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At $400, can Audioengine 5+ be beat?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to get some nicer speakers for my apartment. Currently I have audioengine 2s connected to my iMac. Pretty decent sound when I'm sitting at my desk, but I'm looking for something with a more room filling sound. Those little guys just aren't big enough.

Since I don't have an amp or receiver, I'm thinking the A5+ would get me the most sound quality for my money. While I'd love to be able to match the stunning fidelity of my dads B&W speakers, rotel amp, and Marantz CD player, I am but a college student. The source would likely just be an Apple TV for streaming music or playing CDs from a PS3. I have yet to read a bad thing about the A5+ but I thought I'd ask for other input anyway.

Thanks.


EDIT: I feel I should add that I have a Fiio E17 DAC, if that affects this at all.
Edited by shinndigg - 8/1/12 at 3:21pm
post #2 of 16

I would pick up a Topping amplifier (oi the cheap Lepai) and pair it with the Cambridge S30. I think you will be quite happy with that arrangement. You could also add on a cheap sub for more fun, without going too far overbudget.


Edited by tzjin - 8/13/12 at 8:19pm
post #3 of 16

For half that money a decent set of 'vintage' speakers and amp will give you 95% of the sound of the audioengines - and if you get bigger ones with 8 or 10" drivers you'll surely have room-filling sound.

Plus the rear ports make it very difficult to place these in a room where you decent bass response - that's the biggest problem with them - most of the time they produce very bloated flabby bass that changes drastically depending on their position in the room and YOUR position in the room.

 

Desktop or bookshelf speakers are often better off being front ported for easier near field adjustment.

Or just stuff some socks into the ports :)

post #4 of 16

Everyone is saying a passive + amp setup is better, but I prefer the simplicity of the A5+'s because it involves much less cable spaghetti. As far as active speakers go, the A5+ is your best bet (there is a coupon code for 10% off for the audioengine website, find that on google and use it).

post #5 of 16

I believe the M200 (MKII) is extremely well-regarded for a lesser price.

post #6 of 16

I would say head over to Guitar Center and check out their studio monitors. Look at the KRK RP6's or the M-Audio BX8D2's. The BX8's would probably be your best bet for room filling sound because they are simply larger.

post #7 of 16

That bold part is gonna be an issue since these monitor speakers were not designed to do that, they are meant to be near field only. I would say passives and an amp would be a better choice but if you are set on powered look to choices other than audioengines (have heard the A2 and A5 and even though Ive read that the A5+ is improved having heard the latter is enough to convince me that I never want to hear audioengines again) for less than $400 believe me there are MUCH better choices. Just to give you a little benchmark for prices I got my KRK Rokit 6 FG brand new from guitarcenter (over the phone not at a store) for $277 shipped and tax included a few months ago. I dont think anyone who has heard both the Rokits (any 5,6,8) and the A5 would take the A5; Id take my old Logitech Z3200 over the A5.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shinndigg View Post

 Pretty decent sound when I'm sitting at my desk, but I'm looking for something with a more room filling sound. Those little guys just aren't big enough.

 

+1 about guitar center being a great source since they have a pretty big selection... Just dont ask that many questions to the employees cause at my store at least they are pointless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NAWilson9 View Post

I would say head over to Guitar Center and check out their studio monitors. Look at the KRK RP6's or the M-Audio BX8D2's. The BX8's would probably be your best bet for room filling sound because they are simply larger.

post #8 of 16

Regarding separates - yes there is more cable spaghetti, but my Audioengine A5 was faulty and so I sent it back for a refund. Others have had the same problem with a fault in the amplifier that causes weird blowing and humming noises - however that's not the point I'm making as the new 5+ version should have that fixed by now - but that got me thinking that at some point in the future, one way or another this tiny amp inside the left speaker will probably have another problem and it will be out of warranty and probably cost a lot of money to fix or replace - but with separates there are more opportunities for customisation and upgrades later on in the system that suit your needs. 

 

The Audioengines have so many little plugs and gadgets and knobs and things that there is just A LOT more that can go wrong. 

 

I love them and think they're sexy, but I'm just more practical so they had to go.

post #9 of 16

Well, I currently own the A5s and the KRK RP6 G2s.  I have moved them all over the house and have to say, unless you live in an arena of some sort, they fill  the rooms perfectly.  I also bought into the nearfield monitor bit until I had them and heard them myself.

 

The A5s do have little plugs and gadgets that do come in handy for different applications and I have tried them with many and never been disappointed.

 

Cheers!!!

 

 

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post #10 of 16

Heatfan, how do the two compare? I hear some bad impressions of the a5's, but I found with proper placement and if i eq their 150hz midbass hump down they sound much cleaner... i almost sold them until i did this.

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by muad View Post

Heatfan, how do the two compare? I hear some bad impressions of the a5's, but I found with proper placement and if i eq their 150hz midbass hump down they sound much cleaner... i almost sold them until i did this.

 

Well, I like them both.  Had the A5s first and I feel both bring something to the table.  Today I was running the KRKs via RCA to WA2 to a CDP.  Great sound indeed.  Lots of folks had trouble with the A5s because of the connections not being correct and they are rear ported so you have to have space behind them.  Unless I'm using a DAP, I control the volume on each via pre-amp.

post #12 of 16

Ah yes, I've been loking into the 65's for some time. I'm moving to a tiny studio apartment in September and figure'd I try to demo them then. I fear they're probably gonna be too much for such small space. tongue.gif

post #13 of 16

Hey OP, I have a pair of A5 (not A5+) that gets used in my living room. They're nice sounding and simple; if those are important criteria to you, then I think the A5+ will be great for you.

 

If you can deal with slightly smaller drivers, and slightly different inputs, the Aktimate Micro could be considered too. It trades the A5+ inputs (1x RCA, 1x 3.5mm) for:

  • 1x 3.5mm
  • Built-in iPod dock
  • USB (yes it has a DAC)

The Aktimate series is reputed to sound better than AudioEngine's. I haven't heard the A5+ or the Micro, but in a head-to-head, the Aktimate Mini definitely sounded better than the comparatively-sized AudioEngine A5.

 

The A5+ also a remote control. (So does the Aktimate)

post #14 of 16

As I said - the 'best' is subjective to the individual.

Saying that there is only one (scientific) way to achieve something that can be also be seen as art, which is inherently subjective, is what I disagree with. 

 

It sounds like you prefer the scientific approach to equipment and listening which is your freedom; I prefer to enjoy and the timbre and natural colouration unique to each system and system combinations, rather than tweeking and bending them them to my will - that is what I enjoy and that is what works best for me. 

 

I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm just saying that I have a different "artistic" point of view due to my preferences and listening style.

 

 

To explain it simply, I enjoy listening to the equipment almost as much as I enjoy listening to music, so changing the EQ (for example) isn't the best for me as that just ins't fun as that's not the natural sound of the equipment. 

post #15 of 16

^ I respect both of you as a unique individual...  

 

This is what I see, which I know I'm correct.

 

One likes a pair of studio monitors for nice neutrality of sound.  Equalizer can be used to change the taste of sound.  You are starting off with speakers that have very good accuracy however..

 

One likes a pair of tasty speakers - meaning less accuracy - to fulfill his / her needs. 

 

If the person like the latter, that is perfectly fine.  You are not forced to buy a pair of expensive studio monitors just because it's more accurate...

 

The word "subjective" is the very strong key word here.  Just that one word explains all......

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