Bookshelf Speakers

GoldenEar Technology Aon2 Bookshelf Speakers

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Conclusions about the GoldenEar Technology Aon2 Bookshelf Speakers

For a tiny, affordable speaker the GoldenEar Aon2 delivers a lot of performance. The bass response is much deeper than expected, but the real star is that folded ribbon tweeter that is clearer and more transparent than I even remembered from that first show. Part of me hoped for something that would add a little bit of softness to my overly-compressed, modern rock recordings to make them easier to listen to on CD, but the Aon2 instead brought out all the detail on albums for better or worse. Paired with great sounding source material they sounded great, but for those poorly recorded albums you may want a tube stage in your system, or to be used with turntable instead of a digital source.

The bass response is impressive, plunging down to 40 Hz in-room without issue, but it isn't as tight and crisp as a tower speaker with a larger woofer would be with those notes. A standard sealed monitor might be a little tighter as those notes in the 60-100 Hz regions, but they also aren't going to dip down nearly as low in the bottom octaves unless you're spending an order of magnitude more than the Aon2 costs. Adding a 12" subwoofer will pair really well with the Aon2 and remedy this issue, and let the Aon2 concentrate on the octaves above that where it does a wonderful job.

That said, anyone truly worried about the bass output of the Aon2 can move up to the larger Aon3, or one of the GoldenEar Triton towers to increase bass output and response while still keeping that wonderful folded ribbon tweeter in place. The Aon2 does a very nice job of striking a balance between cost, size, and output that I think anyone will be happy with. It leaves me wondering how their higher end Triton Towers would perform in my room, or what Sandy Gross could do with a budget of $5,000 or more per speaker. Highly recommended.