The Audioengine A2+ speakers are widely regarded as some of the best computer speakers that money can buy at the moment – and in the course of testing them out for this review, we've been left in no doubt as to the quality of audio that this speaker pair can produce.
While you will get better sound out of bigger and more expensive speaker pairings, the Audioengine A2+ can hold their own against any units of this size and price. Here we'll explain everything you need to know about them, from inputs to total power output.
With wireless Bluetooth connectivity available here as well, you could also make the case for the Audioengine A2+ units being in the running for the best Bluetooth speakers as well. As always, it will depend on what exactly you're after, and how much you've got to spend.
Audioengine A2+ review: design and setup
The Audioengine A2+ speakers are relatively compact, with each one measuring 152 mm x 102 mm x 133 mm (that's 6 inches x 4 inches x 5.2 inches). The left active speaker tips the scales at 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs), while the right passive weighs 1.4 kg (3.1 lbs). You'll be able to fit them in almost anywhere, whether that's at the side of your desks or on a bookshelf, and you can also get some optional desktop stands to put underneath and raise up the front of the speakers just slightly.
You can get these speakers in a standard black, or with a more flamboyant high-gloss white or high-gloss red. It's the left speaker that features all the essentially connections and ports, including the power connector and the various inputs – there's stereo RCA, 3.5 mm aux, and even USB available here as well as Bluetooth, though it's worth mentioning that the USB option uses the older micro-USB port (there's a micro-USB to USB-A cable included in the box, if you need it).
We like the chunky volume dial that doubles as a power button, and the only real setup you need to do is to connect the left and right speakers together: this is done with a stereo speaker wire and two binding posts on each speaker that you screw into position (it's one of the signs that you're dealing with a serious bit of audio hardware). With Bluetooth connections, the speakers go into pairing mode just after they've been switched on.
In terms of both design and setup the Audioengine A2+ speakers score highly. They're well built and feel solid, and are able to produce some serious sound levels despite being nice and compact. You can have them up and running in minutes – via a choice of wired and wireless connection options – and you even get a choice of three colours to fit in with your existing decor. There are nice little design decisions throughout, like the padded foam under each speaker that keeps them in place.
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Audioengine A2+ review: sound and features
Each Audioengine A2+ speaker includes a 0.75-inch silk dome tweeter and a 2.75-inch aramid fibre woofer, with both together bringing 60 watts of power at their peak, and a 65Hz-22kHz frequency range. On the wireless side you get Bluetooth 5.0 with support for aptX, so that's a high-fidelity, 'CD-like' audio connection, without the slightly higher quality of the aptX HD standard available on bigger and more expensive speakers (including several made by Audioengine).
We put these speakers through their paces with music, podcasts, movies and games, and they produced stellar performance throughout – the decent bass response carries real punch, while more delicate and quieter sounds are distinct and well balanced. The difference between the Audioengine A2+ and a regular pair of built-in laptop speakers is significant, as we found when working through the albums in our music library (though of course some laptop speakers are better than others).
While it's unfair to expect a compact pair of desktop speakers like these to reproduce the depth and richness of bigger systems, they're nevertheless very impressive for the price, able to fill a medium-sized room with rich and vibrant audio. The most picky audiophiles will find faults in the Audioengine A2+, but for most users they represent a very solid sound upgrade – especially for people looking for versatility and a compact size above most other considerations.
The bass can sound a little limited at times – there is the option to connect a subwoofer, if you want to spend more money – and it is possible to hear some distortion around the edges if you're really pushing the capabilities of these speakers, but in general it's difficult to find too many faults with the Audioengine A2+ pair. We think a lot of people will be surprised at the amount of power and the audio fidelity packed into these compact units.
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Audioengine A2+ review: price and verdict
Our impressions of the Audioengine A2+ have been almost completely positive, starting with the most important consideration: the audio quality. These speakers really pack a punch, and from streaming music to playing video games they produce crisp and rich audio across the entire range of frequencies. It's physically impossible for these speakers to sound as good as bigger, more powerful models, but they give it a good go.
Then there are the input options, which are many – you can connect up your laptop directly via USB, hook up a smartphone over Bluetooth, and still have two more physical inputs to spare. We think most people are going to buy these speakers to connect up to a PC or Mac computer, but they're very versatile when it comes to what you can actually do with them, which is another plus.
The design and build quality of these speakers is another area where they score highly. From the foam padding underneath the speakers, to the colours that Audioengine has decided to go with, to the genuine speaker wire connections between the two units, it's easy to tell this is a quality product. Audioengine is one of the best in the business when it comes to building speakers, and it shows here.
Check the widgets embedded on this page for the latest Audioengine A2+ pricing, but at the time of writing you can pick up this desktop speaker pair for around £260 or $270 – that's a substantial chunk of money for speakers this size, but we think it's an investment that's worth it. For the best audio experience, we recommend getting the small desktop stands as well, so remember to factor these into your budget.
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