I’m not going to try and convince you that, all things considered, the Audioengine 5+ speakers are the best bang for your buck. But if you’re in the market for a capable pair that’s easy to install, with features targeted at the average consumer, their $US400 price tag certainly makes them a worthwhile contender.
The 5+ are actually an upgrade to Audioengine’s flagship A5 Speakers, which feature a built-in 150W amp in the left speaker, 20mm silk dome tweeters coupled with five inch kevlar woofers and are crafted from one inch MDF with a satin black, gloss white, or bamboo finish. What puts the ‘plus’ in the 5+ is a new cabinet design that places the waveport on the rear, improved thermal management, a remote control, a variable preamp line out connection, RCA and mini-jack inputs for easily connecting it to an MP3 player and a handy powered USB port for keeping your attached devices powered. If you’re low on desk real estate you’ll also find a 1/4-inch thread insert on the bottom allowing them to be easily attached to stands, and while the front mounted volume knob is convenient if the speakers are within reach, the lack of a balance adjustment could be bothersome if the speakers aren’t located equidistant from the listener. But at just $US200 each there’s bound to be a few minor quibbles until the 5++ are released. [Audioengine via Audioholics]