My new AudioEngine A5+ speakers finally arrived, today — in Matryoshka doll style packaging! Inside a neutral brown shipping box is a brown AudioEngine labelled box, inside which is a white AudioEngine retail box. Inside that box are two smooth grey felt/fabric/something bags… inside which are the two speakers — additionally wrapped in protective bubble-plastic something! 😂
Once these five layers are pealed away, the speakers themselves do look great. Smooth satin surface, rounded corners, deep black. I like ’em. They are, as expected, bigger than my old desktop “satellites” — so much bigger that putting them on my rather small desk with the tilting silicone stands that I also bought makes me uncomfortable (I don’t really trust the silicone stands, they seem to be a bit small).
In addition to that and more importantly though, I feel like I’m sitting way too close to the speakers when they’re on my desk, where the old speakers used to be. I’m not really in the “sweet spot” to experience an immersive sound.
So before I judge the new speakers more thoroughly in my room, I will have to put them a little bit further away, onto the CD rack/bookshelf that I’m facing from my desk. Of course the supplied cables are all pretty short, and to put the speakers on the shelf, I need a 20 ft. stereo RCA cable, which costs an arm and a leg at Best Buy. (I am convinced that they prey on people who are in dire need of a cable with their 5000% markup.) So Amazon it is… 😐
And having the speakers on my desk, I also realized that, once you’ve had the extra low-end oomph of a subwoofer in your music & your life, there’s probably no going back to a non-subwoofer existence — but I don’t think I can properly judge the actual bass reproduction when I’m this close to them. The speakers do have a bass reflex slit and when I play music sufficiently loud, they pump out air. I’m glad that this opening is at the back!
Last not least, a remote control is part of the system, to control volume, mute, or put the speakers into standby. This also comes with a problem: the volume knob on the speakers doesn’t have any indicators, and no hard “stop” when it’s at its lowest level. I intend to not mess with the volume control on the speakers much anyway and instead control the volume from the D1, so that shouldn’t be an issue in my normal, everyday use.
One tiny thing that irks me is a little piece of plastic shaving (or something) that is inside the translucent plastic cover of the white power LED — how something like this escapes the attention of quality assurance during assembly and final inspection is incomprehensible to me, but once the speakers are gone from my desk and on the shelf, it’ll be an optical flaw only that will be out of my sight. 😛