Several of Stereophile's editors were excited about the compact and inexpensive Audioengine 5 amplified speakers ($349/pair), which were bringing forth some sweet sounds playing files directly from a laptop. New to the Audioengine line is the tiny 2 (seen here, $199/pair), which offered a sound surprisingly similar to that of its bigger brother. The music was clean and clear, and conveyed an emotion that belied the speaker's size. Like the A5, the A2 keeps all of its electronics in the left speaker but, unlike the A5, it uses a front slot port for bass performance.
Audioengine's Brett Bargenquast told me a bit about the company. It's basically a three-man team, with Brett handling sales and his brother Brady and their good friend, Dave Evans, managing the design. With looks that leave no mystery behind Audioengine's target audience, it should come as no surprise that Brady was once project manager for Apple's iPod.
"We're working on the consumer-level, looking to introduce people to higher quality sound, without asking them to pay an arm and a leg," said Brett.