Audio Any Time, Any Way
by Venoth Nair
Audioengine is no stranger to the premium multimedia speaker market with its award winning A5+ and A2+ systems. To update its lineup of speaker offerings, Audioengine has recently launched the much anticipated HD 6, which is somewhat of an upgraded A5+ with wireless capabilities, although when studied side by side, the two speakers look nothing alike.
The HD 6 is a bookshelf design speaker system with an active unit for the left channel and a passive right channel. The speakers come with a 1 inch silk dome tweeter mated to a 5.5 inch Kevlar woofer which is the material of choice for Audioengine which has used it in its speakers before. The cabinet is a bass reflex type with a slot type port positioned high on the rear of the speaker. So make sure you give these babies some breathing room to keep the bass in check.
On the electronic side of things the HD 6 comes with 50 watts of RMS power per channel with a claimed 75 watts at peak performance. All this amplification is stuffed into the left channel speaker which makes the left speaker significantly heavier than the right. To connect the passive to the active, the Audioengine comes with solid speaker connectors which allow a degree of upgradability as you can swap it out with other high quality aftermarket cables. Although it’s worth mentioning that the included cable is a quality banana plug terminated cable.
Physically, the HD 6 has a retro look to it with its straight, boxy shape and angle edged speaker grills which also happen to be something new as previous Audioengine speakers did not come with grills. The familiar rubber volume knob has also been replaced with a smooth metal one which adds more robustness to its overall feel. Audioengine has also added branding on the front end which is done by an etched metal plate which further accentuates the retro vibe. As far as finishes go, the HD 6 comes in two beautiful veneered cabinets (Cherry and Walnut) and the classic painted black finish. Even the remote control is made of metal continuing the sensation of class and quality.
In terms of connectivity and features the HD 6 comes fully loaded with a solitary stereo RCA input, a single mini jack audio input, a digital optical input and finally wireless connectivity via built in Bluetooth which supports the current standard, Apt-X. To convert all that digital information into music, the HD 6 utilizes a built-in Asahi Kasei AK 4396 digital to analog convertor. After a spell of intensive switching between the HD6’s AK4396 DAC and those in some source equipment the distinct sonic superiority of the HD6’s AK4396 is only too obvious.
As far as the performance goes, the HD 6 is fantastic at delivering a clean and rich sound that’s suitable with any genre of music. The sound is full with great bass depth considering the small dimensions of the cabinet. The highs sparkle but never sound too sharp or over exaggerated which makes long listening sessions great and satisfying. To ensure the best experience these speakers require careful placement with main concerns being the distance between each speaker as well as the distance between the speakers and the listener. The HD 6 will also benefit dramatically when perched atop a solid speaker stand as the right elevation and rigidity of the stand will help with the HD 6’s stereo imaging and detail.
If for any reason, you feel that the HD 6 requires more bass oomph, an external active subwoofer can be added via the audio output connectors which double as a subwoofer output. Do take care in matching the HD 6 with a subwoofer as the speakers detailed delivery could be disturbed if paired with the wrong sub. Whichever way you go with these speakers one thing is for certain; these are great, versatile speakers with amazing sound and fantastic build quality. The HD 6 is definitely a step up and in the right direction for Audioengine as well as any budding audiophile looking for a complete media solution. The HD 6 retails for RM 3600.
For further details contact:
Digital Audio Studios
Tel: CK Chin – 012 2905989