When I moved offices and could no longer use my Magnepan MMG-W I went looking for an affordable conventional replacement. I accepted the fact that what I ended up with would likely fall short of the Maggies. The Audioengine A2 was well admired so I bought a pair. The sound was good and the physical quality of system was far beyond the price point but the midrange sound was very obviously muddied, in a big way, by a large upper-bass lump. I tried various positions, I plugged the port, I used in-line crossovers and finally went searching fir a system EQ that could cure this. I found it (Soundflower+AU Lab), but it proved awfully unstable and I had to dump it.
By this time I was convinced that the problem was in the speakers, not my particular set-up. Why the heck was this speaker so loved if it had such a significant obvious flaw? I went to the Audioengine website and read the Strereophile review of the A2 and lo and behold, there in an addendum was a graph of the amplifier frequency response:
The A2 has EQ applied that boosts bass as much as 9 dB. I'm not crazy! Called Audioengine. First they I told me I was wrong. Then when I brought-up the Stereophile review an eginineer responded that I was right but I was being silly because "ALL powered speakers and monitors have EQ applied". Really? My B.S. meter went off so I checked a few. Sure enough, it is not the case. Mid-fi stuff like Bose does (of course), while most speakers with hi-fi intent do NOT have a huge bump at the upper bass to try to make them sound bigger than they are, at least for the casual listener.
So, I'm still dumbfounded how so many people, experienced listeners supposedly, on this site and others, could not identify this very obvious flaw. I run a small sub in conjunction with my desktop speakers, as any experienced listener would know is necessary to get good bass. In high fidelity, errors of omission are essentially always preferred to those of commission. WHile EQ'd, the A2's were great. Without it, they belong just a bit above Bose- hardly great. The EQ is not defeatable. The engineer could not help me.
I have moved on to a nice pair of Boston unpowered mini monitors with a Topping amp and am quite pleased. The A2s sit behind the family Mac in the kitchen.