Boston Acoustics A40 loudspeaker Specification

Sidebar: Specification

Description: Two-way, stand-mounted loudspeaker. Drive units: ¾" (19mm) ferrofluid-cooled, soft-dome tweeter, 6.5" (170mm) long-throw paper-cone woofer. Crossover frequency: 3.5kHz. Frequency response: 68Hz–20kHz, ±3dB. Sensitivity: 88.5dB/W/m. Nominal impedance: 8 ohms. Recommended power: 5–40W.
Dimension: 13.5" (343mm) H x 8.25" (210mm) W x 7.75" (197mm). Weight: 9 lbs each (4.1 kg).
Finish: Wood grain vinyl.
Price: $150/pair (1984); no longer available (2013).
Manufacturer: Boston Acoustics, 7 Constitution Way, Woburn, MA 01801. Tel: (201) 762-6429, (508) 538-5000. Web:


Anon2's picture

I purchased a new pair of Boston Acoustics A40 in 1986.  By 2000 the foam surrounds had given way.  Boston Acoustics fine customer service department sold me replacement drivers, which by then had rubber surrounds.  I replaced the drivers, and the speakers rendered fine service for another decade.

These speakers had good sensitivity, great stereo imaging, had a sealed enclosure (a greater rarity in today's bass-reflex obsessed world) and took up little space.  Without being overbearing, the A40s always had enough sound to fill up a dorm room or an apartment living room.

These speakers could not match the B&W 685s (perhaps the closest thing to a successor speaker that we may have today) that I replaced them with in 2010.  However, these speakers were great for their epoch, particularly for those of us who were on a tight budget.

Infinity, Acoustic Research, and Advent all had similar bookshelf speakers in the 1980s.  The New York Times has thoughtfully archived a great piece that it ran on these great speakers from an earlier time:

I finally sold my Boston Acoustics A40s to a cash conversion shop a couple of years ago.  I regret the decision.  These speakers represented a better age, not just in audio terms, and I miss them.

May the Boston Acoustics A40 live on in used audio departments of independent dealers, and in the internet.  If you still have your A40s, keep them.

Shaffer's picture

I bought a pair of A40s in 1982. I was almost 19 at the time. I walked into the store hoping to purchase a pair of AR90s they had on sale, listened to the BAs, dealt with the cognitive dissonance associated with a smaller transducer, and a few weeks later bought the A40s. It was my first real introduction to quality sound that started a path that continues to this day.

Wanderlust2000's picture

If I had been into music, and audio back then, these A40s or similar likely would have been my first 'real' ones.  Though not vented, I can sense the likeness to my actual first good speakers, some B&W DM303s.  Though now out of use, They are stored away and will NEVER be parted with.  I have a certain fondness for overperforming, affordable, unobtrusive speakers, and I can easily see how one would grow attached to the A40s.  Pack them away with your baseball glove, then give them to your child when it's time!