Acoustic Energy AE120 Floor standing speakers

Launched at the end of last year, the AE120 floorstanding loudspeakers have become the oldest model in the line, ahead of the previous flagship AE109 in all respects. Although externally, the novelty undoubtedly betrays its belonging to Acoustic Energy products - it has an impeccably tailored high body with a narrow front panel, rounded horizontal ribs and a solid platform at the base.

The AE120 is a classic 3-way design with two 11cm paper cone bass drivers. The lightweight moving system quickly responds to any changes in the incoming signal, and the total area of the diffusers is sufficient to create an impressive sound pressure of up to 114 dB. Bass drivers work with the support of a bass reflex, the wide slotted port of which is brought back in the upper part of the cabinet. The lower declared playback limit is 40 Hz.

The midrange driver has the same caliber and phase equalization cone in the center of the cone, so it looks exactly like the pair described above. Of course, it has other characteristics, and it is installed in an isolated compartment of a certain volume - in order to get a smooth response and exclude the influence of low-frequency drivers on the reproduction of the middle band.

The tweeter is branded, created by Acoustic Energy specialists. An inch annular diaphragm made of impregnated fabric is placed in a short and wide waveguide, which forms an optimal radiation pattern. The design, called Wide Dispersion Technology, among other things, ensures the linearity of the frequency response up to 35 kHz, the upper operating limit of the loudspeakers.

Despite the fact that the AE120 belongs to the budget line, their cases are made according to real hi-fi canons. To increase rigidity, there is a carefully calculated system of ties inside, while the body itself is made of 18 mm thick MDF boards. Narrow and deep towers themselves have a monolithic structure, and in the lower part there is still a separate cavity into which ballast is poured (metal shavings, but if desired, it can be replaced with sand or lead shot). Another useful solution is a platform with spikes that untie the body from the floor. The large area of the bass-reflex ports prevents the occurrence of turbulent overtones at high volumes.

The first impression of listening to the AE120 is the stage! Loudspeakers not only build a three-dimensional space, but also highlight each imaginary sound source in it. A real hologram is built on each test track, and the main action, as a rule, takes place in the center, while the minor strokes of the picture are carefully drawn across the entire width of the foreground. Such a three-dimensional presentation greatly enlivens the perception, some features appear in the music that did not attract attention before.

Compared to the AE109, the dynamic range inherent in solid floor-standing systems with large-caliber woofers has noticeably expanded. And even at very high levels, the AE120s retain their clarity and tonal balance. There are no distortions, coloring or annoying overtones in the sound. Light diffusers quickly work out volume differences without creating confusion and without dumping all sounds in one heap.

The mid frequencies attract not so much with their openness and exemplary linearity, but with their informativeness - all the timbre nuances are at a glance, plus amazing microdynamics. That's what weightless paper diffusers mean!

The upper case is detailed, but without the maniacal attention to nuances. For this price segment, this is rather an advantage - it is the typical shortcomings of budget electronics and simple cables that affect the HF. The main thing is that the AE120 tweeters create a filigree localization and quite tangible atmosphere, which gives the sound picture the authenticity that most music lovers seek.

The AE120 not only has all the parameters you need for true hi-fi playback, but is perfectly balanced, making it a truly versatile model. Thanks to its high sensitivity, it will sing beautifully with a tube amplifier, is able to satisfy even the most bizarre musical tastes of the owner and will form a three-dimensional scene in almost any conditions.

Acoustic Energy AE120 Floor standing speakers photo