Audioengine HD6 Wireless Speakers Review
These American designed wireless bookshelf speakers are perhaps the cleverest Audioengine models to date and earned the #6 spot in our best wireless speakers comparison table. They have a classic style with the 3 flavors of wood finish with an appealing 'retro-forward' style. We also really like that you can use them with or without the speaker grille covers depending on your decor.
Audioengine HD6 Wireless Speaker Variations
Audioengine, HD6 Wireless Speakers, Computer Audio, and You
During the 1990s the founders of Audioengine saw the future and a new kind of music lover that embraced the Internet. The music came from the small easily downloadable digital music files called mp3's that were readily available on the web. Suddenly, something audiophiles called "computer audio" had traction, and lots of it.
Satisfying this new desktop audio crowd is why Audioengine started in 2002 beginning with the idea of getting better sound on the desktop by designing small form factor loudspeakers. Today you'll find Audioengine in Austin, Texas designing category leading petite powered / active monitor speaker systems, wireless systems, and DACs for both the pro-audio and consumer audio market.
What Happened to Your Hi-Fi System?
Computer audio allowed audiophiles to fill their computer hard drives with music files from the Internet. This became a huge disruption because as this happened at the same time the precious CD fell off its mantel and started quickly losing its shine. CDs were expensive, took up lots of space and limited to a paltry one hour of music. Add on to that, they were cumbersome and could be damaged just like vinyl or cassettes. CD and cassette players ruled the world but music lovers were ready for a new generation of digital portable music players.
By the time the CD was celebrating its 15th birthday the new mantra was Apple's, "1000 songs in your pocket"; and this changed everything about how we listened to our music. Now music lovers downloaded music from Apple or pirated free music via Napster and other music sharing sites. It was easy for these small audio and video codecs like mp3 audio files to spread exponentially and now the Internet became the easiest way to either purchase, share, or illegally download music.
Along with a bevy of new devices and portable players the Internet was also where the cool kids went to download music and just about everything else. It disrupted the music industry as consumers converted CDs to mp3 and other audio codecs to use on a computers or portable devices. With millions of people sharing music on the Internet ignoring onerous copyright laws only added to the panache of computer audio music.
Hi-Fi Speakers for Computer Audio Heads
Many of these early adopters to computer audio also owned traditional component based Hi-Fi systems with the traditional music sources of CDs turntables and FM tuners. As they they added computers from Apple, Microsoft and Dell into their homes it was no surprise they wanted Hi-Fi monitor speakers to use with their computers and replace the cheap computer speakers. Suddenly, the secondary computer music system was born. Now everyone was buying general use computers and accessorizing them with speakers (for better sound) was a hot market in the second half of the 90s and continues all these years later. Think about it, these desktop and laptop audio systems have become ubiquitous and sit in every dorm room, office, or nook in your apartment or home for music, TV or gaming.
Be clear that not much about desktop computer audio is of interest to the audiophile crowd. They are particularly haters of most desktop speakers available but that has not stop Audioengine speakers from getting positive review from the audio press. Audioengine did this by filling a need building a range of audiophile toys without the outrageous price tags.
The HD6 Lets You Replace an Entire Traditional Music System
All this computer audio history leads me the HD6. This is Audioengines first living room system and is well reviewed in the audio press and also recommended in mainstream and lifestyle articles about home audio. Everyone agrees the HD6 looks as good as it sounds at an affordable price.
The HD6 winning acclaim from the hi-fi crowd and the mainstream reminds me of a pop star that is beloved in one genre and then becomes a major crossover artist with a new wider and bigger audience. It's no small accomplishment that the HD6 is a very good sounding pair of speakers moving Audioengine from the desktop to the living room.
Here's something important you need to know.... Stepping up your game with a proper home hi-fi could not be easier than with the extraordinary HD6 speakers - They will let you get all those components out of your living room and modernizes and streamlines your music system all at the same time.
If you have an old-fashioned Hi-Fi system that has served it purpose some audio gurus or salesmen might suggest pricing out another component based hi-fi containing traditional speakers, an integrated amp that will need a DAC and Bluetooth capability. You'll find out these components will set you back a big sum. You might also find you have you other problems to contend with like juggling the components, wires, and power cords trying to make it look good in your home decor.
HD6 Speakers Takes Audioengine From the Desktop to the Living Room
Streaming digital music files lets you create a Hi-Fi music system with nothing more than two powered speakers, a smartphone, tablet or laptop. For Audioengine designing powered speakers for computer desktops and TV systems meant over the years, going from diminutive desktop speakers to the now living room filling sound of the HD6 model.
Audioengine tells us the HD6 is based on a custom designs with very few off the shelf parts. It's clear that Audioengine is moving from the desktop to the living room and a new category for Audioengine. The HD6 speaker system providing the listener a more a efficient audio system than a traditional stereo system in a nice neat package of two bookshelf speakers.
Onboard, the internal components and the built-in amps are in the "master" speaker. It is packed with audiophile technology tuned together and includes a 150-watt Class AB amplifier staying clear of low cost Class D digital amps. Also inside is an onboard AKM 24-bit/192 kHz DAC, Bluetooth with aptX and bass powerful Kevlar woofers with a wonderful sounding dome tweeter.
In addition to your screen of choice a front volume knob and the included aluminum remote with nice glowing controls helps manage your music. As Audioengine does so smartly HD6 connectivity means the speaker system should work with any digital audio player or computer. The HD6 admirably works with Mac, PC, tablets and smartphones. Also, any computer OS - Windows, Mac, iOs, Android, Linux. All the music player apps and streaming services are at your fingertips including, Tidal, Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play and more. Any product with Bluetooth, mini-jack, optical or stereo RCA outputs for a subwoofer, Turntable, CD, TV, Roku, Apple TV and home network streaming.
Audioengine HD6 is one of the easiest wireless products to setup for high quality streaming. With your HD6 purchase it includes CD quality Tidal streaming service with a 90 day trial we highly recommend. As an added bonus to 90 days of free music the Tidal setup process is a breeze and will have listening to your favorite music in minutes.
We mention the wood finishes because both the inexpensive and the most expensive wireless speakers we recommend are usually made of some fancy name for "plastic". Others are fabric covered and meant make to make your expensive hi-fi system to blend in. Luckly, wraped in wood the HD6 design supports the theory, looking great and sounding great is a big plus!
Moving from the desktop to a larger living area and now filling it with room filling sound engages a different set of requirements for a pair of one foot tall speakers. One of the ways Audioengine does this is by tuning the cabinet and aluminum cast woofer to extend the bass response and dynamics along with using a large 1" tweeter.
They also have tuned the system in long listening tests using various compressed and lossless music files. The company says these listening sessions is part of the secret sauce helping them to offer that refined deep rich sound and a wide wonderful stereo soundstage.
At the HD6 price of $750 are these two separate speakers better than a soundbar or single speaker solution?
In most all-in-one speakers you'll find DSP technology that can provide simulated stereo and surround. Simulated stereo can fall short of what two speakers are cabable of and the digital proccesing can also cause listener fatigue. When you compare a single speaker and then listen to a pair of quality speakers that can produce a wide stereo soundstage along with pinpoint imaging of instruments and voices you'll understand what we are talking about.
This is the company's best sounding wireless speaker and will please audiophiles and music lovers who want tasteful looks and ease of use.
In the near future we will look at some of the companys other products, including their passive speaker range for the smaller budget. We will also look into Audioengine's speaker stands for both floor and desktop.
But for now, we highly support this $750 musical investment and these speakers are among the best wireless speakers for under $1000. Your pair of Audioengine HD6 speakers will provide brilliant sound, they are easy to setup. Lastly, with 35 Million high quality music tracks from Tidal for 90 days free we see no reason not to say yes!