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Audioengine HD6 vs A5+: Which Is The Best For You?

Audioengine’s bookshelf speakers are among the best in the industry, which is the reason why it is difficult to pick one brand’s model over the other. In this article, we are going to compare Audioengine HD6 vs A5+ and try to establish which of these models has better sound playback capabilities.

The music we listen to on our computers and smart devices can sound terrible if played on speakers that simply don’t have the capacity to replicate the sounds of the original recording.

Audioengine’s models are famous for their ability to play basses, midrange, and high range sounds accurately, which allows you to listen to virtually any music genre you want.

Our Audioengine HD6 vs A5+ comparison will take a closer look at the features these two models offer, and it will take you through some of the best alternatives to these speakers.

Main Differences Between Audioengine HD6 vs A5+ Speakers

The main differences between Audioengine HD6 and A5+ speakers are:

  • Audioengine HD6 speakers are available in 4 different colors, whereas the A5+ speakers are available in three color options
  • Audioengine HD6  model has a removable front grill, whereas Audioengine A5+ doesn’t have speaker covers
  • Audioengine HD6 speakers have Bluetooth functionality, whereas this option is not available on the Audioengine A5+ model
  • Audioengine HD6 features 5.5-inch drivers, whereas Audioengine A5+ speakers have 5-inch drivers
  • Audioengine HD6 is equipped with a digital optical (SPDIF) input, whereas the A5+ model doesn’t have a digital optical input

Key specifications

  Audioengine HD6 Audioengine A5+
Power output 150W (75 peak per channel) 150W (75 peak per channel)
Inputs 3.5mm stereo mini jack, RCA L/R, Digital Optical (SPDIF) Bluetooth aptX 3.5mm stereo mini jack, RCA L/R
Amplifier types Analog dual-class A/B monolithic Dual Class AB monolithic
Drivers 5.5-inch aramid fiber woofers, 1-inch silk dome tweeters 5-inch aramid fiber woofers, ¾-inch silk dome tweeters
Dimensions 11.75 x 7.25 x 10 inches 10.75 x 7 x 9 inches
Weight L: 17.5lbs R: 12.5lbs L: 15.4lbs R: 9.6lbs
Latest price Check latest price here Check latest price here

Audioengine HD6 vs A5+ feature comparison

Let’s take a closer look at the features the Audioengine HD6 and A5+ offer

Audioengine HD6

If you are interested in bookshelf speakers under $1000, Audioengine HD6 may be one of the most obvious options. The brand is known for emphasizing functionality over design, but their HD6 model is both stylish and capable of producing high-fidelity audio.

Unlike most of Audioengine’s speakers, the HD6 will actually fit most living room spaces without drawing too much attention, as their vintage design allows them to blend in seamlessly into different spaces.

These speakers are more powerful than Audioengine’s models like the HD3 or HD4, although their visual appearance is almost identical.

You can use the HD6 model as computer speakers, but their wireless connection and sound playback abilities enable you to use them with Smart TVs to watch movies or any other type of content that requires excellent audio quality.

Make sure to check out our Audioengine B2 review if you’re searching for an affordable home music system.

Key features

  • 150W peak power total (50W RMS and 75W peak per channel)
  • Variable line-out with 2V RMS and 47ohm output impedance
  • Bluetooth 5.0 receiver
  •  AKM AK4396 internal D/A converter
  • 100ft wireless operation range
  • Analog dual-class A/B monolithic amplifier
  • 14W power consumption in sleep mode

Overall design

The first thing that catches the eye when you take a look at the Audioengine’s HD6 speakers is their vintage design that resembles the speakers from the 1960s and 1970s.

The speaker cabinet is made from high-quality wood that is available in Satin Black, Walnut, Cherry Wood, and Hi-Gloss White finishes. The manufacturer also included the front grills that are equipped with magnetic attachments, which enables you to remove them if you prefer a more conventional look.

The HD6 speakers are self-powered, and there is no need to connect them to an amplifier since they come with a 150W amp that supplies 75W to each channel. However, the built-in amp increases the weight of the left speaker that weighs 17.5lbs.

Also, these speakers feature a heat sink that helps disperse the heat that is generated by the amp and prevents the electronics from overheating.

Although they are slightly larger than standard desktop speakers, the HD6 can be used to play music from a computer or a smart TV with the same level of efficiency.

Playback capabilities

You can find a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, optical input, stereo RCA inputs and outputs, and the output for the passive right speaker, on the back of the left Audioengine’s speaker. The front of the left speaker features a Volume control knob, a power indicator, and a remote receiver.

Moreover, the AC power outlet, the power button, and the voltage selection switch, as well as the Bluetooth antenna can all be found at the back of the left speaker.

If you’re planning on using the optical input you will have to purchase a TOSLINK Plug to Plug adapter as it is not one of the accessories that come with HD6 speakers.

The Bluetooth antenna has a 100ft radius which enables you to connect these speakers to smart devices or computers even if they are not easily approachable.

Audioengine HD6 speaker

The connection type doesn’t really affect the quality of the sound these speakers produce, as even heavy-bass tracks sound terrific when played on the HD6 speakers. Besides these speakers are loud enough to be used in medium-sized and larger rooms.

Check out our guide through the best speakers for small rooms, if the volume level of the HD6 speakers exceeds your expectations.

Other noteworthy features

These speakers come with a number of accessories that make everyday use easier. If you decide to purchase the Audioengine HD6 speakers you will get a pair of microfiber bags that provide you with a simple storage solution, 6.5ft. RCA and mini-jack audio cables, 12.3ft of speaker wire.

The setup process is straightforward, and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes, but if at any point you need assistance, you can use the setup guide that comes with the HD6 model. A remote controller is also among the accessories that are bundled with these Audioengine’s speakers.

However, the controller only has basic options that allow you to control the volume level, mute the speakers, or put them into sleep mode. There are no Play, Pause, or Skip options, so you can’t use the remote to change a song or control your playlist in any way.

Reliability 

The manufacturer claims that HD6 speakers need between 50 and 60 hours of playing time to achieve their optimum performance, which indicates their durability. Although the bass playback of these speakers is seamless, you should consider pairing them with a subwoofer to get an even fuller sound.

The Audioengine HD6 speakers come with a three-year warranty that covers most defects of their components.

A long warranty period is an indicator of how reliable these speakers are, as they are built to meet the expectations of music fans who like to turn the volume up while listening to their favorite artists.

Audioengine A5+

The A5+ speakers were released almost ten years ago, and a decade later, they are still among the best computer speakers on the market. Needless to say, their audio playback capabilities are truly remarkable, especially when you consider their size.

Although they may not be the most visually appealing pair of speakers you can lay your eyes on, the A5+ speakers are still functionally designed to fit any desktop computer configuration.

You can use this Audioengine’s model as TV speakers, but they won’t shine in this role unless you connect them to a subwoofer. The A5+ speakers are an upgraded version of the Audioengine’s A2+ speakers that have considerably lower power output capacity.

Like all other Audioengine’s models, the A5+ speakers are self-powered, and there is no need to connect them to an external amp. Also, you can choose the voltage at which the speakers are going to operate, and they come with a replaceable fuse that makes them more durable.

Key features

  • ½-inch thick MDF cabinets
  • 150W peak power or 75W per channel
  • USB and RCA variable line-out outputs
  • 5-inch aramid fiber woofers with advanced voice coils
  • 3.5 mini-jack and RCA L/R inputs
  • Dual-class AB monolithic amplifier
  • -50dB crosstalk

Overall design

Like all Audionegine’s models, the A5+ speakers contain custom-made parts, and their cabinets, bass port, and drivers are built to work together to generate impeccable sound. Despite having the same maximum power output capacity as the HD6 model, the A5+ can’t achieve the same volume levels.

This can largely be contributed to 5-inch aramid fiber woofers and ¾-inch silk dome tweeters that use the available power less efficiently.

The ½-inch thick MDF cabinets are available in Satin Black, Hi-Gloss White, and Natural Bamboo finishes, but keep in mind that models with Natural Bamboo finish cost extra.

The visual appearance of A5+ speakers is somewhat generic as they don’t look much different from most computer speakers. The removable speaker covers are not available for this model as the manufacturer doesn’t include front grills in the offer.

However, they are lighter than the HD6 speakers, as the left speaker of the A5+ model weighs 15.4lbs while the weight of the right speaker is 9.6lbs. These speakers are also smaller than the HD6 speakers which makes it easier to carry them with you.

Playback capabilities 

The front of the left speaker features the Volume Control knob, and power and remote receiver indicators. The conventional 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, the output to the right passive speaker, and Stereo RCA inputs and outputs are located at the backside of the left speaker.

The lower end of the rear panel houses the Power and Voltage switches, a replaceable fuse, and the AC power inlet. It is also worth noting that the A5+ has a USB port you can use to charge Smartphones or similar devices, but you can’t transfer audio data through it.

The gapless core toroidal transformers generate a tight magnetic field that reduces the noise and improves the quality of sound these speakers produce. The A5+ speakers can play any genre of music without distorting the sound, but the clarity of the audio varies from song to song.

audioengine a5+ brown

Even though this Audioengine’s model may struggle to produce clear sound at all times, it is still the most powerful pair of speakers in its price range.

Other noteworthy features

The list of accessories that come with the A5+ speakers is not impressive, since you will only get a detachable power cord, a 6.5ft mini-jack, and 6.5ft RCA to RCA cables.

The remote control is both durable and elegantly designed, but chances are that you won’t find much use for it, as it only allows you to control the volume level. The setup process is intuitive, and you’ll also get a setup guide that’ll provide detailed instructions for each step of the process.

Getting a subwoofer like the Audioengine’s S8 model may help you improve the quality of sound A5+ speakers generates, but it will nearly double their price. Moreover, you cannot upgrade these speakers to support any of the wireless connection features offered by the Audioengine HD6 model.

Reliability 

The components of the A5+ speakers meet the highest industry standards, and you can use these speakers for years without having to worry about replacing them.

Like all other Audioengine’s products, the A5+ model is covered by a 3-year warranty so in case any of the components breaks down during that period, you will be able to replace it.

You shouldn’t expect excellent performance at high volume as A5+ speakers are designed for playback of the media that is commonly played on computers. Read our full Audioengine A5+ review to get more detailed information about these speakers

Audioengine HD6 vs A5+ – Pros and Cons

Audioengine HD6

Pros

  • Clear audio at all volume levels
  • 100ft Bluetooth radius
  • Vintage design
  • Compatible with computers, smart devices, and turntables

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Less portable than most Bluetooth speakers

Audioengine A5+

Pros

  • Excellent power output
  • Cabinets are made of medium-density fiberboard
  • Excellent bass playback capabilities
  • 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Sound clarity could be better
  • No wireless connection features

The Best Alternatives to Audioengine HD6 and A5+ speakers

Bookshelf speakers that can compete with Audioengine HD6 and A5+ models are not difficult to find, as so many manufacturers offer speakers that generate clear and accurate sound.

Moreover, a growing number of speaker brands produce wireless connection models that are equipped with Bluetooth features. We’ve selected some of the best alternatives to the Audioengine HD6 and A5+ speakers, so let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer.

B&W 606 S2 Anniversary Edition

The clear sound and perfect bass playback are some of the greatest advantages of the B&W 606 S2 Anniversary Edition bookshelf features.

On the outside, these speakers are almost the same as the B&W 606 speakers, but the addition of new capacitors has enabled them to handle high frequencies more efficiently.

These speakers have 120W maximum power output capacity, which makes them less powerful than Audioengine’s HD6 and A5+ speakers. However, these B&W’s speakers are more expensive than either of the Audioengine’s HD6 models but their performance capabilities are approximately the same.

B&W Bookshelf Speaker 606 | Amazon
$1,750.00

The 606 Bookshelf Speaker from Bowers & Wilkins delivers excellent sound quality, while combining the ideal size and power. As a part of B&W's iconic 600 line, the 606 remains as the standard for loudspeakers.

Check Price
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10/23/2021 12:11 am GMT

Kanto YU4

If you are searching for a pair of compact and highly portable Bluetooth speakers, the Kanto YU4 could be the right choice for you. With 4-inch Kevlar drivers and 1-inch silk dome tweeters, these speakers have a high dynamic audio range.

Also, the Kanto YU4 speakers are incredibly powerful for their size, as each speaker has a maximum power output of 70W. These speakers also have a subwoofer output you can use if you want to improve their bass playback capabilities.

When compared to other Bluetooth speaker models, the Kanto YU4 model is affordable which makes it a great choice for anyone who appreciates crispy clear sound but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on speakers. Read our Kanto YU Series Review.

Kanto YU4 Powered Speakers | Amazon
$369.99

Integrated Bluetooth with Qualcomm aptX technology lets you enjoy high-quality streaming from the palm of your hand.

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10/23/2021 12:12 am GMT

Sonos One (Gen 2)

Pairing smart devices with smart speakers like the Sonos One (Gen2) will enable you to enjoy the media you’re watching or listening to even more.

Also, this speaker has voice controls, and it comes with Amazon Alexa built-in so that you can choose the music and adjust its volume with the power of your own voice. Connecting two or more of the Sonos One speakers will enable you to create a surround stereo system.

However, these are not powerful speakers, and you should consider other options if you’re after a truly rich sound professional speakers produce.

Sonos One (Gen 2) Voice Controlled Smart Speaker | Amazon
$212.00

Get rich, room-filling sound with Sonos One, and control it with your voice, the Sonos app, Apple AirPlay2, and more.

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10/23/2021 10:20 am GMT

FAQs

Question: What’s the Audioengine HD6’s latency?

Answer: The latency of the HD6 model is approximately 30ms, but external factors can impact the overall latency.

Question: Can I connect the Audioengine HD6 to analog audio playback devices?

Answer: Yes, you can. The HD6 speakers have a 3.5mm mini-jack that enables you to connect them to turntables and all other devices that don’t produce the digital audio signal.

Question: Are Audioengine A5+ speakers expensive?

Answer: These are not the most expensive speakers you can find on the market, but they are also not among the most affordable options.

Question: Do I have to switch off the A5+ speakers when I am not using them?

Answer: The A5+ goes into sleep mode when they are not in use, so there is no need to switch them off every time you turn off your computer or TV.

The Verdict: Are Audioengine HD6 speakers better than the brand’s A5+ model?

The A5+ speakers have been the Audioengine’s flagship model for years, but that changed with the release of the HD6 model. The audio quality, wireless connectivity options, and the design of the cabinet make the Audioengine HD6 superior to the A5+ speakers.

So, if you are looking for a pair of powerful speakers that handle basses, highs and midrange sound with the same level of efficiency Audioengine HD6 is the obvious choice. Opting for the A5+ model may be a budget-friendly option if you don’t want to spend too much on speakers.

Was this Audioengine HD6 vs A5+ comparison useful? Leave a comment and let us know or continue reading our Audioengine B2 review.

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