The Good The powered Audioengine 5 speakers deliver phenomenal sound and offer simple, attractive styling. They feature two audio inputs and two integrated charging options (one USB port, one AC plug). Speaker wire connections mean that you can optimize stereo separation.
The Bad The speakers aren't cheap, and many will find them to be too large and bulky compared with PC speakers. There's no remote control, and no way to toggle between inputs.
The Bottom Line You'd be hard-pressed to find a pair of powered stereo speakers at this price point that sounds better--and offer more flexibility--than the Audioengine 5s.
Editors' note (February 21, 2012): The speakers reviewed here have been replaced by the newer Audioengine 5+ speakers.
We've been a little tardy in reviewing Audioengine's PC speakers, but we're glad we finally got our hands on both the 5 series ($325) reviewed here and the step-down Audioengine 2 series ($199) because they really are quite impressive.
The key thing to note about both sets of speakers is that they are bookshelf-style speakers masquerading as PC or "multimedia" speakers (as these things are apt to be labeled). But unlike classic bookshelf speakers, these Audioengine models are powered (via a standard AC plug); there's no need for a separate receiver or amplifier, so you can use them with any audio source. The larger 5 series is the more industrial-looking (read: less stylish) of the two models and appears to share some heritage with monitor speakers you'd find in a recording studio. It's available in either black or white, as are the 2s. There's also a bamboo version of the 5 series that costs $449.
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