udioengine products are based on custom designs with very few off-the-shelf parts. After years of building professional powered studio monitor speakers, Audioengine has taken their experience and created unique powered consumer speakers for your home and desktop.
The Audioengine team camps out in a listening room hour after hour critically listening to everything from Bach to Van Halen. They settle in on a Bob Marley song and Brady gets a big grin on his face. It’s fall of 2005 and they’ve just finished fine-tuning their first speaker system to be marketed under the Audioengine name. Dave says the tuning is the hardest part, but admits that completing the cosmetic details and packaging before production will be a big challenge over the next few weeks.
Back in 2002, after a total of 36 years working in the pro audio and consumer electronics industries for companies such as Harman/Kardon, Gibson Guitar, Alesis Studio Electronics, Escient, and Apple Computer, the founding team finally decided to launch their own audio company. Their goal was to design and build high quality studio monitor speakers at affordable prices for the pro-audio market, which is what they did successfully for 3 years until something interesting happened, as Dave explains:
“When you design active studio monitor speakers you tend to spend a crazy amount of time in sound rooms listening for how well the speakers reproduce the original recording,” Dave says, in his Mississippi drawl. “During one of our marathon speaker tuning sessions for a new design, one of us mentioned we ought to modify a pair for home use. They had such a wonderful sound and even though they were studio monitors we agreed they would likely rival Brady’s favorite bookshelf speakers and integrated amplifier.” So after a few key design changes and tuning tweaks it turns out they were right. “These little powered speakers with the amps in the left side just beat the heck out of my prized higher-end speakers. They were extremely sweet-sounding with fantastic imaging and big bass at low volume levels but really kicked butt when cranked up,” says Brady.
In another tuning session in 2005 they had a minor but interesting discovery after recently starting to use a MacBook and AirPort Express to play test music instead of a CD player. The team generally used lossless recordings but also found that compressed files at decent bit rates also sound great. “You know, our high quality powered speakers could work well for people who just want to listen to their portable music at home,” says Dave. “We have all this technology for true sound reproduction and efficient built-in amplifiers which could easily replace an entire audio system and work perfectly with digital audio players or computers.”
USB power for charging surfaced as an important addition to the original A5 speakers and carried over to the A5+ model. “We also considered doing our own iDevice dock,” admits Brady, “but it didn’t make sense as there are so many other excellent dock products available so we instead used our limited engineering talent to design a USB charge port to power and charge your iPod or iPhone."
So after months of development and tuning trial and error, this is how the first Audioengine speakers came to be. Now Audioengine is into it's 9th year and their goal remains the same - to give customers a high-end listening experience at affordable prices with easy to use, high-quality products. Audioengine invites you to join the computer audio revolution!