Over the past week we have been playing with some new speakers from Acoustic Energy. The AE300 stand mount and the AE309 floor standing loudspeakers. They are available in three high standard finishes a Black or White Gloss finish and a Satin real wood Walnut veneer. There is also a centre speaker available, the AE307 for home cinema use.
The new 300 series offers some big upgrades from the entry level 100 series in both performance and aesthetics. The new mid bass drive units have been designed together to achieve a seamless tonal balance and the aluminium dome tweeter features wide dispersion technology which provides a greater sweet spot in your room making placement within a room easier.
Internal bracing inside the cabinet improves rigidity and reduces colouration of sound, and in the case of the AE309 (Gloss Finish and £1099 for walnut) they come mass filled which greatly improves stability and gives solidity allowing for a cleaner and more open performance. There is also a slot shaped port at the rear as found in the 100 series which allows for greater bass control and the ability to position them closer to a wall than most rear ported loudspeaker designs.
We thought we would use the same electronics for both speakers to keep a level playing field and we opted for the Rega Planar 3 with the Rega Elex-R integrated amp. Of course the AE300 at £599 for the Gloss finishes and £649 for the walnut are not strictly the right speakers within that system but we wanted to see just what they could do so we put them on the Custom Design FS104 stands mass filled and dug out a record. We kicked of with the second album from London Grammar, ‘‘Truth Is A Beautiful Thing’’ and played it all the way through side one. Impressed… they handled Hannahs powerful vocals and the some time ridiculous bass London Grammar like to employ. They sounded very present in the room without being forced and still allowing plenty of space around the vocal, giving loads of depth to the soundstage an offering a really enjoyable listen. I have a feeling that the AE300’s will work really well with anything within reason.
Next of course we moved up to the AE309. The extra drive unit and cabinet provided far greater bass extension and presence. In some cases when a stand mounted speaker sounds so good the first floor stander in a range can sound a little bloated, uncontrolled and can lose clarity. Not a bit of it. The AE309 just sounded bigger, as you might expect, all the improvements you would hope for when moving up in a range were apparent. We have since had them running in the foyer of the shop, a far bigger area, and they do not shy away.
In short they are hugely versatile and fun to listen to, We really cannot fault them at their price point and we look forward to playing with them in the future.
Remember, if you would like to borrow them for a home demonstration we can arrange that or simply get in touch with us and we will set them up in store for you.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Nick Joe and James - Audio T Portsmouth
Acoustic Energy loudspeakers are available from the following branches of Audio T: