Acoustic Energy AE100 Speakers
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Small Punchy Speaker With Sweet Tonality
Conservatively Styled Yet Classy Cabinets
The Slot Shaped Port At The Rear Delivers Excellent Bass Control
Rear Terminals Will Accept Bare Wire Or Banana Plugs
About The Acoustic Energy AE100 Bookshelf Speakers
The Acoustic Energy AE100 is a compact standmount loudspeaker that has been engineered to offer neutral balance, low-distortion and high power handling with as little cabinet colouration as possible. Combined with wide output slot rear-porting, the AE100’s are extremely flexible loudspeakers for use in any room or position in the home.
The AE100 has been designed with a view to achieving high sound pressure levels from an extremely small enclosure. This is obtained principally through the use of a 4” (101mm) driver built around an ultra-high force motor system that allows for an extremely long throw under complete control... in the best traditions of Acoustic Energy. This is augmented by a slot shaped bass duct which allows for a considerable cross sectional area while negating the issues of the air becoming audible as it moves through the duct. A 1” (25mm) soft dome tweeter featuring Acoustic Energy’s Wide Dispersion Technology completes the driver compliment. The cabinet is made from 18mm thick sections of MDF. Taking design cues from the award winning Reference Series and finished in a choice of satin black or walnut vinyl veneer finishes, the AE100 is sure to look good wherever you choose to place it while delivering a sound that belies its compact size.
Given the demanding requirements that led to the creation of the original 1 Series, it may sound surprising that AE have been able to obtain even higher performance from more compact enclosures at more affordable prices… the 100 Series is physical proof this is possible.
The new 100 Series introduces a number of improvements and evolutionary changes all focused on refining the listening experience at the same time as providing a more room friendly loudspeaker. AE have introduced their WDT tweeter assembly from the AE1 Active, which creates far better in-room dispersion, as well as locating the slot ports to the rear for less midrange colouration and improved bass response. At the same time, the external design has been improved for a more elegant appearance and smaller footprint that should work well in a wide variety of surroundings. With higher quality fit and finish than ever before available from this entry level range, new colour and vinyl options and neat magnetic grilles the visual appeal is higher than ever.
The result is a stylish and more powerful range of speakers that embodies all of the qualities that Acoustic Energy is renowned for while taking advantage of everything that they have learned in their continuous process of development.
A Closer Look
Tweeter: AE’s bespoke 28mm soft dome tweeter was designed in tandem with the 100 Series bass driver to offer optimum integration and tonal matching. Paired with AE’s Wide Dispersion Technology waveguide, the crossover region between drive units is audibly seamless whilst the high power neodymium motor assembly ensures reliable, distortion-free high-volume playback.
Mid/Bass Driver: The 110mm mid/bass driver used in the 100 Series has been developed with a high power, long excursion motor to provide satisfying volume levels and bass extension from relatively compact enclosures. The doped paper cone enables a higher crossover point for smoother mid-range and seamless crossover with the tweeter, creating extremely high fidelity, detailed and above all musical sound reproduction.
Cabinet: The 100 Series uses sturdy 18mm MDF enclosures with carefully tuned bracing, reducing harmful resonances whilst retaining body and substance from compact, practical cabinets. The rear slot porting enhances smooth bass extension with minimal room impact, allowing easy placement. The AE100 comes supplied with slim magnetic grilles.
Speaker Positioning: The AE100’s are very flexible with regard to positioning and are designed to work well wherever they are located within the listening environment. There are however some basic guidelines that should be followed (where possible) for optimum performance. The tweeters (high frequency drivers) should ideally be at ear level when the listener is seated and for serious listening the grilles are best removed where practical. Rigid support is necessary for the speakers to deliver optimum dynamic response and detail so the AE100’s benefit from either good stands or a solid surface below them.
The AE100 Series speakers are very ‘room-friendly’ and should be able to be placed where most convenient with minimal detriment to sound. Where possible a minimum of 150mm of space should be allowed between the speakers and boundary walls. For stereo listening the two speakers should be the same distance from each other as the listening position. Experiment and listen to what works best for you, trust your own ears and judgement.
In The News
“Enthusiastic sound belies the unassuming aesthetic of these competent budget standmounters. Clear, solid, driving sound, good timing and agility, evenly balanced, discreet design, can be placed against a back wall.” What Hi-Fi?
“For a beer budget speaker the Acoustic Energy AE100 is a highly entertaining piece of kit, it offers impressive volume levels for the money if you have a decent amp and delivers decent timing. In truth you can’t ask for much more at the price.” The Ear
Sub $600 standmount speakers are very well represented here at Audio Trends. Well established British brands such as Wharfedale & Q Acoustics have solid contenders available at this price point so what can the AE100 possibly bring to the table? As it happens the AE100 has a unique and seductive tonality that is markedly different from most and will appeal to people who love a sweet treble character. Where so many speakers exhibit elevated high frequencies which are guaranteed to wear the listener down over time the AE100 offers an unusually mature and refined character that is reminiscent of much more expensive BBC type speakers. This is a very gentlemanly loudspeaker but it can also go properly loud way beyond its physical stature when pushed with an appropriate amplifier. A genuine contender and a new store favourite at the price point.
Main Features & Specifications
- Design: 2 Way Bookshelf/Standmount Speaker
- Mid/Bass Driver: 1 x 101mm (4") paper cone
- Tweeter: 1 x 25mm (1") soft dome
- Frequency Range: 45Hz -35kHz
- Nominal Sensitivity: 87dB
- Peak SBL: 110dB
- Power Handling: 75 Watts RMS - must be 'clean' undistorted power
- Crossover Frequency: 3.6kHz
- Impedance: 4 Ohms
- Available Colours: Satin Black or Walnut
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 160 x 270 x 240 mm
- Weight: 8kg (pair)
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 5 Years
Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE
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