Having had a look at Parrot’s Bluetooth Boombox recently, we saw fit to take a look at another set of Bluetooth enabled speakers – this time from loudspeaker specialists Acoustic Energy. Long time readers may remember the company for the Aego M Speakers, one of the best 2.1-channel systems we’ve ever reviewed. Suffice to say, the company has pedigree when it comes to making speakers.
As impressed as we were with the Parrot Boombox, it's not necessarily for everyone. Smart though it was, the Boombox is a fairly large piece of equipment that may well not suit those living in small overpriced flats, or simply those who want something small and anonymous.
If this sounds like you then these Acoustic Energy Bluetooth speakers may be worth looking into. Unlike the Parrot Boombox, the AE Bluetooth speakers are a full-range stereo set, with no a subwoofer in sight. This accounts for the more diminutive size of the speakers, and the design has a simple yet elegant charm.
Measuring 387 x 155 x 130mm, the speakers are made up of two drivers and a centre console all clad in matt black plastic. The front of the centre console features a large silver volume/power dial, with a status light just below and Bluetooth connection button below that. On the back are the AC connection and a 3.5mm line-in for connecting non-Bluetooth enabled devices.
Also found on the back are the two connections for the speakers, with wires that tuck into the back of each speaker. This is because each speaker is detachable, with two metres of wire per unit. This is a really nice design feature, allowing you to create a wider soundscape by separating the speakers away from the central console. As a result the sound can fill a room nicely, despite the relatively modest 20W total output.
It helps too that the speakers can be pushed to surprisingly high volumes, with a negligible level of distortion. It’s a testament to Acoustic Energy’s expertise that they can get so much out of relatively small cabinets, though that doesn’t mean its powers are infinite.