The Audioengine A5+ Wireless Speakers (NZ$799/AU$699) are exactly what they say on the box - there are no extravagant bells and whistles that are trying to distract from the goal of delivering a quality sound experience.
The Audioengine’s home page boasts five main objectives that they are aiming for with their products: “Quality - high-end warm rich full stereo sound, Stream - premium Bluetooth with extended range, Simple - no apps, receivers or networks to setup, Versatile - works with any device and any app, and Trusted - free shipping, excellent support and easy returns."
It seems fitting then that I review them based on these criteria, although I’m going to leave 'Trusted' out as I haven’t had any issues with the speakers that have needed support - a good sign, to be sure.
Sound quality can often be a tricky one to explore in the modern tech environment as it will depend on what you are using speakers for.
The most obvious use case is for music - in this regard, I have absolutely nothing negative to say about the A5+ speakers and their 150-watt amp.
The range, depth and clarity of sound that they produce is stunning as the 5” built-in woofer brings bass that resonates throughout the house without muddying the rest of the sound.
What they have managed to pack into a relatively small space is extremely impressive and I never found myself wanting for anything no matter the genre.
However, like many people today, I also use my main speakers for watching movies and TV and, like many speakers, voice can get lost among the score and SFX when listening through the A5+ speakers.
But quality is not only about sound when it comes to technology - build quality and aesthetics are also important.
The speakers are heavy and feel highly robust. Looking over them closely they are very well made and have a reassuring simplicity that I like, but there is also something about them that comes across a little… cheap.
Despite being a high-quality speaker that seem fit to last for years to come, there is something undeniably budget-esque about the form factor.
The A5+ comes in both wireless and non-wireless versions with about $100 in price between them.
The Bluetooth in the wireless versions is really excellent and the little antenna, though not very pretty, provides excellent range - I managed to get about 7-8 metres and four walls away before it started to stutter.
The specs say you should get 30 metres without interference so that seems about right.
This area is one that differentiates the A5+ speakers from a lot of the offerings on the market at the moment.
These are not a smart speaker - there is no voice assistant listening and collecting data, no fiddly app that you have to launch everytime you want to change the volume, nothing but simple connectivity.
While I love playing with settings and smart tech is a lot of fun, I have to say that I found the simplicity of these speakers something of a relief.
Just plug them in, connect, and go.
I used my iPhone and MacBook with Bluetooth with no issues. I plugged them into my TV headphone jack with the cables - also no issues.
The A5+ use Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connectivity which should mean that it can connect to almost any device without any issue until Bluetooth goes out of fashion.
It also has a 3.5mm output and RCA inputs and outputs which are currently the most common, though this might see it becoming a little less useful as those technologies are on the out.
No optical and no HDMI, presumably to keep costs down but also reinforcing that these are not really designed for PC gaming or TV/film watching.
The Audioengine A5+ Wireless Speakers are not the prettiest, but they certainly aren’t ugly.
They aren’t smart, but they are as easy to use as it gets.
They work and they sound amazing - that is what they do and they do a damned good job of it.
If you want something easy that will stand alone with top quality sound, this is it. Whether as your main speakers or for a spare room where you just need them to connect and sound astoundingly good the A5+ speakers are more than worth the money.