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Audioengine HD6 Powered Speakers Review Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 April 2016
Article Index
Audioengine HD6 Powered Speakers Review
Set Up and Listening
Bluetooth and Conclusion

-The amplifiers in powered Audioengine speakers are located in the left speaker and are a conservatively-rated class A/B analog monoblock design. This is a more traditional speaker/amplifier marriage which provides excellent quality audio and greater flexibility. All circuit boards for the power and preamp sections are vertically mounted for maximum mechanical shock protection.

-Audioengine uses audiophile-quality, ferrofluid-cooled silk dome tweeters with neodymium magnets. Silk tweeters hold up well under high power and the edge-driven design gives very smooth response. The woofers are Kevlar woven glass aramid composite with rubber surrounds. Kevlar is very strong, which means the woofer retains its shape when being driven at high levels. The HD6 woofers are housed in cast aluminum frames which provide high rigidity and increased heat dispersion.

-Power transformers are critical to to high-quality audio performance, especially in the low-end and no off-the-shelf parts are used. Audioengine uses gapless core toroidal transformers which have a tighter radiated magnetic field, translating to lower noise. They are lighter than standard, lower-cost "EI" transformers and also generate less heat

Audioengine HD6

Set Up

The first thing a new HD6 owner needs to do is choose a configuration and connect the system. Plug the master speaker into a power source, and then run speaker cable to the slave speaker. At this point you can connect a stereo pair of RCA interconnects, a 3.5mm mini jack source, an optical digital source, and/or a Bluetooth device. Choose between either the HD6 themselves or  your source for volume control (set the HD6 volume to the appropriate level and leave it untouched).

I love HD6's front panel volume knob. Most active speakers have real panel controls, which can be inconvenient depending on set up. The supplied remote control is a fantastic feature also -- solid aluminum and perfect if you are using the HD6 someplace other than your desktop or some other near field setting.

I used the HD6 in two configurations. First, in my bedroom, connected to an Olive ONE streamer, and then on my desktop, connected to a Mac Mini. With the Olive ONE, I used the the mini jack analog output for a brief period, then with an iFI Micro iDSD USB DAC, connected with a pair of Kimber interconnects into the HD6. In both cases, volume control was left to the HD6. With the Mac Mini, the Micro iDSD DAC was also used, but with volume control via the DAC. Desktop playback was via Audirvana, and other web sources.  A pair of Signal Cable Analog One interconnects were used.


The HD6 sounded delightful right out of the box, improving noticeably as the drivers loosened up. My initial impressions were that the speakers were accurate, balanced, punchy in the bass, and very smooth on top. This early assessment did not change in the months I had the HD6 powered speakers.

During my time with the HD6, I purposely avoided rock or pop music, instead challenging the speakers with more progressive and off the beaten path musical genres. Not only is this more fun, but allows a more complete picture of transducer performance, as most rock and pop music generally “U” shaped in the frequency spectrum, which can make pretty much any speaker sound decent.


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