It’s a well known fact that the British are a self deprecating bunch and, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, we’ve got much to be self deprecating about. We’re rubbish at lots of things, such as getting trains to run on time (or even run), speaking other languages, or winning at games we invented, which is most of them.
There are some things though that we’re very good at, and it must be said, Hi-Fi is one of them. We’ve got many UK based manufacturers that can sit with or even outperform anything the rest of the world can produce, and for that we should be proud. Arcam, B&W Speakers, and Naim audio are just three that spring to mind. Another is Acoustic Energy (AE) and it’s this company that has made the Aego M 2.1 sub-sat system that we’ve got here.
While some Hi-Fi companies have turned their noses up at the iPod as a Lo-Fi product not worthy of consideration, the more egalitarian have embraced the device and others of its ilk. Then again, the success of the iPod has made it essentially impossible to ignore for many speaker manufacturers. Acoustic Energy is certainly making no secret on its web site that the iPod is where the Aego M is aimed. The white styling of the speakers is a pretty strong visual cue and naturally the set is also available in black to match up with the black iPod or PSP, assuming, of course, that you haven’t turned your PSP blue.
Unlike the Acoustic Authority set I reviewed here, there’s no iPod dock with this product just a line level audio input. Therefore, for a more elegant solution that adds a remote control you can get something like the Onkyo iPod dock though inevitably that adds to the price.
The set consists of two remarkably small satellites and a sub-woofer that are very smart to look at with soft rounded edges and a smooth finish. The satellites are constructed of a heavy alloy – and when AE say heavy, they mean it. Despite being only 103mm tall and 68mm wide, they weigh 9k, far heavier than something of that size looks. If you’re in need of an offensive weapon these would be scarily effective.
This is very good news sonically though, as a solid housing means less wasted resonance and more actual music in your lug holes. The white speaker is finished off with black grilles.
In contrast with the satellites, the sub-woofer is actually quite light. The design matches the satellites very well – white surrounds and curved edges with a black grille. The base is designed so that the speakers rest firmly on the desk but are angled slightly upwards so that the sound is projected into the room rather than onto the desk.
There’s an on/off control at the top edge that also acts as a volume level and a small red light to indicate power. The amplifier is built into the sub-woofer cabinet, so the speakers attach directly to that via clip on plugs. The other end is a phono plug, which slots neatly into the rear of the satellites. With only two speakers this makes it child’s play to set the speakers up.