Turning off mains power on Audioengine A2+ speakers
September 30, 2014 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Can I turn off a pair of Audioengine A2+ speakers by cutting the mains power (e.g. flipping the switch on the wall socket)? Will this damage the speakers?

I have a pair of Audioengine A2 speakers that I'm using with my desktop computer. The power switch is built into the volume control knob, and must be turned down to 0 in order to turn off the speakers, and the knob is at the back of one of the speakers. This generally makes it pretty annoying; I have to reach to the back of the speakers to turn it on and off, and it also means each time I turn on the speakers the volume will be somewhat different.

As such, I'm thinking of just leaving them at the "on" setting all the time and at the correct volume setting. I do not however want to leave them powered all the time, but instead cut their power when I power down my machine and turn off the switch on the wall socket.

My worry is that this might not be good for the speakers, as I do hear a "pop" whenever I do that. Does anybody know if this is true, and if so, what's a good solution for my problem? Thanks!
posted by destrius to Technology (5 answers total)
Best answer: I have a pair of A2+ speakers in my bedroom. They have an "idle standby mode" that draws only a tiny (less than 1w IIRC) amount of power when there's no signal going into the speakers, and they're dead silent. There's virtually no benefit to powering them fully off.

The Audioengine gear, including the A2+, is usually built with pretty good protectios (overcurrent, on/off protection) - but the manual still recommends that you turn the speakers off before plugging in the power supply. Take of that what you will.
posted by eschatfische at 8:28 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Turning them off that way is the same thing as "clipping", which is basically the worst thing you can do to speakers. Turning them on that way lets juice into them at the level you last had them on at, which can be bad, and should be avoided.

You should not do this to an amplifier, which are built into those speakers.

That said, when they are idle, they probably draw just enough juice to power an LED, so you probably don't need to turn them off.
posted by bensherman at 8:30 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

In general, it is very unlikely that modern electronics would be damaged by cutting the power off to them.
posted by garlic at 8:31 AM on September 30, 2014

Best answer: The "pop" - which you are also likely to hear when turning the speakers back on - is basically a surge of electricity running through the speakers, which is not good for the speakers, especially in the long run.

If you were running really high-powered stuff, you could actually kill a speaker with one flick of the switch.

Nthing the suggestions to just leave them on.

Although if you wanna get tech-y (and maybe a little pricey) there are "sequenced power" units that will turn the outlets on and off in a specific order.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:36 AM on September 30, 2014

Response by poster: Will keep them on as suggested... thanks!
posted by destrius at 8:06 AM on October 2, 2014

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