Audioengine makes some of the best bookshelf speakers that money can buy. Even though the brand may not be that popular in Malaysia except among those who are audio enthusiasts, we are glad that the brand continues to bring in their latest products to our market.
The launch of the Audioengine A5+ Wireless bookshelf speaker marks the end of the original Audioengine A5. The A5 series now consists of:
- Audioengine A5+ Wireless
- Audioengine A5+ Classic
Audioengine has stated both models are sharing the same drivers and there will be no auditory difference except that the Wireless model has a built-in Bluetooth receiver and 24-bit AK4396 DAC. The tweeter on the Bluetooth-capable model has been centred for that symmetrical aesthetics.
What’s in the box
- Audioengine A5+ Wireless
- Detachable AC power cord
- Speaker wire (16AWG), 4 meters (~13ft)
- 3.5mm audio cable, 2 meters (~6.5ft)
- RCA audio cable, 2 meters (~6.5ft)
- Remote control
- Microfiber speaker bags
- Microfiber cable bag
- Quick start guide
Audioengine A5+ “Wireless”
Before we get into the speaker’s review, I must talk about the product name especially the “Wireless” term which can be misleading. General consumers might misunderstand this is a pair of speakers that would work standalone or without any cable connection between the two satellites. When in fact, it just simply means the speaker supports Bluetooth connection. If only if Audioengine went for something simpler such as A5+ Bluetooth or A5+ BT as the name. Maybe this is just me, let me know what you think of the name.
Speaking of the Bluetooth support, thanks to Apple’s courageous move of killing off the 3.5mm audio jack on mobile devices, speakers are forced to adopt the wireless life, which in this case, to have Bluetooth connectivity option. The Audioengine A5+ Wireless has a respectable specification at that. It uses Bluetooth 5.0 while supporting various codecs including AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX LL. The speaker also has a high-quality 24-bit AKM AK4396 DAC built right into it.
In terms of aesthetics, the unit we received comes in a high-gloss white finish. Just think of it as a white version of the piano black finish we’re so used to. It is smooth and reflects light easily. Pros and cons, certainly it looks stunning from every possible angle except that taking care of it will be a challenge.
Around the Speaker
The active speaker (left channel) has all the connectivities and controls. Even though the speaker’s Bluetooth module works fine without the antenna, still, that’s an option if you find yourself needing that extra range.
Starting off with the Bluetooth wireless user experience. The pairing process is easily executed with a single press of the Pair button at the back panel. Then proceed to connect to the speaker in your phone’s Bluetooth device search list.
There is one unique behaviour when it comes to the speaker’s input. Unlike any regular speakers that require you to change the speaker into Bluetooth mode, the Audioengine A5+ Wireless, for some reason, can play both Bluetooth and wired input at the same time. Convenient, as you don’t have to fiddle around with the modes, but weird.
As for the sound quality, there’s no doubt that the Audioengine A5+ Wireless is capable of producing a clean and detailed sound signature. The overall profile is leaning towards the sparkling mid and higher frequencies. The low-range may not be standing out from the rest but I would describe it as well defined and carries just enough kick to push that sweet hums. Listing to Interstellar soundtracks by Hans Zimmer on the A5+ Wireless is just magnificent. The ever subtle details and the signature deep background music are being faithfully reproduced.
Vocals, on the other hand, poses some challenges to the speaker as it occasionally struggles to keep them separated from the background tunes. Not to say the vocal is now a bunched up mess but music with loads of BGM action will affect the vocalist’s voice.
All in all, the Audioengine A5+ Wireless is an excellent set of bookshelf speakers. Sure, at the retail price of RM2650 in Malaysia, one can expect a lot from this pair of speakers but this is not for those bass-heads who want to blow their roof off with over-powered bass. This is a speaker for music lovers who appreciate the intrinsic details in their songs and the inclusion of Bluetooth wireless makes it a versatile choice in this ever-changing era.