Sandy Gross has a way with speakers. Every company he has been associated with, from Polk to Definitive Technology and now GoldenEar, has put out some marvelous sounding speakers. One of his past designs, the Definitive Technology Mythos STS, is a speaker I loved so much that I bought the full surround setup and use it as my reference speakers. Having heard his newest designs for GoldenEar at CEDIA and in dealers, I was very happy to finally get the chance to listen to a pair of them in my own house. The GoldenEar Aon 2 is the smallest in their Aon bookshelf line, but still packs quite a punch.
Everything is a bit different on the Aon 2, starting with the design. From the angled sides to the high velocity, folded ribbon tweeter, it certainly isn’t your conventional box speaker. Using a pair of passive radiators, the Aon 2 manages to extend the bass down to depths you don’t expect the little bugger to be able to manage. The heart of the speaker, and of anything from GoldenEar, is the tweeter.
That folded ribbon tweeter manages to weave some magic. Paul McCartney floats perfectly before me while “Let It Be” springs forth from the Aon 2s. It is a bit sensitive to listening angle compared to a dome, but it has far more clarity. At times I almost find the Aon 2 to be a bit too resolving, as those overly harsh recordings, like “In Rainbows” were unfortunately laid bare for me to hear the compression heaped upon them. The bass they manage to put out is impressive as well. Adding a subwoofer helps them out a bit, but even without I don’t find myself wanting for more.
Having spent a lot of time with the Aon 2 and seeing what GoldenEar can do for $800 a pair, I want to know what can be done for $5,000 or $10,000 a pair. They showed off their newest design, the Triton Seven, at CES and it was amazing what came out of those speaker for only $1,400 a pair. If you want all of the details on the Aon 2, the full review is posted now at Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, including bench tests showing that great bass response. Then go find yourself a dealer to take a listen for yourself.