The English company ACOUSTIC ENERGY (AE) was born in 1987 in West London. Initially, ACOUSTIC ENERGY specialized in the development of acoustic systems for professional use. The very first sample of the company’s products, the AE1 mini-monitor, released to the public in 1988, created a real sensation. For two years in a row, in 1991 and 1992, AE1 received the British Hi-Fi Award. With the birth of the AE1 monitor, the British founded their own line of reference acoustics, which to this day is the pride of the company. AE monitors are installed in many studios around the world; they have been chosen by musicians and sound engineers for more than 10 years.
ACOUSTIC ENERGY’s success in the field of professional acoustics has led to the company’s natural interest in other market segments. In the mid-90s, AE decided to undergo a significant reorganization. Together with FPI Group (Malaysia), the British are opening production in Southeast Asia. Thus, the company manages to reduce the cost of the speaker manufacturing process, nevertheless using the most modern technologies. This economically feasible step leads to the emergence of several lines of mid-range and budget-class acoustic systems (AESPRIT and AEGIS), which immediately attract the attention of the specialized press and receive various awards for an unprecedentedly high quality-price ratio. But the company does not stop at gaining a strong position in the world of Hi-Fi. In 2000, in collaboration with American designers, AE turned its attention to the market for Lifestyle speaker systems and multimedia electronics. A conceptually new AEGO line appears, on the basis of which you can easily assemble a ready-made home theater or stereo system. Having briefly mentioned the main milestones in the history of ACOUSTIC ENERGY, let’s move on to a more detailed story about its modern products.
It was the elite REFERENCE series, as we have already said, that brought the company worldwide fame. Back in 1988, the first generation AE1 monitors were equipped with all-metal tweeters and mid/bass drivers, innovative for that time. Since then, AE has released the third generation of these mini-monitors, improving their design and appearance with each step.
The new AE1 Mk III models are true works of engineering genius. They are equipped with fabric membrane tweeters of a hybrid design in which the cone consists of two concentric rings with a phase-equalizing cap in the middle. As a result, the size of the HF head increased to 32 mm, but the developers managed to obtain a surprisingly clear, uncolored sound. And according to the unspoken rules of high-end equipment, any means are not spared to accomplish this task, no matter how expensive or unconventional they may be. In addition, the tweeter is equipped with a die-cast metal chassis and a shielded neodymium magnet. The mid/bass driver of the updated AE1 is equipped with a 120 mm cone cone made of a metal alloy and coated with a layer of composite. The driver chassis is cast from magnesium and has a special open design. The neodymium magnet system provides air cooling for the 32mm voice coil wound on a fiberglass frame.
The speakers are connected to the crossover with audiophile quality cables. The crossover circuit with octave equalization has once again been improved and redesigned. The 3rd order crossover is equipped with a phase correction system and is assembled on a separate anti-vibration panel; only the highest quality components are used in the circuit. Connection is made using gold-plated WBT connectors.
The description of the monitor housing deserves special attention. The front panel is made of 10 mm thick aluminum alloy sheet. The midrange/bass driver is firmly pressed against it with special brackets. The rounded edges of the front panel create a nice, streamlined profile and give the speakers a modern look that is not often associated with professional speaker systems. The design of the rest of the speaker housing is also impressive: all walls are double-layered – the fiberboard layer is reinforced with aluminum panels. For additional rigidity, the side walls are tightened with steel bolts.
The heavy weight and high rigidity of the body provide sound without the slightest overtones. In addition, AE1 mini-monitors have impressive bass for their size, which is achieved due to the bass-reflex design of the housing. Today the reference series consists of two speaker systems. The developers supplemented the AE1, which had become a “classic,” with the AE3 model. The AEZ Mk II floor-standing speakers are made on the basis of the AE1 shelf model, but have an increased body volume and a woofer on the side panel.
Thanks to the popularity of this speaker system, the company has grown to become a well-known brand not only in Britain, but throughout the world. Today, in addition to distribution in its own market, the company supplies its products to the market in another 50 countries.
Since its relocation in 1995, the company began strategic cooperation with large manufacturing and trading companies in the Far East. This collaboration allowed the company to focus on further growth and entering markets with products aimed at novice users, as well as budget devices. In addition, the company entered the home theater market.