Acoustic Energy's Aego P5 II provides all you need to turn a DVD player into a full-on home cinema and music system. It certainly makes for a stylish add-on. The funky amplifier unit boasts an elegant central display with tasteful blue backlight, and its slimline styling will complement any DVD player.
With the exception of the on/off button, there are no front panel controls, so setup and source switching are controlled solely by the easy to use remote.
This new Aego system from AE incorporates more sophisticated processing technology than the original Aego P5, and includes Dolby Digital and DTS decoders as well as Dolby Pro-Logic II processing for converting stereo material to near-surround sound.
The partnering speakers and subwoofer appear very similar to those of the original P5, but Acoustic Energy claims that several modifications lurk beneath the softer-looking speaker grilles. The speakers' cute dimensions make them some of the smallest satellites we've seen, but they are surprisingly weighty and feel well-constructed thanks to their tough zinc-alloy shell.
An attractive silver finish makes them easy on the eye and they can be wallmounted with supplied brackets. The matching subwoofer houses all the system's amplification. Speaker connections are made at the back, leaving the main unit to concentrate on its surround sound processing and source selection duties.
The supplied speaker cable is custom-made, and its super-thin design makes it easy to hide under a carpet, skirting board or wooden flooring.
See no evil
Pictures aren't routed through the P5 II, so there's no need for us to worry about picture quality here. Which leaves us free to enjoy the Aego's sound...And there is plenty to enjoy. The system produced an open and involving sound when we gave it a run-through with the Japanese animated movie Spirited Away.
The tiny satellites expertly produce surround effects from the corners of the room, creating a surprisingly large soundstage for their size. Dialogue was anchored firmly to the screen, while the subwoofer expertly bridges the gap to fill out voices with just the right amount of bass weight.
Bass enthusiasts can tweak the system's bass levels via the level control at the back of the sub, and there's a graphic EQ control to help you tailor the system's sound to suit your particular environment and tastes.
As well as converting a DVD player into a surround sound home cinema, the Aego turns it into an effective music system. The setup handled Faithless' No Roots album with impressive skill. Its sound is tight and rhythmic, and our only criticism was the slight lack of depth with some bass notes.
Acoustic Energy's Aego P5 II is a fuss-free and stylish way to upgrade your DVD player to a full-on home cinema. Moreover, its very respectable performance with both movies and music is impressive given the compact size of the satellite speakers, and the price remains as reasonable as that of its predecessor - despite the improvements to styling, specification and performance. We love it!