Bookshelf speakers are a quirky lot. Often, what they cannot achieve in terms of hefty bottom-end is overly compensated by fantastic quality at an affordable price. And then the consumer is in a tight spot, what should he go for-quality or quantity? Personally, I have always believed that bookshelf loudspeakers sound better than their larger counterparts. One of the prime reasons why the bookshelf loudspeakers, generally, sound better from their larger counterparts is a simple twoway speaker design with less complicated crossover network.
When you look at the product range of Acoustic Energy, it's clear that the brand believes in using basic engineering to maxirnise efficiency rather than spending time on path-breaking inventions and U-turns from conventions. Time and again, I have been reminded by numerous loudspeaker manufacturers that there is a lot to explore in the basics of a loudspeaker design by getting better sound out of the run-of-the*mill products year-on-year-mid*size woofer and dome-tweeter housed in shoebox-sized boxes.
OUT OF THE BOX
Aelite I is a simple, diminutive, non-intrusive loudspeaker. With a very basic design, it will not elicit 'Wows' from your guests instantly, though you are sure to get a fair share of compliments once they are hooked up. Aesthetically, perhaps the only stand-out feature is the presence of bi-wirable terminals at the end of the back panel that greet you with an oversized plate, which bears the model name of the speaker. Weighing 6 kgs each, the speakers seem well-built. Knuckle taps on the side and rear panels give reassuring feedback that the speaker cabinet is dampened and solid.
Acoustic Energy Aelite 1 has a modest llOmm mid-bass driver coupled with a 25mm silk-dome tweeter. To avoid resonances and to render extra cabinet rigidity, the side panels are slightly curved in order to give them the shape of a ship's hull. In addition to their inherently rigid shape, there are braces" inside the speaker to hold it tighter. For those of you who are picky about the finish, the real wood veneer used as a skin will come as a pleasant surprise-a rarity especially for the price point it comes at. The port is situated at the top half of the back panel. Considering the drivers.