Important Specs Overview
Speaker type: powered, 2-way, front ported
Continuous power handling: 15 W (per unit)
Peak power handling: 30 W (per unit)
Frequency response range: 65 – 22k Hz (+/- 2dB)
Driver size: 2.75 in
Unit weight: 4 lbs
Cabinet dimensions: 4.25 x 5.5 x 7 in (width x depth x height)
Warranty: 3 years
Review And Discussion
Audioengine’s HD3 is a nice looking model that manages to be very light and compact for a fully integrated powered speaker. They generally seem ideal for those who want a desktop speaker that can be moved and placed with a minimum of fuss.
The power specs are fairly modest, even amongst powered bookshelf speakers which are generally less powered than their traditional passive counterparts. Lower power handling doesn’t necessarily mean worse sound quality, but the HD3 probably wont cut it for anything outside of near-field listening.
The drivers are both paper/cloth blend, which generally is more performant for near-field listening, but is more prone to wear and tear. Audioengine offers a three year warranty on its powered speakers though, which is comparatively very good coverage where 1-2 years is more the average, even among the higher-end companies.
The HD3 is Bluetooth compatible and even has an antenna to extend the range up to 100 ft. It otherwise has all the standard inputs needed to hard-connect to a source. All ancillary connection cables come included which is nice.
One particularly nice feature is that there’s a line-out for a subwoofer, which isn’t all that common of a feature among powered bookshelf speakers. The response floor on the HD3 is pretty decent for a 2-way speaker that’s as small as it is, but would likely benefit from an added subwoofer, which fortunately would be very easy to do in this case.
The cabinets are MDF, which is fairly standard for budget-tier speakers, but the veneer is actual wood, but that will only serve to make them look nice more than anything else. And they do look good we think – they come in four different colors.
Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition
These are nice looking well built speakers but they’re a bit pricey, especially for the rather modest power specs. As such its hard to recommend these over cheaper competitors, at least for the time being. We will say the warranty is great though, so that might be worth the premium. See the links below for some alternative recommendations to powered speakers that we like.