Emotiva Airmotiv 5 or Audioengine 5+? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-04-2013, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I am currently in the market for some quality (budget) powered speakers and have pretty much narrowed my search down to the Airmotiv 5 and the Audioengine 5+ (though I am open to other suggestions). I would like some help deciding between the two.

The main use will be for listening to music but I will also use them as computer speakers for gaming, watching movies and maybe some mixing/recording. I pretty much listen to metal and rock music exclusively. Many posts and reviews I see say that the Airmotivs blow the Audioengines out of the water in terms of clarity and overall sound. However, I have also read that the Audioengines may be better suited for rock/metal music due to fuller sounding mids/bass.

I am really curious how the Airmotivs handle heavy metal/hard rock when directly compared to the audioengines and also how the two speakers compare when watching movies/gaming etc.

If anyone has some experience with either of these (or even better, both of these) speakers and could give me some advice, that would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-05-2013, 07:16 AM
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I've had the Airmotiv 5's for about a year now. I don't listen to the new heavy metal stuff but the classic stuff from the 70's sounds good. The only thing I really plan on doing soon in the computer room is adding a DAC and an SVS SB1000 subwoofer to add a little more to the low end for movies. The 5's sound fine all by themselves, but I still want to try a subwoofer for explosions and such. The 5's are currently $409.

I did try the Audioengine 5+ and like the Airmotiv better, but I was looking for a more accurate speaker at higher volume levels. I figured I could always add a subwoofer under the desk if I want more bass. The Airmotivs are fantastic for classical/instrumental music. Only good metal disc I have that I can comment on is the Metallica DVD-A. Everything is nice and even but doesn't have the low-end kick ( kick drums ) that my main system with two 1800-watt subwoofers does. LOL

You'll probably want to add a subwoofer to ANY two-way speakers you go with.

HD-DVD = 94
Blu-Ray = 120 ( 24 Warner red2blu )
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-06-2013, 03:43 AM
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I have a similar question as the OP. I currently have the Audioengine A5s (the version prior to the A5+) running with an inexpensive Infinity subwoofer, and I have been very happy with their sound for hard rock and metal. My complaint is that they have not held up terribly well with age, and I am starting to have some difficulty with the left speaker only working at certain volume levels and periodically shutting down when I adjust the volume. I have read that the A5+ speakers offer several improvements, so I am considering them. But like the OP, I've also read many glowing reviews in which the Airmotivs are described as sounding better. One disadvantage of the Airmotivs over the A5s is that it appears that a preamp would be required to add a subwoofer since I do not believe they offer a line-out like the A5s do. Like the OP, my question is which would be better for someone who listens mostly to hard rock and metal.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-06-2013, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed71 View Post

I have a similar question as the OP. I currently have the Audioengine A5s (the version prior to the A5+) running with an inexpensive Infinity subwoofer, and I have been very happy with their sound for hard rock and metal. My complaint is that they have not held up terribly well with age, and I am starting to have some difficulty with the left speaker only working at certain volume levels and periodically shutting down when I adjust the volume. I have read that the A5+ speakers offer several improvements, so I am considering them. But like the OP, I've also read many glowing reviews in which the Airmotivs are described as sounding better. One disadvantage of the Airmotivs over the A5s is that it appears that a preamp would be required to add a subwoofer since I do not believe they offer a line-out like the A5s do. Like the OP, my question is which would be better for someone who listens mostly to hard rock and metal.

This is one reason I prefer passive speakers + amp over powered speakers. When the electronics go in powered speakers, you are left with paying for repair or having to junk the speakers. This is unfortunate since the passive speakers can easily last for fifteen or twenty years.

I use Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs in my desktop setup. They are amazing for rock and metal because of an excellent transient response that gives them very detailed mids and mid-bass.

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post #5 of 11 Old 07-06-2013, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

This is one reason I prefer passive speakers + amp over powered speakers. When the electronics go in powered speakers, you are left with paying for repair or having to junk the speakers. This is unfortunate since the passive speakers can easily last for fifteen or twenty years.

I use Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs in my desktop setup. They are amazing for rock and metal because of an excellent transient response that gives them very detailed mids and mid-bass.

I checked out those Ascends and they look very appealing and I'm now considering them. I just had a couple questions regarding them. Do they work well enough without a subwoofer (I don't have the money to get a subwoofer for the time being) and do you have any suggestions for a budget receiver for them? I literally know nothing about what I should be looking for in a receiver.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-07-2013, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZanderOfPuppets View Post

I checked out those Ascends and they look very appealing and I'm now considering them. I just had a couple questions regarding them. Do they work well enough without a subwoofer (I don't have the money to get a subwoofer for the time being) and do you have any suggestions for a budget receiver for them? I literally know nothing about what I should be looking for in a receiver.

I find that they do moderately well with midbass down to about 50hz. Not heavy bass (there is some rolloff), but the midbass response is very tight. I have a sub but just don't run it.

I use an Indeed TA2021 t-amp (similar to the Topping TP21, but no headphone amp). Maxes out at about 25 watts per channel. Tried it with my SPL meter running pink noise, and was able to hit 100db from 2 1/2 to 3 feet away with the CBM-170s with some extra headroom left, so plenty of volume for desktop usage. I was running an HK 3390 before, but I much prefer the smaller size and 80%+ efficiency of the t-amp (less heat/less power usage).

Emotiva has a mini power amp, the mini-X a-100, for $189. Accessories4less.com has factory refurbished/factory warrantied Onkyo and Denon AVRs that are a good value.

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post #7 of 11 Old 07-07-2013, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I find that they do moderately well with midbass down to about 50hz. Not heavy bass (there is some rolloff), but the midbass response is very tight. I have a sub but just don't run it.

I use an Indeed TA2021 t-amp (similar to the Topping TP21, but no headphone amp). Maxes out at about 25 watts per channel. Tried it with my SPL meter running pink noise, and was able to hit 100db from 2 1/2 to 3 feet away with the CBM-170s with some extra headroom left, so plenty of volume for desktop usage. I was running an HK 3390 before, but I much prefer the smaller size and 80%+ efficiency of the t-amp (less heat/less power usage).

Emotiva has a mini power amp, the mini-X a-100, for $189. Accessories4less.com has factory refurbished/factory warrantied Onkyo and Denon AVRs that are a good value.

Thanks for the response! I just ordered the Ascends and bought an older, used 5.1 receiver off ebay. All in all, it costs about as much as buying the airmotiv 5. I'm excited to hear how it sounds.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-07-2013, 06:12 AM
 
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You might want to consider some other active monitors as well. I have active monitors that I have been using for over 20 years without failures.  There are many advantages to an active design which has an active crossover and amplifiers for each driver compared to passive speakers.  The Audio Engines are not a true active design they are an amplifier added to a passive speaker.  You seem to be looking at the consumer market but you'll find many good active monitors on the pro side of things. You'll find many choices in your price range.  You might find it easier to demo many of these at local music stores to see which you like.  Here are some websites:

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/c405--Active_Monitors

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Studio-Monitors/ci/8617/N/4294550597

 

http://www.zzounds.com/cat--Active-Powered-Monitors--2863

 

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/studio-monitors

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post #9 of 11 Old 07-07-2013, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ZanderOfPuppets View Post

Thanks for the response! I just ordered the Ascends and bought an older, used 5.1 receiver off ebay. All in all, it costs about as much as buying the airmotiv 5. I'm excited to hear how it sounds.

Awesome. Be sure to post back with your experience with them smile.gif

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post #10 of 11 Old 07-22-2013, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Just got the Ascends a few days ago, and they are terrific. I can't really compare them to much since these are my first set of real speakers but to my ears they sound fantastic. My set up is really simple since I really only had money for the speakers. I just have the two Ascend 170 se speakers going into an old JVC RX-884PBK receiver I found on ebay for 40 bucks. I plug the receiver directly into my computer or ipod (no DAC, can't afford one right now). Still, it sounds amazing. I have some audio technica ath-m50s which are some great sounding headphones but its so much more fun listening to music with the ascends filling the room with sound. I can close my eyes and sometimes get this strange sensation like I'm floating in the music or the band is right in front of me. The Clarity is exceptional and I notice little things in the music that I never noticed before. I can say that with some music, they definitely could use a subwoofer for a some extra backup and "oomph" with the low end but they get the job done pretty nicely on their own. I also did some gaming (halflife 2 and back to the future game) as well and they worked great.

Thanks for the suggestions, I am very happy with my purchase.

- Zander
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post #11 of 11 Old 07-22-2013, 06:30 PM
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That's great that you got them. I have the ATH-M50s as well, and I definitely think that the 170s can keep up with the M50s on clarity. Good sounds smile.gif

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