What We Like
- Good versatility.
- Great response across the range.
- Stylish design.
What We Don’t Like
- Too much warmth in some places.
It isn’t often that you see active designs among the expensive bookshelf speakers, but an exception was made for Audioengine HD6. It has proven to be one of the most versatile bookshelf speakers of its kind under $1000.
One quick glance at Audioengine HD6 will tell you exactly what kind of aesthetic they were after. These speakers look very old school with the grilles on, which is a trend that has been popular for a while now. Cabinets are made of quality MDF that is covered with furniture grade finishes. This gives them a rather natural vibe that allows you to fit them into just about any environment.
Audioengine HD6 are ported in the back, but the port design is a bit different from what we are used to. Audioengine went with a slot style ports sitting at the very top of the back panel on each speaker. It is worth mentioning that these are fairly large bookshelf speakers. If you were to hook them up to your PC, you would definitely need a larger desk. However, that size is partially what makes them so good in the first place.
Audioengine HD6 features a 1″ silk dome tweeter paired with a 5.5″ Kevlar woofer. These are powered by an analog dual-class A/B monolithic amplifier. When it comes to the power output, you are looking at 50 Watts RMS per speakers, or 150 Watts combined peak power.
As you could have probably noticed by now, Audioengine HD6 are Bluetooth ready and support aptX technology. We are looking at 24-bit upsampling, which is more than decent for proper Hi-Fi reproduction. On the back panel of the active speaker, you will find an array of I/O options including optical inputs. This is where you will also find the Bluetooth antenna and the pair button.
Volume control is located on the baffle of the active speaker, being within reach at all times. While Audioengine HD6 might come across as simple for a high-end active speaker, these are focused on proper performance rather than a colorful feature booklet.
One of the main questions that you generally run into, is how good can a set of high-end active speakers really be? The answer is really good. Once you set them up, which is a fairly simple process, you will quickly realize that HD6 have a pretty warm sound compared to similar passive models. It feels like Audioengine took off a bit of that edge in order to make the HD6 more compatible with various genres of music as well as digital formats.
One more side effect of such tonal profile is a wider lower end. As a matter of fact, it was expected considering the voicing of the 5.5“ woofer and that slot-style port in the back. However, bass sections on these speakers are incredibly tight and defined.
Bottom line is that Audioengine HD6 have the potential as well as the capability of delivering high-end audio. There’s enough power in them to provide good saturation in medium sized rooms, while the image comes out pretty broad.
If you need the versatility of active speakers but still demand a higher quality of audio, Audioengine HD6 are the type of speakers that won’t disappoint you. They are stylish, powerful and come with just the right amount of features.