AudioEngine A2 vs A5 vs Creative Gigaworks T20

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cryonic49, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. cryonic49 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    #1
    I've been using Creative Gigaworks T20 for my music setup and they've served me very well. The amount of bass coming out of those two little speakers is pretty impressive, and the sound is clear and warm after a little bit of bass and treble boost.

    However, after hearing a host of rave reviews from audiophiles about the AudioEngine products, I've caved in and ordered two pairs of A2 and A5.

    The speakers arrived very quickly, and man were they heavy. The combined shipping weight for both speakers was 40 pounds! Both speakers are very well built. I got the white version for both speakers and they match pretty well with the Macs. The edges of the A2 are sharper, where as the A5's edges are rounder. A2 looks pretty cute :)

    Unfortunately, the A2 sounds pretty hollow and flat comparing to the T20. The bass is a really mid bass and there isn't a clear high. I am no audiophile, but A2 sounds like it's been muffled inside a box. Turning up the volume the A2 seem to can't keep up low end, just a lot of mids. No distortions though.

    Now the A5 is a different story. It has a nice warm tone, clear mids and highs, overall smooth as butter. None of the 'hollow' sound of the A2. The sound stage is also more impressive than the T20, it fills my living room much better.

    I've not broken in the new speakers yet, but currently it goes like this:
    A5 > T20 > A2.

    The T20 goes for $80 a pair, where AudioEngine speakers are going at $200 for the a2 and $350 for the a5. Obviously the T20 is better deal than the A2, and I am pretty disappointed with the A2. That's too bad, A2 is the best looking of the bunch too.

    Now I am pretty tempted to try out the T40 to see how it compares to the A5.

    Anyone had similar experiences with AudioEngine products?
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #2
    I am not sure who you determine as audiophiles liking the AudioEngine's. My opinion has always been they are much like Bose headphones - not bad, but mediocre and overpriced because of good advertising.
     
  3. Quicksilver00X macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
  4. waynesun macrumors regular

    waynesun

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #4
    Get a great source first. If you're talking audiophile, the best speakers in the world won't give halfway their potential on a stock sound card / chip from a Mac. Look into the Zero DAC, go with the A5s, and strap yourself in for an amazing experience.
     
  5. cryonic49 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    #5
    Well I am using their wireless adapter (AudioEngine W1), which is USB audio via 802.11 - bypassing any interference from the MacBook.

    As for the source, I've played various tracks, from loseless to 128kbps - and A2 just sounds hallow regardless. Now, they aren't broken in yet, so I am reserving my final judgment. Still, A2 will have to make up significantly.
     
  6. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
  7. cryonic49 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    #7
    Well I've mentioned that I had been using AW1, which has a good enough DAC i presume.

    But the good news is that I've broken in the A2. Wow, it really did open up. It's no longer hollow sounding! Much better than the T20. Still not as much bass, but it sounds much more natural! Definitely sound like a $200 pair of speakers now.
     
  8. praetorian909 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    #8
    I apologize in advance for reviving an old thread...

    I too was skeptical of the AugioEngine A2s. I never heard them in person and I figured they might be like Bose--good low end for small size speakers, as well as the brand name perception/good word of mouth/marketing--making them seem better than they really are.

    But I have read Stereophile's review, and they are definitely a trustworthy source:
    http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/1207ae/

    So after years of waiting, I finally ordered a pair. And during that time I did see them once in a NYC pizza place.
     

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