The world of desktop speakers is awash with systems that are either crazily designed or crazily priced, but very few hit the sweet spot between cost and rounded performance.
Enter Audioengine’s A2s. Specialists in making no-nonsense, affordable speakers, the US-based company has shrunk its excellent A5 speakers to a third of the size, making these 6in desktops ideal for even a cramped computer table.
Don’t be put off by the A2s’ lack of sexy styling. While there are plenty more elaborately funky desktop systems on the market – see the Razer Makos and slightly less capable Altec Lansing Expressionist Bass – none offer anywhere near this kind of value for money.
One speaker is plugged into the mains, providing amplification for both and its 3.5mm mini-jack can talk to either your computer or MP3 player. The only drawback is that there’s no USB connection, so you can’t charge your iPod.
Best in class sound
But you’ll forget this minor inconvenience when you lay ears on them. For speakers in this class, the A2s sound exceptional. Warm, punchy, articulate and well integrated, they pump out your tunes in an impressively cohesive and musical manner.
The lack of a subwoofer might worry lovers of low end growl, but bass is tight, tuneful and controlled, leaving enough room for the open and detailed midrange. In short, the A2s are a revelation at the price.