This is a HiFi Review of these Acoustic Energy 109.2 floorstanding loudspeakers. Part of the 100 series of entry-level AE loudspeakers, these 109.2 are the big brothers to the AE100.2 bookshelf style loudspeakers that offer exceptional value at just a few hundred pounds (£259/pair). The Mk2 element hints at an upgrade to the well-regarded 109 that was launched in 1996. AE has returned to British ownership recently and the re-imagining of the 100 series extends to an exceptional AV offering for the modern listener.
The Acoustic Energy 109.2 is two and halfway design (one woofer for midrange and bass, one for bass only, and a tweeter for the highest frequencies) that features two 130mm paper drivers which are paired with a 25mm soft dome tweeter. There is a new Wide Dispersion Technology waveguide in use with the tweeter that has a high-power neodymium motor assembly. The drivers are housed in a substantial HDF cabinet that is 15mm thick that has a slot port at the top to let the air movement out, the setup adds up to a solid 41Hz – 26kHz frequency range. The speaker sensitivity is an easy driving 89dB with impedance quoted at 6 Ohms. The crossover Frequencies are 275Hz and 2.5kHz.
I have the satin black veneer finish here and it feels lightly textured. The corners are lovingly presented here, and the front face is as smooth as silk. There is a full-length soft magnetic grille that fits the part. To the rear, the single terminals (there is no bi-wire option) are at the base and there is a slot bass port at the top of the cabinet (which quite honestly makes for easier picking up and adjusting, though I know that’s not why it is there!). The Acoustic Energy 109.2 have Dimensions of 860mm x 165 x 250 (HxWxD) and they weigh in at 16kg (each). They are available in satin black and walnut vinyl veneer finishes.
The Acoustic Energy 109.2 is priced at £599/pair, in the UK.
I’m listening through various amplifiers including a Naim Uniti Star all-in-one system with Kudos KS-1 speaker cable. I’ve also had them driven by a MOON ACE briefly and the Bluesound Powernode. My main critical listening has been with a Moor Amps Angel 6 power amplifier with the matching passive preamplifier. I do understand it is way oversized and not really price matched, but it serves my purposes of understanding what the Acoustic Energy 109.2 can achieve.
I’ve got the loudspeakers 2.5 meters apart and I’m the same distance away, roughly, in my ‘Maxell – Break the Sound Barrier’ chair! They are barely toed in, in my case, I’m getting a fulsome
soundstage as they are. The loudspeakers are spiked on a carpeted floor.
These Acoustic Energy 109.2 loudspeakers are remarkably crisp…
These Acoustic Energy 109.2 loudspeakers are remarkably crisp in the first listen and there is a warm and room-filling soundstage here. Taking Arooj Aftab’s Vulture Prince album (New Amsterdam Records) on vinyl, the opening track is a harp and vocal-led piece with immense presence and detail, all of that is here to listen to. The snare detail I always look for in Last Night is clean in this presentation and the room echo in the recording is delightful on these loudspeakers.
If you’re after more detail listen to Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler’s track The Eagle and the Dove (Qobuz 24-bit, 96kHz). It is a beautiful recording and the album merits the Mercury Music Prize 2022 nomination.
The Bluesound Powernode 2i, with 60W/channel of Hybrid Digital amplification, is just a revelation and is probably a worthy partner at these prices (the PowerNode 2i I have is £700, the PowerNode 3 is £849). Bluesound has an excellent interface and thus this is a really decent package, with a few meters of Kudo KS-1 speaker cable this is a sub £1,500 package that will serve any streaming nut well going forward. You can even add a turntable input if needed with the Powernode.
The Bluesound Powernode offered one of those head-up HiFi moments as I was listening to Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Flight from the City (Qobuz 24-bit, 48kHz). The song is so delicately conveyed by these speakers with the low end of the piano registering neatly yet softly, Nils Frahm’s Some (Qobuz 24-bit, 48kHz) offered the same atmosphere, space and delicacy from this arrangement.
Moon ACE & MOON 250i integrated amplifier
I’ve had a brief listen to the 109.2 whilst I warm up the MOON 250i integrated amplifier, their entry-level amplifier at £1,690. Again, the loudspeakers perform really elegantly and confidently and the 250i demonstrates succinctly how a dedicated integrated amplifier like this can offer so much more than a single box solution like the Bluesound, though budgets are vastly different here. Credit to the Acoustic Energy 109.2 loudspeakers they can offer a comprehensive sound with such high-grade electronics.
There is a presence, volume and detail in these Acoustic Energy 109.2 loudspeakers that is hard to fault at this price
I have seen and heard quite a few loudspeakers recently; these things tend to come in bunches, but it often works in drawing comparisons. Although other loudspeakers have been on the premium side of the price band, these Acoustic Energy 109.2 are easily keeping up with these pricier offerings. There is a presence, volume and detail in these Acoustic Energy 109.2 loudspeakers that is hard to fault at this price.
Ease of positioning
Room filling capability
Easy to drive
Well that would be very picky at this price
Full details are on the company’s site.