The Acoustic Energy Aego M has been one of our top speaker sets for years, but they’ve now been discontinued and replaced by the Aego³. The formula remains the same though. A premium option, the set comprises a pair of petite aluminium satellite speakers with a huge subwoofer. There are few extras – you’re paying for sound quality and good looks rather than frills here.
We weren’t exaggerating about those sizes either. The satellites measure just 105 x 75 x 85mm, so they’re dwarfed by those of the Creative Kratos S3 and Logitech Z533. Meanwhile, the sub has dimensions of 350 x 195 x 307mm, again making it significantly bigger than the Creative and Logitech subs.
Build quality is also a massive step up from the other two 2.1 systems on test. Nearly all the exterior of the satellites is made from metal, with the top and sides made from an elegant wraparound piece of sandblasted aluminium, while a perforated painted steel speaker grille covers the front. The internals are made from plastic, while the base and rear are finished in grippy rubber.
The sub, meanwhile, has a tough black textured finish to its top and sides, with a metal grille on the front and a metal plate on the rear. This step up in quality continues when it comes to connections. All the connections are modular and use standard sockets, so if any of your cables or plugs get broken, they can easily be replaced. All the cables you need are included too, and they’re all thick, well-made wires with gold-plated connections – the satellites connect to the sub via hefty, lengthy and flat phono cables.
Physical input options are limited though. You get a 3.5mm analogue jack input and an optical digital input, but they’re both located round the back of the sub, and you don’t get any further inputs on the satellites, or a headphone output. Instead, you get Bluetooth support for connecting extra devices such as smartphones. That’s really convenient if the extra device you want to connect is a phone or tablet, but a second jack input would provide a little more versatility.
Bluetooth setup is achieved via the second little extra you get with this system: a remote control. It’s a small unit with ten popper-type buttons for volume, mute, power, bass level, input selection, Bluetooth on/off and Bluetooth pairing. It’s not particularly fancy, but it gets the job done and works well. Lights on the sub indicate what’s going on as you adjust the volume and bass level or switch the unit on and off.
However, the Aego really shines when it comes to sound quality. The tiny satellites produce a crisp, articulate high end that sparkles with detail. Meanwhile, the sub is capable of huge power, but at its default level, it simply fills out the lower end, creating a light but satisfying presentation that’s ideal for daily listening. If you want to dial up the bass a bit, though, then it offers a simple choice of three more powerful bass levels. The bass sounds forced if you crank it up to the third or fourth level, but it’s useful to have the power available for when you occasionally need it.
The Acoustic Energy Aego³ is certainly a pricey option compared with the other 2.1 sets we’ve reviewed, but it provides all the detail, power, build quality and features you could want, more than justifying the extra money. There’s the slight lack of mid-range detail you expect from a 2.1 set (if that’s going to be an issue then go for a stereo set instead), and there’s only one input and no headphone jack, but this is otherwise a fantastic set of speakers for the money.