Audioengine A2+ vs. Dayton Audio MK402BTX
|Audioengine A2+ Wireless Bluetooth Speakers
|Dayton Audio MK402BTX Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
|Dimensions (H × W × D)
6.00” × 4.00” × 5.25”
152mm × 102mm × 133mm
9.50” × 5.75” × 6.63”
241mm × 146mm × 168mm
|ASR Score w/Subwoofer
TLDR Summary: In the bustling arena of compact desktop speakers, the Audioengine A2+ Wireless and Dayton Audio MK402BTX both offer enticing options for the discerning listener. The A2+ boasts a refined sound signature with clear highs and lively mids, matched with Bluetooth aptX for high-quality streaming, all in a sleek package. Conversely, the MK402BTX delivers a more wallet-friendly choice with a surprisingly expansive soundstage and effective bass for its size, albeit with a less detailed audio profile. Each set beckons with its own merits – the A2+ for the audio purist valuing aesthetics, and the MK402BTX for the budget-conscious audiophile seeking robust sound.
When it comes to compact, high-performance desktop audio systems, the Audioengine A2+ Wireless and Dayton Audio MK402BTX are two offerings that stand out for those looking to enhance their auditory experience without demanding too much desk real estate. Both systems promise an enticing blend of convenience, design, and sound quality that merit a discerning ear's attention. As we embark on this sonic comparison, it's worth noting that both speakers cater to the burgeoning need for wireless connectivity while also ensuring they don't compromise on the acoustic richness that audiophiles crave.
The Essence of Design and Build
The Audioengine A2+ Wireless speakers exude a premium feel with their solid, hand-built wood cabinets that not only provide a natural aesthetic but also contribute to sound quality. The design is minimalistic yet sophisticated, available in a range of colors that can easily fit into any decor. On the contrary, the Dayton Audio MK402BTX, though compact, have a more utilitarian appearance. Their black vinyl finish is less striking than the A2+'s polished exteriors, but they maintain a footprint that's friendly to cramped spaces. Both sets of speakers manage to look unobtrusive yet attractive on a desk or bookshelf.
Connectivity and Ease of Use
Wireless functionality is at the heart of both the Audioengine and Dayton Audio models. The A2+ Wireless steps ahead with Bluetooth 5.0, offering a stable connection and the convenience of a built-in DAC, which allows for a direct digital connection to your computer. This means less interference and a purer sound signal, especially noticeable in lossless audio playback. The MK402BTX, while equipped with Bluetooth, does not boast the same version or DAC, but it still provides a reliable wireless experience for most users. Both speakers have straightforward setups, but the A2+'s advanced connectivity options give it an edge for the tech-savvy user.
The sound signature of the Audioengine A2+ Wireless is one that will please most ears, particularly those who value clarity and balance. With their custom aramid fiber woofers and silk tweeters, the A2+ offers a sound that is detailed and vibrant, with a surprisingly broad soundstage given their diminutive size. The Dayton Audio MK402BTX counters with a commendable performance of its own, providing clear highs and respectable mids. However, its bass response can sometimes feel lacking, which may be an issue for users who expect more punch and depth in the lower frequencies.
Where the A2+ really shines is in its ability to render vocals and instruments with an intimacy that feels almost tangible. The separation and imaging are commendable for speakers of this size, creating an immersive listening experience that belies their desktop footprint. The MK402BTX, while capable, doesn't quite capture the same level of auditory nuance, often presenting a more compressed soundscape that, while still pleasant, doesn't envelop the listener in quite the same way.
Compare to similar speakers
One must also consider the adaptability of the speakers to various genres of music. The A2+ Wireless performs consistently across the board, from the intricate layers of classical compositions to the dynamic range of rock anthems. The MK402BTX is no slouch either, handling most genres with ease, but its performance can be genre-dependent, excelling in acoustic and vocal-centric music but showing limitations with bass-heavy tracks or complex orchestral pieces.
It's also worth noting the power behind these speakers. The A2+ might be small, but they pack a punch, driving 60 watts of power that makes them feel more potent than their size would suggest. The MK402BTX, on the other hand, offers 40 watts of power, which is adequate for most nearfield listening scenarios, but may not have the same oomph for larger rooms or parties.
Of course, for the true audiophile, expandability is a factor. The A2+ Wireless keeps the door open with RCA and 1/8-inch inputs, plus a subwoofer output for those craving that extra bass extension. The Dayton Audio MK402BTX is less flexible in this regard, offering basic RCA and 3.5mm inputs with no direct subwoofer connection option, potentially limiting its growth within a more comprehensive audio system.
In conclusion, choosing between the Audioengine A2+ Wireless and the Dayton Audio MK402BTX is a matter of prioritizing certain attributes. The A2+ offers superior design aesthetics, advanced connectivity features, and a more detailed and expansive soundstage. On the other hand, the MK402BTX is a strong contender with its straightforward functionality and commendable audio performance at a possibly more attractive price point. Both sets of speakers have their merits, and the final decision will hinge on the listener's individual needs and sonic preferences.
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