Question Desktop PC speakers overheating

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Have a pair of Audioengine A5 active speakers (well, one's active and the other's passive). Was connected to my old tower PC's soundcard via 3.5 mm lead.

Have recently bought a Chromebox and, again, connected to new device using the 3.5 mm lead via the headphone/speaker out socket.

This time, there is a noticeable drop in sound quality in the right channel, distortion in the right channel and the active speaker's backplate gets very hot and has shut down each time I used it, even at low volumes.

I have initiated an exchange of the Chromebox with Amazon, but was wondering what might be the cause of the problem. Just a faulty unit or a design issue? Any suggestions if the replacement Chromebox does exactly the same thing?

Thanks if anyone replies.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Okay, quick update:

Have now just bought a new 3.5 mm cable and won't be using the one that came with the Audioengine's (I know I probably didn't need to do this, but it was only £3). Also, Amazon are preparing to ship my replacement Chromebox for arrival next week.

So, having changed the PC and the cable, if there's still the same problem then by a process of elimination it must be the speakers. Of course, they are way out of their warranty period, so I guess I'll just have to replace them.

It's kind of scary when things overheat and shut down....
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Me again!

Quick (middle aged) shout out to Amazon - they've dispatched my replacement Chromebook and it's due tomorrow (Saturday)! I haven't even unplugged the old one yet!

Anyway, further reading around online suggests that the A5 did have an overheating problem, which Audioengine recognised by creating an A5+ model with a proper rear heatsink. It's just a bit weird that this never occurred when it was connected to the tower PC, and the Aux electrical output from the Chromebook must be fairly negligible - certainly not enough to cause such rapid overheating.

Anyway, I guess I shall find out soon enough.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Another update in case anyone is interested!

New Chromebox arrived today and had exactly the same issue as before with the speakers, I wasn't expecting any different.

Have bought a pair of these to replace them:

YU6 Powered Speakers | Kanto Audio

The design does seem remarkably similar to the Audioengine's (which I loved until they went all wonky) in terms of specs and dimensions. Also, there's no rear heatsink which is a slight concern, but I've messaged the company so we'll see what they say.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Update time!

Heard back from Jason at Kanto:

"The only time we've heard of our speakers going into standby due to overheating is when someone was playing their YU5 at full blast for several hours at a party. For 99% of instances our cooling is sufficient and it sounds like it will work well in your setup. Keep in touch if you have any additional questions, thanks"

That's reassuring, especially as Audioengine's customer service has been criticised by unhappy owners with gear that's developed a fault or failed completely.

 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
Your Chromebook (not Chromebox) had nothing to do with your active speakers overheating...it was just a coincidence.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Your Chromebook (not Chromebox) had nothing to do with your active speakers overheating...it was just a coincidence.

Thanks, that's what I thought too.

I think the new active speakers will work fine and in the brief time I had the old speakers working (before they virtually burst into flames) I thought the sound chip in the Chromebox (and it is a Chromebox, not Chromebook) was better than my old PC soundcard.
 
Last edited:

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
DOH!

This is what happens when you don't read your own posts properly!

It's habit - I have a Chromebook (which I was using whilst I waited for my Chromebox to arrive) as well as a Chromebox.

The Chromebook is great, thoroughly recommended and has caused no problems at all. The Chromebox is also really good, it's just my old peripherals that have created all the issues.

I suppose I could go back and edit Post #3.... Nah!
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Hah!

Fatal last words: as soon as I write, "The chromebook is great", it dies! A message in the task bar appeared, "host resolving", the screen froze then went completely blank and hasn't come back.

I am cursed at the moment with technology, I tell you.

Anyway, it was a refurbished unit with a three month guarantee which I bought in May. I've written to Customer Services, they'll probably want me to send it back to them at my expense. Here's hoping it doesn't suddenly come back on when it's with them.

I really look after my things, too....
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Double DOH!!:facepalm::facepalm:

The Chromebook's come back on again AFTER I wrote to the retailer asking for assistance!

Bloody technology, it's more trouble than it's worth....
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
My new Kanto speakers are here and they're great!

No overheating, lovely sound even at the running in stage (Vocal Trance on YouTube) - they're less woolly and muffled than the Audioengine's, faster with more bass - I'm really impressed.

Loving the Gloss White finish too, goes well with my white monitor.

I suppose I could have done a DIY fix on the old speakers like a USB fan or getting them repaired, but I'd kind of stopped trusting them and once the trust has gone it rarely comes back in any walk of life, does it?
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
In this throw-away world - replacement appears to fix it.

However, it appears that change to a different source has produced the overheating . . . If we presume the ambient temperature is roughly constant and there is some airflow present then it looks like an electrical fault . . . which may be expensive to repair, even if there is no "Open the box" charge-levy.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
In this throw-away world - replacement appears to fix it.

However, it appears that change to a different source has produced the overheating . . . If we presume the ambient temperature is roughly constant and there is some airflow present then it looks like an electrical fault . . . which may be expensive to repair, even if there is no "Open the box" charge-levy.

Yes, I would always prefer to repair than replace, but not when it's not really economically viable to do so. Also, as I said, I would never be really sure how long it would last until it went wonky again.

I agree, my first thought was that it was the Chromebox that was causing the issue, but the new replacement did exactly the same thing so that clearly wasn't the source of the problem.

Things fail, I understand that, and I must admit that it is nice to get something new and shiny arrive on your doorstep. The Kanto's sound better than the Audioengine's anyway and the backplate is absolutely stone cold, even after playing some four hour continuous Trance sessions on YouTube!
 

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