Audioengine 5+ Powered Loudspeaker (Playback 55)

Equipment+
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Stand-mount
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Audioengine 5+

In my desktop system I used the 5+ speakers perched atop ADAM acoustics’ desktop speaker stands. Originally made for the ADAM A5 speaker, these stands not only raise a monitor 2 ¾” above the desktop, but also angle the speaker slightly backwards. When the A5+s were on the ADAM stands, my ears were about 1” below the tweeter and 3” above the center of the midrange/woofer.

The only adjustment on the front of the 5+ is a small rotary volume control knob. On the opposite side of the knob there’s a small white light that blinks when you turn the knob up or down and stops blinking when you reach the top or bottom of the 5+’s adjustment range.

Next to the white light is the small translucent circle of the 5+’s remote control. The remote is one of those credit-card-sized units that have a way of finding the crevices of couches with tiresome regularity. The remote offers four options: volume up, volume down, mute, and sleep. For the end-user there’s not a lot of difference between sleep and mute—in both cases the music does a quick fade (nice touch that fade) to silence. But in sleep you’ve actually partially powered down the 5+, while in mute you’ve merely attenuated the audio output. The acceptance angle for the remote is extremely wide and the remote itself has plenty of reach.

 

SONIC CHARACTER

If the 5+ speakers were a breed of dog they’d probably be golden retrievers: friendly, smart, easy on the eyes, and loyal. In the 5+’s case, the loyalty is to the music, although they do lean towards the warm euphonic side of absolute neutrality. Given the 5+’s modest price, a somewhat harmonically “friendly” skew with a smidgen more lower midrange and mid-bass than would be considered ruler-flat isn’t a bad way to tilt the odds in favor of a wider variety of music listeners.

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