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Set Up and Installation Guide

Thank you for choosing Acoustic Energy Loudspeakers..

These pages will help you get the most out of your loudspeakers from installation, caring and registering for the extended warranty. Please bookmark this page, or keep the QR code accessible, for any future reference.

We recommend reading through the unpacking, setup and installation guide before installing your loudspeakers.

If you should encounter any issues then either contact your local retailer, distributor or Acoustic Energy direct. 

Mat Spandl
Managing Director and Chief Design Engineer

 

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Unboxing Your Loudspeakers

You should always unpack the loudspeakers on a flat, level surface and allow plenty of room. Floorstanding speakers or subwoofers are best unboxed on the floor. Ensure the surface is clean and free from any objects that may cause the loudspeakers to mark or scratch.

Using a knife, blade or sharp implement break the tape seal along the top edges of the box.

Fold the flaps of the box to the side (for the AE1202 remove the 2 long pieces of polythene packing) and carefully roll the box over, until the open side is face down, taking care not to let the contents of the box fall out.

Carefully lift the box straight off, and place to one side.

stand / wall mount and centre channel loudspeakers

Remove the top polythene packaging. If the bag opening is at the top carefully cut or open the tape, pull the bag down and remove the loudspeaker. If the opening is facing down remove them from the packaging and place upright to find the opening.

Repeat the operation for the second unit.

floorstanding loudspeakers

Once the box is tipped on its side, remove the box. Remove the packaging from the open end, lift the bag to reveal the speaker. If the bottom shows then insert the floor spikes and turn upright. Remove the bag. Repeat for the second speaker. If the top of the speaker is showing drop the bag to the bottom and carefully turn the speaker upside down. Ensure the surface it is resting on is clean. Insert the spikes and rotate the speaker back to upright.

subwoofers

Follow the process for the stand-mount loudspeakers above. Take care to remove the box containing the mains lead. Remove the bag from the base of the subwoofer.

If being placed on a carpeted floor you should remove the rubber spike protectors, if on a hard floor keep these in place.

Remove the grilles to remove the grille protection sheet, there is no grille on the AE108
2.

Please retain the boxes and internal packaging for future use.

Installation Guide

POSITIONING FOR A 2-CHANNEL STEREO SYSTEM

Depending on the loudspeaker and the room acoustics this should be taken as a general guide only.


For speakers that are rear ported we suggest keeping them at least 6” from a rear wall. To avoid reflections, you should also try and keep them away from side walls.


You should try and position the tweeter at ear height when you are seated in your listening position. For perfect acoustics you should sit at the third point of an equilateral triangle.


Speakers can also be turned (or toed) in depending upon room conditions.


For the best results we suggest trying various positions in your room.

How do I connect my loudspeakers to the amplifier?

With your amplifier turned off, connect speaker cables (not supplied) to the respective Positive (+) and Negative (-) terminals on the back for left & right channel outputs as shown. These are usually colour-coded Red (+) and Black (-). Connect the other end of the cables to the respective +/- terminals on each speaker, the left speaker channel being the one to your left as you face the speakers from your listening position.

Some speaker cables are fitted with 4mm metal pins which can be inserted directly into the terminals, others use spade connectors or bare wire; in which case unscrew the plastic caps (black & red) enough to either slot the spade in place or insert wire through the exposed hole in the brass terminal post. Once in place hand-tighten the plastic caps to ensure a firm connection, being careful to avoid any loose wires which could short-circuit the amplifier.

With wiring connected, turn on the amplifier with volume control set to minimum position, check that the correct source input is selected on the amplifier and begin playing music from your source. Slowly raise the volume to hear the music playing through the speakers, if nothing is heard re-check wiring as instructed previously.

Please refer to the diagram below:

Positioning the AE105 Wall Mount Loudspeaker
The AE105 can be mounted to a wall and can be positioned either vertically or horizontally. It is also suitable for mounting on a shelf or flush mounted in a bookcase. Optimum performance is achieved by mounting the AE105 vertically and listening below the tweeter axis. Due to the way it has been designed, mounting them high on a wall either side of a screen and listening from a seated position around 0.5m below the tweeter axis will produce a very even, balanced sound.

 


The AE105 comes packed with a wall mount template (it can be downloaded here). This should be placed against the wall, levelled and the holes drilled to place the speaker upon.


Wall fixings are not provided, and Acoustic Energy and our agents are not responsible for any damage arising from using the incorrect fittings. For advice on the correct fixings please consult your builder or local DIY store. 


Spike shoes and rubber feet

All floorstanding models are provided with floor protecting “spike shoes”. These are designed to protect hard or wooden floors from spike holes whilst still providing the same level of stability as using the spikes through carpet. 

The AE108² is provided with rubber feet that slip over the spikes, these should be used for protection on wooden floors and removed when placed on carpet.
 


“Running in”

Your loudspeakers may benefit from a period of ‘running-in’. During this time, the stresses in the suspension system will relax and stabilise. Any running in period is dependent on many factors, and time can vary depending on how often and how loud you play your loudspeakers.

Loudspeaker positioning image

AE1 Active Installation Guide

Rear connections and controls 

 

      

1. INPUTS 

The AE1 Active has the option of receiving an audio signal on either an RCA or Balanced XLR input. The speakers are supplied with RCA cabling that should allow for their connection in most situations but some devices offer XLR outputs which are technically superior, so the AE1 Active has been equipped accordingly. For very long runs of cable, it is frequently better to use the XLR connection if you have the means to do so as this type of cabling is better suited to long transmission lengths. 

 

Please note that any XLR cable used must correspond to the wiring of the connection on the AE1 Active, as marked on the rear panel. 

 

Do not connect both inputs at the same time as this risks damage to the loudspeaker. 

 

2. BASS AND TREBLE CONTROLS
The AE1 Active has a pair of adjustable controls for bass and treble. These allow for you to alter the response of the speaker in your room for best results. 

 

The bass control adjusts between -2 and +2dB and is designed to help the speaker work more effectively relative to rear walls. If the speaker is close to a wall, the bass response will increase as a natural function of energy reflected off the wall and you can reduce the bass output to bring it back in line with the treble output. 

 

The treble control adjusts between -2 and +2dB and is designed to help tailor the output of the AE1 Active depending on the furnishings of the room it is placed in. In a room with little in the way of furniture and bare walls, you may find that you need to reduce the treble output for an even response in room. Conversely, in very large or heavily furnished rooms, you may find that the speakers benefit from a boost to the treble output. 

 

There are no right and wrong actions to the use of these controls and we would recommend you experiment and see what works best for you. As a fully active loudspeaker design, these trim controls have no detrimental effect on the sound quality.

 

3. VOLUME CONTROL 

The AE1 Active is fitted with a volume control that adjusts the level between zero (no output) and max (full output). This volume control serves two purposes. If you are using the AE1 Active with a device that has no volume control, you can use it to adjust the level. You can also use the volume to limit the output of the AE1 Active relative to the volume control of the connected device. This means you can either ensure that a given level cannot be exceeded either for preference or, in extreme cases, to avoid damage to the speaker. 

 

4. MAINS VOLTAGE SWITCH 

The AE1 Active is fitted with a power supply that is able to operate on both a 100-120v and 220-240v mains supply. This switch is used to alter the speakers between these two voltages. The switch is protected by a cover to avoid accidental adjustment. 

 

Any adjustment of this switch MUST be undertaken with the speaker disconnected from the mains. 

 

5. MAINS INPUT 

This is the mains input to power the speaker. Always ensure you use a correctly certified IEC mains cable. 


6. FUSE 
Please ensure the correct fuse is fitted for your voltage region.

7. POWER SWITCH 

The power switch is a two position unit that completely switches the AE1 Active off. If you are leaving the speakers inactive for a sustained period, they should always be switched off before doing so. 

Connection and set up 

      

The AE1 Active is designed to take an output directly from a piece of source equipment. It is possible to use a piece of equipment that has a fixed output and adjust the volume on the speakers themselves but the most effective results will be gained by using a device with a variable level output – commonly referred to as a preamplifier output. Recently, the number of items of source equipment that have volume controls and preamplifier outputs has increased considerably so there is a huge variety of possible sources for the AE1 Active. You can also use a dedicated preamplifier if you prefer which will allow for multiple pieces of source equipment to be used. 

 
Each AE1 active speaker will need mains power and a signal from a device to function. The connection can be made either using the RCA input or the XLR connection but you should not try and use both connections at the same time. Make a single audio connection from the source equipment or preamplifier to both AE1 Active speakers. 
 
There is no means of looping the signal from one AE1 Active speaker to another and the speakers must not be connected together in this way. 
 
With power and signal connected, you should now be able to play audio. If you are using a preamplifier output to connect the speakers, you can control the level of the system from the volume control of the source equipment of preamplifier. If you are controlling the volume
this way, set the volume control on the rear of each AE1 Active to maximum. If you find that this results in levels that can become uncomfortably loud too quickly, you can use these volume controls to reduce the output of the AE1 Active to have a greater degree of fine control over the volume. 
 
We have designed the AE1 Active to give excellent performance when used in a variety of locations and it will work well when placed on shelves or furniture. For best results however, we would always recommend using a dedicated pair of speaker stands that help to isolate the speaker and elevate it to the right height for listening- this height will vary slightly due to different requirements but should leave the tweeter of the speaker at the height of your ear when seated.
 
Isolating foam feet are supplied to protect the loudspeakers and surface they are placed upon, from damage and vibration. We would recommend that the foam feet are not used when placing the speakers on a dedicated stand. 
 
Depending on how far apart the speakers are and your distance from them, it may also be worthwhile experimenting with pointing the speakers inwards so that you and the speakers form the points of a triangle and the sound is directed towards you. 
 
We have fitted the AE1 Active with bass and treble controls that will alter the output of the speaker to reflect how close it is to walls and the size and furnishing of the room (their function is described in the ‘Rear panel connections’ section). It is worthwhile experimenting with these bass and treble settings to obtain the best results in your room. 
 
The grille of the AE1 Active is acoustically transparent and designed to protect the drivers. In many domestic situations, we would strongly recommend that they are left in place.  

troubleshooting      

The speaker will not power on
– Check there is power available to the speaker 
– Check that the rear panel switch is set to ON
– Check that the white power LED is lit (in bottom of the bass driver surround)
 
There is no sound
– Check there is power to the speakers and they are switched on
– Check there is power to the source equipment and it is switched on
– Check that there is an audio connection from preamplifier out of the source equipment to both of the AE1 Active speakers 
– Check that the source equipment is not muted 
 
The sound is intermittent or distorted
– Check your audio connections between the source equipment and the speakers 
– Check that the levels from your source equipment are not too high and causing the speaker to cut out or distort. You can cap the volume of the system by reducing the volume via the controls on the rear panel 
 
Volume levels are too low
– Check that the volume controls on the rear panel are not set to a low level
– Check that the source equipment has not been set to a low gain mode and that the connections are still solidly in place between source and the AE1 Active 
 
If only one speaker exhibits a problem – try swapping it with the other speaker to see if the issue follows the speaker or stays on the same side. This will help to identify the cause of the issue and let you seek assistance for the right component. 
 

DOWNLOADS

AE308 Subwoofer Installation Guide

Connections

      

1. High Level Inputs
For connecting to amplifier speaker outlets.

2. Line Input
For connecting to amplifier stereo line level outputs.

3. LFE
For connecting to AV amplifier dedicated “Low Frequency Effects” output.

4. Volume
Volume adjustment dial

5. Crossover
Crossover frequency adjustment dial

6. Phase
Phase adjustment dial

7. Power LED
Power LED indicator (blue when on).

8. Limiter
Limiter LED indicator (red/flashing red when volume limiter is reached).

9. Auto/On Switch
Selector switch for continuous power or signal sensitive power up.

10. Red/Blue/Green LED Button
To select between music, Movie or Impact Modes 
 
11. Power Switch
Hard switch for power supply (must be “ON” for Auto/On switch to function).

12. 230/115V Slider
Set by factory for regional voltage supply

13. IEC Power Socket
For attaching the appropriate IEC power cord.

safety guide

Safety

Please read all operating and safety instructions before use retaining them for future reference. Adhere to all warnings on the product or in this manual.

Power Sources

The subwoofer should only be connected to a power supply of the type described on its rear panel. If you are not sure consult your dealer or a qualified electrician.


Power Cord

Power supply cords should be routed so as not to be walked on or caught under or against items.

Ventilation

To ensure reliable operation and to prevent the subwoofer from overheating, ensure good ventilation. Do not cover the subwoofer and do not place closer than 10cm from walls or soft furnishings. Do not use in a built-in installation unless proper ventilation is provided.


Water and Moisture

The subwoofer should not be used near water, i.e. near a wash-bowl, basin, in a wet basement or swimming pool area.

 

Temperature

The subwoofer may not function correctly at extremely low or freezing temperatures. The Subwoofer should also be kept away from heat sources such as radiators or other electrical equipment that produces heat, including other amplifiers.

Electric Shock

Care should be taken so that objects are not inserted in connectors or other apertures and that liquid does not spill into the enclosure. Do not insert objects into the reflex port. Never attempt to dismantle the subwoofer as serious electric shock might occur if the internal parts are touched.

Cleaning

Unplug the subwoofer from the wall power outlet before cleaning. Use only a clean, dry cloth. Do not use cleaners, liquids or solvent based preparations to clean the cabinet.


Smells

If an abnormal smell or smoke is detected, immediately turn the power off and unplug the subwoofer from the wall power outlet.

AE108² Subwoofer Installation Guide

positioning

The AE108² subwoofer is virtually omni-directional, so it can be positioned in almost any location in the same room. For the best performance in the ideal room the AE108² should be positioned in a corner of the room or near a back wall. In certain circumstances the addition of a second AE108² located in another position in the same room helps to achieve a more uniform bass.

 

The use of two subwoofers often provides a greater than expected increase in sound quality and bass dynamics, worth more than the additional cost would suggest. If two AE108² subwoofers are used they should ideally be positioned in the corners near the respective units of the stereo loudspeaker pair.

The subwoofer should be installed using the four rubber feet or spikes with lock nuts, both supplied.

Once positioned correctly ensure space is left to the rest of the AE108² since all operation switches are on the rear panel.

 

connections

Check that both your amplifier and subwoofer are switched off before connection. Failure to do so may result in damage to your amplifier or subwoofer. It is sometimes recommended that over-long low cost cables are used initially to facilitate experimentation with the positioning, and only then purchase and install using the final cable choice.

 

For use with amplifiers having a subwoofer output jack

Connect from the dedicated subwoofer line output on the amplifier to the line input(s) on the AE108² (a single lead to either input or a ‘Y’ connector to both inputs may be used).

For use with amplifiers having Line Level pre-amp jacks

The pre-amp outputs of your amplifier can be connected to the line-level inputs on the AE108². The line level outputs on the AE108² are then connected back to the power amp (main) inputs on your amplifier.

Using two AE108² subwoofers

When using two AE108² subwoofers use the Line Level output connectors from the main subwoofer to the Line Level input connectors on the second subwoofer.

 

How to use the SUB VOLUME CONTROL knob, CROSSOVER FREQUENCY knob and PHASE switch.

The VOLUME CONTROL, FREQUENCY knob and PHASE switch can be adjusted to match the condition of the listening room and/or the characteristics of the left and right speakers.


Due to the positioning of the subwoofer in the room and the associated room 
boundaries, the available bass response from the existing speakers and whether of not the filtered connection (Nominally 100Hz is used), the actual settings on the subwoofer control panel will vary considerably.


The SUB VOLUME CONTROL and the CROSSOVER FREQUENCY knobs should be 
used together when setting the correct bass response required. For example, raising the volume level will also raise the effective system crossover point, while reducing the volume has the converse effect of lowering the frequency range of the subwoofer. This is caused by the way the various responses and outputs blend together in the listening environment.

 

Initially set the crossover frequency fairly low, e.g. 50-60Hz, and use the volume control knob on the sub to set the low bass level required, When the correct balance is almost achieved, the crossover level and volume level maybe adjusted together to fine tune the sound and achieve the cleanest, most extended and suitably powerful bass.


The ideal is for a seamless blend of extended low bass from the subwoofer leaving 
the clean upper bass response of the stereo system largely undisturbed.



Front Speaker

Crossover

Phase

Sub Level

Large Speaker

40 – 60Hz

Normal 0°

Volume-Icon-Large

Medium Speaker

60 – 80Hz

Normal 0°

Volume-Icon-Medium

Small Speaker

80 – 100Hz

Normal 0°

Volume-Icon-Small

Caution
An excessive input level to the subwoofer may impair the sound quality or damage the unit. Do not increase the output of the amplifier to a high level while the low frequency level is enhanced by the amplifier’s tone control or loudness control.

operation

1. Input / Line In (RCA)

Used to connect the subwoofer to the pre-out socket on the amplifier.


2. Output / Line Out (RCA)

Used to connect to the Line In sockets on a second subwoofer, or to connect back to the power amp inputs on the amplifier.

 

3. Crossover Frequency Knob

Adjusts the balance at the crossover point between the bass (low frequencies) from the AE108² and the treble (high frequencies) continuing to the main stereo front speakers.

4. Sub Level Volume Control Knob

Adjusts the volume level output of the subwoofer, allowing you to balance the volume of the AE108² to blend in with your main stereo speakers. Turning the knob clockwise increases the volume level and turning it anti clockwise decreases the volume level.

5. Auto Power Indicator

The auto function places the subwoofer in ‘standby’ mode (red light). The subwoofer is automatically turned on when a signal is detected (green light).

6. Phase indicator

The normal setting for the phase switch would be the 0° position. Switching to 180° will change the subwoofer phase and vary the tonal quality of the bass, which is also dependent on the location of the AE108² relative to your main stereo speakers.

7. Power Input

Connect the cord (supplied) to a 110-120v or 220-240v AC mains power outlet.

 

8. Power Switch

Use the switch to turn the power on / off.


9. Mains voltage selector

Ensure the switch is showing the correct voltage for the country of use.

safety guide

Before Applying Power

The AE108² is available in two mains power versions to enable this product to be used globally, one to operate from 110-120v and one from 220-240v AC line mains power. Please ensure you have the correct version that relates to your country’s mains power before use.

 

Correctly installed the sense of power and weight of it’s bass output can add substantially to the enjoyment of high quality music and prove indispensable for thrilling and realistic home cinema sound.

Safety

Please read all operating and safety instructions before use retaining them for future reference. Adhere to all warnings on the product or in this manual.

Power Sources

The subwoofer should only be connected to a power supply of the type described on its rear panel. If you are not sure consult your dealer or a qualified electrician.


Power Cord

Power supply cords should be routed so as not to be walked on or caught under or against items.

Ventilation

To ensure reliable operation and to prevent the subwoofer from overheating, ensure good ventilation. Do not cover the subwoofer and do not place closer than 10cm from walls or soft furnishings. Do not use in a built-in installation unless proper ventilation is provided.


Water and Moisture

The subwoofer should not be used near water, i.e. near a wash-bowl, basin, in a wet basement or swimming pool area.

 

Temperature

The subwoofer may not function correctly at extremely low or freezing temperatures. The Subwoofer should also be kept away from heat sources such as radiators or other electrical equipment that produces heat, including other amplifiers.

Electric Shock

Care should be taken so that objects are not inserted in connectors or other apertures and that liquid does not spill into the enclosure. Do not insert objects into the reflex port. Never attempt to dismantle the subwoofer as serious electric shock might occur if the internal parts are touched.

Cleaning

Unplug the subwoofer from the wall power outlet before cleaning. Use only a clean, dry cloth. Do not use cleaners, liquids or solvent based preparations to clean the cabinet.


Smells

If an abnormal smell or smoke is detected, immediately turn the power off and unplug the subwoofer from the wall power outlet.

Care For Your Loudspeakers

Cabinet veneers should be treated like all high-quality furniture. Routine dusting with a soft cloth is recommended. Do not apply any aerosol sprays directly as they could damage the drive units. Dust can be removed by use of a soft brush or other suitable domestic duster.

On some models the delicate high frequency (tweeter) dome is protected by a metal cover, care should be taken not to dislodge the magnetic fixing whilst dusting.

Do not expose the cabinets to damp, widely fluctuating temperatures or direct sunlight as the appearance and performance may suffer. Avoid contact with rough or abrasive surfaces or materials.

When not in use it is recommended to replace the clothe grilles to help prevent accidental damage.