Stereophile's Robert Reina has posted a review of the Audioengine 2 powered loudspeakers. He is pretty impressed by the speakers. At $199 /pair anything close to audiophile sound is impressive. Readers of Computer Audiophile will probably chuckle a bit to read the following statement from Robert. "In nearly 25 years, it's been rare that I've reviewed an exciting breakthrough product. The Audioengine 2 is such a product—not because it performs at an extraordinary level (though it does), and not because it's such an incredible value for money (though it is), but because it creates a new market, a new application for high-end audio, and a chance for audiophiles to enjoy music in ways they may have never considered before." While I don't agree these speakers create a new market by themselves (see Dynaudio, NHT, etc...), they do fill a niche many audiophiles are looking to fill. The desktop system is becoming just as important as the regular/traditional audiophile system. We want exceptional sound no matter where we are listening. In a way there is a little give and take going on between the systems. The desktop system is now integrating into the regular/traditional system, and great speakers are now integrating into the desktop system. The Audioengine 2 powered speakers provide a couple ways to connect to your desktop system. They have mini plug that can be used with the standard soundcard in 99% of computers out there. The other option, that really interests me, is the single ended (RCA) inputs. I hate to bring up the Benchmark DAC1 USB
again, but these speakers would work great with the DAC1. Connect the RCA analog out from the DAC1 to the RCA in on the speakers and you should have a very good sounding system. Just like standard computer speakers the AE 2 speakers have the amp in one speaker and run a cable to the other speaker. I would really like to see a comparison between these and the Dynaudio MC 15 speakers.
I have never been more impressed with or more stunned by a component I've reviewed for Stereophile than I was with the Audioengine 2. The level of sound quality produced by this uncolored, detailed, articulate, and dynamic speaker, in all situations, was beyond reproach, and its ratio of value to cost borders on the criminal. It extended my enjoyment of music into a new realm of portability that I hadn't before thought possible. I can't think of a single reason why every reader of this magazine should not go out right now and buy a pair of Audioengine 2s. I couldn't decide which finish I liked better, the white or the black. I bought a pair of each. Complete review from Stereophile
Description: Powered, reflex-loaded desktop loudspeaker system. Drive-units: 20mm silk-dome tweeter, 2.75" Kevlar woofer. Frequency response: 65Hz–22kHz, ±2.0dB. Signal/noise: >95dB (typical, A-weighted). Power output: 30Wpc peak, 15W RMS. Inputs: 1/8" stereo mini-jack, dual RCA jacks. Amplifier type: dual class-AB monolithic. THD: <0.05% at all power settings. Crosstalk: <50dB. Input impedance: 10k ohms unbalanced. Protection: output current limiting, thermal over-temperature, power on/off transient protection. AC voltage: 100–240V, 50/60Hz auto-switching.
Dimensions: 6" (155mm) H by 4" (100mm) W by 5.25" (135mm) D. Weights: 3.55 lbs (1.6kg), left speaker; 3.15 lbs (1.4kg), right speaker. Shipping weight: 10 lbs (4.5kg) pair.
Finishes: black or white gloss.
Serial Numbers Of Units Reviewed: A207052500007W (final pair).
Price: $199/pair. Approximate number of dealers: 60, also sold direct. Warranty: 3 years.
Manufacturer: Audioengine Corp. Tel: (877) 853-4447. Web: www.audioengineusa.com