I am looking for a solid upgrade from Audio Engine A5's. I am looking under the <400 dollar price range and will be primarily using them with an IMAC/AIR.
I've had my Audioengine A5+ speakers for almost a year now, and really liked them a lot. I never thought of them to be lacking.
Recently, just for fun with full intentions of returning them, I went and picked up a pair of Adam A7X monitors. Stupid idea... My Audioengine A5+s are lacking in my eyes (well, ears) now. The Adams basically took seat on my desk and said "let me show you what you've been missing, amateur" and blew me away. And these Adams are brand new, not even broken in yet.
The Adams remind me of my HD800 headphones - I had no idea that speakers/monitors were capable of this kind of accuracy and "soundstage effect." Drums that are meant to be in the background really "feel" like they're in the background - on the Audioengines, I would just "hear" them as if they were meant to be in the background. Not to mention I'm hearing things on my Adams that I've not even heard through my HD800s before.
Granted, the Adams are $600 a monitor... but they are seriously just begging to stay on my desk and not go back to the store.
Congrats on you new A7X's ! :-)
As you mention they play in a totally different class, but even entry level monitors from recognized brands will be HUGE step above the A5+.
Another nice thing about powered studio monitors is that Guitar Center carries them and usually has quite a few pairs setup to listen to. Good opportunity to listen and let one's ears find a pair that's right, buy them, and then take them home and verify that they work well in one's listening setup.
Meanwhile, most people that buy Audioengine do so off the Internet based purely on testimonials from others who have never compared them to anything else in the same price range. Or by over relying on CNET to tell them what to buy. LOL
I'm thinking about replacing my A5s with a separate receiver and passive monitors too. I have an old Onkyo receiver I'm not using for anything else. It is a home theater model, but I would think it could still work. Would something like Cambridge Audio S30s or Infinity Primus P163s be good for a nearfield computer desk setup? Would this be a significant step up from my A5s, or should I be looking elsewhere?