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audioengine a5+ vs adam artist 5

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

After using a zeppelin air in conjunction with a macbook for a year i got rather dissatisfied and longed for a more traditional 2.0 setup to go with my computer. I use my philips x1 at my bedside.

So I went back to look what options are available as 2.0 sets. Most studio monitors are out for me, although its convenient that they are selfpowered i dont want 2 volume controls.

But then i discovered the adam audio artist 5 that has an option to use one volume control for both units and as an extra bonus it has a usb port to directly connect to my macbook.

Only thing is that i dont think these are sold in pairs and if that is the case then its a bit above my budget 2x 280.

My second option is the audioengine a5+ (400 euro) although that one doe snot come with an usb connection and i really would like that.

I dont need bluetooth (degradation of sound) or airplay (mostly just a mono speaker).

Any comparisons or other advice/tips would be appreciated.

Greetings, Anouk,

post #2 of 13
Why not just get a small external DAC and use it with the Audioengines? That's what's going with the Adams. They have a DAC built in. You could get the FiiO E10 and that would also give you a headphone amp to plug into with headphones (the E10 has a line out on the back to run to speakers).
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Yes I am thinking of doing just that. The adams top out at nearly 800 euro if they are indeed sold as separates.

I think the audioengine would be better for my wallet.

Does the e17 have this lineout too?

Greetings, Anouk,

post #4 of 13
The FiiO E17 has that capability, but you need the FiiO L7 dock.

With the E17, you are getting close to the cost of the Audioengine D1. To me, that's a little more user friendly with the knob for adjusting the headphone and speaker volume (and I like the knob, personally, over digital buttons). The E17 is only a line out, so you have to adjust the speaker volume either on the speakers or with the Windows system volume. Plus, once you hook up the E17 with the speakers and headphones, too, you'll have the headphone connection coming out of the top and then two different cables coming out different directions at the bottom. I found it a little awkward to use like that because then it really needs to lay flat.

You might also look at the Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1. Not sure what it would cost in the EU (they have a distributor based out of Italy), but I believe that they ship them directly from their manufacturing in Hong Kong. It's a really nice unit because you can choose to hook your speakers up from the line out which bypasses the pre-amp and volume control, or use the pre-amp out and get tube sound with your speakers. There are also multiple different inputs should you ever want to hook up other devices. Bigger than the Audioengine D1, though.
post #5 of 13
I have heard Swan and Aktimate speakers and even their cheapest bookshelves blow Audioengine (owned them as well) out of the water.

Check whathifi for reviews.

Adam F5 has excellent reviews as well though I haven't heard them personally.

Audioengines are extremely over priced at 400 euros.
I have always bought my speakers blind, in your case I would risk with adam f5 especially if there is a return policy. Else, try to listen and buy.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 


Well i opted for the audioengine a5+ in the end. I like the fact that it just has one volume knob.

It arrived today, i will jus thave to wait till someone can set it up for me on thursday. I am not used to connecting  bare speaker wires.

What i find a bit strange though is that the volume knob seems to be neverending in rotary turns. Is this a digital affair?

Since I am blind, i am not all too happy about  that. I guess i will have to have it marked in some way so that i know when it is at its lowest setting, if that is even possible?

Greetings, Anouk,

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

ps: Wow these aktimate mini+ seem nice speakers. I read this after i placed my purchase htough and they are 150 euros more expensive here in nl.

I did read about the original mini at innerfidelity and thought htat I would like the audioengine better at that point.

Greetings, Anouk,

post #8 of 13

There is a good reason the ADAM monitors are more expensive than the Audioengine speakers.


The Audioengines are powered.  Essentially,  a standard pair of speakers with passive crossovers and a stereo amp. Except the amp has been stuffed into one of the cabinets. A regular hi-fi in a box.


The ADAMs are active. The incoming signal is split by an active crossover which feeds a separate amplifier for each driver. High end audio in two boxes.


That's not to say you cannot have a good passive system or even a poor active one but take a look around. Pretty much all the best gear is now active. There must be a reason for that?


A budget is a budget though. I'm sure the Audioengines will sound great. I would urge anyone to try to find the extra if they possibly can though. Speakers make up at least 98% of the quality of your total system and spending money there really is the best investment.


I am a highly delighted, multiple ADAM owner myself . So take my advice with a pinch of salt.  Take a look at other brands such as Focal, Event, Equator, JBL. Yamaha and Mackie as well. probably in that order too. Nothing comes close to ADAM though in the combination of performance, built quality and cost. 5 year guarantee on the AX range and above too. So the manufacturers are confident they will last.


USB speakers do have their attractions but having an separate audio interface is usually better. If only for the handy gain control right where you want it.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi, Well the audioengine is not excactly passive either. Although i do understand that the adam is certainly more professional and contaisn more amps, in both cabinets.

It was just too expensive though, even a lot more expensive then the aktimate that was already more expensive then the audioengine.

800 euro is a lot more then 350.

I had briefly considered returning the audioengine to get the aktimate but I have to try the audioengine first.

Greetings, Anouk,

post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

That's not to say you cannot have a good passive system or even a poor active one but take a look around. Pretty much all the best gear is now active. There must be a reason for that?

Actually, there's very good passive speaker setups and good active speaker setups. One just has to know what's good and what's not.
post #11 of 13

I have owned several aktimates, swan, audioengine speakers.


Aktimate Mini+ is in a different league compared to anything by Swan or Audioengine. It is comparable to Monitor Audio BX 2 + Marantz but with a more fun sound signature.


Aktimate Mini+ is an excellent (perhaps not the best though) buy sub $1000 especially for MP3 and other regular files. Although powered, it is true hifi and not a studio monitor. And the sound signature is to die for.

post #12 of 13

on the Artist 5s which inputs have precedence between the RCAs, the USB, XLRs and the front mini jack?

post #13 of 13

On the A3X and A5X for certain there is no precedence. You can connect via both the XLR and RCA plugs and both signals will play simultaneously. Although I wouldn't advise doing so.


Artist is a slightly more expensive range aimed more at the 'audiophile' market so they may have a more sophisticated system but I doubt it.

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