For those of you who are familiar with the Audioengine brand, you would have found it familiar as the original Audioengine A5 speakers first launched in 2007. Since then, the surge in music both digital and analog have ushered the company to improve their speakers for many to purchase.
Not very long after, they upgraded this model and called it the Audioengine A5+ speaker. From the outset, its exactly like two sons from the same mother, looks wise they have a bunch of similarities. Size wise, this upgraded model is a little bigger and more powerful. So what’s the difference? The newer model does not come with the built in AC power output anymore and its more expensive, that’s the usual case isn’t it, upgrades are always more pricey. However, below we will discuss the improvements that warrants the increase in price and why it is so popular.
The Audioengine speaker
First, a brief introduction about the Audioengine speaker. It is best known for being the so called bookshelf styled speakers or you may know them as computer speakers, depending on who is giving it names. If you remember the old classic type of bookshelf speakers, the Audioengine speakers are run and powered by the standard AC plug. In other words, this means that you do not have to use a separate amplifier or stereo receiver as you can easily and conveniently connect them with any audio source that you desire.
Looks wise, the newer 5+ model is less cool or stylish in appearance, it also means more stable looking. You can get them in either white or black. How much larger is it compared to its predecessor? It seems to be about just ten percent larger as the 5+ speakers are around the height of 10.75 inches, 0.75 inches taller than the 5 model.
Unique selling points
Appearance is a little different but the main selling points of their specifications did not alter much. They come with a 5 inch Kevlar woofer and with a silk dome tweeter of 20 milimeter. The right speaker is lighter than the left speaker, you will feel it on your hands as they carry them. The reason is that the amplifier is stored within the left speaker hence the weight difference. The ports are on the back if you did not realise. The right and left speakers ‘speak’ to one another using the speaker wire which comes along with your purchase. You also get the input cable that lets your PC get connected to the speakers, with the 3.5 mm aux input at the rear of the left speaker.
Standard cables are used over here and this is good news: because this means you can use cables of any lengths of your choice, not restricted. As you know some speakers in the market use their own cables and proprietary connections so that is a restriction you will face. There is however a small flaw here as the speakers grilles are not provided so you may want to take note to procure something to protect them just in case it gets knocked off the shelves.
5 V.S. 5+ speakers
What is difference between the 5 and 5+ models? Other than connectivity being upgraded, Audioengine has also placed some attention on the amplifier, attempting to cool it using a new thermal system. In the 5+ speaker, your USB port is moved to the back and this is a smart feedback implemented since it keeps the mess of cables away from the eyes of the audience.
Pros and Cons of USB port
Well you have to be aware that the USB port is not meant for reading audio files. It is only meant for power purposes. You cannot use it for pass through syncing with your desktop. So what else is good? The USB power port including the audio input lets you simultaneously power your device (iPhone or iPod) with a USB cable when you are hearing your favourite music. The distinction here is that the USB combination gives you flexibility to charge and play with almost any portable MMP or device smartphones.
5+ speakers upgrade
Ah ha, here is a big plus for the 5+ speakers as remote will come along with it. This gives you added convenience to adjust volume or even to switch it off without walking there. The 5 model did not have a remote control if you recall, that’s quite a bit of hassle. You still have your button to control volume at the front of the left speaker in the 5+ model.
Another plus point of the Audioengine 5+ speakers is that with built in power amplifiers, you actually save space and the set up is also very easy. Its as simple as just plugging the left speaker into an AC outlet and the rest is as standard procedures. According to Audioengine, it prides its 5+ speaker as a more efficient system that needs lesser power than amplifiers because it arranged the internal components to be in tune.
Performance is excellent
I find the sound to be very clear, non-clipping and crisp also for this size of speakers, the base works great. If you are particular with the bass, you will find this a good buy. The 5+ gives you real bass from the lower end and it gets as real as you hear it. You can use it for classical music or even movies and even rap songs, it will work as its supposed to. Running with just at 50 watts, I find the sound to be very loud.
Different people have different needs, some only focus on requiring certain types of genre while others go for more genres. If you belong to the latter group, this is perfect for you. Amazingly they produce clean high mids/lows and channel separation to a very high standard. Plug it in directly with your turntable, no more hassle getting something else to match up to it. It also means extra savings for you.