Acoustic Energy Aegis One Floorstanding Speakers

Aegis One

Bass Reference Speaker - 5" Woofer, 1" Tweeter

User Reviews (80)

Showing 1-10 of 80  
Arjan_S   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 06, 2017]

I discovered this speaker in a thrift shop last week, it was hidden between a lot of cheap speakers. I saw the AE label and got excited. I have been one of the few who has listened to the mighty AE1 classic back in the days. Then it was a true revelation. This speaker could drive loud, and I mean really loud, without the sound becoming compressed or aggressive. The lows were very detailed and rock solid and there was not the slightest boxiness in the sound. At that time a real accomplishment for a small size speaker.
But let's get back to the Aegis. They were priced for 35 euros a pair and were in excellent condition. The light birch vinyl veneer wasn't the most attractive, but the overal finish of the speaker was quite well and at 7kg for that little fellow was quite substantial. But I doubted. You seen, I am a real Kef lover and have been spoilt with owning and listening to almost all Kef's reference speakers from the 70s to the 90s, most of them being bookshelf speakers. I just love bookshelf speakers. They can sound so well with a bit experimenting with electronics, placement and room position. But as I said, I doubted. Could I expect great sound for this entry level speaker from AE from the late nineties? Luckily, the Thrift shop had Wifi, so I checked some reviews. And they were surprisingly very positive. I decided not to buy immediately. I left the store, but something inside me was still going on. I went back and bought the speakers, thinking: if they are not to my level, I sell them and make even profit on them.
At home I disconnected my Kef 103/4 and plugged in the Aegis One. I put in a cd of Nightnoise and pressed play. Almost immediately I noticed a smile on my face. This was good, really good. I mean really good. The first thing I noticed was how balanced the speaker sounded. But most important, the mids were very natural and tonally correct. There was no sign of the mids being thrown in front of the speakers, just in totale coherence with the highs and lows. When I listened so some Irish folk with percussion, I was literally blown away by the speed of the drums. This speaker is fast, wow. And for a speaker with a reflex port it was remarkably tight and yet detailed without any distortion. What also struck me was that at louder volume the sound didn't distort. The bass remained tight even at volume levels most other small bookshelf speakers would distort. Not with this baby.
The sound still has the english overall character: sweet and without any aggressiveness. In comparison with the Kef reference 102, the mids from the Aegis were more open and easier to hear and the highs were a bit more sparkling. I think where the Kef 102 shines is the full bodied sound, even at very low volume. The Kefs sound as a large speaker. The AE doesn't do that at low volume. You have to crank up the volume knob to get a full bodied sound. If you play them at low volume, the sound is a bit uninvolving and voices and instruments sound a bit lean and smaller than real life instruments. But that is not the fault of the speaker, but the character of most small bookshelf speakers. I think the Kef 102 is one of the very few small loudspeakers I have ever heard, that are fully enjoyable at low volume.
It is amazing that these speakers did cost only 300$ back then. They could have asked for double or more and still be very competitive.

Just like the AE1, the Aegis has no boxy sound at all and are remarkable dynamic and can play louder than I normally do. So the only minor thing is that in order to get the most out of the sonically, I have to put the volume higher than I wish.

I tested this Aegis with some incredible harp, one of the most difficult instruments to reproduce for a speaker. With this instrument, with the volume a bit higher, you can test if the speaker distorts, colours the sound and you can test if the speaker has a boxy sound. With this harp these Aegis speakers shined. Amazing. It is a proof that this speaker is a very evenly balanced speaker with almost no colouration and behaving excellent ever at higher levels.
I disagree with the review from Sterophile by John Atkinson. I played with a Quad 405 and Quad 34 and there was no aggressiveness at all. I must say it is not the first time I have problems with Mr Atkinson's reviews. He detects some limitations of the speaker, but to my opinion he had detected limitations in the equipment, room etc. I used heavy Partington stands with dampers between the speaker and the stand and the speaker didn't have any aggressive sound. Nor had it a pronounced "sshe" instead of "sss" at higher frequencies.

This is a remarkable speaker at an even more remakable price level. I was actually shocked by it, in a positive thing. It made me re-evaluate my opinions about speakers. And for someone that has listened to hundreds of speakers from 60s to the late 90s and own quite a lof of them, this is even more remarkable. 5 stars it is !!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Byron4   AudioPhile [Mar 09, 2012]

This product was purchased based on the reviews of www.audioreview.com and became my introduction to this forum. When I bought these speakers every review gave it 5 stars despite being such an inexpensive product. I needed a small pair of desktop speakers after I moved my office in 1999 so I went to Shelley's Stereo in Woodland Hills. The owner Alon also highly recommended these speakers. Everyone was right. These were perfect for my needs. The strength of these speakers are the balance between the bass and the highs. These speakers have always have been used as a desktop right in front of me so if it had an aggressive sound it would be very difficult to listen to all day. If anything the highs are a little subdued which made this a very listenable product and compatible to inexpensive electronics. These are great speakers for a small space such as an office desktop system especially when you compare the sound to the cheap computer speakers out there. I don't think these products are widely available any longer however you can dig up a working used pair and you will have a nice pair of desktop speakers for a very inexpensive price.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John Young   Audio Enthusiast [May 06, 2011]

Bought these speakers from ebay for £26 recently with a view to using them in bedroom as replacements for my fatman system and tried them firstly with my main system which is a Naim pre/power 102/180 system for which main source is internet radio, these boxes really sing well with this combination for me and the Bass is excellent for the room size, I have them close-ish to the back and side walls and the imagery and midrange make the music so listenable, it really is like listening to music again, if you can find em, Iget em and at £26 well feelin pretty smug..they replaced a pair of mordaunt short 902i signatures which sounded kinda fizzy in comparison, needles to say they sound pretty good as part of fatman sysem in bedroom.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
paul   AudioPhile [Feb 10, 2010]

Picked these up recently second hand for £60. They are have very solidly built cabinets, with good drivers, crossovers and internal wiring. The bass driver is a custom aluminium unit and the tweeter a silk soft dome. They work best as near field monitors close to a wall to take advantage of the proximity bass boost. If used out in the room they might be a little dry in the bass, Wall coupled they have an excellent bass, deep and powerfull but without boom. The kick drum sound realy kicks. The only slight flaw is that there could be a little more air in the upper treble, but what is there is good quality, well integrated without grain or tizz. Realy great value at the second hand price I paid for them. Sound good with a wide variety of music, faithfull to the original recorded accoustic. If you see 'em, snap 'em up

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
cjvictory   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 11, 2008]
Strength:

They sound neutral, balanced & transparent with good sound staging & clear imaging. The highs are crisp, apparent with no shrill. The mids are clear, yet not being overwhemed. The bases are weighty, tight, dynamic, punchy with superb extension & definite pitch; yet not overpowering.They are not boomy, unlike my B & W floorstanders. Even with complex loading of bases, they do sound muddy.

Weakness:

None at the price I have bought !

Personally, this is one of my best investments, $130 Singapore dollars ! CHEAP but VERY VERY GOOD ! Hard to find nowadays. Beat even my Usher S-520 I believe. These Aegis One beauties have put to shame even a number of my expensive branded floorstanders.

I bought them because they sound great while auditioning them on 2 wooden stools that meant to be "proper" speaker stands ! They are extremely suitable for loud Rock music which shakes the table and floor. I believe they are all-rounders, appropriately design for all kinds of music.

Placement is a piece of cake; they are not fussy.

Currently, they are connected to only my Sansui AU-5500 amp & Marantz CD5001.
They are placed on a set of Target stands, not filled !

Similar Products Used: PSB bookshelf (the very first series)
KEF Coda 7
Tannoy M1
Mission 760i
Wharfedale Diamond 3
Celestion DL2
Rogers LS33
B&Ws DM1
Canton bookshelf
Usher S-520
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Prune_Phace   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 23, 2005]
Strength:

Midrange,fast bass

Weakness:

Heard a meatier bass from a speaker of the same dimensions(Dynaudio 52) but these are 4 time the price

One of the best at the price and quite a bit more.Clean and refined for a budget speaker.Very good on vocals and can go loud as well without cracking up. Overall they are neural and warm at the same time. Beat many more expensive speakers i've had including KEF Q1

Similar Products Used: Mission.Rega Kef
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
timrhube   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 18, 2003]
Strength:

Build quality.

Weakness:

Not very involving at low volue levels.

A fine little speaker that reproduces female vocals especially well. They seem extremely well built for the price. Two problems must be mentioned. First is a lack of bass, but that is to be expected at this price. The second is there lack of dynamics at low volume settings.

Similar Products Used: PSB Alphas, NHT SB-3s
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
DorinD   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 15, 2003]
Strength:

weight (7kg) and strong cabinet build. exceptional crossover and hight quality drivers. Clasical apearance, is a tiger in a sheepskin.

Weakness:

No one for the price, not even it cost double or triple.

I've got a pair of AE Aegis Evo One (the new incarnation of Aegis One) after almost 3 months of auditioning sessions on most HI-FI shops in Bucharest, Romania. My listening test included: KEF Coda 70, B&W DM303, B&W 601 S3, Tannoy MX2, Dali Blue 2002, Sony SSB2ED, and some JBL's, Jamo's, Mission's of the same price level. Considering these candidates Aegis Evo 1's were shining in stage, dynamic and voice reproduction (male, female). Dealer initialy ask 350 euros for a pair but after 3 months (while he was made a pretty good sell of AE's) he ask only 320$ and I got them. B&W 601 have a good apearence and sound pretty good in mids, highs and loudness but have a distinctive tone that add colour to music. In contrast AE's have no distinctive voice, it sound like the music it's reproduce, seems to be real and "cluel" with music material. So, it sound gorgeous in clasics and sometime terrible in pop&rock. KEF Coda 70's was the most like to AE's but has no tolerance to high power levels. Since 3 watts they sound exceptional but after that change their voice and sound like a walky-tolky. Dali Blue 2002 are exceptional and for me was the next option after AE's. They have a distinctive tone but a good one, like a Stradivarius. Anyway, they are not exactly in the same league with AE or B&W and I've miss them because of the relative high price ask by the dealer.

Similar Products Used: B&W, KEF, Tannoy, Dali
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
chorngjiunn   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 17, 2003]
Strength:

Midrange quality Decent bass output

Weakness:

Can't play at very loud volume...

well...this speaker worth every penny i spent on it...and the sound quality is above my expectation...i been using this on a Computer soundcard's output which still yielding some respectable result even just from a soundcard...i been fiddle around with tonnes of PC speaker (Klipsch, Altec, Cambridge, Logitech) but i was never ever found one speaker suit my taste of playing music the way it should...now the aegis one is quite nice in playing all the music which is in 256kbps quality...and i never have single complain considering the money i spent on it...i will add in a cd player soon and upgraded my speaker's wire to supra rondo...current wire is 16 gauge cambridge soundwork wire...i guess with the better cable, interconnect and a dedicated cd player, i can hear this speaker at its best...forget to mention that the integrated amplifier i am using is Pioneer A400 which pumps out 40watts per channel and drives this aegis happily...

Similar Products Used: Promedia, Z680, Megaworks, Sony CMT-EX1
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Dean   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 14, 2003]
Strength:

decent bass for a small speaker,lush midrange and smooth highs

Weakness:

None that I can think of

I bought an old pair of Aegis ones from a relative who used same in HT system. At first, I hooked the pair up with ARC SP 9 Mk II preamp/Quicksilver 60w mono amps and the strengths in the bass, mid and highs of the speakers were very evident. The sound was very natural for an entry level model with no harshness in the highs and boominess in the lows. Then, I tried the pair with a custombuilt 20wpc single ended amp using 845 triode tubes with gain control that enables it to be connected directly to cd player. The resulting sound was more immediate, it was as if the musicians were actually playing before you. You could feel the texture of the music as in touching a finely-woven fabric. Despite the fairly low sensitivity of the speaker at 86 db, Aegis ones will mate well with single ended amps specially when supplied with 845 or 211 triode tubes.These speakers of course will delight those who go for push-pull tubed amps for more slam in the overall sound. This model is a real bargain at its price range.

Similar Products Used: B&W 602 S2, NHT Super One, PSB Alpha
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 80  

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