Audioengine P4 review

With a build quality and sound that belies their price, you'd be mad not to try out the AP4s Tested at £183

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The AP4s have plenty to recommend them. Put them on your shortlist


  • +

    Usefully small

  • +

    exemplary finish at the money

  • +

    sweetly articulate midrange

  • +

    good integration


  • -

    Fractionally bright at the top end, slightly inflexible at the bottom

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

We've listened to and enjoyed a couple of powered Audioengine speaker ranges in the past, but this is our first encounter with any of the company's passive designs.

The AP4s are extremely compact (less than 23cm high), front-ported two-way speakers – the tweeter is a 20mm silk-dome affair, with a 100mm Kevlar driver below.

Our review pair is finished in satin black, but glossy white and something called ‘solid carbonised bamboo' are available too. We definitely want bamboo ones next time.

Sound bigger than they are
In the meantime, though, our satin black examples do very good work. Julian Cope's version of Roky Erickson's I Have Always Been Here Before impresses from the off: thanks to the frankly unlikely scale and presence of its delivery, the AP4s do a creditable impression of far larger speakers.

Midrange communication and detail are a match for any price-comparable competitor, and the handover from the tweeter to driver is silky-smooth.

Tonally the AP4s are on the polite side – far preferable to the rowdier presentation some similarly sized rivals favour in an attempt to overcome their physical limitations.

It's at either end of the frequency range that potential problems lurk. Treble sounds are absolutely as bright and shiny as is acceptable, so some care should be taken to ensure partnering electronics don't share that trait.

Thick bottom end
At the bottom end there's a thickness, a slightly fat-tongued lack of eloquence, to the AP4s' bass delivery – and the closer to a nearby back wall the Audioengines are positioned, the more pronounced this becomes.

These speakers certainly deserve to be auditioned. The price, their dimensions and the quality of materials in their construction make them worthy of investigation – the sound they make just confirms it.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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