HB-1 MK2 Horn Bookshelf Speaker

"It was involving and immersive. It drew you into the music. Yes, more than the Kondo system did ($350,000). There was no tiny sweet spot. Classical, jazz, vocals - everything sounded good, emotional & expressive."

James Darby, Stereomojo.com


HSU Research is proud to introduce the second generation HB-1. The second generation (MK2) HB-1 boasts flatter frequency response, improved horn, and more powerful Neodymium magnet for the tweeter, and greatly improved looks - expensive real wood finish or custom satin black paint, much better finishes than most of our competitors.

The HB-1MK2 is both efficient and high power handling. It provides effortless dynamics to handle high definition audio programs and home theater. 

The 6 1/2-inch woofers in the HB-1MK2 have excellent damping properties, which reproduce upper-bass frequencies with utmost accuracy. This is keeping with Dr. Hsu's tradition of designing transient-accurate subwoofers, and allows the HB-1MK2 to integrate seamlessly with any HSU Research subwoofer. The HB-1MK2 was designed specifically to work best in systems using subwoofers. 


Industry Reviews

"On to the Best Real World Gears award, with 'Real World' meaning gear that's not only highly affordable but a legit performer. Without question, this award goes to the incredibly gracious folks at HSU Research."

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Todd Anderson, Home Theater Shack (The "Best of" AXPONA 2015) , Apr 2015


"Every once in a while you come across a product that isn't just a good deal, but offers quality so far above and beyond what you'd expect for the price that you find yourself recommending it whenever you get the chance. That's the case with these Hsu Research Hybrid 3 Speakers"

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Charles Starrett, Uncrate, May 2013


"For less than $1600 MSRP, you get a world-class system."

"You get accurate and musical sound over a wonderfully wide dynamic range, perhaps not that of a symphony
orchestra up-close, but approaching that range. You get musical timbre and accuracy from the mid through the
top frequencies that gives most every other system a run for the 'best of' award."

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Gene Pitts, The Audiophile Voice Vol. 15, No. 3, Sept 2012


"To say that for a sub-$200 speaker the HB-1 MK2's neutrality is rather staggering would be an understatement. More impressive, it's the first horn-loaded speaker I've heard that didn't sound "shouty" at volume. In fact, the HB-1 MK2's high-frequency response is practically the very definition of smooth. Does the HB-1 MK2's tweeter sparkle and shine the way many newer, more esoteric tweeters do nowadays? No, not exactly, but in not sounding like (or should I say chasing) what others are doing, it manages to be unique in its own right and the result is nothing but natural - not to mention non-fatiguing.

The HB-1 MK2's midrange is a real treat, for it is virtually without color and as close to neutral as I think I've heard at this price point and even several clicks above. The upper midrange is so organic and textural that it manages to put to shame a lot of other quality bookshelf speakers costing three and even five times as much. The HB-1 MK2's midrange performance, especially with well-recorded vocals and dialog tracks, is absolutely sublime. Speaking of sublime, the HB-1 MK2's soundstage is stunning and better in my room than even my reference Bowers & Wilkins. The air, detail, dynamics and three-dimensionality found in the HB-1 MK2's soundstage is simply amazing and one of the speaker's best attributes. Equally impressive is the level of detail and delineation that can be heard within the soundstage. While I've heard speakers with better focus, the HB-1 MK2 gets so much of the equation right that you'll come out of pocket a lot more before you begin to improve upon what the HSU's provides you out of the box."

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Andrew Robinson, Home Theater Review, March 10, 2012


"I’ve heard many speakers costing several times the price of the HB-1 that don’t do nearly this well.... Very impressive."

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Jeff Van Dyne, Home Theater Sound, November 2008


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"Every once in a while, I come across a product that performs at a level so far above its price point it is shocking. The HB-1 and HC-1 MK 2 speakers fall into that category. Simply put, I was amazed that a $150 bookshelf speaker and $239 center channel speaker could sound that good. Highly recommended!"

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Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, November 2008


"..The soundstage was immense and more solid than I could believe. One can move around within the speakers and the sound doesn't noticeably change. They sound like a live performance whether the listener is right in the middle or directly in front of one of the speakers. When pushed to perform loud they are free from dynamic compression with a sense of attack on the notes and overall clarity."

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William Schuchard, Stereomojo, August 2008


"..revealing a fine level of detail, conveying a hauntingly smooth tonality free of the nasal or cupped hand coloration we often associate with horn speakers."

"Even at low levels, approaching mere background music, there is more than sufficient low level resolution to enjoy the event."

"You gotta love the price"

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Fred Manteghian, Ultimate A/V, March 2007


"This is the kind of speaker that transforms everything you put through it"

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Mark Fleischmann, Hometheatermag.com (March,2007)


"The budget speaker package to beat"

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Mark Fleischmann, Home Theater Magazine (March, 2007)


"the HB-1's are the kind of product that makes one wonder why spending twice as much (or 10 times as much) is really necessary"

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Steve Eddy, Affordableaudio.org (Feb, 2007)


"This speaker may become the underground bestseller of 2006”

"Make that 2007. Aside from the year, I stand by my original impression"

Mark Fleischmann, Hometheatermag.com (Mar, 2007 & June 6,2006)


"sounded better than many far more expensive ones I’ve the displeasure of hearing..played the human voice in both male and female varieties and the system definitely kept me intrigued and smiling"

Fred Manteghian, UltimateAVmag.com (June 2, 2006)


Customer Testimonials

"I was really captivated by the open, wide sound stage these things throw and the overall smoothness of the mids -- especially female vocals. Contrary to what you might think, the HB-1s seemed to disappear better than the $6k Gallos I have upstairs with their 180 degree horizontal dispersion tweeters. The music just seems to float in a cloud enveloping the speakers left to right, front to back, up to down. I was also astonished how dynamic these things can be, especially with a sub taking everything below 60 Hz. I've heard very few horn loaded speakers before, but was well aware of their reputation for turning into shoutboxes at higher volumes. Not so with the HB-1s...
Just thought I'd throw these thoughts out there for anyone who's on the fence about giving them a shot -- IMO you'd be a fool not to if you're looking to spend up to $1k to $1.5k/pair."



"I recently purchased a pair of the HB-1 MK2's and decided to get the HC-1 MK2 center speaker to match my audio field. I am thrilled at the sonic majesty coming from my stereo right now. Thank you hsu research for such amazing products."


"I am writing this thread just to tell the Hsu world how pleased I am with my HT consisting of 2 HB-1 MK2's and a HC-1 MK2 for LRC and a pair of HIW-1's for rear surround. At first I just purchased 4 HB-1 MK2's and a HC-1 HC-1 MK2, when I received them I decided to setup a pair of the HB-1's in my comuter room to break them in. WOW I was amazed at the sound coupled to a Yamaha R-N500 networked receiver, playing AIFF files from my computer and streaming Tidal files. I was so happy with the HB-1's that I ordered the HIW-1's for the rear stage of the HT."

" I finally setup the HT and was amazed at the sound and soundstage that the LCR's were able to provide."



"The speakers are amazing.  The mid bass module is awesome."



" I just bought an HC-1 and 2 HB-1 (MK2) speakers to go with my VTF3-MK4 and am awed by them! Apart from the incredible sound stage, I love their neutrality, clarity, and ability to play at terrifyingly high volumes while not irritating my ears at all."



"Although my expectations were high based on my research, the speakers are absolutely stunning!  And this is prior to sorting them out with an SPL meter. This
is even more remarkable given that they are not even
broken in yet.

 I almost never write a company to let them know when a product or service exceeds expectations, but felt it was more than warranted in your case. Great quality at a price that is unmatched.

 Well done!"



"The [HB-1] imaging was stunning, even off-axis. They were also very dynamic. For the price ($125), I thought they were an excellent value. The speakers went down to 60Hz, although Dr. Hsu had them crossed over at 80Hz. The rest of the bass was re-routed to Hsu's upcoming mid-bass driver (as subwoofer that rolled off around 50Hz), which was placed right next to the seating location. Deep bass below 50Hz was reproduced by a VTF-3 [HO] Turbo, placed in the front corner.

I thought it was one of the best demos at the show"

AVS Forum member sdurani (aka Sanjay Durani)


"I know this is a delayed post to this thread but I think it may prove useful to others in the future so here goes. Two points:

The Infinity Primus series is portrayed in the high end press as being bright in the treble. The HB-1's have no brightness whatsoever.

Often manufacturers add a bit of midbass presence to give the listener the perception of more bass. I do not know if this is a characteristic of the Primus series bug the HB-1's do not have any midbass bump.

I agree with Dr. Hsu's assessment of his speaker. The sound is effortless. I can listen for hours without any fatigue. The speaker has a very relaxing quality to it. There's no overbearing treble, no midrange thickness, no inflated bass, just music. It truly is a music lover's speaker.

In a way it's a very dangerous speaker. Dangerous in the sense that one might think if a $300 pair of speakers sounds this good, imagine how much better a $1000 pair of speakers will sound. The danger comes in the fact that the $1000 speaker from another manufacturer may not sound as good as these.

What's the downside of the HB-1? Vertical dispersion is limited. One needs to get them at the proper listening height for them to sound their best."



"After much delay, I finally got around to replace or upgrade my entire home audio system. Selected the 5.1 Hybrid 15 speaker system. Never realized how much music I was missing nor how big that sub actually is. People who have come over to hear my new toys, have actually complimented me on the nice end table (VTF-15H sub) that I just purchased. Since I live so close, I was able to audition the speaker system at the Hsu Research office. People were genuinely helpful, especially when they helped me load everything into my car."



Satin Black (Each)


Product At a Glance

Frequency response
60Hz – 20kHz +/- 2 dB
Sensitivity 92 dB / 1m / 2.83V in Half Space
Recommended Amplifier Power 10-250W RMS Per Channel
Woofer 612 Inch
Enclosure Type Vented ; 34” MDF
Recommended Impedance setting 8 ohms
Enclosure Dimensions 1538” H x 8” W x 8” D
Dimensions with Grill 1538” H x 8” W x 8”58" D
Weight 14 lbs
Warranty 7-years
Designed and Engineered in the U.S.A.


Owners Guide

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