The speaker cable provided is fairly thick and has a quality feel to it, as you’d expect of a ‘proper’ Hi-Fi’ set such as this one and it’s colour coded to ensure that you plug the speakers the right way round.
What you may have noticed at the back of the sub-woofer is a connection for a centre speaker and a centre input, (AE hasn’t been consistent with the spelling of centre). As you can see, there’s even a switch for when you have this centre speaker connected. This means that you can add a third speaker and create 3.1 set up, which emphasises the centre over the left and right. I must admit that I’ve never encountered a 3.1 set-up before, as I associate a centre channel only with a 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 systems.
Also at the rear of the sub-woofer is a switch that enables you to choose between three levels of bass; Level 1 for the least and Level 3 for the most.
In testing in our labs I found that the second setting provided the most natural sound with the sub-woofer doing what it should be doing - filling in the sound in the lower frequencies, without sounding overly intrusive or too weak. In different environments the other settings might be more appropriate.
As I mentioned earlier, there’s no dock with this system so you have to plug in your iPod or any other audio source via a line-in, and leave it lying on the desk.
So the Aego Ms are attractive to look at and easy to set up. But what of the sound quality? In a word, well two - it’s superb.
The sound they produce is full, crisp and clear. Whether it was vocal heavy, guiter filled or big beat the Aego Ms deal with it accurately and musically. The defining characteristic of the sound is that you can locate instruments in the sound stage easily. If you like to be able to follow the bass line, or work out which one is Lennon or McCartney in the harmony then these will do the trick.
If you like it loud too, these succeed, with enough welly to fill a sizable room.
You can tell I really like these speakers. It can be difficult to describe why one set sounds better than another but everyone in the office agreed that these were superior to the Acoustic Authority A-211 set. They’re essentially just easy to listen to – where some sets can be tiring over extended periods, these felt easy going and natural. It sounded like real Hi-Fi – a genuine class act.
The only possible criticism would be that they are a tad bright with higher frequencies, with more emphasis here than on the mid-range, but that’s only to be expected from such small satellites. Also the lack of an iPod dock means that you have to add remote control facilities. But considering the price, remarkably only £99, that’s not too painful. Even if you factor in the price of the Onkyo dock these still work out less than the Acoustic Authority speakers.
If you’re after a set of 2.1 speakers then the Acoustic Energy Aego Ms should be right at the top of your shortlist. They’re great to look at, easy to set up and sound fantastic.