Acoustic Energy is set to launch the AE1 Active at the Bristol Sound & Vision Show 2017. Marking 30 years in the Hi-Fi business for AE and coinciding with the Bristol Show’s 30th anniversary, the AE1 Active is set to be another milestone product in the brand’s illustrious history.
Ideal for direct connection to audiophile DAC/Preamps and Hi-Res streamers, the AE1 Active merges three decades of AE1 refinement with Acoustic Energy’s expertise in the active studio monitor sector. Fully bi-amped with two 50Watt class A/B amplifiers per speaker, the design offers unrivalled amplifier speaker integration and class leading dynamics. The new Active model offers all the musical insight and detail that has made the AE1 the audiophile’s small speaker of choice for 30 years.
Key to the success of the AE1 Active design is its unique pure piston ceramic aluminium cone technology. Now in its fifth generation, this 125mm ceramic hard-anodised spun aluminium cone offers exceptional stiffness at low weight. This negates the cone flex and break-up nodes at frequencies typical of paper and plastic cone designs. The tweeter is an all-new AE designed 27mm metal done unit designed to work in harmony with AE’s Wide Dispersion Technology (WDT) waveguide. The result is perfect integration with the mid/bass driver, with extremely wide and spacious imaging.
Electronically, the AE1 Active is proudly an all-analogue design focused on performance without compromise. This includes wired analogue inputs, both balanced XLR and standard RCA, the highest quality linear power supplies and two pair-matched, high-performance 50Watt Class A/B amplifiers per speaker. While the design team experimented with wireless inputs, switch mode power supplies, Class D amplification and DSP, none delivered the audio performance befitting of a loudspeaker wearing the legendary AE1 badge.
The active design offers the ability for accurate tuning to the listening room and placement thanks to defeatable +/- 2dB trims for bass and treble response. Each speaker features a high quality analogue volume pot for systems without level control on the source component. Each AE1 Active connects to a mains power supply using an IEC connector.
Externally, the AE1 Active gets a wholly redesigned cabinet. This features extensively braced heavyweight fibreboard construction with internal damping panels and the introduction of a slot port to the AE1 design for the first time. With several AE models already benefiting from the company’s R&D programme into slot port loading, the AE1 Active’s port delivers unrivalled cross-sectional area, reduced baffle space and significantly reduced ‘wind-noise’ at high volumes.
The AE1 Active maximises all the benefits of active loudspeaker design. These include reducing crossover losses, eliminating speaker cable influences and delivering unrivalled dynamic power. The result is a cohesive active loudspeaker with performance rivalling passive speaker / external amplifier set ups at many times its price.
With a bandwidth from 40Hz to 25kHz, efficiency of 104dB for 1Vrms, and maximum SPL of 115dB, no other small speaker gets close to the AE1 Active’s performance.