Review: Audioengine A1 Wireless Bookshelf Speakers
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The Audioengine A1 Speakers Live Up to Their Name in Every Way
Many companies make single Bluetooth speakers for the sake of portability, which is fine if you're on the go. But if you want to enjoy all that stereo music has to offer, you really need two speakers - a left and a right. Audioengine's A1 compact powered 2-speaker system does just that. The A1 delivers high-quality stereo sound - wired or wirelessly - in a compact package and at a super affordable price point. And while these speakers might be small in size, they produce astonishingly big sound, thanks to their 2.75" aramid-fiber woofers and 3/4" silk-dome tweeters powered by built-in class-D amplifiers that deliver 30W of peak power per channel.
The A1 implements the latest Bluetooth 5.0 standard and supports the high-quality aptX and AAC codecs for superior sound, so you can play music from your phone or device. Or, you can connect these speakers to your favorite legacy components, like a turntable (with built-in phono preamp) or tape deck or CD player, via a 3.5mm stereo minijack. The frequency response extends from 65 Hz to 22 kHz (±2 dB), which is fine for most situations. But if you really want to plumb the low-frequency depths, you can easily connect a subwoofer to its variable-level LFE output.
- Quick and easy setup
- True high-resolution stereo sound
- Compact design
- Precision tuned, hand-crafted cabinets
- Tremendous bang for the buck: $199/pair
- Focus on sound quality, not "smart" features
"Hey, this is Brian from World Wide Stereo. I'm here today to talk to you about the Audioengine A1 Wireless Speaker System. ♪ [music] ♪ Audioengine is an independent speaker company based out of Austin, Texas. They started making speakers in 2005 with a simple philosophy of make a good product, make it sound good, and make sure that people can listen to music that they like every day. So, the Audioengine A1s were released by Audioengine as an entry-level into computer speakers.
It's 60 watts into both channels. It's got a class D amplifier in it, Bluetooth input, as well as an 1/8-inch audio input. The other important thing that it has is it has a subwoofer output which if you have a sub laying around and you want to kick a little extra bass into your computer setup, boom, you have the connection right there for it. The Audioengine A1 speakers have 3/4-inch soft silk-dome tweeter. It's a soft tweeter because you don't have to worry about whether or not someone's going to touch and break it.
And then it has a 2 and 3/4-inch armored fiber woofer. It is ported out the front for your low end. And it also has a nice little mat on the bottom to be a good connection to your surface so you don't have to worry about resonance or bass decoupling or, you know, shaking your desk when you're listening to it a little bit too loud. It has all its controls on the back.
So, the nice thing about the controls on the back is it gives you a nice clean look in the front. So, what you're going to find in a box when you open up the Audioengine A1s is you're going to have two speakers. You have your left and your right, and how you know which one's the left is the one that has the amp inside of it. The other thing that you're going to find in the box is a power cord, you're going to get a speaker cable to connect from one to the other, as well as an 1/8-inch audio cable to quickly connect to your computer.
Now, one of the things that Audioengine suggests when you're setting this up is when you adjust your volume is you want to turn it off as far as you can first, and then start kind of moving it back as you're playing the device and kind of feel where it might be a little bit too loud, or you start to hear things kind of distort.
So, you'll move that back and that'll kind of get you where you want it to be to where it's going to sound good for the environment that you're in. It's also, if you pull it all the way, turns it off. So, the setup for these is actually really easy. You know, once you get it all connected, I connected it to a computer first with the 1/8-inch adapter in the back. And I really just wanted to listen to what sounded best. So, how I listened to it was I connected to a computer first, then I connected via Bluetooth, and then I connected it to my computer with a DAC, and then using the analog cable out of the DAC into the speaker.
The best sounding one was with my DAC. I'm not surprised about that, but it's also the most cumbersome way to listen to it. Second to that, I found that the Bluetooth sounded better than just the straight analog cable. So, the straight analog cable, I still got a little bit of noise from the computer, or, you know, I still had wires to connect to it. The beauty of these speakers are they're only things that you really want to worry about connecting to it is the speaker wire from one to the other and not have to worry about all the little interconnects to it.
So, what I found was the Bluetooth portion of this sounded really great. It was crisp, it was clear, I got a nice low end with it, and that really does come into the codec that they use with it. They use the aptX Bluetooth technology with it, the Bluetooth 5.0. I surprised a lot of people when I was testing these speakers because I use Qobuz as my source material.
They have CD-quality streaming from my phone. And so, I start with a good source and then go from there. So, I was able to kind of play around with these a little bit and really see how they performed. And it was really interesting to play with them because I had them in our little test bench where I had much bigger speakers next to them, and someone came in and said, "Which one of these are playing?"
And I pointed out the small ones and they were super surprised by how much we were getting from them. So, one of the things I really liked about the A1s was listening to podcasts on them. Now, if you listen to podcasts, you probably know that a lot of them are set up in varying different ways. Some people have really professional equipment and other people just have a microphone and a recorder, and sometimes the voices aren't as good and you have to turn your radio, or you have to turn your phone all the way up to really listen to them and hear them.
And what I found with these speakers were because of the way that they're utilizing the DAC inside of them for the Bluetooth, I'm getting a much more clear representation of their voices. And I don't have to turn it up as much to listen. Not only could they be really good computer speakers, they could also really be nice household speakers. If you need...you know, you wanted to add music in an inconspicuous space, they're tiny, so they don't take up a big footprint.
What I found that would be a great use for them is utilizing them with Alexa. I don't think she's in here, so we don't have to worry about that. But you can use Bluetooth from Alexa straight to these speakers and really upgrade that experience as well. So, it has a lot of little things that you can do with it to really make use of their size and their power.
You can get a lot of oomph into an area that you ordinarily wouldn't put that much effort into. You know, these would be great for a bedroom. These would be great for a kid's room, in particular. You give them a nice set of speakers that they can listen to, and you don't have to worry about them breaking them. They're really nicely made and they're solid construction. And you know, you're giving them something that sounds good too. So, you're laying in that idea of, you know, if you're going to listen to something, make sure you're listening to something nice.
This has been the Audioengine A1 Wireless Speaker System. You can view this item online at worldwidestereo.com, or if you happen to be in the area, please stop in either our Ardmore or Montgomeryville showroom to check it out in person. We offer a 60-day return policy, free shipping, and we are authorized dealers for everything we sell. If you have any questions or comments, you can leave them in the comments section below, or you can call or email us at any time.
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us out on all our social media platforms. This is Brian from World Wide Stereo."