A true three-way design, the AE120 marries a 25mm soft dome tweeter to a wide dispersion waveguide. Read our Acoustic Energy AE120 Review.
A single 110mm doped paper cone midrange driver is fitted beneath this, with twin 110m bass units placed further below. The former drive unitgets its own dedicated enclosure inside the cabinet; this is expensive to do, but mitigates against the harmful effects of rear wave reflections.
TYPE 3-way floorstanding loudspeaker
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 200 x900 x300mm
• 25mm gold dome tweeter
• 110mm mid/bass driver
• 2x 110 mm bass drivers
• Quoted sensitivity: 90dB/1W/1m (6ohm)
DISTRIBUTOR Acoustic Energy
TELEPHONE 01285 654432
WEBSITE acoustic-energy. co.uk
The MDF cabinet has 18mm-thick walls and is mass loaded and internally braced. A satin black plinth further aids stability. The rear slot ports complete what is a well-made and finished, attractive-looking speaker available in a choice of satin black or walnut vinyl wraps.
The manufacturer quotes a frequency response of 40Hz-35kHz, with no cut-off points listed. Nominal impedance is said to be a slightly lower than average 6ohm and sensitivity is put at a healthy 90dB.
The AE120 is an extremely able floorstander that more than justifies its price. From the off, it’s clear that it sounds a little brighter than many of its rivals, although it never screams out at you. Instead, it injects some extra vim into hard electronic percussion for example, such as that of Manix’s Living In The Past ER This gives it real extra impetus, it’s not just the brightness but the tightness of the speaker that makes itself heard here. There’s little in the way of cabinet interference and the drivers are obviously pretty light; the result being that it steams along, really getting into the groove. It also sounds like the music has been sped up; from top to bottom the Acoustic Energy celebrates the rhythm divine!
Propaganda’s p:Machinery was always going to be immense fun, but it actually highlights another trait of the AE120. Despite its relatively small stature it doesn’t tend to sit on dynamics and/or make things seem compressed. It catches all the drama of those fat synthesiser stabs in the chorus and lets them stand out more from the wider mix. As a result it brings an intensity to the sound that makes even the most capable rivals seem slightly sat upon.
Other impressive facets include its midband detailing; it gives a decent timbre to vocals in the Byrds’ Draft Morning and a natural sense of the instruments. There is little indication of it being synthetic or nasal in any way. This is no less satisfying in Vaughan Williams’ A London Symphony, where it is able to eke out the natural vibrancy and emotion in the playing and then communicate it right back to the listener. All in all, it offers up a feisty and fun sound from a small but neat cabinet.
See also TOP 10 Subwoofers
A class act nonetheless
- Articulate, involving sound
- Lacks thump of larger designs
Best Acoustic Energy AE120 prices in the US ?
Best Acoustic Energy AE120 prices in the UK ?
See also TOP 10 Subwoofers