Audioengine 5

Audioengine 5

Also available in black - and both colors grace tremendous speakers.

 

There's no doubt that the iPod speaker market is a lucrative one. But while the choices are plentiful, the compromise between size and quality has left an opening for the Audioengine 5 speaker system to fill a niche that's likely to start growing this very minute.

 

The Audioengine 5 has two distinct speakers, eschewing the popular one-piece construction that's popular with iPod speaker sets. The obvious benefit is a far more explicit stereo sound image - something even Apple's iPod Hi-Fi struggles with. The downside is that you have some speaker wire to deal with. No biggie.

 

The Audioengine 5 charges your iPod while it's plugged in, but there's no actual dock - the Audioengine 5's powered USB port does not allow for data transfer. Plugging in an iPod shuffle will require the adjacent audio input.

 

On the back of the left speaker you'll find another audio input and an auxiliary AC outlet. Huh? An electrical outlet? Turns out that it's perfect for plugging in an AirPort Express to stream your iTunes library wirelessly to the speakers. Brilliant. Of course, you can plug just about anything in there - at the very least the outlet helps clean up that tangled web of wire.

 

All of these inputs don't mean much if the actual sound quality is subpar, so we're glad to say that these are easily among the best-sounding iPod speakers we've ever heard. Crisp, clean audio emanates from the boxes, producing a huge sound that never betrays their bookshelf size. Even the bass levels are quite prominent without the use of an external subwoofer, though the speakers do favor the highs at louder volumes.

 

The bottom line. If sound quality is your main concern, you can't go wrong with the Audioengine 5 speakers.

 

COMPANY: Audioengine
CONTACT: 877-853-4447, www.audioengineusa.com
PRICE: $349
REQUIREMENTS: device with audio out
Fantastic sound and build quality. No receiver needed. Well-thought-out design.
Costs more than other speaker systems. No digital input, dock, or remote.

 

 

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