Audioengine A1 vs. Audioengine A2+: Which Speakers is Better

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Because they can deliver excellent sound and don’t take up much space, powered speakers are great for small spaces or desk setups. Two of the most affordable powered speakers you can purchase right now are the Audioengine A1+ and the Audioengine A2+.

They both have a small design and a room-filling sound. Both are equipped with Bluetooth chips to allow for wireless music playback. The Audioengine A1 is cheaper because they offer fewer connectivity options, while the A2+ has more options. Below, we compare them to help you decide which one is best for you.

Review of the Audioengine A1 Speakers

Audioengine A1 Home Music System, a traditional 2-speaker system designed for small rooms or apartments. You can connect the speakers via either traditional hard-wiring (3.5mm stereo miniature-jack) and built-in Bluetooth.

The speakers feature a digital hybrid amplifier, aramid fiber tweeters, and woofers. The amp can also handle digital files at 48KHz sampling rate and 16-bit depth. This is basically CD quality audio. The Audioengine A1 can handle Bluetooth 5.0 up to 100 feet away. Nice.

Key Specs

  • Amplifier: Dual-class D
  • Power output: 60W (30W per channel)
  • Woofer: 2.75″ aramid fiber
  • Tweeter: 3/4” silk dome
  • Inputs: 3.5mm stereo mini-jack,
  • Bluetooth: 5.0 aptX, AAC, SBC
  • LFE Variable line-out for subwoofer
  • Input bit depth: Up to 16 bits native
  • Input sample rate: Up to 48KHz native
  • Weight (both speakers): 6.7 lbs
  • Dimensions, each speaker (HWD): 6″ x 4″ x 5.25″
  • Wireless range: Up to 100ft (30m)

Design and Features

The Audioengine A1 speakers were not a part of the Audioengine line-up when I first saw them. The specifications for the A2+ wireless speakers look almost identical, but the A1 is $70 less. Audioengine took what they had learned from the A2+ speakers, and applied it to the A1 at a lower price.

While some may claim that the A2+ speakers sound better than others, it is unlikely to be obvious if you do not compare them side-by-side. There are some differences, such as a reduced number of input options and an amp setup that is different from the Audioengine speakers. However, these are not significant.

The best part is that the Audioengine A1 speakers are less than $500. This includes both each speaker and each. Audioengine speakers are free shipping and tax. This is Audioengine speakers. Audioengine is a brand you need to know. Audioengine speakers are some of the most affordable and solidly constructed speakers available.

Audioengine’s entry level speaker is the A1 Home Music System, although it would be difficult to describe it as such. It is made from the same materials as Audioengine’s higher-end speakers, such as silk tweeters or aramid fibers woofers.

On the rear panel of the left speaker, you will find all the essential guts: Stereo minijack input, Bluetooth pairing button and power/volume knob. For those who need that extra bottom end, there’s an LFE subwoofer output connector. LFE is a subwoofer output port that will only send bass information. The Audioengine A1 does not have bass. The A1 can pack a good punch for its small size. You may not be aware that you need a sub–but knowing you can is a great help!

The right speaker is a passive speaker and connects to the left using the provided speaker wire. Audioengine supplies a minijack to RCA cable as well as a miniplug to miniplug cable for hard wiring. You will need the connecting wire if you wish to use that sub. It is not included.

As long as the Audioengine A1 speakers are gray, you can choose any color. Black is strange, considering that almost all other speakers on the planet come in black. The speakers still look great in gray matte, despite the high price.

The Audioengine A1 speakers are easy to set up. For wired connections, the A1 speakers have standard left/right spring clip connections. There are no RCA and banana plug connections. For Bluetooth, press the pairing button. It took me 2 seconds to pair my iPhone with Bluetooth. It was difficult to pair Bluetooth with one source without disconnecting the source.

My default computer desk setup includes the Audioengine HD3 speakers when I’m not listening to speakers. Are the HD3 speakers better? They do sound better, but they are also more expensive. The HD3 speakers could be discarded and the Audioengine A1 speakers would work just as well. They sound great.

First Aid Kit is a favorite of mine. They have two Swedish sisters who sound almost like they were born in Nashville. Their songwriting abilities are second to their voices. They have catchy hooks and dreamy harmony that will capture listeners. The song “Dance To Another Tune”, casts a dark shadow over its story. The sisters’ dark stories are captured by the A1 speakers. “Cedar Lane”, with its beautiful vocals and minor chord harmonys, is a little more upbeat. You can easily listen to it over and over on your A1 speakers without getting tired of it.

If you love hip-hop and other music with a lot of bass, the Audioengine A1 speakers might disappoint. Songs that have more bass in them still sound great, even though they aren’t as loud as subwoofers. It’s one small, air-movement physics thing. Despite this, the speakers have decent bass thanks to some clever passive bass ports located at each speaker’s front.

OMD’s “Punishment Of Luxury” album contains “Isotype”, which is a top-heavy track that will make you want to tap your feet or dance. The A1 speakers can convey the fun and lower frequencies of the song, even though you won’t be able to feel them as well with larger speakers.

Thoughts

Audioengine is wrong about the A1 speakers. Audioengine claims that the A1’s were designed to be used as room speakers, not computer speakers. Also, they are not designed for near-field listening.

You are crazy. They sound amazing wirelessly connected to my desk at work. The A1 Home Music System is a great choice if you are looking for speakers that will rock while you work. Enjoy.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Well built
  • Sound great despite their size
  • Affordable
  • Bluetooth sounds as good as wired

Cons:

  • Nothing

Review of the Audioengine A2+ Speakers

One year ago, I reviewed Audioengine A5+ speakers. These speakers will rattle your windows and neighbor’s windows. Yet, they sound great doing it. The A5+ speakers can be too loud and bulky for most home offices, so unless you have a large desk (which I do), they are not recommended. Audioengine solved this problem with their smaller A2+ speakers. These speakers are perfectly sized for desktop use and Audioengine has also improved the components of their original A2 speaker.

Original Audioengine A2 speakers were a huge success. They were small and affordable, but not too expensive. They sounded great and were very attractive. Audioengine decided to make them even better. A digital audio converter (DAC), was also added. This allows the speakers to connect to the USB port of the computer instead of the headphones-out jack. It is advantageous for two reasons.

A2+ speakers have better audio quality because they receive a clear digital signal via USB, rather than the headphone port. The Audioengine A2+ speaker’s DAC, which is built into the speakers, has a higher quality than that found in your desktop or laptop computer, resulting again in better audio. The A2+ speaker’s DAC may not be as flexible and powerful as other standalone DAC’s like Audioengine’s D1 or D3. There are tradeoffs.

The Audioengine A2+ speakers can be powered or passive. This simply means they can run without an amplifier or receiver. This is a standard feature for desktop computer speakers. Although not as important as it used to be, the A2+ speakers feature kevlar tweeters and kevlar subwoofers. This indicates a higher quality build. It is hand-finished with great care. The matte-black finish hides fingerprints.

The Audioengine A2+ speakers, like all Audioengine products are shipped in microfiber drawstring bags. Even little bags are available for wires! It’s a nice touch. But once the speakers have been set up, what do we do with all those bags?

Key Specs

  • A2+ powered (left) speaker
  • A2+ passive (right) speaker
  • Speaker wire, 6.5 feet
  • Power supply
  • AC power cord
  • Mini-jack audio cable, 5 feet
  • USB cable, 5 feet
  • Microfiber speaker bags
  • Microfiber power supply bag
  • Microfiber cable bag
  • Setup guide
  • 60W peak power total (15W RMS / 30W peak per channel)
  • Signal to noise ratio: >95dB
  • Total harmonic distortion: <.05%
  • Frequency response: 65Hz-22kHz
  • DAC: TI/Burr Brown PCM2704C
  • Input bit depth: 16 bit
  • Input sample rate: 48KHz (a bit better than CD)
  • Dimensions (each): 6”(H) x 4”(W) x 5.25”(D)
  • Weight: 3.15lbs

Design and Features

Three connection options are available for the Audioengine A2+ speakers: USB for digital connectivity, standard RCA inputs, and MiniJack to connect an iPod or other portable device.

The Audioengine A2+ speaker setup is easy. Connect the USB cable between the speaker and the computer. Connect the speakers together. Connect it. That’s it. You may have to tell the computer where you want the sound to go, since the outgoing signal can be digital. This was true for my iMac.

The Audioengine A2+ speakers were a bit lacking in bass. This was something I kept reminding myself of while listening to them. The reason I noticed this is partly because I was exposed to the bigger brother A5+ speakers. The massive A5+ speakers are clearly governed by the laws of physics when viewed side-by-side. Higher sound quality is possible because more mass means more air. Simple. Simple.

These will fit in a small home office. Even at this small size, the clarity and power are impressive. Similar-sized Bowers and Wilkins M1 desktop speaker speakers could go deeper in the bass, but not as deeply as their double-the price would suggest.

Sidenote: The A2+ speakers were able to be combined with the big brother A5+ by using Audioengines W3 wireless connectivity. The A2+ speakers sound great, but when you add the A5+ to the mix, the sound is fuller than any speaker set. It is quite amazing. It’s amazing. I think the A2+ speakers could be added to a subwoofer like the Audioengine S8. This would make it more cost-effective and better than the A5+. This setup is not something I’ve ever seen so I cannot comment.

The A2+ speakers can be placed on top of a monitor. The sound is more personal when the speakers are close to your monitor. They are on a shelf that is higher than eye level. This is because my three monitors will block any speaker that deflects the sound.

Audioengine has angled stands available for the A2+ when used on a desktop. These stand options are an additional cost and aim the speakers slightly higher at the listener’s heads. This has the obvious advantage: the sound is directed more towards the listener. Although it is not necessary to place the A2+ speakers on a bookshelf or on a desk, this can make a huge difference when listening from a computer. For attaching the speakers to a stand, there are threaded holes in the non-skid bottom.

One of my listening tests consisted of a sample from the latest Scott Walker album “Bish Bosch”. Walker, a pop singer in the 1960s (“The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”), completely reinvented himself to become an avant-garde artist. Walker’s song “See You Don’t Bumps His Head” features heavy, incessant drumming overlaid with Walker singing/speaking the line “While plucking feathers out of a swan Song …”.”. It is all quite strange, but it is all somehow appealing. Audioengine A2+ speakers can keep drumming clear and not muddy, unlike other speakers. Every drum beat attack is unique and distinct, just as it should.

Ane Brun, former Peter Gabriel backup singer, has “Do You Remember” as a song that relies on repetitive drumming. Brun’s voice, like Walker, is unusual but much more approachable. Brun sings with a deep feeling of loss as she recalls her love. You can feel her melancholic longing for the past through the A2+ speakers. The A2+ speakers allowed her vocals to cover a broad frequency range, which was a great thing.

Elton John’s classic album, “Madman Across the Water”, features slightly echoing sonics that contribute to the song’s dramatic theme. In the spirit of progressive rock, this song is grandiose. The string arrangements are top-notch and the A2+ speakers convey the haunting echo clearly. Bass is the weak link. It’s there, it’s tight, but a little on the light side. This is easily understood with smaller speakers. Again… physics.

The song “Tell Me Why” from Neil Young’s album “Live at Massey Hall 1971”, didn’t have a lot bass (many older recordings do). Therefore, the sound from the A2+ speakers sounds very natural and authentic with a live feel. This just shows that desktop speakers do not have to sound cheap and sloppy.

Audioengine’s A2+ speakers are a great upgrade to those horrible built-in laptop speakers. It is amazing how small these speakers can deliver full sound, decent bass, and plenty of volume in such a compact package. You shouldn’t compare them with the A5+ unless your budget is sufficient.

Thoughts

This article is about Audioengine A2+ speakers. But it really covers all Audioengine products. Simply because they make great products, I love them. Every Audioengine product that I have reviewed has been used by me every day, regardless of whether it is speakers or DACs.

Their wireless W3 system enabled me to connect four speakers to my iMac at my studio building, and I can listen to loud music while I work. This is so cool! These A2+ speakers can be used for computer usage. They sound amazing when paired with the A5+ speakers behind me. Wow.

Comparison of the Audioengine A1 and Audioengine A2+ Speakers

Audioengine A1 Wireless Audioengine A2+ Wireless
Condition New Stock New Stock
Connections  
Ethernet Port No No
USB Port No microUSB
Aux Input 3.5mm 3.5mm, RCA
Phono Input No No
Digital Input No No
HDMI Input No No
Headphone Jack No No
Subwoofer Output Wired Wired
Wireless Features  
Bluetooth Built-in 5.0 Built-in 5.0
Wi-Fi No No
Wi-Fi Bands No No
Driver Details  
Tweeter Size (Inches) 0.75 0.75
Tweeter Type Soft-Dome Soft-Dome
Tweeter Material Silk Silk
Midrange Size (Inches)
Midrange Type
Woofer Size (Inches) 2.75 2.75
Woofer Type Aramid Fiber Kevlar
Audio Specs  
Watts RMS (Continuous) 30 30
Watts Maximum (Peak) 60 Not Given
Frequency Response 65-22k 65-22k
Max. Digital Audio Bit Depth 16-bit 16-bit
Max. Digital Audio Sample Rate 48 kHz 48 kHz
Control  
Handheld Remote No No
Control by app N/A N/A
Amazon Alexa No No
Google Assistant No No
Other Specs  
Width (Inches) 4.1875 4.1875
Height (Inches) 6.25 6.25
Depth (Inches) 7.125 6.625
Parts Warranty 3 Years 3 Years
Labor Warranty 3 Years 3 Years
Owner’s Manual Owner’s Manual Owner’s Manual

eo speakers are premium-powered and feature high-quality Bluetooth connectivity for easy and quick connection to any app and device. The A1 is a model of the A2+ and has the same precision-tuned, hand-crafted cabinets. It also uses the same silk dome tweeters, aramid fiber and woofers.

The Audioengine A1s are different in that they have different types of connections as well as the cabinet finish. A1 speakers use spring clips to connect speaker wires, rather than 5-way binding post connections. They also offer RCA and USB connection options, which is a departure from the A2+.

The Audioengine A1 cabinets are hand-finished with vinyl, rather than the painted finish on the Audioengine A2+. Let’s look at how the two machines compare.

Design

Both the Audioengine A1+ and Audioengine A2+ can be folded down, while the A2+ is smaller.

The speakers share a lot of similarities in design. Both speakers are compact and have identical dimensions. They measure 6x4x5.25 inches. The driver configuration is identical, with a 2.75″ aramid fibre woofer and an 0.75″ silk dome speaker in each cabinet.

They do have some differences in their cabinet exteriors. Audioengine A1 has a vinyl exterior that is hand-finished, while A2+ cabinets have a painted exterior. The Audioengine A2+ also comes in three colors: hi-gloss black, hi-gloss yellow, and hi-gloss clear. The Audioengine A1 is only available in grey.

These speakers can be used as stand-alone or as a desk speaker. There are holes for mounting the speakers at their rubberized bottoms. When placing these speakers on a desk, it is best to angle them slightly up so that the tweeters are at eye level.

Connectivity

Audioengine A2+ has more connections options than the Audioengine A1 plus they have 5-way binding posts and not spring clips.

The connections for both sets are located to the rear of each active speaker. Audioengine A1’s left speaker has one 3.5mm aux input, and an LFE variable subwoofer line-out. Spring clips are included to attach it to the right speaker. It includes a 3.5mm audio and stereo RCA cables, as well as speaker wires for connecting both speakers. You will also find the Bluetooth pairing button as well as its volume knob/power at the rear.

The Audioengine A2+’s left speaker has a 3.5mm aux input and stereo RCA inputs. It also has a micro USB input. Audioengine A2+ has two additional audio inputs (stereoRCA and micro USB) than the A1. The Audioengine A2+ uses 5-way binding posts to connect the left or right speakers. You will also find the Bluetooth pairing button as well as the volume knob/power switch at the back on the left active speaker.

Performance

Both the Audioengine A1+ and Audioengine A2+ produce clear and detailed sounds.

Because they share the exact same driver configuration, the speakers sound identical. These speakers can produce clear, detailed highs and mids. These speakers are small, so the sub-bass and low are not as good.

These speakers are not for those who want to focus on bass. These speakers are great if you want to have incredible clarity and accuracy. You can also add a subwoofer to the speakers later, if you want that extra rumble and thump.

Their Bluetooth connectivity is excellent. They are reliable and can cover a large range of distances without dropping connections.

Drivers

A2+ Wireless as well as A1 Wireless can be used as 2-way speakers. A2+ Wireless has a 0.75″ Silk Soft-Dome tweeter and 1x 2.75″ Kevlar woofer. A1 Wireless, on the other hand, features a 0.75″ Silk Soft-Dome Twitterer and 1x 2.75″ Aramid Fiber Woofer.

Final Verdict

Audioengine A1 and Audioengine A2+ are similar in terms of sound quality. The only difference is that A2+ has more connection options.

These speakers are almost identical, except for audio quality. The choice of which speaker you choose will depend on whether or not you require the Audioengine A2+.

The Audioengine A1 is the best option if you only need one analog input. These are also cheaper. The Audioengine A2+ is recommended if you require more connections for both analog and digital audio devices.

FAQ for Audioengine A1 vs Audioengine A2+

Is Audioengine a good brand?

Yes, some of their speakers are the default recommendations when it comes to affordable powered speakers.

What are the key differences between the Audioengine A1 and Audioengine A2+?

The Audioengine A1 and Audioengine A2+ are two popular speakers that are both made by the same company. They come with a different set of features and have been designed to suit different needs.

The Audioengine A1 is designed for a more compact setup, so it is perfect for desktop setups or small rooms. It has an 8” woofer and a 1” tweeter. It also comes with a built-in amplifier and can be connected wirelessly to other devices through Bluetooth or Airplay.

The Audioengine A2+ is designed for larger setups, such as home theater systems, outdoor events, or offices. It has two 8” woofers and two 1” tweeters per speaker. It also comes with an extra power input that allows you to add another pair of speakers without needing an amplifier in between them.

Is a subwoofer needed for the Audioengine A1 or Audioengine A2+ speakers?

They don’t need a subwoofer to function, but a subwoofer will help with the low frequency range, for a fuller and richer sound.

Which speakers the Audioengine A1 or Audioengine A2+ is better for gaming, music and movies?

The Audioengine A1 is better for gaming and music because of its more directional sound and lack of bass. The Audioengine A2+ is better for movies, hand provides a more immersive experience with its bass response and wider soundstage.

Which speakers the Audioengine A1 or Audioengine A2+ would you recommend for a beginner?

Audioengine A1 or Audioengine A2+? This is a question that many beginners ask. It is not an easy question to answer because both speakers are great. The Audioengine A1 is more affordable and the Audioengine A2+ has better bass response.

The Audioengine A1 will be perfect for someone who doesn’t have a lot of space and wants to create a home theater setup with their TV, computer, and other devices. They also work well with smaller bookshelf speakers for stereo sound. The Audioengine A2+ are ideal for someone who likes to listen to music at higher volumes, or wants better bass response.

How much speakers the Audioengine A1 and Audioengine A2+ cost?

On Amazon the Audioengine A1 speakers that costs $199б, whereas the Audioengine A2+ speaker that costs $299.

Do the Audioengine A2+ have Bluetooth?

Yes, the Audioengine A2+ have Bluetooth.

Can I connect a subwoofer to the Audioengine A2+?

Yes, the L/R RCA outputs can be connected to a subwoofer.

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