8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Audioengine 2 - Speakers,
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This review is from: Audioengine 2 - PC multimedia speakers - 30 Watt (Total) - 2-way - black (Electronics)
I've had these speakers for about 6 months now and I'm constantly amazed at just how good they are. That wasn't my opinion when I first unpacked them and placed them on the kitchen table and attached them to my laptop. They were awful, truly dire, disappointed was an understatement. They sounded nasty, totally lacking in any tonality or guts, and they were Nano seconds from being returned.
However, I took a few moments to think why am I hearing something so different from all the other reviews I've read? Realising they could not cope with the Kitchen space (it's not huge, but clearly beyond these speakers) I moved them into the bedroom and attached them to a Sonos ZP 90 that sits behind my bedroom TV in a small 3 x 2 alcove in the wardrobe. If ever there was a case to support the maxim that speaker location and position are critical, this was it. What a transformation!
These well-built front ported speakers just came alive. With the Sonos set with the loudness on and a slight + shift on the bass slider, my jaw dropped. Playing Flac recordings from my external media server transformed the listening experience. Don't get me wrong, they do have some shortcomings, and if I'm really critical the lower mids are a tad muddy and depending on the track (and vocalist) you can lose some definition on the vocals, but other than that it's a pretty well balanced sound. (for the money) Even with the speakers just 22 inches apart the staging is more than acceptable. Along with the physical positioning of the speakers (a slight toe in helped) its best that your ears are on axis - as this is where you'll get the most enjoyment. I know you can purchase tilted bases for these speakers, clearly with the intention of making sure when placed on a desk beside your laptop, you have a better chance of your ears picking up the sound as intended.
Having now established how good they were, I was tempted to experiment, so I upgraded the speaker cable, nothing too fancy, Cambridge Audio Symphony 900 which to my ears at least opened up the sound. The next bit was just for fun; I unhooked my DAC Magic from my living room system and ran the Sonos through it, I wish you could see the grin on my face as I write this - you really shouldn't be able to achieve that sort of sound out of such tiny little speakers, I couldn't stop laughing! Not being prepared to shell out for another DAC I've removed it from the setup, but I'm still mighty happy, and 6 months in I'm so please I didn't return them. If you can find the right place for them, these are amazing little speakers.
Update: 17 May 2013
These speakers have been used everyday since purchase. They act as the TV sound output and play music via the Sonos. They remain amazing.