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ChaosJ

Audioengine A5+ or HD3 Which is better? What should I buy?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi guys,

I just wanted advice on which are better to get. I haven't heard either let alone both, so I can't compare to know which I'd prefer. I'm leaning towards the HD3s. 

 

Please help!

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To be totally honest, I haven't heard either of these speakers. However, one year ago I was going through a very similar process of trying to pick out some starter "higher end" speakers. Audioengine A5 was on my list and many people I talked to said that Audioengine products are typically over priced for their performance. So, in their place I got the Kanto Yumi (now discontinued but you can still get some on Amazon - they also offer the Yu4 and Yu6 that are similar). I love these speakers - for their looks, their fantastic connectivity options, and their really great sound. I had them hooked up to my TV and turntable for a while where I would say they were "Ok" but now that I have moved them onto my desk I would say they are great! They do a nice job with imaging, have a good full sound and have an easy "sub out" option if you decide to add a powered sub like I did. 

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If you don't need USB in then get JBL LSR305, they are miles better than those you mentioned. 


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
8 hours ago, SSL said:

"Better" for what? What are your priorities?

Music. I am using a set of Audio Technica M50x headphones with an Audioengine D1 DAC. I listen to a lot of music, so that is priority, will also use the speakers a bit for movies and games (less for games, ill use a headset but occasionally speakers). These will be used as computer speakers primarily. I was leaning towards the HD3s because i heard they handle both music and cinematic audio much better and the soundstage is mind blowing. Else if anyone has any idea about the C-Note DIY speakers in comparison? 

 

I am just looking through a few options... so open to advice. If i am spending $300 i was looking at the HD3s.

 

Else i dont mind a lower budget in which case, the C-Note DIY speakers or Polk audio or something... so confused.

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The A5+ are leagues ahead of its smaller siblings the A2+ and HD3s.  The A5+ have a lot more power and are much more dynamic.  The A2+ don't have much sub bass at all and really need a sub to fill in the sound, I imagine the HD3s are similar.

 

I would pass on the HD3 since you already have an Audioengine D1, the extra cost is for the built in DAC and wireless capabilities.  You would be better invested in the A5+ which are great multimedia speakers (Their sound signature is more playful).  Or if you're looking for a more accurate sound the JBLs that Dackzy recommends would also be excellent!

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13 hours ago, kmathieu2220 said:

To be totally honest, I haven't heard either of these speakers. However, one year ago I was going through a very similar process of trying to pick out some starter "higher end" speakers. Audioengine A5 was on my list and many people I talked to said that Audioengine products are typically over priced for their performance. So, in their place I got the Kanto Yumi (now discontinued but you can still get some on Amazon - they also offer the Yu4 and Yu6 that are similar). I love these speakers - for their looks, their fantastic connectivity options, and their really great sound. I had them hooked up to my TV and turntable for a while where I would say they were "Ok" but now that I have moved them onto my desk I would say they are great! They do a nice job with imaging, have a good full sound and have an easy "sub out" option if you decide to add a powered sub like I did. 

I have heard the Yumi's and A5+ side by side.  The Yumi's are an amazing value, especially at the clearance price of $200!  Very feature packed and decent power.  If they can be found at that price still it's a no brainier.

 

Where the A5+ excels is at how loud it can get (75 W per channel vs. the Yumi's 30 W).  Also they do really well without a sub.  The downside is they are completely analog, not as many inputs or wireless capabilities.  A good set of speakers, edge out Yumis but maybe not the best bang for your buck.  They're built like a tank though.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
9 minutes ago, ShredBird said:

I have heard the Yumi's and A5+ side by side.  The Yumi's are an amazing value, especially at the clearance price of $200!  Very feature packed and decent power.  If they can be found at that price still it's a no brainier.

 

Where the A5+ excels is at how loud it can get (75 W per channel vs. the Yumi's 30 W).  Also they do really well without a sub.  The downside is they are completely analog, not as many inputs or wireless capabilities.  A good set of speakers, edge out Yumis but maybe not the best bang for your buck.  They're built like a tank though.

I prefer analog sound. Ill be hooking the speakers up to a DAC anyways. The HD3s come with an inbuilt DAC so with those ill be using an optical in or USB. So no worries there. With regards to the low end on the A5+, i think thats super important especially for the kind of music i listen too (Jazz). Many subtle bass notes light drum rolls, etc. I am not really looking for too many features. I wont be using any wireless play really. I just need some powered speakers which don't require an amp or receiver. AUX in is all i need (like i said, i have a good DAC)

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For desktop speakers especially if you already have a DAC I would suggest the Micca PB42X.  I have the MB42X ( Non powered versions ) and they sound great hooked up to nearly anything!  They have fantastic imaging for such small speakers.  These would sound good for your type of music and in the future you can always get a small powered sub for the floor to really fill in the low end.

 

PB42X - 119.99$

https://www.amazon.com/Micca-PB42X-Powered-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B00NXAEPDC/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1511254245&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=Micca+PB42X&psc=1

 

good luck!

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Tz000 said:

For desktop speakers especially if you already have a DAC I would suggest the Micca PB42X.  I have the MB42X ( Non powered versions ) and they sound great hooked up to nearly anything!  They have fantastic imaging for such small speakers.  These would sound good for your type of music and in the future you can always get a small powered sub for the floor to really fill in the low end.

 

PB42X - 119.99$

https://www.amazon.com/Micca-PB42X-Powered-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B00NXAEPDC/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1511254245&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=Micca+PB42X&psc=1

 

good luck!

I've checked out the Miccas. A friend of mine has them. I've also auditioned them at a local audio store, I didn't take a shine to them. Found the highs a little shrill and the bass lacking

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I would have to agree with the bass lacking but I have a small powered Velodyne sub under my desk to fill that in,  the highs were a little harsh at first but after breaking them in they have settled down.   Did you listen the the "X" variants? as those ones have the crossover inside which helps a lot according to a few reviews iv seen comparing the two.

 

What do you have your choices narrowed down to now?

 

-TZ

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Tz000 said:

I would have to agree with the bass lacking but I have a small powered Velodyne sub under my desk to fill that in,  the highs were a little harsh at first but after breaking them in they have settled down.   Did you listen the the "X" variants? as those ones have the crossover inside which helps a lot according to a few reviews iv seen comparing the two.

 

What do you have your choices narrowed down to now?

 

-TZ

Honestly, my heart is set on the HD3s. but I've heard for the same or slightly less i could get a much better sound. But then again, sound and utility being subjective, i was just fishing for opinions here. 

 

I am even considering DIY speakers like the C-Note bookshelves or talking to Salvage audio if they can build or recommend something.

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15 hours ago, ChaosJ said:

I prefer analog sound. Ill be hooking the speakers up to a DAC anyways. The HD3s come with an inbuilt DAC so with those ill be using an optical in or USB. So no worries there. With regards to the low end on the A5+, i think thats super important especially for the kind of music i listen too (Jazz). Many subtle bass notes light drum rolls, etc. I am not really looking for too many features. I wont be using any wireless play really. I just need some powered speakers which don't require an amp or receiver. AUX in is all i need (like i said, i have a good DAC)

I have an Audioengine D1 I use with my A5+ speakers.  They're hooked up via optical from my TV that I game and watch movies on.  They're definitely good for music, movies and games.  They have enough bass that movies feel immersive and they rumble the room but it's still tight that it doesn't muddy up your music listening experience.  If you're looking for studio accurate, they are not that, but their sound signature to me is fun and very pleasant.  Lots of details come out and they have some nice punch.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 11/22/2017 at 4:30 AM, ShredBird said:

I have an Audioengine D1 I use with my A5+ speakers.  They're hooked up via optical from my TV that I game and watch movies on.  They're definitely good for music, movies and games.  They have enough bass that movies feel immersive and they rumble the room but it's still tight that it doesn't muddy up your music listening experience.  If you're looking for studio accurate, they are not that, but their sound signature to me is fun and very pleasant.  Lots of details come out and they have some nice punch.

Thank you! If you ever get to hear the HD3s maybe you could give me your feedback. There are no comparisons online either.

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6 hours ago, ChaosJ said:

Thank you! If you ever get to hear the HD3s maybe you could give me your feedback. There are no comparisons online either.

The HD3's are based on the A2+, they just have more features, like wireless and and a front output.  The A2+'s only advantage over the A5+ is portability and they have a built in DAC.  In terms of sound the A5+ is better in a every way.

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