Much has been written and many glowing reviews have been penned about the GoldenEar Aon 3 speaker, but its smaller sibling, the Aon 2, doesn't get as nearly as much press. Why? Probably because a pair of Aon 2 speakers ($798 per pair) are only $200 less than a pair of Aon 3s ($998 per pair). For most room applications, that extra $200 is money well spent; the Aon 3 speakers will deliver more bass and higher SPLs without stress than their smaller siblings. So why would someone opt for the Aon 2 speakers? Two little words: desktop use. If you want to put together a dynamic, rollicking yet musical system for nearfield, desktop, or a small listening room, the Aon 2 is a savvy option. For less than $800 per pair, the GoldenEar Aon 2s offer a unique combination of good looks and mellifluous sonics.
The Aon 2 is a two-way design that features GoldenEar's proprietary High Velocity Folded Ribbon Tweeter (HVFR), which uses high-power neodymium magnets to move the high-density Kapton film diaphragm. Similar in basic design to the Heil "Air-motion" driver, the GoldenEar tweeter squeezes and pressurizes air rather than pushing it, with the results being higher efficiency and lower harmonic distortion. GoldenEar uses a single six-inch-diameter midrange/woofer driver. This driver features a "cast basket" design that GoldenEar developed originally for its floor-standing Triton Two tower speakers. This driver also features a special "multi-vaned" phase plug, which controls energy near the center of the driver, as well as minimizing diffraction generated by the driver's cone.
Although the Aon 2 is a two-way design, meaning there are two active drivers with a crossover, it also has two additional 6.5-inch-diameter passive drivers located on the sides of the cabinet. GoldenEar calls these two passive drivers "planer low-frequency radiators," which are designed in a "dynamically balanced configuration in order to properly load the bass/midrange drivers for an open, box-less midrange." The two passive radiators also extend the low-frequency range of the Aon 2 by altering the cabinet's free-air impedance so that the active six-inch driver performs as if it were in a much larger cabinet.