Audioengine A5 and A2 Speakers FAQ
Audioengine A5 & A2 FAQs: Information courtesy of Audioengine
When will you have products that include Apple's Airplay?
We're working on integrated Airplay solutions but these will take time. Meanwhile, consider a great alternative, which is an Airport Express and your iPhone with our A5 or A2 powered speakers.
Can audio be played through the Audioengine USB charge port?
The USB port on Audioengine speakers was designed to be for power charging only, but don’t despair - we’ve also included an audio input next to the USB port to plug your music into.
Why do my A5 speakers sometimes turn off when I'm listening to music at low volumes?
This is a basic property of the auto-sleep feature. The sleep feature reacts to the amount of input signal being fed to your speakers. If the input signal is too low, the speakers will not recognize the source and power themselves into sleep mode. A quick fix for this is to turn up the volume on your source and turn down the volume on your speakers.
When I listen to my music at night I keep the A5 speakers at a low volume. However, it seems that the left speaker is louder than the right speaker when at a low volume. Is there a way to fix this or is it normal?
This is a common property of speakers using dual-analog style amplifiers. A quick fix for this is to increase the volume on your speakers and decrease the volume on your source.
What is the voltage on the A5 rear panel AC outlet when the unit is switched to AC input of 240V 50Hz?
The voltage of the AC power plug on the A5 rear panel follow whatever the AC input voltage selector switch is set to.
Are the A5 accurate enough to serve as studio monitors for mixing music tracks?
The A5s were designed with the user's listening experience in mind and are not marketed as studio monitors. However, Audioengine technology has it's roots in the studio monitor world and the A5 is quite good for this purpose. We've had customers tell us that they use these for near field listening and music editing and enjoy the experience.
Just how easy is it to set up Audioengine powered speakers?
Unpack and place them where you want and plug in the AC cord. Connect the included speaker wire from the active speaker to the right passive speaker. Then plug in your music (iPod, CD player, TV etc.) with the supplied cables and you're ready to go. Our powered speakers are an all-in-one solution with no extra amps or components needed!
Will Audioengine speakers work with a PC or Mac?
Absolutely! Use the computer's headphone output, soundcard, or DAC audio output from your Mac or PC directly into Audioengine speakers and you're good to go. PC, Mac, laptop or any computer.
How can such small speakers have so much clean-sounding, deep, tight bass?
One of the reasons Audioengine active and passive speakers have such amazing bass in such a small package are the designs of the bass ports on each speaker. These aren’t just holes or slots in the cabinets, but specifically shaped openings with tubes designed with precise calculations. The result is incredible low end with minimal audible air turbulence. These are effectively mini-subs built into each speaker, allowing Audioengine speakers to be used with or without a separate subwoofer. It's also worth mentioning that we don’t use any enhancement circuits to add fake bass, so what you’ll hear is real bass, really low and clean.
Why do I have to plug one speaker into the wall?
Audioengine powered speaker models have a built-in power amplifier in the left speaker so you won’t need a stereo receiver or other extra components for power. In addition to built in amps, we’ve also added an extra “always-on” AC outlet on the A5 speaker rear panel, which just happens to be perfect for plugging in an Airport Express or Squeezebox. The perfect wireless-ready speakers!
What is the difference between powered and active speakers?
Both are basically the same. “Active” and “powered” speakers refer to speakers with power amplifiers built into either one speaker or both. Audioengine speakers were designed with the power amps in the left speaker to make connections easier as they only require 1 power cord and all connections are on the same speaker. It’s time to sell that big old stereo receiver and make the switch!
Will I get buzz from the speakers if I place my iPhone near my Audioengine speakers? I don't see any mention of GSM shielding in the speakers in the setup guide.
All Audioengine speakers are video and magnetically shielded but the really good news is Apple has fixed the GSM buzz issue with 3G iPhone so you won't get any interference regardless of how close the phone is to your powered speakers.
The headphone jack on my computer is noisy but I want to connect my Audioengine speakers to my Mac. What do I do?
Some computer headphone outputs are noisy and have poor audio quality. If this is your computer, we check out our AW1 wireless adapter (basically a wireless DAC with an analog output). Also a Google search for "USB audio interface" or similar will yield some good results.
I'd like to connect an Apple Airport Express to my A5 speakers to stream music from my Mac. I also wish to connect the speakers to my Samsung LCD TV. Is it possible to have simultaneous connections to the A5 (or the smaller A2 speakers)?
Yes, there are 2 audio inputs on Audioengine powered speakers so connect the Airport Express to one input and the variable output from your TV into the other. Both inputs are "open" or active so you can leave 2 audio sources plugged in at the same time with no need to flip any switches.
If I connect my Audioengine speakers to a Zune MP3 player what volume level should I set on the player and speakers? What is the ideal overall volume level on the music source to get the cleanest distortion-free sound?
Every setup is different but we generally recommend leaving your speaker volume at around 11 or 12 o'clock and then using your music source (iPod, computer, TV, etc.) to set the volume and as the master volume control.
It is true that speaker placement really can make a difference in sound quality?
There are different theories but rooms and tastes are different so it's tough to specify a correct placement. We suggest you experiment with different locations to see what works for you. As a general rule of thumb for the best sound stage balance, the speakers should be equi-distant from side walls and a different distance from rear walls. For the best bass response on rear-ported speakers (like Audioengine 5), we recommend that you keep a minimum distance of 6-12" between the rear of the speakers and the rear wall. Our front-ported speakers (such as the Audioengine 2 or P4) do not need any rear panel clearance for better bass but recommend keeping them a few inches from the rear wall for adequate ventilation.
Will the sound be affected if I place the left (active) speaker on the right side and the right speaker on the left?
Swapping sides will not have any negative effect on the soundstage or quality/clarity of the speakers. This will simply give you the reverse of what the artist intended for you to hear.
Can I drill holes in my powered Audioengine speakers and mount them to a wall?
Due to the electronics, cabinet materials and high-end finish it's not a good idea to drill into your speakers but there are a few side-clamping wall mount designs that work great for our active speakers. We don't endorse any specific models but here are some recommended by customers:
- Vogels VLB200 Speaker Wall Mount
- Sanus WMS2 Speaker Wall Mount
- BTECH BT-77 Side Clamping Wall Mount
Can I increase the length or change the speaker wire between each speaker?
Sure. For the best audio performance we’ve included 12 feet of 16 gauge wire with each powered speaker system but any "stranded" speaker wire will work. The speaker binding posts on the back of each cabinet will accept bare stranded wire, however if you want to terminate the wires we recommend using spade type terminals.
Is it OK to connect Audioengine active speakers to my stereo receiver or integrated amplifier?
We’ve built amplifiers into our powered speakers but if you wish to use Audioengine speakers with an existing receiver take the “preamp out” from your receiver and connect it to one of the Audioengine inputs (if you need to, use the included RCA stereo “Y” connector to 1/8” mini plug cable). We also make a pair of passive speakers called P4 so check those out as well!
Do higher power output ratings for audio gear mean louder or better sounding speakers?
Not necessarily. Audioengine speakers and amplifiers are very efficient and designed together as a system so therefore we get more volume output than stereo receivers or amplifiers that might higher wattage or power numbers. Due to this tuning we achieve big sound outputs with a fraction of the power required by other systems.
Are two separate speakers really better than one boombox or soundbar?
We are firm believers that two quality speakers will always sound better than one or more speakers together in a single cabinet, regardless of the amplifier or sound enhancing technology used. There are some decent one-piece speaker systems that simulate stereo and surround sound from a single source, but most fall way short as they can’t accurately duplicate a wide sound stage with imaging as complete and rich as Audioengine speakers.
Can I use a subwoofer with Audioengine powered speakers?
Even though Audioengine speakers have big and tight low end which will easily fill a room and rival floor standing speakers many times their size, you can also connect an external sub if you wish (or connect Audioengine speakers to your sub's line-level output). You can even connect our wireless AW1 adapter to the A2 or A5 powered speakers for a wireless subwoofer!
How can I stream music from my computer to multiple Audioengine speakers or other stereo systems?
Check out our AW1 Wireless Adapter set. These adapters allow you to stream wireless audio from any program/website/player to our speakers and subwoofer. Apple's AirPort Express is another higher-quality option to send music from iTunes out to multiple speakers in other rooms.
Why do digital music files sound better with Audioengine speakers?
Audioengine speakers were specially designed and tuned to make MP3 and other digital music files sound great. We spent many months tuning each speaker and almost exclusively used various compresses and lossless files types encoded at different bitrates during this process. Even though we are big fans of digital music your turntable or reel-to-reel tape player will sound equally as good.
Why don’t Audioengine speakers have a built-in iPod dock?
Audioengine speakers not only work well with iPods and iPod docks, but were also designed to connect easily to all other audio products. iPods connect to Audioengine speakers with or without a dock. We feel that Apple docks do an excellent job so we didn’t want to waste resources trying to design and integrate a dock into our speakers only for it to become quickly obsolete. If you have an iPod but don’t yet have an Apple Dock or one of many other great dock systems on the market, pick one up, sit it on top of our speakers, plug it in and you’ll see what we mean!
Some people want to upgrade the audio on their TV's but aren't necessarily interested in surround sound. Can I hook up A5's to my TV instead of buying a surround sound system or soundbar?
Audioengine's A5 and A2 speakers can be easily connected to the audio output on your TV set. Either model of speaker will provide for an easy setup and a greatly enhanced TV audio experience with a wider soundstage and better imaging than most soundbars!
Can I control Audioengine speakers with my TV remote control?
Although many TVs have only one L/R audio output, which typically defaults to fixed, this setting can be sometimes be changed via the on-screen menu so please check your manual to see which outputs are variable. Also try the headphone output.
If I have 2 inputs plugged in at the same time, how does Audioengine switch between audio sources?
Both inputs are "open" or active, so you can leave 2 audio sources plugged in at the same time with no need to flip any switches!
Why only analog inputs on your powered speakers?
Audioengine speakers contain all-analog circuitry. The analog outputs from Sonos, the Airport Express, and Slim Devices Squeezebox, for instance, are very high quality and are great examples of why we didn’t feel the need for digital inputs. Are Audioengine speakers portable?
There are so many cheap plastic portable disposable iPod speaker toys on the market that we decided to create a line of real speakers that are self-powered, sound great, and don’t have a handle or run off 25 AA batteries. In other words, Audioengine speakers are not really portable but are durable enough that you could carry them around in bags or backpacks like we do when we’re out on the road.
Do Audioengine speakers come with speaker grills?
Our woofers are made of Kevlar and our tweeters of silk. Both of these materials are very robust and can handle anything that may happen to them during a normal day. We decided against grill covers as they tend to negatively color the sound; sometimes less is more. Cat and kid-friendly.
Can I take my Audioengine speakers to another country with a different voltage?
Yes, you can switch the voltage selector on the A5 rear panel to match the AC power in your country. The A2 speakers use a switching power supply so it will automatically convert to the different voltage. The power cable is also detachable on our powered speakers which makes it convenient to replace the AC plug with a different type if you don’t want to use an adapter plug.
Can Audioengine speakers be placed on their sides?
Yes, and we recommend that you position each so the tweeters are facing outward.
Why do my A5 speakers sometimes mute when I'm listening to music at low volumes?
If the input audio signal is at too low a level, the sleep circuit mistakes this as no signal and turns the speakers off. If this happens, simply increase the level of your audio source and decrease the volume of the speakers accordingly.
Are these speakers designed for use only with computers or iPods? I would like to connect them to my Panasonic DVD player or TV or even my Denon stereo. Is this possible?
Yes, absolutely. All your A/V gear with an RCA or mini-jack 1/8" connector (even a headphone jack!) will work great with Audioengine powered speakers.
If I have a subwoofer of my own, how would I use the A2s with it?
Connect the line-level output from your subwoofer into one of the A2 inputs. Very simple.
What if my TV only has one audio output that cannot be controlled with the TV remote?
Although many TVs have only one L/R audio output, which typically defaults to fixed, this setting can be sometimes be changed via the on-screen menu. Also try your TV's headphone output or the audio outputs from your satellite or cable box.
How would I connect a NuForce Icon amplifier to the A2 or A5 speakers?
Connect the NuForce line out into the A2 (or A5) mini-jack input. Simple to connect and sounds great!
What if my speakers or subwoofer have a hum or buzzing sound?
Hum or buzz in the speakers is usually caused by something external to the speakers which is coupling noise into the speaker system, either through the AC lines, cordless phone, wireless router, or directly from the source input. A common reason is that the entire system is set up such that a "ground loop" results. Basically, a ground loop occurs when the AC power grounds and the system signal grounds are not at the same electrical potential. Refer to our online Setup Guides for a list of things to try.
Do Audioengine speakers have an auto-sleep, idle, or auto-power-off function? Can I leave them on all the time?
The A5's are equipped with a power-saving circuit that turns off the speaker's final stage amp when there is no input for about 15 minutes. The A2 has a idle mode with actives right after you stop playing music. Due to this power-saving function we recommend that the speakers stay on all the time.
If my speakers are "asleep" or in idle mode why can I still hear a faint hum or hiss if I put my ear very close to the speaker?
Even though the final amp stage is shut down during sleep, the pre-amp stage is still powered up and the front panel power LED will remain illuminated which takes very little power.
What is the AC power cable type for Audioengine powered speakers?
We use 2-Pin IEC 320-C7 cables. The A5 uses a polarized cable for A5, but most higher-end cables are non-polarized and these will work just fine.
I've had my Audioengine 5 speakers for a few months and am quite pleased with their performance but they have a tendency to automatically mute every so often. They remain powered on but there's no volume/output. What's going on?
This sounds like the A5 sleep circuit turning on. Your speakers have a sleep circuit built into them which is designed to reduce the power usage when the speakers are not in use. The sleep circuit reacts to the level of signal from the source so the fix for this is to turn down the volume on your speakers and turning up the volume on your source. We recommend leaving the volume on the speakers at around 11 or 12 o'clock and using your input source as the main volume control.
Can I use a power inverter with Audioengine speakers?
Sure, for A2 you will need about 50-60 watts and for A5 about 100-120W.
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