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Old January 13, 2014, 10:32 AM
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Default Audioengine A5+

Although these are indeed some nice speakers, my initial impressions are a bit of a let down. I usually use HD650 headphones and I am finding that I have to turn up the A5+ louder than I want to get the same "quality" as the 650s.

They try to tell me to allow 50h break in before critical listening, but that's gonna take me a long time before I can get back to you on that one. Overall, they are nice sounding and can be really cranked up. They give a very "interesting" depth of sound (gaming), but compared to what I read and was expecting I find them lacking at low volumes and lows (i.e. bass). I also find my HD650 has a "fuller" sound, where the A5+ seems to be a little "hollow" but is that just the difference between headphones and speakers? I also currently find the trebles to be ever so slightly "sharp" or "hard" in comparison (not a lot, but enough to notice).

Basically, I find my HD650 a better listening experience than the A5+ and as it has been a long time since I've had computer speakers, I can't compare to much else (and yes, they are years better than the speakers built into the computer monitor).


I should also note that I'm being critical of them with NO equalizer or effects being added. When I turn on flex bass (with large speaker size), they do have that pounding/thumping feel that people look for from a sub.

Last edited by draemn; January 13, 2014 at 10:38 AM.
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Old January 13, 2014, 11:28 AM
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Hd650 will naturally have better extension than bookshelf speakers.

No mention of what source you're using- onboard, internal, external, etc.
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Old January 13, 2014, 11:50 AM
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With a DAC, the A5+'s are amazing.

Wait for our review ;)
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Old January 13, 2014, 01:20 PM
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Ummm... my system specs list my sound card.

You're not supposed to use an amp with the A5+ but what is the difference between a DAC and sound card?
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Old January 14, 2014, 06:12 PM
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You don't want to use the headphone out from the STX to go to the A5's, as it will get double amped. You ideally want a line out (or use the RCA's as I think the STX has them) to your monitors.
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Old January 14, 2014, 09:07 PM
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I use the 2 speakers (RCA) out that does not use an AMP... to use the amp with the headphones you need to manually set the amp. My HD650 use the built in amp but I had to manually turn it "up."
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Old January 14, 2014, 09:24 PM
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I dont think its fair to really compare the two as they are entirely different listening experiences. not to mention that your headphones are about 30% more expensive than your monitors. Positioning of near field monitors can also make a big difference in the quality of sound. You may also want to keep in mind that monitors are designed to be flat and not colour the music in anyway at all (for the most part). If you want to reach the break in period faster you may want to run pink noise through the monitors at night at a decent volume if that is at all possible. I am a bit surprised you find them bright as they have silk dome tweakers (which I always look for as I am sensitive to higher frequencies) but a lot depends on the drivers they used plus the fact that I have always found Senns to be fairly bright and lacking in the low and low-mid frequencies so you saying that was not expected. That being said I do not believe I have listened to any of their more expensive ones. I did listed to the wall of headphones at Bay Bloor Radio a few years back and settled on Grados but that is another story. I hate to say it but at the $400 price point you can only expect so much. I am really happy with my Alesis monitors but if I were to replace them I would end up going between the $1000 and $2000 mark if possible. Something along the lines of the Klein+Hummel (now purchased by Neumann) KH120-D which would run about $1500US, maybe cheaper on sale. Not a fan of the nearfield Genelecs (although I did manage to hear a $150,000 setup in a studio and was blown away. That is a little out of my price range though), and KRKs did not impress me much either.

If possible try and audition them first. Not sure what you have for stores there but there must be somewhere that sell instuments and they usually carry monitors as well.

Edit: Just wanted to point out that I have hear a pair of the H+Ks (pre-Neumann purchase) and the sound is just stunning. Of course they were about $4000 each but it still gives you a general idea about the sound.
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Last edited by Nodscene; January 14, 2014 at 09:30 PM.
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Old January 15, 2014, 08:04 AM
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I actually paid about $110 less for my headphones than my speakers, but yes, the MSRP is about 25% higher. One thing I didn't look at before was the frequency response and the speakers have a much much smaller range, so it makes sense.
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Old January 15, 2014, 10:27 AM
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They will. Bookshelf monitors usually require a subwoofer as 5" drivers or so will only go down so far. Usually around the 50HZ range give or take. So that would explain the lack of low end. It can also partially be responsible for the brightness you are experiencing as you may be playing them louder due to no sub to try and compensate for that. The highs may also settle down once they have broken in.

Monitors might not be the best option for gaming, but that could depend on the monitors and how they colour the sound. There is a reason people like the sound of Logitech speakers (gaming) but anyone looking for proper sound would never consider them for any listening experience whatsoever.
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Old January 15, 2014, 08:06 PM
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The A5+ also need space for a nice sound stage. They are a very different experience when you move a few feet away from them, being centered, as supposed to sitting very close to them.

Can you post a pic of your positioning of the speakers?

Also, what mattlef said: with a DAC, the A5+ are amazing, especially for their price.
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