Important Specs Overview
Speaker type: powered, two way, back ported
Continuous power handling: 50 W x 2
Peak power handling: 75 W x 2
Frequency response range: 50 – 22.5k Hz (+/- 1.5dB)
Driver size: 5 in
Unit weight: ~12 lbs (averaged)
Cabinet dimensions: 7 x 8 x 11 in (width x depth x height)
Wireless: included remote
Warranty: 3 years
Review And Discussion
The A5+ is Audioengine’s longstanding flagship powered speaker, and the big brother of the subsequently released more compact A2+ (reviewed here). The A5+ has been widely regarded as the best available powered bookshelf speaker at its price point, and on paper there’s a lot to attest to that being true.
The power and range specs are both excellent for a speaker of this design that’s as compact as it is. The 3/4 in silk dome tweeter is able to get up above the normally standard 20k Hz ceiling, which in turn allows it to go lower as well, giving the woven cloth/fiber woofer more room to focus on the mids and lows. A two way bookshelf speaker that can hit 50 Hz while maintaining an extremely tight 1.5 dB differential is an outstanding testament to a truly optimized design.
The cabinet is fairly standard 1/2 inch MDF all around with contoured edges. It looks nice in a minimalist way, in particular the wood color. Definitely a level up from the boilerplate black MDF boxes you normally see amongst competing budget bookshelf speakers. The slit shaped ports are sneakily fit in the back, giving these speakers the superior bass that ports generally offer while allowing them to remain relatively small.
While the response floor/bass is indeed really good, and might actually suffice on its own, one significant additional feature that the A5+ has that most powered speakers don’t, including its A2+ little brother, is a subwoofer compatible line-out, giving you the option of adding one one very easily. Beyond that it has pretty much every input you could need: Dual RCA, a 3.5mm jack, USB, and of course the terminals to connect the child speaker and the AC power outlet. Connection cables all come included with the A5+ which is nice.
While the A5+ remains relatively compact, it is kind of heavy, and the parent speaker is actually more than 5 pounds heavier than the child due to it housing an older school analog amplifier. The parent speaker also has a vent in the back to disperse the amp’s heat, but as they’ll need space in the back for the ports to breathe anyhow the vent sort of thereby gets taken of.
Another great feature of all of Audioengine’s powered speakers is their industry leading 3 year warranty that includes active electronics. This is more coverage than we’ve seen any other company offer, and you’re usually lucky to get more than a mere one year of coverage with powered speakers.
Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition
These are great speakers, and when they were released several years ago they were probably one of if not the loudest and overall best powered speakers available for a non exorbitant price. They also still have the best warranty that we’ve seen.
They are still a bit expensive though, and disappointingly haven’t been discounted from the MSRP as many older speakers often eventually are. And since then, a lot of competitors have come a long, many of them much cheaper, that give the A5+ a real run for the money. Klipsch’s powered reference series, which has just been updated at the time of this article’s last update, brings more volume for the same price. Edifier has also released a variety of great looking and performant powered speakers that are a fraction of the price, which is definitely worth considering if you’re going to mostly be doing near-field desktop listening – the A5+ might have more power/volume than you’ll ever need.
Get the A5+ powered bookshelf speakers on Amazon (affiliate link)
See our current picks for the overall best budget bookshelf speakers