Girl-powered techie blog The Gadgeteer gets its hands on the Audio Engine A5 speakers we covered a little while back. Naturally, the Gadgeteers aren't a group of audiophiles which is why it's really encouraging to hear language like "clarity" and "bass." In fact, Gadgeteer Julie could have a future in audio reviewing:
In my opinion, they are the best speakers I've ever heard.
Uh huh. She says that now. She then goes on to evoke the sacred audio reviewer right of unfounded assumptions:
Oh, I know Apple just came out with the HiFi... I've not had the opportunity to try it, but I'd rather have the Audioengines. It's a no brainer than they have to sound better, given the fact that you can separate the left and right speakers...
Sign her up! Anyway, she gets really excited about the great sound and, dare I say, may be on the path towards quasi-audiophilia. Cross your fingers this marks a turn in actually considering sound quality over size and convenience. Props to Audio Engine for reaching out and fighting the good fight. I was a little critical before about their rear-mounted AC outlet (which I still find very disquieting) but products like these are the only way we'll get iPodders to move into the big time.
Stereophile, if you didn't hear, has a new series of seminars held at college campuses (Cornell being the first) hoping to turn beer-saturated undergrads into discriminating audiophiles. I really do wish Stereophile luck and hope they are able to make a few converts, but I'm a strong believer in riding the iPod wave with high-end-aspiring products like the Audio Engine A5. 50 million iPod users and countless Bose customers is the place to start. Baby steps with under $500 systems pitched as BTB (Better Than Bose) will be far more successful than pushing $5000 of hard-to-find and hard-to-match separates. Of course, all outreach is good outreach so tell your college-age friends and relatives to request an audio demo from the Stereophile posse or, hell, send 'em my way and I'll arrange an audiophile rave that will blow their young, innocent minds.
Speaking of audiophile raves, be sure to pencil in 6/2/2006 for the Zu rave at the Stereophile HE2006 show in Los Angeles. Do whatever it takes to be there because it will be off the hook. Unlike CES, HE2006 is open to the public as is the VTV show that's happening at the same time and only a block away. If you make one trip this year, make it Los Angeles come June. Two shows, one rave and not a woman to be seen. Zu, get the baby-dolls to your rave and you will have the most successful audio demo in the entire history of this estrogen-free industry.