Acoustic Energy’s done a bit of a Madonna of late, reinventing itself so it’s still relevant to ‘the kids’. Yes, the artist formerly known for its high-quality-but-traditional speakers is branching out into everything from compact surround sound to iPod systems – and, of course, Bluetooth speakers.
The AE29-06Cs are designed for use with most mobile phones and computers with Bluetooth A2DP capability, and as you’d expect from AE show every sign of being both well thought out and beautifully built. The main unit houses the Bluetooth receiver and audio section, with a 2x20W amp to drive the compact speakers.
Giving you a bit more control over the audio experience, the two speakers can be detached and used up to 2m away from the amp on the end of captive cables. Doing this, and angling the loudspeaker in slightly to the listening position, gives the best stereo effect.
There’s also a 3.5mm stereo line-in socket, so you can easily hook up your iPod and most other non-Bluetooth audio devices.
Wireless is wonderful
Pairing the unit with a Bluetooth device is easy – just push and hold the single button until the LED flashes red and green, then select the AE on the sending device with an 8888 code. All that’s left to do is set the manual volume control and you’re away – quite literally if you want, with the system working up to 10m from the sending phone or computer.
Sound-wise these speakers are top-notch. They deliver music with good punch, bags of detail and sufficient level to fill most living rooms – which is pretty much all you can ask for from this kind of setup. We played a variety of speech and music through it, both from various phones and a laptop, and in every case the AE was nothing short of superb for the money.
It’s only when pushed very hard that the bass starts to sound a bit thick and the treble starts to harden up. But by the standards of systems like this it’s exceptional and superb value for money.