REVIEW Review: Audioengine A5 vs. Aktimate Mini

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by spAm^bOy, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. KSB1978

    KSB1978 Member

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    Wow... how did you know it was me Spamboy?

    I did find the Aktimate to have absolutely no hiss or buzz. Not sure why the Cnet ones says it does. If that is the case, I reckon it's the source or the interference along the cable as well.
    The set I used for review was dead silent even from low to high levels of music being played.

    It certianly doesn't have as much bass as a Logitech boom box, but it certainly has a lot of bass for a stereo bookshelves. Absolute beauty of a speaker.

    I highly recommend it.
     
  2. bb7_rider

    bb7_rider Member

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    Very interested in a set of these, I have been quite disappointed with the sound quality of my A5s, I feel the mids aren't very clear or pronounced and the highs somewhat lacking as well, giving them an overall somewhat muddy sound. Of course this is comparing them to a car audio setup worth thousands and a set of canton ergos in the loungeroom worth 20x+ as much as the A5s, but these seem to address the areas where I find the A5s lacking so I might have to give these a go.

    Incidently I just sent my A5s back to PCCG today for replacement as they randomly stopped turning on one day, so hopefully they replace them with a new set which I can sell to fund a pair of aktimates. :thumbup:
     
  3. evlcookie

    evlcookie Member

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    How do these compare to the swan m50s? Ive been thinking about diching my logitech 680s for something a little classier. So far it seems to be between the swans and a5s but i may as well make it the swans and these minis.

    Sound card is an STX.
     
  4. jamesvdm

    jamesvdm Member

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    For anyone interested in doing the same, Aktimate sent me a response on this and implied it was not going to work well.

    "Inputs in that model do have all inputs active but our research after
    its production led us to change to what we now have in the Mini+."
     
  5. KSB1978

    KSB1978 Member

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    Against the M50W, I think the Aktimate is a lot more balanced and clear sound. I would say a lot closer to "Hi-Fi" than anything else in the sub $500 price range.
    Although M50W is more than capable and very clean sounding set, Aktimate seems to do everything better. Nice thick accurate bass, clear and natural mids and the treble is abundant but not fatiguing or harsh.
    Aktimate makes a lot of other speakers sound like toys.
    I really dig the Aktimate. If I needed another set of powered speakers, I'd definitely look at one... but I have too many speakers laying around as it is.
     
  6. dzf

    dzf Member

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    Thanks for that - does kinda give me a bit to think about. Every once in a while, I'd have audio volume decrease quite a bit from a particular source.

    Though in my particular instance, it may be more to do with a dodgy 3.5mm y-splitter cable and having 2x 3.5mm cables hanging off of it which may have damaged the 3.5mm input port itself.

    I have the following all plugged in at the same time:
    TV --(3.5mm-RCA cable)--> RCA input
    PC --> Audioengine AW1 wireless adapters --(3.5mm cable)--> 3.5mm Y-splitter cable
    (iPod extension cable)--> iPod port

    [Reason for using the 3.5mm Y-splitter is so my GF could plug in her mp3 player without having to reach round the back of the speakers]

    Currently overseas, but will find some time to do some proper testing when I get back.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  7. darken_rahl

    darken_rahl Member

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    hey i just got these speakers. they seem pretty nice.

    i've just got them at work at the moment and there appears to be a bit of hiss, but not heaps. i'm wondering if that's just because i'm using the ipod as the source. will try it out with my maudio when i get home.

    one problem: when moving the right (passive) speaker around i could hear it cutting in and out. do you guys use the terminal thingers that come with the speakers on the end of the speaker cable? (these things: http://www.glow-audio.com/i/spkr/cable_close_2_640.JPG) they feel a bit loose...
     
  8. jamesvdm

    jamesvdm Member

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    No hiss from mine when using the iPod source, but yes the packaged banana plugs are not fond of movement. I'd suggest turning them off while moving them.
     
  9. darken_rahl

    darken_rahl Member

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    if they're that loose that it is the problem i was experiencing, then i'll probably just not use them at all. thanks for the reply.
     
  10. darken_rahl

    darken_rahl Member

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    i did a little more hiss testing and found that it probably is fine. it's audible at 1m with the volume right up, but i'm not going to be leaving them turned up full in my bedroom _b
     
  11. JMH

    JMH Member

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    On a side note I got the Aktimate Micro's a week or two ago and they are brilliant, I am absolutely loving them. Was originally going to get the Mini+ but thought they might be a bit too big. I was surprised at just how big the micro's were so pretty happy with that decision. Have been running them through a Burson HA 160D so can't comment on the inbuilt DAC. Bassy, clear, tight, no complaints really.
     
  12. Twiz

    Twiz Member

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    My aktimate mini+ arrived monday and I've noticed distortion/rattle in the main speakers woofer on punchy and lower bass notes, even on lower volume. I have it connected to an asus xonar essence stx soundcard but the distortion happens playing through an ipod also. The slave speaker sounds fine.

    I'm thinking I have a faulty set.. has anyone had/heard any problems like this?
     
  13. darken_rahl

    darken_rahl Member

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    Twiz: sounds faulty to me D: sucks

    JMH: i think you made the right decision. the minis a huge! i don't actually use the ipod dock because it's too loud for nighttime bedroom listening, being on the 2nd or 3rd volume notch means that moving it up or down is a huge difference.

    i got the mini+ over the micro just because the model is newer. which, now that i think about it, probably doesn't make much sense in the audio industry, where two years doesn't mean a world of difference
     
  14. konholyoh

    konholyoh Member

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    Thanks for the great review.

    Tempting to get the Aktimate Mini's or Swan H4 as my next upgrade.
    But must resist splashing out around $500-$550.

    Still don't know which is the better choice.
    My current Audioengine A2's are doing well so far.

    Never ever going back to Logitech that's for sure.
     
  15. synic

    synic Member

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    Audioengine A5 vs. Aktimate Mini - Anything Else?

    I know this is a review of the Audioengine A5 vs. Aktimate Mini but, if you had the chance again, does anyone know if they would buy the Aktimates Mini's again? Or other Aktimate's?

    I'm still looking for Audiophile 2 channel desktop / freestanding speakers for listening to music / videos.

    The Aktimate's look pretty good but I just don't care for the the Ipod doc. I don't have and ipod and probably won't ever have one so it seems like a hell of a waste; and aesthetically it leaves a little to be desired. I'm chasing a cleaning simpler look, but with the same or better sound quality from a small speaker setup.

    Thoughts?
     
  16. krappo

    krappo Member

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    They were my very same thoughts about the dock.
    So ended up getting the Audioengine 5+ and Audioengine D1 Premium 24-Bit DAC.
    very pleased with the sound but probably will add the sub S8 to give it more punch

    many Thanks : )
     
  17. KSB1978

    KSB1978 Member

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    For the same price point, you won't really get much better speakers than Aktimate Mini. I heard the Audioengine straight after it and A5 just sounded awful in comparison.

    I understand the whole ipod thing (I don't use ipod and I hate itunes... I think ipod sounds like ass and itunes is the worst program ever), but the dock is not something that really stood out for me. I forgot it was even there. I think the sound quality you get over others in the price point is worth puttig up with a little plastic lid on the top.
     
  18. synic

    synic Member

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    Yeah. I was really sold on the A5's (although I have yet to buy a pair) but after reading this review I am sort of torn, although, the sound quality is what I'm most interested in.

    I really like what your' saying. Is the ipod dock really not that noticable?

    Any chance of taking some pics? I wouldn't mind seeing them set up in whatever situation you have.

    I want them for the living room. It's not a big room, unit sized living room that is, but I want something that will control the space that there is. Big full standing speakers are just out of the question, it has to be a small set (Aktimate mini sized) to be honest.

    You really like the sound of the mini's over the A5's? For music?
     
  19. JMH

    JMH Member

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    [​IMG]

    Yeah I didn't want the dock either and thought about this too but looking back now its honestly a bit of a non issue in reality. If you get black its pretty unnoticeable. I got red and don't notice it anyway (lid is still black).
     
  20. synic

    synic Member

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    @ JMH

    Kool. :thumbup:

    That really is a non-issue.

    Can you use the ipod dock for anything else? Like standard mp3 players? Or is it ipod only?

    I wonder if you could mod it to take a standard 3.5mm jack?

    Is that possible do you reckon? Have a quick look at yours. I'm all into modding stuff for reasons like that.

    EDIT:

    Sorry, is that pic of the mini's or micro's? You said you got the micro's?
     

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