In your search for affordable yet great sounding speakers a good pair to start with is either the Peachtree M24 or Audioengine A2+. If you are looking for a combination of quality and a reasonable price one of these could work for you. By the time you landed here, I am sure you may already have heard about one or both of them, or even read comments made by people online reviewing these speakers based on how they feel about one of them. I am here to give you a comparative analysis that is not based on feelings but on facts and real data. I will give you a verdict that you can trust.
As we go along, I will also be giving you tips and tricks you can use so as to get the most from each of these speakers. Keep reading to learn more about the features and sonic performance of these amazing stereo systems.
If you desire awesome desktop speakers that can work with a turntable and are Bluetooth powered then Peachtree M24 will be great for you. They have built in phono stage, USB DAC and digital input to make them versatile for any type of music. They sound nice and are such fun speakers to have. But there is more to them than you can imagine. Let’s explore their features and capabilities even further;
Peachtree M24 Specs at a Glance
- Speaker Driver — 1” silk dome tweeter & custom-designed 4″ fiberglass woofer
- Subwoofer output for additional bass
- 5V USB charging port to keep your mobile device charged
- IR wireless remote control with power, input and bass and treble controls
- Front panel volume control and input selection
- Front panel LEDs indicate power and selected input
- Power amplification: 2 X 50W
- Right-sized at 8.7 inches tall, 5.5 inches wide and 8 inches deep (including connectors)
- It’s from Peachtree so it sounds great!
- Inputs — Features USB, Bluetooth, optical, and aux/phono (MM) analog inputs
- Dimensions — 8 ¾” tall, 5 ½” wide, and 8” deep
- Included Accessories;
- Grilles, IR Wireless Remote, Control, and connectors
- Protective non-resonant extra-thick ABS fabric mesh grill
- Remote control has tone controls for a full range of bass and treble control. Basic controls also included on the front of the speaker.
Design and Build Quality
The M24 does not have large cabinets. It is slightly smaller compared to some other brands and even its sister the M25. The M24 cabinets are 8 ¾” tall, 5 ½” wide, and 8” deep while the M25 is 10 ½” tall, 6 ¾” wide, and 9” deep. Therefore, the M24 is a great option for desktop use or living room side table. The look beautiful and sound great for their small size, but we shall go into intricate details concerning their performance later on in this article.
Peachtree designs an array of speakers with different color options to suit each customer’s needs. I think the bamboo version is one of its bets products and looks incredibly beautiful without the grill. Removing the grill makes it even better because you can easily access the control knobs on the front. The design of Peachtree’s products makes their price fair because ideally you should pay more considering the elegance of their designs.
Components that make a speaker great are the woofer and tweeter and the Peachtree M24 Audio speakers are fitted with 1” silk dome tweeters plus customized woofers made of fiberglass. The fiberglass material is special and adds to the quality of the sound. The material is both stiff and light making it possible to play midrange and bass frequencies incredibly well. The M24 is rear ported a design that enhances the bass and gives a great punch to the sound output, something that is rare to have in small-sized speakers.
If you are a desktop powered speakers enthusiast, you will agree with me that a major problem of majority of the speakers on the market is lacking the combination of both good sound and unlimited connectivity. It is extremely difficult to find a speaker that sounds nice and also supports lots of connectivity options. Peachtree knew this issue and that is why they designed the M24 to solve this problem and have a win-win situation. The M24 is an incredible product that brings the best of both worlds together, sounding great yet also having versatile connectivity giving it a huge plus.
To make it easier to connect, Peachtree has placed all the input options on its right speaker which also has the amplifier and DAC. All you need to do is set up the speakers by plugging it into an AC power outlet, run the speaker wire over to the left speaker and plug and play into your audio source and voila!
The right speaker is also the base of control for the knobs are on its front including the volume control knob which doubles up as the input selection knob when you push it in. to adjust the volume you rotate it clockwise or anticlockwise.
The M24 has a window on its left side of the speaker that is multicolored supported to show you which input is in use at a particular time.
Features and Technology
Technology is constantly evolving and consumers have different tastes of music meaning there are so many audio sources. Some people prefer vinyl records others prefer live streaming, the options are endless. It is up to speaker manufacturers to figure out how to get the music into the speakers in an easy way yet one that will not reduce the audio quality nor complicate the speaker design too much driving the selling cost too high that it will be unaffordable to people it was meant for in the first place.
The M24 speakers are designed to accommodate different types of audio sources. Let’s explore the types of inputs that this cool speaker accommodates.
The first is a turntable. The Peachtree M24 have a built in MM phono stage which makes it possible for you to have a direct connection of your turntable to the speakers without the need for a separate phono preamp or extra cables. Just in case you don’t appreciate this enough, most other powered speakers on the market do not have such an option.
If you do not need to connect a turntable then simply flick the switch on the back to change it to the aux setting from the phono input and with that you have the flexibility of switching from one input option to the other and vice versa.
Also, you can stream music from either your phone, tablet or snap by connecting it to the built-in Bluetooth device and you will enjoy your favorite list without a problem.
If your streaming devices are external such as Sonos Port, Connect, or a Bluesound Node 2i, you can use the DAC inside the M Speakers. To do that you will connect via the optical digital input.
You can also connect the M24 speakers to your TV and use them for gaming via the optical output option.
For uses that prefer using them as a computer speakers, it is best to use the USB connection on the back of the M Speakers. It supports 24/96 Hi-Res Audio files and will really bring your computer music to life. We do recommend a good set of speaker stands for any computer speaker. Peachtree makes a matching desktop stand for these that are a good choice or for an even better one, check out the IsoAcoustics ISO-130!
At the rear end is another great feature, a USB charging port. Use it to keep your phone charging cable plugged in there and not have to worry about finding an open outlet.
If you feel like you need bass boost, simply use the subwoofer output. Although chances are you may not need to because of the design of the speakers. They are deep and the rear port gives them a good bass output for their size.
The M24 also comes with a remote that you can use to easily control things. Use it to adjust the volume, skip tracks or even adjust the bass and treble levels. If you feel you would want to set the levels back to a neutral level there is a button to take back the settings to a flat level as it were before making any adjustments.
Powered speakers like the Peachtree models, by definition, have the amplifier built directly into the speaker cabinets. When the manufacturer knows the exact amplifier and speakers used, it gives them a huge advantage, allowing the manufacturer to save money while perfectly matching the amp and speakers. Peachtree used both their amplifier and speaker expertise when building the M24 Speakers. Peachtree made some super well-respected passive speakers before the M Series. When you combine their expertise there along with their long history of building great-sounding integrated amps, you have quite the winning combination.
Another great piece of tech inside the M24 is the Hi-Res Audio DAC. It comes from the same technology used in their great Nova series. You’ll be able through the USB or Digital inputs to decode audio files that are 24/96. This is quite unique for sub-$400/pr powered speakers!
The best word we can think of to describe the sound of the M Speakers is FUN. They have that great sensation we always look for in a speaker, allowing the music to flow through without over-emphasizing any aspect over another. The top end is pure and sweet and the bottom does not try to push the bass beyond its capabilities. All-in-all, it’s a very natural sound — pure and clean with lots of detail. It was super easy to hear the bass tonality on, for example, Chicago’s “I’m a Man.”
Over the course of our listening, we tested out tunes from Jimi Hendrix, The Avett Brothers, Rolling Stones, Chicago, Led Zeppelin, Stephen Stills, the Beatles, and Mark Ronson. No matter what was playing, we found the M Speakers really got you involved in the music. They have a tendency to make you want to stop what you are doing, turn them up and just listen, which is about as good a compliment as you can pay any speaker
On some of the older recordings, we loved the fact you would pick up the remote and tweak the tone controls just a bit. Bumping down the treble a shade took that edge off so we could enjoy the music.
We preferred them set up in an equilateral triangle configuration. In other words, if they are 6’ apart, they sounded best 6’ away from them. When you set them up this way, your music will take on a great three dimensional quality with the main vocals floating in between the two speakers
There is one little quirk that once you figure out is no big deal, and it only applies when using Bluetooth, but you have two volume controls to deal with. We discovered you should turn the volume knob on the speaker all the way up, then use the controls on your phone. If you do not, you might find you have the phone turned wide open and you still don’t have much volume. This is a quirk with all Bluetooth speakers though. Of course with any source directly connected to the M24, you only have the one volume control on the unit
We have tested other powered speakers that can produce more ultimate output than the Peachtree M24, but nothing we have heard for the money can beat the sound they can put out in small rooms at their price point. They just sound so musical. You will be hard-pressed to find a better speaker for the price points this model falls within.
Audioengine is very particular with its products and takes the time to build something that of good quality, not just launching products for the sake of it. Even the Audioengine A2+ was built with quality in mind. Their rich sound and bright frequency response is to die for. The audio is accurate, the features are so well thought out such as the digital signal processor (DSP) and Bluetooth inclusion. If you want a great sounding stereo system, the A2+ will quickly become your greatest friend. Read on to know more of its great features.
Audioengine A2+ Specs at a Glance
- Analog class A/B power amplifiers,
- Dual analog audio inputs for connecting multiple devices
- USB audio input
- Bluetooth aptX
- Subwoofer audio output
- Custom Aramid Fiber woofers and silk dome tweeters
- Power-saving idle mode.
- 60W of Power
- Dimensions: 6”H x 4”W x 5.25”D
- Included Accessories;
- Pair of Audioengine A2+ Wireless Powered Speakers
- Bluetooth antenna
- 6.5ft speaker wire
- Power supply & cord
- 5ft USB cable
- 5ft mini-jack audio cable
- microfiber speaker bags and cable bags
- Setup guide.
Design and Build Quality
Available in matte black, glossy red, or glossy white models, the A2+ Wireless consists of two 6.0-by-4.0-by-5.3-inch speakers, equally appropriate for desktops, counters, or bookshelves. The caveat is that, unlike most of the wireless speakers we test, this is a stereo pair, and still requires a connection between the two speakers for power to go from the left unit to the right. So yes, the speakers are wireless, but there is still some cabling to deal with. That said, the piano-like finish of the speaker enclosure is attractive (we tested the white model), and the exposed, grille-free black drivers look great, too.
If there’s a gripe about the design, it’s that the speakers are so short, you need to elevate them or angle them upward in order to hear their true potential. There are elegant ways to do this, of course, but Audioengine would get extra points for including wedges or anything that mimics a kickstand for each speaker, so that the tweeters align more closely with your ears. In a desktop scenario, without being angled up, the tweeters will fire at your ribcage.
The A2+ Wireless isn’t a portable set, and has no speakerphone or multi-room functionality. There’s also no included app, but given the simplicity of the design and the transparent audio performance that Audioengine strives for, it’s hard to imagine what an app would add.
Features and Technology
Each speaker houses a 0.75-inch silk dome tweeter and a 2.75-inch aramid fiber woofer, with the left speaker weighing in at 3.5 pounds and the right at 3.2 pounds. The system combines for 60 watts of peak power and a frequency range of 65Hz to 22kHz.
As mentioned, an included speaker wire connects from the rear panel of the left, powered speaker, to the right, passive speaker. The back panel of the left speaker also houses connections for the included power supply, as well as an RCA input and output (for a subwoofer), and a 3.5mm aux input (cable included). There’s even a micro USB input. In other words, the system has excellent connectivity, considering it also connects via Bluetooth. There’s a Bluetooth pairing button on the back panel, and a volume knob that also acts as the power switch.
The volume knob works independently of paired sound sources, so you can have the volume on the speakers maxed and the overall levels will sound low if your mobile device’s master volume is turned down. While this is atypical in most Bluetooth speakers we test, it does give you an opportunity to protect the speakers from loud bursts with a second volume stage—though one integrated volume control is arguably more efficient.
We tested the speakers on a desktop, angled slightly upward. Without the upward angling, the highs are notably muted—so whether you angle them up or screw them into stands using the threaded screw holes on the bottom rubberized panel, we recommend it. This review refers to audio when the tweeters are more or less aligned with the listener’s ears. Typically, we tested at roughly 75 percent-to-maximum volume on the speakers, and varied the volume on our sound source, an iPhone 8
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the A2+ Wireless speakers deliver a full-sounding low frequency response. At maximum volume on the speakers and roughly 75 percent on the phone, there was no distortion here, but when maxing out both the speakers and the phone, distortion creeps into the mix a bit. Given the lack of DSP, a smidge of distortion on deep bass at top volumes is forgivable. Anyone looking for a huge, bass-forward, subwoofer-like sound, however, should look elsewhere. Audioengine is more about accurate sonic delivery, and true sub-bass is below or on the edge of the frequency response.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the general sound signature. The drums on this track can sound overly thunderous on bass-forward systems, but through the A2+ Wireless, the drums sound relatively tame. Again, things are neither weak nor brittle, but we hear far more low frequency and low-mid richness in Callahan’s vocals than we do the drums. The higher register percussive hits, as well as the acoustic guitar strums, receive a clear, bright presence through the tweeters—this is a balanced, accurate sound signature. It’s the type of setup you can imagine a subwoofer complementing nicely, but you still get plenty of low-mid richness through the woofers—electric bass and deep vocals stand out in particular.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives an ideal measure of high-mid presence, allowing its punchiness to remain front and center in the mix, while the vinyl crackle and hiss often relegated to background status is pushed forward slightly. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered without the thunder they are capable of—again, this is a system that doesn’t deliver the truly deep lows—but the overall sound signature still packs some bass heft in the drum loop itself. The vocals on this track are delivered with excellent clarity—they have a hint of added sibilance in spots, but not in an unpleasant way. There’s excellent balance here, with perhaps a touch of added brightness, as well as added richness in the low-mids, but nothing over-the-top in either case.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, sound excellent through the A2+ Wireless—lower register instrumentation is delivered with a lovely richness, while the higher register brass, strings, and vocals retain their bright, immediate presence. Generally speaking, classical and jazz tracks, with their dynamics showcased by the DSP-free output, sound most at home through the speakers, but modern pop mixes also sound excellent—they just lack that extra depth some listeners will be looking for.
- Excellent sonic clarity, with a focus on accuracy.
- Solid connectivity, including output for subwoofer.
- Handsome, streamlined design.
- No DSP.
- Speakers must be angled upward/elevated on desktops for proper audio experience.
- Not for those seeking powerful sub-bass.
Audioengine A2+ wireless speakers deliver something much of the competition can’t: stereo separation. That, along excellent accuracy, makes for a clean, transparent sound signature you don’t find among most wireless speakers. Audioengine’s A2+ Wireless speakers are ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to sacrifice stereo separation, accuracy, or DSP-free audio in the Bluetooth era. The fact that Peachtree M24 is pricier yet does not offer the quality of sound that Audioengine offers with the A2+ means we will make the hard decision of choosing the Audioengine.
Therefore, the winner of our battle today between Peachtree M24 and Audioengine A2+ is without a doubt the Audioengine A2+.
Do you think we made the right call on this one? Please let us know in the comments.