The handsome, three-piece system looks sharp wherever I place it in my office—I tried both my bookshelf and credenza—but the system’s striking aesthetics never dominate the décor. Los Angeles–based Blue Aura wraps the speakers and the body of the amp in black faux-leather, and accents the amp with chrome trimmings.
The amp is 10 inches wide, 7.5 inches deep and 5.5 inches tall, and the plated handles on either side of it double nicely as bookends. Adorning the front panel is a pair of matching chrome knobs—one for adjusting the volume and one for selecting from the three inputs (USB, LINE, and AUX). Two 6N1 tubes flank the taller 6e2 tube, with its decorative but unnecessary green glowing light filter. A four-post tube guard with a plexiglass-and-chrome top shelf protects the tubes from inadvertent fingers or the common office mishap. On the back panel, from left to right, are three inputs (RCA, mini-headphone, and mini-USB B), followed by a mini-headphone output jack, four brass speaker jacks, the power-cord socket and power switch.
The 5.5-inch tall speakers look similar to the Audioengine A2s, with forward-facing slits towards the bottom of each speaker serving as bass ports. The 3/4-inch tweeter and 3.5-inch paper driver surprised me from the outset with some obvious low-frequency grunt and detail. With the speakers set on their over-sized-hockey-puck stands and with the bookcase as an additional cabinet, the sexy, sultry vocals of Sade fill my 11-by-10-foot office. Changing out the included 18-gauge speaker wire for some 12-gauge wire further defineds the speaker’s impressive resolution.