GoldenEar Aon 2 Bookshelf Speaker Reviewed

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GoldenEar Aon 2 Bookshelf Speaker Reviewed

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GoldenEar-Aeo2-225.gifMuch 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.

GoldenEar-Aon2-CloseUP.gifAlthough 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.

Additional Resources

• GoldenEar Triton Three Floorstanding Loudspeaker Reviewed
• GoldenEar Technology ForceField 4 Subwoofer Reviewed
• GoldenEar Technology Triton Two Loudspeaker Reviewed

The Aon 2 shares a unique cabinet design with its larger sibling, the Aon 3. The Aon 2 utilizes a "truncated pyramidal" shaped cabinet that ensures its walls are non-parallel. This non-parallel cabinet design reduces upper-frequency diffraction at any particular frequency by varying the front baffle's dimensions around the tweeter, so the Aon 2 spreads the diffraction effects across a wider frequency range and thus reduces amplitude at any one frequency. This frequency spread makes the overall diffraction lower.

The Aon 2 eschews the usual wood laminate-covered sealed or ported box for a black fabric sock-covered enclosure with a glossy removable top cover. With its two passive side-mounted 6.5-inch drivers, the Aon 2's enclosure is far more open and less prone to cabinet resonances than conventional box designs. You can even remove the sock if you wish, but the Aon 2 looks far slicker with it on. The rear panel has one pair of robust five-way binding posts that will accept virtually any termination, including spade lugs, banana posts, or bare wire.

Read about the Hookup, High Points, Low Points and the Conclusion on Page 2

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