Review: Audioengine HD4 bookshelf bluetooth speakers are a compact solution with big sound

A good pair of bookshelf speakers will make all the difference to your WFH study room. It should be of a size that sits on your shelf comfortably without sticking out, but not so small that they’ll get dwarfed by your actual books. They should also come in a discreet, classic design that will not lose its appeal after a few years, and most importantly, produce good sound. Audioengine is well-known for their home audio systems and in particular, their range of bookshelf speakers. The model that caught our eye is the HD4 — its size is in-between the brand’s HD3 and HD6 speakers, with a decent price for the specs you get.


Above: Specifications of the HD4 home music system

Design & Build

The HD4 is a smart-looking pair of bookshelf speakers, especially in the Walnut veneer, which makes sense for shelves with brown wood finishes (there’s an all-black version that would fit black shelves nicely as well).

Above: the HD4 in black

Buttons on the front are kept to a minimum, with just a volume knob, a Bluetooth pairing indicator and a 3.5mm headphone port on the left speaker. The right speaker is clean with no controls.

Above: the front and back of the speakers

The back of the left speaker holds the power switch, AC power inlet and the stereo inputs and outputs. I really like that Audioengine kept all the controls and ports simple and minimal; and like all good speakers, the front grills are detachable and held firmly in place with hidden magnets. The speakers look sleek and unobtrusive on the shelf, which is aesthetically pleasing to me. But of course if you’re looking for speakers that stand out and are an art piece on their own, this is not it. But if you do go down that route, bear in mind that with novelty speakers, the sound is more often than not compromised (lower power output, smaller woofer, etc).

Above: the speakers are gorgeous on speaker stands, which can be purchased separately.

It’s clear that the build is beautiful. These speakers are crafted from high-quality wood and brushed metal plates; and they all come together in a sleek package that appears subtle and looks expensive.


These speakers connect wirelessly via bluetooth (so you can stream from any bluetooth-enabled device like a smartphone or tablet), or wired through dual analog audio input cables (included in the box), or a USB cable, which make these great not just as bookshelf speakers, but also as computer speakers.

Above: audioengine hd4 connection types

Audio Quality

As a two-speaker set-up, you’ll get balanced, surround sound, and it works well in both smaller spaces and mid-sized rooms. We turned the volume all the way up and the sound wasn’t jarring or cracking like in cheaper, smaller systems. The sound is rich with a full bass and clear mids, and high notes are not particularly “sharp”, which is a quality in audio I personally prefer. It’s also surprising that the bass came out fairly strong considering that the HD4 is built with a tweeter and woofer, but not a subwoofer. The lower-midrange was most notable; it’s detailed and the various instruments were clear.

Audioengine’s philosophy is to inspire people to listen to music passionately every day, and I believe they’ve achieved this with the HD4 speakers. Connecting the HD4 to my Pro-Ject Turntable, the system produced a warm, analog sound with rich vocals. I was enjoying my old records all over again, and appreciating that two speakers indeed sound better than one.

Another review of these speakers that I found online called it the “Goldilocks” of bookshelf speakers; it comes in the right size, the right specs and at the right price. In Singapore, together with other Audioengine speakers, they are available from AV One. You can check out the full range on their website here.


The Audioengine HD4 home music system is priced at $759.05, available from AV1GROUP.COM.SG.
All photos taken from AV One’s Website.