christian stations, some soundtracks from Last of Us/Tomb Raider, and Youtube artists like Alex G/Peter Hollens).

Before I really started on my path to better audio (hopefully), I was using Altec Lansing 621 speakers, and I loved them immensely. Sadly, they started having issues (hand me downs) and I passed them on to a cousin who needed something for his rig. I was then steared towards gaming headsets because of friends and got suckered into the marketing hype for a while (thus the a50 purchase a while back, which has since been rectified).

All of that to say this: Are the A2 speakers worth it for gaming (PC and PS4) and music? I prefer a clean and minimal-looking setup, and I plan on getting a decent desktop mic and using push to talk (NT-USB or AT2020 USB, or maybe an ATR 2100 to reduce background noise if recommended).

I just need help getting my audio life straightened out and don't want to waste a bunch of space/money!

 

P.S. I'd like these to be good enough for music for when I'm doing my photo/video editing.

The best advice I can give you is buy from a place with a good return policy. The A2+ is a very polarizing speaker. You either love it or you hate. Without trying it it is hard to know on which side you will fall. So on returning it just in case you do not fall in the love camp. That said, as an owner of the A2+, there are few things to keep in mind before you even bother trying the A2+. First, realize you can buy better speakers for less money. There are two trade offs here. One is you are paying a premium for size. The A2+ is a very small speaker and you are paying for that convenience. Are you sure you need it? Two is that you are sacrificing sound quality for size, are you sure it is worth it? Assuming you said yes to both of those questions then proceed with trying the A2+. If you said no or are unsure then have a look at your other options before buying the A2+. These are the speakers I would suggest researching:

 

Under $150:

For a 2.0 setup: M-Audio AV40

For a 2.1 setup: Klipsch Promedia

 

Under $300: 

For the smallest space: Audioengine A2+

For the best bass: JBL LSR305

For the best treble: Airmotiv 4S

For the most convenience: Polk Hampden

 

Under $500

The best: Adam Audio F5

The bang for your buck: Airmotiv 5S

The best looking: Audioengine A5+

The odd ball: Vanatoo Transparent One

 

Lastly, if none of those interest you, Klipsch has some new powered speakers in the works that might be worth waiting for. The R-15PM looks like a swiss army knife when it comes to inputs. And it should be getting a slightly larger and better looking brother soon. And Audioengine is giving their new HD6 a little brother, the HD3. It should be roughly the size of the A2+ but look like the HD6 while adding bluetooth. Only time will tell what internal upgrades it may include too. Either way, if the A2+ is what you decide on you might want to wait for the HD3 if only because it will probably drive the price of the A2+ down.

post #104 of 114
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriswalden View Post
 

Hope I'm not resurrecting a dead thread (I've only posted here once, a while back), but i couldn't figure out how to start a new post. This may jump back and forth a bit, but I'll try and keep my thoughts/questions in order.

I recently have been learning I can't wear headphones. I noticed it a while back on my Astro a50s (no longer owned, btw) that they would put pressure on my jaw just below my ears, and it would ache (not hugely, but enough to cause my shoulders/neck to tense) for a day or so. I recently have been using HD 558s and after nearly a month, same issue! Anyway, long story short, I pretty much used them for gaming, music, and youtube, though mostly gaming. I enjoy positional audio and would like to avoid sacrificing some of that, but it's not the most important thing for me, gaming-wise. I was considering the Promedia Klipsch speakers when I started reading people suggesting the Audioengine A2 instead (plus the Klipsch at my local best buy aren't working, so there's no way to test the audio in person). Are the A2s good for gaming? Hearing the game's nuances is important, but I also don't mind a nice thump of bass for immersion.

I'm still learning my preferences, but I would assume a nice balance is ideal for both gaming and music (I like to be able to hear the other instruments in music, and the only music I pretty much can't stand is heavy rock/rap/country. I mostly listen to my local Christian stations, some soundtracks from Last of Us/Tomb Raider, and Youtube artists like Alex G/Peter Hollens).

Before I really started on my path to better audio (hopefully), I was using Altec Lansing 621 speakers, and I loved them immensely. Sadly, they started having issues (hand me downs) and I passed them on to a cousin who needed something for his rig. I was then steared towards gaming headsets because of friends and got suckered into the marketing hype for a while (thus the a50 purchase a while back, which has since been rectified).

All of that to say this: Are the A2 speakers worth it for gaming (PC and PS4) and music? I prefer a clean and minimal-looking setup, and I plan on getting a decent desktop mic and using push to talk (NT-USB or AT2020 USB, or maybe an ATR 2100 to reduce background noise if recommended).

I just need help getting my audio life straightened out and don't want to waste a bunch of space/money!

 

P.S. I'd like these to be good enough for music for when I'm doing my photo/video editing.


hi, well the thing to remenmber isthat the a2+ is musical.  it is not a typcal "computer" speakers which are a 2 or 4 peices of poo mid/tweeters and a huge, flabby sub that will vibrate your desk accross the room.

 

they are clean and musical, accuarate for the most part and while they offer a nice levelof bass to paint its clean, light , agile, punchy then it gracefully drops off.  most "computer" type stuff is nothing like them they ar eall about the gigantic bass smotheirng everything and bass explosions that want to blaw apart your room.

 

 

so, really its about what yoru looking for.  the a2+'s are lovely, very musical but they arent what people usally want for gaming.  now im not going to say you cant get nice 2.1 systems, you can, but most of them tend to massivyl over focus on the bass and then focus on quantitiy over quality.

post #105 of 114

What about getting the A2+ and adding a sub later if I decide it lacks bass? Like I said, I'm not a bass head, I just like a nice bass for certain things but not brain-melting-ly overpowering. My family is very musically oriented, so I like being able to hear individual instruments/vocalists and the full range. Games I usually play include a few fps, third person adventures, and the occasional indie. I prefer games with great sound design to keep me immersed. I like headphones, but I just prefer good speakers after having grown up using them my whole life vs headphones.

Building on that last note, how are the A2s (not necessarily the A2+ but either way) compared to the Sennheiser HD 558s (both before and after foam mod)?


Edited by kriswalden - 2/18/16 at 11:07am
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