I’ve never won anything in my life although I entered essentially every draw I see. Imagine my surprise when I was notified via email by Bob Rappoport of Essence Electrostatic that I won a pair of Acoustic Energy AE300 speakers which I don’t even remember entering! (you can purchase them from him directly here for US$750)
As a background, Acoustic Energy is a well known UK speaker brand that’s been around since 1987. The company has won hundreds of awards within the hi-fi industry including Stereophile for their initial AE1 speakers (and now AE1 Active).
For a bookshelf set, these speakers are the epitome of “bookshelf speakers” in terms of height, width and depth (300mm x 175mm x 260mm), in the sense that they will fit nicely on any literal bookshelf sitting next to your book collections. The hefty 6.5 kg weight is just Goldilocks, not too heavy and not too light. It feels quality and properly and solidly built at the same time. Knocking the speakers I heard beefy thud instead of wimpy click, a testament of thick wooden enclosure.
The tweeters are of 28mm aluminum dome variety and have been developed specially for Acoustic Energy’s 300 series, using the company’s Wide Dispersion Technology waveguides to better match dispersion to the woofers, with the promise of a wider listening sweet spot. The woofers feature a ceramic aluminum sandwich cone with a shallow profile and powerful long-throw motor system, and are aided in their bass response (down to 45 Hz !!!) by a rear-firing slot-shaped reflex port.
These speakers harness power and range beyond their dimensions – they will fit into a snug space, but have the scale to fill a larger room. That versatility runs to the heart of the AE300, and is echoed by their handling of music. Without a doubt a listen to my go-to Charice and Judas Priest discs together with multitude of songs I produced way back when I had recording studios. The latter were played back from various media including the original 2-channel .WAV master files, MiniDisc, CD and DAT. The thunderous and powerful bass filled my large-ish living room with ease be it powered using Pioneer Elite SX-S30 class-D integrated amplifier or Marantz MA-500 THX Certified vintage monoblocks. Even listening to movie soundtrack played back in lossless Dolby True-HD using Panasonic UB820 UHD player in 2-channel mode going to my Panasonic 65GZ2000 OLED TV which further fed to either audio systems using PCM signal through optical connection yielded the same result… a great one. Vocals were always present but not overly so, and although I usually HATE aluminum tweeters, I don’t mind it at all in this instance. This is perhaps the first time I actually like aluminum tweeters for home use.
At US$750 MSRP, the price is not cheap; however, the price versus performance ratio of these speakers makes these speakers to have an amazing value. These speakers are not merely great, they are not entry-level audiophile; they are true audiophile speakers with the merely mid-end pricing. I’m glad I won these speakers as I would have purchased these speakers anyway. Perhaps it’s time for me to upgrade my entire speaker system in my dedicated theatre/listening room to Acoustic Energy.
AE300 Technical Specifications:
Bandwidth: 45Hz -30kHz
Peak SBL: 112dB
Power Handling: 100w
Crossover frequency: 2.8kHz
Impedance: 6 ohms
Design: 2 way
Dimensions: 11.8″ (300mm) x 6.9″ (175 mm) x 10.25″ (260mm) HxWxD
Weight: 14.5 lbs (6.5 kg.each
Finishes: Piano Gloss Black, Piano Gloss White and real Walnut veneer