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Any Audioengine A5+ competitors?

A Surfer

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Ideally, but not in practice, desktop speakers such as the A5+ will certainly be tuned. They will not be aiming for neutrality. Think who the target audience likely is, neutrality is so far from what those consumers want. I'm speculating, but I don't think it is unreasonable speculation.
 

echopraxia

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Ideally, but not in practice, desktop speakers such as the A5+ will certainly be tuned. They will not be aiming for neutrality. Think who the target audience likely is, neutrality is so far from what those consumers want. I'm speculating, but I don't think it is unreasonable speculation.
Your speculation does not appear to be correct. In practice, the Audioengine A5 doesn’t look like it’s tuned for anything in particular, i.e. it is mostly neutral (a good thing) with some imperfections:

1630731876647.png


This is definitely not bad, but not as smooth and cleanly neutral as superior speakers like JBL LSR308 Mk II, or Neumann KH80. Example of the nearly flawless KH80 (which also has much deeper bass):

1630731993706.png
 
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Revolite

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Never trust manufacturer frequency range specs. Even when they are honest, there are too many different things it can mean (-3db? -6db? Anechoic or predicted in-room? Etc).

Best to look at the anechoic frequency response measurements (if available).

Is the Neumann KH80 in your budget in your country? You ruled out the JBL due to the mild hiss? AudioEngine is “ok” I think as a cheap option — it’s not bad, but not as great as the JBLs and nowhere near as stellar as the Neumann KH80.

Neumann KH80 are $1460. So about three times the Audioengine. Probably a bit of a reach. I'm not even certain I'm the type of person who could really appreciate the KH80.
 

echopraxia

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Neumann KH80 are $1460. So about three times the Audioengine. Probably a bit of a reach
That’s fair. My concern with the Audioengine though is that it will not have a satisfying amount of bass. You mentioned you don’t plan on adding a subwoofer, so the bass extension of your desktop speakers will matter a lot.

Another commenter here said the Audioengine’s sound “hollow and muddy”, and this does correlate with its frequency response when placed on a desk (though the muddy can probably be fixed with EQ, you can’t safely add bass depth that it’s not capable of playing loudly).

For your price range, it is possible to achieve satisfactory bass response for almost any music. It requires a larger speaker though, like Mackie MR824 or JBL LSR308 Mk II.

You can also get good bass power in a small package (e.g. Neumann KH80], but you must pay for the premium components this requires.

So you must pick you compromise. You can only pick two of the following: Cheap price, good bass, small form factor.
 

jae

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Interesting, seems like the AU price for some of the the Neumanns are actually cheaper than US? Really a shame they are out of your budget.

KH120 is $1740 AUD but it seems the AUD equivalent in the US is closer to $1950-2000. I feel if there was a universe where one would justify spending ~$1500 on KH80 they might as well cough up an extra $240 AUD and get the KH120, especially if there was no subwoofer involved.

I also see that Neumann KH 120 can actually be bought there for a little over AU $1700. That is a good price, unlike the Genelec. Personally, as a confirmed Android user, the fact that the KH 80 DSP's app only work on iPads irritates me so much that I won't consider any of their speakers.

Don't really see this as a big deal especially if they are going to be attached at the hip to a desktop computer. You can achieve whatever the Neumann app will have done for you probably with less latency or at least more accuracy/granularity) with REW/rephase + using some other DSP solution on the PC or even DIRAC.
 

Walter

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Don't really see this as a big deal especially if they are going to be attached at the hip to a desktop computer. You can achieve whatever the Neumann app will have done for you probably with less latency or at least more accuracy/granularity) with REW/rephase + using some other DSP solution on the PC or even DIRAC.
It is the fact that they do it in the first place that severely irritates me--the arrogance, stupidity, or whatever of assuming all their customers have or want an iPad. Absolutely no reason not to create an Android version, and the usual cop-out excuse the Androids have too many variations in their audio systems can't even be used, as this is only for control of an external system. If this was the only good choice I wouldn't be ridiculous enough to penalize myself by not buying them, but it isn't. In Australia, with Genelec so much more expensive, it does increase their appeal. Based purely on value for money compared to costs elsewhere , Neumann, KEF, Edifier, and Swans/Hivi seem to be the winners.
 

Daemos_x

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Wow! This is a great thread, I am actually in the same boat. I need a set of 2.0 speakers to use at my PC on my desk!

I'd like to throw in the Edifier Airpulse A100 into the ring as well as they are currently around $799 AUD lowest they've been is $699 AUD. However, it's pretty hard to find reviews on them, but the reviews I've found seem to be positive and the smaller brother the A80 has reviewed pretty decently. They are along with the Kanto YU6 the current front runners on my list.

I share your concerns about the low end, and it's difficult to find something with a small enough footprint to still sit on the desk that can deliver impactful low frequencies.

I've eliminated the A5+ from my personal list because of potential reliability issues in the hot Australian summers.

I had the Edifier S2000mkiii on the list as well (on sale they are under $400 AUD) but removed them due to no sub out (in case I wanted to add a sub in the future)

Your prices are higher than in Canada even though our currencies are very close (the Aussie buck is worth 1.07CAN). Here the Genelec 8030C's are $1500/pair (almost $1000 less), the iLoud MTM's are $800/pair ($450 less), the Vanatoo Transparent Zeros are $450/pair ($600 less) and the Kanto YU6's are $570/pair ($180 less). Weirdly, the Audioengines are a little cheaper down under, they're $530/pair here but only $480/pair in Australia so it seems they're the best deal

I'm jealous of your weather down there but not your prices

As a Canadian who has moved to Australia there are a few things I need to add:

1. The AUD is currently worth about 93c CAD, your numbers are inversed. In the time I've been living here, the currency has fluctated from being worth $1.05 CAD down to $0.80 CAD with it mostly being between around $0.90 to $0.95 CAD.
2. Prices in Australia are tax inclusive.
3. Wages tend to be higher here but similar cost of living (comparing major cities to major cities) with amazing sick leave and annual leave entitlements (average income in Australia is ~$90K AUD per year, or 84K CAD with the current exchange rates)
4. Shipping to Australia can get very expensive :(
5. There is an 'Australia tax' where random brands/items cost way more in Australia compared to other countries (some Klipsch speakers are a good example...where they are are more than double in Australia when compared to buying from the US including shipping!)
6. We have the Australian Consumer Law, which to my knowledge has no known equivalent in Canada, which can force manufactures or local retailers to replace/repair items well outside their warranty period.
7. Australia is a tiny island market with limited competition amongst distributors.

The Kanto YU6 when they go on sale (which sales tend to happen more and more often) is around $670 AUD, which equates to ~$625 CAD which equates to ~$570 CAD before taxes :) so similar pricing (at the current exchange rate).

The other speakers...yeah we get ripped off :(
 
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jae

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It is the fact that they do it in the first place that severely irritates me--the arrogance, stupidity, or whatever of assuming all their customers have or want an iPad. Absolutely no reason not to create an Android version, and the usual cop-out excuse the Androids have too many variations in their audio systems can't even be used, as this is only for control of an external system. If this was the only good choice I wouldn't be ridiculous enough to penalize myself by not buying them, but it isn't. In Australia, with Genelec so much more expensive, it does increase their appeal. Based purely on value for money compared to costs elsewhere , Neumann, KEF, Edifier, and Swans/Hivi seem to be the winners.

As an Android user myself I really hate when companies use this excuse for various apps, and a lot of limitations to developing for all platforms simultaneously that existed in the past are more or less nonexistent from a developer perspective if the company wants to support it from the beginning. If it was using the built in mic of the device to measure stuff, this could be one of the rare cases where the excuse would be somewhat valid. Apple units will probably have much less unit-to-unit variation and it is a lot easier to develop this calibration for maybe the 1-4 new products apple releases a year vs the 70-100 new android products a year, many of which are not available in all markets.

Wow! This is a great thread, I am actually in the same boat. I need a set of 2.0 speakers to use at my PC on my desk!

I'd like to throw in the Edifier Airpulse A100 into the ring as well as they are currently around $799 AUD lowest they've been is $699 AUD. However, it's pretty hard to find reviews on them, but the reviews I've found seem to be positive and the smaller brother the A80 has reviewed pretty decently. They are along with the Kanto YU6 the current front runners on my list.

I share your concerns about the low end, and it's difficult to find something with a small enough footprint to still sit on the desk that can deliver impactful low frequencies.

I've eliminated the A5+ from my personal list because of potential reliability issues in the hot Australian summers.

I had the Edifier S2000mkiii on the list as well (on sale they are under $400 AUD) but removed them due to no sub out (in case I wanted to add a sub in the future)



As a Canadian who has moved to Australia there are a few things I need to add:

1. The AUD is currently worth about 93c CAD, your numbers are inversed. In the time I've been living here, the currency has fluctated from being worth $1.05 CAD down to $0.80 CAD with it mostly being between around $0.90 to $0.95 CAD.
2. Prices in Australia are tax inclusive.
3. Wages tend to be higher here but similar cost of living (comparing major cities to major cities) with amazing sick leave and annual leave entitlements (average income in Australia is ~$90K AUD per year, or 84K CAD with the current exchange rates)
4. Shipping to Australia can get very expensive :(
5. There is an 'Australia tax' where random brands/items cost way more in Australia compared to other countries (some Klipsch speakers are a good example...where they are are more than double in Australia when compared to buying from the US including shipping!)
6. We have the Australian Consumer Law, which to my knowledge has no known equivalent in Canada, which can force manufactures or local retailers to replace/repair items well outside their warranty period.
7. Australia is a tiny island market with limited competition amongst distributors.

The Kanto YU6 when they go on sale (which sales tend to happen more and more often) is around $670 AUD, which equates to ~$625 CAD which equates to ~$570 CAD before taxes :) so similar pricing (at the current exchange rate).

The other speakers...yeah we get ripped off :(

I'm in the exact same situation as well so the thread definitely helps. I have been on the fence about buying speakers as my living/relocation situation could change at any time and it is a pain to worry about. I have had the same experiences and have made the exact same observations between the two markets. The speaker market is relatively good in Canada all things considered. KEF for example is probably cheaper in Canada compared to any other market, and stuff goes on sale rather regularly. Before they were discontinued, I managed to snag a bunch of Pioneer SP-BS22-LR for just $30 CAD each that I still have sitting back at home in storage somewhere.

Change-of-mind product returns in Australia are nearly non-existent (when they are it is usually not more than 2 weeks, for closed box items only, and usually exclude sale items), and virtually non-existent for open items unless it's from somewhere like Amazon (which is still not that great in Australia). For an indecisive shopper like myself, it is a nightmare to commit to anything after being pampered with that piece of mind when buying things in North America.

By the way, are there any measurements for the Kanto? Honestly, I refuse to buy something unless there are reliable 3rd party measurements for them despite how many rave reviews or suggestions a product has. There are enough objectively well-performing speakers that I find it pointless to bother spending money on something that is not provably performant before I get my hands on it.
 

Daemos_x

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Change-of-mind product returns in Australia are nearly non-existent (when they are it is usually not more than 2 weeks, for closed box items only, and usually exclude sale items), and virtually non-existent for open items unless it's from somewhere like Amazon (which is still not that great in Australia). For an indecisive shopper like myself, it is a nightmare to commit to anything after being pampered with that piece of mind when buying things in North America.

By the way, are there any measurements for the Kanto? Honestly, I refuse to buy something unless there are reliable 3rd party measurements for them despite how many rave reviews or suggestions a product has. There are enough objectively well-performing speakers that I find it pointless to bother spending money on something that is not provably performant before I get my hands on it.

When I first moved here, that used to bother me because it was like that everywhere. But with the emergence of online retailers offering such a policy and being much cheaper, many larger retailers offering some sort of decent change of mind return policy on many items so t is really a non issue now.

Also I cannot find any measurements on the kanto YU6. However, I don't think measurements are fully representative of how a speaker sounds.

If you have a set of decent headphones (I have a couple headphones that I use Sonarworks Reference 4 to flatten out the frequency curve) and I watch this guy's sound comparision videos:

https://www.youtube.com/user/skubny

He posts the response curves of the speakers in his videos and you can hear how a speaker sounds compared to the other speaker he compares in the same video. Not as good as a real live audition due to youtube compression and the limitations of the end user's speakers/headphones but it's far better than going in blind, assuming he has compared speakers you are interested in.

He has compared the Airpulse A100 to a few other speakers I was also interested in but not to the Kanto YU6. He praises the A100s quite alot and at one point it was his favourte desktop speaker (not sure if that is still the case). It's one of the big reasons the Airpulse A100 is on my list.

Some interesting videos which may be of help to others in a similar situation (if this isn't allowed please let me know, his channel is the only one I know that does something like this):

Airpulse A80 to the Genelec 8020D:

Neumann KH80 DSP vs IK Multimedia iLoud MTM:

KEF LSX vs Neumann KH80:
 
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Daemos_x

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Okay. So I spent time over the weekend doing as much research as I could and rearranging furniture around the office.

I ended up ordering the Airpulse A100.

Because of the way I rearranged the office, I now also had space for a small compact sub, so I purchased an AudioEngine S8 sub which I was able to snag for $360AUD (inc taxes with free express shipping) (~$240USD/$300CAD before taxes) brand new and on sale, and this leads to one new disadvantage of Australia:

There is a definate lack of budget oriented and budget compact subwoofers available in Australia, and prices of SVS subwoofers here are much more expensive than in North America. It's definately possible to import some from the US or Canada, assuming they have support for 230-240v power (I was looking at the Dayton audio line) but it would be a big hassle to deal with any potential warranty and shipping issues :(
 

mononoaware

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6. We have the Australian Consumer Law, which to my knowledge has no known equivalent in Canada, which can force manufactures or local retailers to replace/repair items well outside their warranty period.

I think this is an inaccurate assumption.
Except for “force local retailers to deal with replace/repair items” this part is correct.

How it was explained to me was that this “Consumer Law” period runs parallel with the “warranty” period and the total length of this “Consumer Law period” is dependant on the category and details of product it applies to.

For example: You purchase a Consumer active speaker comes with 2 years warranty, and it falls into a category (Computer/Desktop Audio) which determines 3 years of fault free operation is acceptable.
This means you get 1 year of additional protection.

If you purchase a Professional Active Studio Monitor with 3 years warranty, and it falls into a category (Studio Gear/Professional/Commercial Market) which determines 6 years of fault free operation is acceptable.
This means you get 3 years of additional protection.

Another example: You purchase a Passive HiFi speaker which comes with 5 years warranty (usually longer warranty for passive speakers) and it falls into a category (HiFi/Luxury Goods) which determines 5 years of fault free operation is acceptable.
This means you get no additional protection.

Of course the numbers are just estimates I made up but you get the idea.
As you can imagine, it applies to all products so each purchase is determined on a case to case basis and it should not simply be translated to “guaranteed repair or replacement well outside the warranty period.
 
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carewser

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Okay. So I spent time over the weekend doing as much research as I could and rearranging furniture around the office.

I ended up ordering the Airpulse A100.

Because of the way I rearranged the office, I now also had space for a small compact sub, so I purchased an AudioEngine S8 sub which I was able to snag for $360AUD (inc taxes with free express shipping) (~$240USD/$300CAD before taxes) brand new and on sale, and this leads to one new disadvantage of Australia:

There is a definate lack of budget oriented and budget compact subwoofers available in Australia, and prices of SVS subwoofers here are much more expensive than in North America. It's definately possible to import some from the US or Canada, assuming they have support for 230-240v power (I was looking at the Dayton audio line) but it would be a big hassle to deal with any potential warranty and shipping issues :(

Congrats on the Edifier/Audioengine combo. I own the Audioengine S8 sub and for a compact 8" subwoofer, it hits both deep and loud so I hope you're as happy with it as I am. The first time I played it I knew it produced deeper bass than any of my 9 other subs but for some reason after tax/shipping, it was almost $500CAN. I paid full price for it which is something I almost never do but I really wanted this sub as it's a great match for my Audioengine A5+ speakers and since then I also got the Kanto Tuk's. The cool thing about your Airpulse speakers are they come in black or red but I think the red looks pretty cool:
2021050118530216198663825039.jpg
 

Daemos_x

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I think this is an inaccurate assumption.
Except for “force local retailers to deal with replace/repair items” this part is correct.

....

As you can imagine, it applies to all products so each purchase is determined on a case to case basis and it should not simply be translated to “guaranteed repair or replacement well outside the warranty period.

Yes, I did a very simplified explaination. There is a "reasonable person" test to determine how long an item should last.

An example provided by the ACCC is:

"A consumer buys a top-of-the-range plasma television for $1800. It stops working two years later. The supplier tells the consumer they have no rights to repairs or another remedy as the television was only under the manufacturer’s warranty for 12 months. The supplier says the consumer should have bought an extended warranty, which would have given five years’ cover.

A reasonable consumer would expect to get more than two years’ use from a $1800 television. Under the consumer guarantees, the consumer therefore has a statutory right to a remedy on the basis that the television is not of acceptable quality. The supplier must provide a remedy free of charge"

So a fridge could still fall under the ACL after 8 years even though most warranties may be 1-2 years and a TV may still fall under the ACL after 6 years even though they mostly have a 1 year warranty (these are all real life examples from people I know who have gotten items replaced under the ACL)

Oh, those should be pretty good, congrats! :)

Congrats on the Edifier/Audioengine combo. I own the Audioengine S8 sub and for a compact 8" subwoofer, it hits both deep and loud so I hope you're as happy with it as I am. The first time I played it I knew it produced deeper bass than any of my 9 other subs but for some reason after tax/shipping, it was almost $500CAN. I paid full price for it which is something I almost never do but I really wanted this sub as it's a great match for my Audioengine A5+ speakers and since then I also got the Kanto Tuk's. The cool thing about your Airpulse speakers are they come in black or red but I think the red looks pretty cool:

Unfortunately I could only find the black colour on sale, I was actually looking at the reds, as I thought they looked really nice!

I am really happy with the A100, I wasn't quite sure what to expect but they are really impressive. The S8 just helps fill in the low end, I have it crossover at around 90hz and the volume of it is only at level 2 so not very loud.

I could further optimise it by doing a sub crawl (which is not possible in the space) and doing some room EQ but I don't have the equipment and the sound will be different depending if the desk is at sitting height or standing height...but I'll see what I can do to try to tweak.

How is the jump from the A5+ to the Tuk's? Unfortunately I couldn't justify the price tag of the Tuks :(
 
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mononoaware

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Yes, I did a very simplified explaination. There is a "reasonable person" test to determine how long an item should last.

An example provided by the ACCC is:

"A consumer buys a top-of-the-range plasma television for $1800. It stops working two years later. The supplier tells the consumer they have no rights to repairs or another remedy as the television was only under the manufacturer’s warranty for 12 months. The supplier says the consumer should have bought an extended warranty, which would have given five years’ cover.

A reasonable consumer would expect to get more than two years’ use from a $1800 television. Under the consumer guarantees, the consumer therefore has a statutory right to a remedy on the basis that the television is not of acceptable quality. The supplier must provide a remedy free of charge"

So a fridge could still fall under the ACL after 8 years even though most warranties may be 1-2 years and a TV may still fall under the ACL after 6 years even though they mostly have a 1 year warranty (these are all real life examples from people I know who have gotten items replaced under the ACL)

Yep. Tried to keep it on topic with speaker examples, but you can see how flexible it can become depending on the product/category type.

I have not checked but something portable like smartphone may not get much extended coverage for example since it can be quite susceptible to damage from regular use.
 

carewser

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Unfortunately I could only find the black colour on sale, I was actually looking at the reds, as I thought they looked really nice!

I am really happy with the A100, I wasn't quite sure what to expect but they are really impressive. The S8 just helps fill in the low end, I have it crossover at around 90hz and the volume of it is only at level 2 so not very loud.

I could further optimise it by doing a sub crawl (which is not possible in the space) and doing some room EQ but I don't have the equipment and the sound will be different depending if the desk is at sitting height or standing height...but I'll see what I can do to try to tweak.

How is the jump from the A5+ to the Tuk's? Unfortunately I couldn't justify the price tag of the Tuks :(

No doubt as the regular price of the Kanto Tuk's is double that of the Audioegine A5+ but after reading/watching numerous effusive reviews for the Kanto Tuk's and finding them on sale for 30% I went in, had a quick listen and bought the last pair the store had. Right after I bought them the regular price went up from $1000/pair CAN to $1100/pair CAN so my timing was good the only problem was my pair were defective, occasionally they would power surge when I turned them on/off so the woofers looked like they were going to jump out of the cabinets so I had to send them back for replacements

As for any sonic improvement in the Tuk's over the A5+? The Tuk's sound crisper, clearer and more open but for the price they should

I'm not sure why you've got the crossover on the sub set to 90hz, i've got mine set to the lowest setting (50hz) for the deepest possible bass
 
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Daemos_x

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No doubt as the regular price of the Kanto Tuk's is double that of the Audioegine A5+ but after reading/watching numerous effusive reviews for the Kanto Tuk's and finding them on sale for 30% I went in, had a quick listen and bought the last pair the store had. Right after I bought them the regular price went up from $1000/pair CAN to $1100/pair CAN so my timing was good the only problem was my pair were defective, occasionally they would power surge when I turned them on/off so the woofers looked like they were going to jump out of the cabinets so I had to send them back for replacements

As for any sonic improvement in the Tuk's over the A5+? The Tuk's sound crisper, clearer and more open but for the price they should

I'm not sure why you've got the crossover on the sub set to 90hz, i've got mine set to the lowest setting (50hz) for the deepest possible bass

That's a good price!! 30% off is a good deal! Good to know they have an improvement over the A5+.

My room isn't acoustically treated and when using an app on my phone called audiotool (and the phone's built in mic) and playing back some pink noise through the speakers (YouTube quality...) There was a slight gradual roll off to the low end starting from around 80-90hz, so I set the sub's volume and crossover to try and fill in the deficient area and make the response it as flat as possible. I need to spend some more time playing around to tweak it. I only spent 5-10 min.
 
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