new AudioEngine HD3 speakers - stupid to be tempted by these?
Nov 13, 2016 at 5:51 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

Ides

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What do you all think of the new audioengine hd3 speakers? They're essentially the A2+ with nicer cabinet, a grill, front volume control, a supposedly robust headphone amp, and wireless built in. Apart from the wireless which I don't really need, those specs match up pretty much exactly with what I'm looking for in desktop speakers. I want small (but don't have to be this small) good looking powered speakers with front volume control, at least two inputs, and grills to match with a small subwoofer in my home office. But $400 seems like an awful lot for such a tiny low powered speaker. Are they a ripoff? I've never heard the A2/A2+s before so not sure if their build quality is enough to compensate for being so puny/toy-like.
 
 
http://audioengineusa.com/Store/Powered-Speaker-Systems/HD3-Wireless-Speakers
 
Mar 9, 2017 at 9:21 PM Post #3 of 6

groovyd

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assuming you have a sub they would work well with i'd say they are a great deal considering everything they can do and that the original A2 sounded incredible for their size.  Sounds perfect for your needs to be honest.  Even the wireless I bet you find a use for quickly.
 
Apr 2, 2017 at 2:58 PM Post #4 of 6

kcazbarach

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bought them last week, had them since thursday march 30th. this is my first step into the speaker realm (i've been exclusively headphone) and i bought them for my PC since I hate using my monitor for sound (and didn't want to invest any money into crappy usb speakers under $30).
 
They sound good, I think the big selling point for these are bluetooth capabilities but I'm kind of wanting more (i feel like the mids and highs could be better), and I'm left kind of wondering if I should've gone with A5+ instead (which is what i may doing in the long run/ they're also loads bigger which is why i went with hd3 in the first place for desk space).
 
4/5 for me.
 
note: I'm coming from listening to the hd 650, mad dogs, and he 400s (modded heavily and are planar magnetic) which might affect my opinion.
 
TL;DR I think the there's a premium built into the price because of the bluetooth (which is aptx, higher quality to begin with than regular bluetooth apparently), it's a solid set of computer speakers nonetheless. I'd recommend them.
 
Apr 3, 2017 at 1:08 AM Post #5 of 6

strangecargo

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I've had these, but ultimately returned them. My experience was sort of mixed. I ordered direct from AudioEngine and the first pair arrived with a loose volume knob that fell off as soon as I tried to turn it. The replacement pair was free of defects, but after using them for a while, I discovered an issue with the USB DAC where it would go mute if you changed sample rates and tried to play something too quickly. It would stay mute until you stopped sending it audio for some period of time. This made them impossible to use with Roon or any other exclusive mode audio player, as any time you switched from a track in 44.1 to another sample rate, they would go silent until you manually intervened. As a minor thing, the DAC only supports 16/44.1 and 16/48, which means that nearly anything that isn't a redbook rip will get downsampled and/or dithered in order for the speakers to understand it.
 
As for how they sound, they're surprisingly good for a speaker that size, but are limited by the laws of physics. I wouldn't say that they're completely neutral, but they have a certain amount of clarity and imaging that the A2 lacks. I would recommend either getting the AudioEngine stands or finding some other way to either elevate them or point them towards your ears. In comparison to the HD3, the A2 is sludgy and boomy sounding. The finish is quite good, though the stain seemed a little rough inside the front slot port.
 
After I returned the HD3s, I ended up discovering/buying Dynaudio Xeo 2s, which is really more than I was expecting out of my desk setup. It's in an entirely different price category, but I can't imagine desktop speakers that could sound any better.
 
Apr 3, 2017 at 1:22 AM Post #6 of 6

strangecargo

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  I'm left kind of wondering if I should've gone with A5+ instead (which is what i may doing in the long run/ they're also loads bigger which is why i went with hd3 in the first place for desk space).

 
I tried HD6s on my desk, which are roughly the same size as the A5+ but they were just too big. They technically fit on my desk, but I had to push them pretty far back and couldn't really toe them in. The biggest problem, though, was that they are rear-ported (just like the A5+) and my desk is up against a wall, so the proximity of the port to the wall really messed with the sound. The only reason the speakers I ended up going with (Dynaudio Xeo 2) work in the same spot is that they're considerably less deep than the A5/HD6 and the rear ports actually fire downwards out of the back of the enclosure, rather than straight back. They also have a switch on the back that allows you to adjust the DSP crossovers according to speaker placement (neutral, wall, corner).
 

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