Audioengine B2 Review

A Review On: Audioengine B2 Premium Bluetooth Speaker (Zebrawood)

Audioengine B2 Premium Bluetooth Speaker (Zebrawood)

Rated # 6 in Speakers
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Pros: Room filling sound, Impressive sound quality, Elegant design, Long range, Simple to use

Cons: Minor distortion at high volume, Price

Audioengine's new B2 Bluetooth speaker should look familiar. It is essentially two A2+ speakers and a B1 Bluetooth receiver combined. It delivers the sound quality of desktop speakers but the range and flexibility of Bluetooth.

Like all Audioengine products, the B2 comes in a box with a QC sticker. This is a nice touch that emphasizes the quality control and testing that goes into each product.

The box is simple yet lists everything you would need. The B2 uses the industry standard aptX codec to deliver high quality audio over Bluetooth.

I have the Zebrawood model but it also comes in Walnut and Black ash.

Inside we find some product information, cables, and the speaker. The plush carrying bag is a great addition. The unit only comes with 2 cables; a power cord and a 1/8" audio cord. Since the unit is Bluetooth, the audio cable is great for connecting legacy devices.

With the front cover removed, the speaker is stunning. The wood exterior looks outstanding and gives off a sense of quality. For $300, that should be expected. The front features 2.75" Kevlar woofers and 3/4" silk dome tweeters. There are two bass ports in the center. This is a clever trick used to increase bass performance on smaller units.

The bottom features 4 feet and more real wood veneer. From this angle the A2+ design is really prominent. The unit measures 4.25" x 12.25" x 5.5".

The back features a volume knob, a Bluetooth pairing LED and button, an antenna, an aux input, a power jack, and a power switch. The antenna is not necessary, but will significantly increase the range. Without it the speaker worked in the same room as the streaming device. With the antenna I was able to play from just about everywhere in my house. The range is about 30ft in each direction. It won't work too well through the floor so try to stay in the same room. The unit requires almost no setup. Just plug it in and connect from your phone. No passwords or complicated menus.

Last is the front cover. It features magnets for easy removal. It gives a clean look when attached, but I like to keep it off to highlight the wood finish of the B2.

Now on to audio quality. It is hard to convey the amount of sound that comes out of such a small speaker. It is truly room filling. If you didn't know better, it is easy to assume the sound is coming from a much larger dedicated setup. This is pretty impressive coming from a device with 2.75" drivers. It gets loud enough that you have to raise your voice to be heard over it. I typically listened at about 60-70% volume. The Bluetooth receiver is very similar to the Audioengine's B1 (review here) so you shouldn't have to worry about losing signal quality over the air.

Since the unit is so small bass performance isn't great, but it is still pretty darn good. The bass ports help a lot but it still lacks the punch of larger systems. This is to be expected though. Mids are where the B2 shines. They are clear even at higher volumes. The highs are good as well but start to distort at upper volumes. The bass also mad minor distortion at high volumes. Like I said, it is pretty amazing how much sound this little unit produces.

To wrap it up, the Audioengine B2 is a great little speaker. It is very easy to use, delivers room filling sound, looks great, and doesn't sacrifice on quality. Lows are present but not as punchy as other systems, mids are great and crisp, and highs are clear at normal volume. For those who listen to a lot of music with bass or even sub bass content, this may not be the system for you. At $300 it may be a tough choice between price and sound, but you can't really go wrong with the B2.

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