Back from the dead. So I'm pretty sure that the hum I've been hearing is normal. As in normal according to audioengine. The hum is definitely coming from the internal amps inside the A5's. I've seen other people on here stating that the amp on these hum no matter what you do with them. Can someone point me to another thread that discusses this? It seems like an unfortunate design flaw, but one I've learned to live with. I imagine that the redesigned amp in the Audioengine 5+'s may correct this. Anyone have additional info regarding this hum in the A5's?
I have A5's that I run out of an AMB Gamma 2 F++. No humming here. The hiss happens if the speaker is turned up way too high. The only "pop" i notice is from flashplayer effing up or from when the speaker turns off internally.
To the OP, I had the exact same issue with the A5's, and so I upgraded them to the A5+. Let me just say that the A5+ is what the A5 should've been. It's pure perfection. The biggest gripe I had with the A5 was the automatic sleeping "feature," which automatically turned off the speaker's amplifier after about 15 minutes of non-use. The big problem with this "feature," however, was that every time it turned off, it would make a loud popping noise. But with the A5+, this "feature" no longer exists. In fact, it comes with an actual feature of being able to hibernate the speakers with a click of a button on a remote. It's really nice!
Moreover, another problem with the A5's were that at low volumes, the sound would become unbalanced. But with the A5+, this problem no longer exists. Even at low volumes, the sound is balanced correctly. Furthermore, the A5+ has a greater range of volumes than the A5. For example, with the A5, I couldn't max out my source volume (my computer) because if I did, I would have to barely turn up the A5's volume because it'd be too loud. But if I did that, then the A5's sound would be unbalanced b/c the A5's volume was too low. As a result, I always had to put the source volume at around the middle and turn up the A5's volume. But with the A5+, I can max out my source volume and also turn up the A5+ volume just a little bit and get the perfect volume I want.
The remote on the new A5+ is also godsend. It is sooo nice. Seriously, I was in the same shoe as you OP. I really wanted to like the A5's because they sounded great, but I couldn't because of the stupid hissing and popping noise. But with the A5+, I can't find any flaws. It again is the A5's made to perfection. If you have some extra money to spare, I'd highly recommend the A5+!
Thanks for all the replies. I've tried cheater plugs to no avail unfortunately. I'm pretty sure this is just a design flaw. But I was hoping someone had heard something definitive from audio engine directly. I'm sure they wouldn't say it's a flaw, but I've heard too many other reports of this issue to believe I can rectify it on my end. They just use noisier amps in the a5's I guess.
I have a similar problem with the AudioEngine A5+. I thought it was a problem with my unit and returned it only to get a new one with the same problem. On the side, I'll say that support has been excellent up to now though.
In my case, the hissing is actually catching radio frequency. I can hear 98.5FM coming out of the tweeters with no audio input cable connected. I'm guessing some of you might not have any radio playing at that frequency around where you live, so all you get is popping and cracking. In my case, I can hear people talk and sometimes music on top of my own. This is particularly the case when what I'm playing is soft or classical music with some nearly silent moments in it. It's not very loud, and some people might not notice, but I do and find it quite irritating. I also own AudioEngine A2 speakers and they don't show that problem at all.
I had an annoying "puttering" sound, like a very faint helicopter on my AE A5+'s. I am using them wireless off Apple Airplay. The sound instantly went away when I moved the Apple Airport Express OFF the top of the speaker. Whew! Problem lies between chair and keyboard, as usual.
I've had my A5+ for maybe 6 months now and only just yesterday it starting making a hissing noise occassionally. Turns out it was the router being right next to the speaker which was because i cleaned up the desk. Moved it a few inches away and voila, gone!