What do you get when you squeeze two Audioengine shelf speakers together, then cut the wires? Probably something very similar to the company’s new B2 speaker, which aims to merge the quality of Audioengine’s high-performance monitors with the luxury of Bluetooth in single sexy speaker.
Crafted from a hand-finished MDF cabinet, the B2 brings some weight — both literally and figuratively — to the Bluetooth speaker market. These gorgeous boxes of sound are available in your choice of real Zebrawood, Black Ash, and Walnut wood veneers. And beneath that smooth exterior, each B2 is loaded with high-quality components, including dual 2.75-inch Kevlar woofers, dual 3/4-inch silk dome tweeters, and the small-but-potent 24-bit PCM5102A DAC (digital to analog converter) from Texas Instruments.
The system is powered by a class A/B monolithic amplifier for hi-fi power that reaches a claimed 60 watts at peak, supporting a frequency response of 65Hz-22kHz. To improve streaming sound quality, the B2 uses Bluetooth version 4.0 with aptX for near CD-quality resolution from compatible devices, and the speaker also incorporates a detachable antenna designed to increase its wireless range, as well as a 3.5mm Aux input for hardwired playback.
Of all the B2’s formidable assets, our favorite might just be the price: At $300, the B2 may not cater to the bargain-basement crowd, but with an impressive assemblage of high-end components, premium construction, and plenty of power, we expected this speaker to cost at least another C-note. And just in case you’re not convinced, Audioengine offers a 30-day audition of the B2 to ensure your sonic satisfaction.
Audioengine’s new B2 Bluetooth speaker is available now at the company’s website, and other retail locations. We’ll likely scoop one up soon for review, so stay tuned for our final verdict.
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