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audioengine B2
Posh Bluetooth Speaker

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   

Usage   Recommendations   More

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audioengine B2

audioengine B2 (walnut; also comes in zebrawood or black ash, 4¼" x 12¼" x 5½"" HWD, about $299). enlarge. I'd get it at Amazon or at B&H.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

 

September 2015    All Reviews  >  Audio Reviews > audioengine reviews

 

audioengine B2

audioengine B2. enlarge.

 

Introduction         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   

Usage   Recommendations   More

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

The audioengine B2 is a Hi-Fi plug-in-the-wall Bluetooth speaker in a real wood cabinet. It's ideal for those who demand only the best for their fine home.

This speaker is much more nicely made than the fancy designer furniture on which some freinds spend untold thousands of dollars. This speaker is precisely made of real veneer, while their expensive stuff has sloppier joints and uses stains instead of real veneers. This speaker has three-dimensional grain because you're looking at real hardwood in its natural colors, while their stuff is simply finished with colored stains.

Real people don't appreciate plastic speakers, and the B2 comes in your choice of walnut, black ash or zebrawood. Bravo!

Its rectangular size means is also works great on your desk or under or in front of your computer monitor. If you keep it close to you, you'll even get some stereo effect.

 

Specifications         top

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Inputs

Bluetooth.

3.5" stereo mini jack, 10 kΩ.

 

Bluetooth

Detachable antenna.

A2DP & AVRCP profiles.

Apt-x & SBC CODECs.

Up to 100 feet (30m) typical range (rated).

30ms delay.

 

D/A Converter

Burr-Brown PCM5102A.

 

Amplifier

Class AB.

Monolithic.

15 WPC output, AES.

Output current limiting.

Thermal over-temperature protection.

Power on/off transient protection.

 

Drivers

audioengine B2

Drivers, audioengine B2. enlarge.

All magnetically shielded.

Two 2¾" Kevlar woofers with rubber surrounds.

Two ¾" ferrofluid-cooled silk-dome tweeters with neodymium magnets.

 

Frequency Response

65 ~ 22,000 Hz ± 2.0 dB.

 

THD + N

< 0.05% at all power settings.

 

Crosstalk

-50 dB.

 

Cabinet

audioengine B2

audioengine B2 as you'll actually enjoy it. enlarge.

Hand-built with 18mm thick MDF walls.

Plenty of bracing; these are rock-solid.

Wood veneer.

Highly magnetic grills.

Rubber feet.

 

Power Input

100~240V, 50/60 cycles.

3-stage redundant regulation.

 

Environment

0º ~ 40º C operating (32º ~ 104º F).

-20º ~ 46º C storage (-4º ~ 115º F).

5 ~ 95% RH, non-condensing.

 

Size

4¼" x 12¼" x 5½" HWD.

 

Weight

7.1 pounds (3,220g) with antenna but no cord.

10 pounds(4.6kg) shipping weight.

 

Included

Power cord.

Bluetooth antenna.

3.5mm cable, 1.5 meters (5 feet) long.

Paperwork.

Microfibre sacks for speaker and for cables:

audioengine B2

Travel sacks included! enlarge.

 

Introduced

Late 2014.

 

Price, USA

$299, 2014 ~ September 2015.

 

Performance         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

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Sound

As we expect from audioengine, the sound is clean, clear and uncolored. This is a high-fidelity loudspeaker.

Of course to hear stereo you have to hold your forehead to the speaker. Stand back more than a foot and it's in mono since the speakers are only separated by a few inches.

If you turn off the music and stick your head in it, you will hear a slight buzz from the amplifiers, and it will make the occasional br-a-a-a-a-p from RFI if you leave a GSM phone (iPhone etc.) next to it. This is normal.

 

Power Output

It plugs in the wall, and plays more than loud enough to fill your backyard with music or get you in trouble with your neighbors.

It certainly is more than loud enough for use indoors.

It's more than enough to play Eine Kleine Nachtmusik loud enough for your garden party. The bass response is ideal for Mozart, and it sounds great outdoors if you hide it away against a wall to reinforce the sound.

If you really push it to the maximum you'll hear the internal limiter knocking the levels down on each peak, and take a fraction of a second to recover between beats. This is normal, and means you can play it as loud as you dare and it will always keep the level as loud as it can without damage or distortion.

 

Bass

Bass performance depends on where you put it.

Put it in a corner to reinforce the bass, and it sounds swell — even outdoors.

Put it on a table in the middle of a room, and there is no bass. This is the same as with any other speaker.

It has solid response to 120 Hz, and falls off slowly below that with clean output down to about 60 Hz. There's output below 60 Hz, just that it's more harmonics than fundamental — not bad for woofers smaller than most midrange drivers.

The box resonant frequency is at about 65 Hz, at which there is minimum cone motion and maximum wind from the vents.

 

Bluetooth Range

Bluetooth range, even with the antenna, is about the same as everything else Bluetooth. It goes a good 30 feet (10 meters) or more in my house before it starts to flake.

Be sure you have the antenna connected; if you forget, the range is only about six feet (2 meters)!

 

Bluetooth Function

It's easy to pair. It comes up as "Audioengine B2."

If you walk away, turn off the power or get out of range for a short time and return, it will stay connected, but I have to hit PLAY on my iPhone 6 Plus iOS 8 again.

iPhone buttons will control the volume remotely, as well as the speaker's rear-panel level control.

If it's been a while since played (like an hour), you will have to go back into Preferences > Bluetooth and reconnect it; it will not automatically reconnect.

Used with the Mac Pro, if I unplug this speaker the Mac reverts to its internal speaker. When I plug the speakers back into power, the Mac reverts to the B2. Yes!

 

Cabinet

The wood cabinet is as solid as a rock; almost as solid as my B&W Matrix 805.

The grill attaches with very strong magnets.

There's no visible connectors with the grill off as you see at the top; the magnets are on the back of the grill and the metal stays are hidden behind the cabinet's veneer.

 

Measured Power Consumption

3.8 ~ 4.5 W idle.

7 W playing.

25W playing as loud as possible.

 

Compared         top

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The plastic, splashproof TDK A33 has the same bass. It's smaller and brighter and runs on a battery for hours at a time.

The A33 automatically reconnects to my iPhone and starts playing again all by itself, while I manually have to go into preferences and reselect this B2 each time I want music.

Of course this B2 goes louder and looks much better.

 

Usage         top

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Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

audioengine B2

audioengine B2. enlarge.

It's easy to pair, but the product name is printed too small on the rear to figure out which speaker this is if you already have many others paired.

You usually have to reselect and reconnect to this in Settings each time you want to play to it.

Set the rear level control anyplace you like; leave it all the way up and you'll have the full range of volume available to control on your iPhone.

The B2 sounds best placed in a corner, or at lest on a counter near the wall, to help fortify its bass.

It works better stood vertically on its side if you want the sound to spread across a wide angle. Placed as shown here you'll get a little bit of stereo effect within a foot or two, but the sound will be directional and the higher frequencies will diminish at angles away from directly in front of the speaker. Place it vertically and the higher frequencies will spread smoothly over a wide swath to fill a room because they won't be cancelling each other out at different angles.

If you want to hear it in stereo, you need to sit directly in front of it. Put it right in front of your computer keyboard; any more than two feet away it sounds like mono just like every other Bluetooth speaker.

 

Recommendations         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

audioengine B2

audioengine B2. enlarge.

There are plenty of great-sounding Bluetooth speakers out there, and this is one of them. You want this audioengine B2 if you prefer fine furniture to ugly plastic.

This speaker also has plenty of power for use outdoors, but please be careful of its finish. This is fine furniture and doesn't want to be scratched of gotten wet.

I love stereophonic sound, and no single Bluetooth speaker sounds as good as two well spaced speakers. Personally I'd suggest instead getting the audioengine B1 stereo Bluetooth receiver and a pair of audioengine A2+ speakers, which are the same as used in this speaker. Plug them all into the wall, place the two speakers on opposite sides of your room and plug them into the B1 receiver. Now you'll have the same great sound, in stereo. It will sound 100% better for only 50% more money. Of course you can use any other amplified speakers you like with the B1 for even bigger sound.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you get yours via these links to it at Amazon or at B&H. When you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live, it helps me keep adding to this free website — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you take the chance of buying elsewhere. I use the sources I do because they have the best prices, service, return policies and selection— and they ship from secure remote warehouses where no customers or salesmen can get their sticky hands on your new speaker before you do.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken.

 

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22 September 2015