A2+ Powered Speakers FAQs
What are the differences between A2+ the original A2?
USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC)
Variable audio output (connect a subwoofer or wirelessly send audio to other speakers with our optional W3 wireless adapter)
Upgraded speaker connectors
Standard 1/4" threaded inserts for wall mounts
Upgraded power supply
Upgraded accessory cables
Just how easy is it to set up the A2+?
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, computer, 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!
When I connect a turntable to my A2+, why is the volume is extremely low?
Some turntables do not have a built-in preamp therefore you will need to add an external phono preamp between your turntable and the A2+. Many turntables, however (such as the Music Hall USB-1 or Audio Technica AT-LP120) have a built-in preamp and include a switch on the back for "line" or “phono”. For Audioengine powered speakers select "line".
When using the USB input of the A2+, what bit rate and bit depth should I set my system to?
The A2+ internal DAC handles up to 48K transfer rate, and up to 16 bits bit-depth. Your system will generally default to these settings when you hook up the A2+. If you mainly use 44.1K files, you might set this as the default in your system. Many system players like JRiver and Amarra will default to the proper bit rate automatically.
The A2+ already has a built in DAC. Does that mean I cannot use another one?
While the DAC in the A2+ is better than what might be built in to most computers, adding a 24 bit DAC like our D1 or D3 would still be a benefit to audio quality. With a DAC like the D1 you also add features like a headphone output and optical input.
Can I use the A2+ with my iPad or iPhone via USB to bypass the internal DAC and get better sound?
Yes. You will need to pick up the USB Camera Adapter from Apple, which allows a USB connection to the iPad (and as of iOS7 the iPhone). Then just hook up as you would from a computer. Awesome!
Should I use the volume control on the back of the A2+s or can I adjust from system volume on my computer?
If the left speaker is in an easy to reach location, you can certainly use the physical knob to set volume. If not though, we generally recommend setting the A2+ at around 50% and adjusting from source (or you can also use the included remote control).
Can I use the A2+ with other tablets or smartphones like Samsung Galaxy or Microsoft Surface?
Yes. If your tablet or smartphone has a USB output and supports USB audio (refer to the manufacturers documentation), then it will work with A2+'s USB input. You'll most likely also need an OTG adapter cable to connect from your tablet to the USB input on the A2+. These are generally available from the manufacturer of your tablet or smartphone.
Is the bass response any different in the A2+ vs. the original A2?
In the new A2+ we've included a linear limiter which will manage the bass at the point where bass distortion starts to occur. Being a linear limiter, it will not chop the signal, but instead retains the shape of the waveform, simply not allowing it to go into distortion. So if you listen to the A2+ at higher levels you'll notice the bass response is tamed and not as boomy. The limiter will have no effect at normal listening levels.
Can you stream music wirelessly to the A2+ the Audioengine wireless adapters like you can with the A5+?
Yep, an AC wall outlet near the A2+ is all you need to power the AW3 wireless Receiver. Simple.
How do I connect my W3 wireless adapter into the Audioengine 2 powered speakers since they don't have a USB power plug built into the speakers?
Plug the W3 AC Power Supply (one adapter is included with the W3) into an AC outlet, connect the W3 Receiver into the adapter, and run the mini-jack cable from the Receiver to the A2+'s. Simple!
Why does the A2+ have the volume control on the rear panel?
The goal was to make the smallest speakers possible with the largest sound and the front port slot takes up all the extra space on the front panel so no room for a volume knob. Most people set the A2+ volume and then control the overall volume with their music source (computer, iPod, TV, etc.).
Why isn't the A2+ available in the bamboo finish?
We researched adding a bamboo version to the A2+ line, but found that the speaker size is actually too small and costly to produce them in bamboo using the same process as with our A5+ and P4 speakers.
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. You can also add one of our 24-bit DACs (D1 or D3) to your system for even better sound!
I'm hearing a crackling/popping sound when playing music. What am I doing wrong and how can I fix this?
When issues do crop up in USB audio, this is a common symptom. The PDF linked below outlines the issue and potential causes as well as some common fixes.
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.
What is the difference between powered and active speakers?
There are a few notable differences but both designs function 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 one power cord and all connections are on the same speaker. So 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 them?
All Audioengine speakers are video and magnetically-shielded, however "GSM buzz" cannot be blocked by magnetic shielding. What actually causes this is your phone being in 2G or "EDGE" instead of 3G or 4G. For best results when using your phone as a music source, ensure that it's operating on 3G (or 4G).
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, try using the USB connection with your A2+s. Or, check out our W3 wireless adapter (basically a wireless DAC with an analog output) or our D1 or D3 wired DACs for 24-bit playback.
I'd like to connect an Apple Airport Express to my A2+ 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 A2+?
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 computer, iPod, or other music 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.) 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 we have provided a 1/4" threaded insert to use with wall mounts. Note that this insert is only meant to be used for stability with platformed stands that have this feature. The insert is not meant to hold the total weight of the speaker. We don't endorse any specific models of stands.
Can I increase the length or change the speaker wire between each speaker?
Sure. For the best audio performance we’ve included 6.5 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 you can also use wires terminated with spade lugs, banana plugs, or pins.
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 W3 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 W3 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 high-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 sound bars!
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!
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.
Can I take my Audioengine speakers to another country with a different voltage?
Yes, you can. The A2+ speakers use a switching power supply so it will automatically convert to the different voltage. The power cable is also detachable 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.
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 it with the A2+s?
Connect the variable output of the A2+ into the input of your sub using RCA cables. 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.
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 you put them to sleep using the remote. The A2+ has a idle mode which activates 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 so a slight hiss is not uncommon. If you have an analog audio cable plugged in to the speakers, but not into anything else it's also possible this could be picking up some noise as well.
What is the AC power cable type for Audioengine powered speakers?
We use non-polarized 2-Pin IEC 320-C7 cables. These are fairly standard cables, and you should be able to find them locally if needed. You can also find them in the Accessories section in our store.
Can I use a power inverter with Audioengine speakers?
Sure, for A2+ you will need about 50-60 watts
If I connect my turntable to the A2+ will it be necessary to purchase a phono preamp or can I simply connect the turntable directly to the A2 input?
Some turntables will need a preamp before being connected and others are OK, therefore it is best to try your turntable without the preamp first to see how it operates.