The lines between multimedia audio kit – the sort of equipment designed for use with computers, iPods and the like – and 'proper' audio equipment seem to be getting increasingly blurred. Edifier's new Luna 2 speakers are a fine example of the blur, looking like run-of-the-mill desktop PC speakers but, at £250 for a pair, costing …
Genelec's 6010As may not be a direct competitor but they are designed for use with a laptop and satisfyingly expensive at 165 quid or so - each. And another 330 quid or so for the matching sub-woofer.
"The upsides of this are improved sound quality [...]"
Er, no. Class D amps are shit. Copying the article text from the back of the box again?
"it's difficult to come up with a direct competitor for them in order to judge their value for money"
Only because you haven't reviewed these:
More power and half the price...
BTW, Class D is made for efficiency, not sound quality...
"and is rated at 30W RMS. We've never come across a set of desktop speakers that can pump out anything like this sort of volume."
from their usual 1 to 2% efficiency you are only hearing about 1 Watt with the other 29 heating up your abode.
err...no it's not, well, not exclusively, Class D amplification is also about keeping a speaker damped and so making sure it has less time to flap around resonating and doing its own thing - an upside of being under tighter control by the amplifier than is the case of Class A, B or C. As for the Aego M's, I can't share your enthusiasm - two tiny satellites and a sodding great woofer is never going to be provide ideal sound, that's why serious hi-fi speakers are not made in that form. OK for games, far from ideal for music.
The reason for using class D is to build something cheap and nasty. Class D is power efficient and will put up with crappy power supplies so it is much simpler and cheaper to design and build. Small drivers are not exactly efficient, class D is a cheap way of getting loud noises out of them. Nobody uses class D because it sounds good.
So Class D amps are "shit" are they? Have you heard an Alpine PDX ICE system? For compact active systems or in-car use Class D is ideal because it keeps the speaker drive unit on a very short leash and is very efficient. Like all amplification systems Class D can be executed either well or poorly, to dismiss the very concept is idiotic unless you get your jollies in the men's room with a copy of Stereophile magazine! As for Class D being "cheap and nasty" KEF's Cube powered sub-woofer is certainly not nasty and it sure as hell ain't cheap either. I'd say the reviewers comment about Class D sounding better - in the context of devices like these speakers - is probably right.
You've not listened to the Aegos, then? To quote Pocket Lint (I know it's the competition, El Reg, but I'd quote you if you'd only review the bloody things), "Acoustic Energy is a British company better known for its Hi-Fi speakers than its PC peripherals", which is probably why they sound so good.
Class D is one of those things that is on a steady development curve, and I don't doubt that KEF's implementation of it is fine (I have a pair of their floor-standers), but switching amplifiers were originally designed to improve efficiency. A good damping factor is a useful side-effect, but keeping switching distortion down at high frequencies is another matter, which may well explain why KEF only put it in a sub-woofer...