If you’re an audiophile, you’ve already looked at the price point and decided these aren’t for you, and you’re correct. But for music lovers in general, they might really hit a sweet spot in value, sound, format and looks. Where I see these working well is as an alternative to various portable sound devices, such as Bose and Jal, where you want something smaller and cheaper but want it to look good in a room, and sound good.
I don’t rate things, I only “review” things which I recommend, and help you decide if they’re right for you. By default, everything I write about is 10/10 for my purposes.
- Desktop or Bookshelf
- Auxiliary listening device for music lovers
These medium sized powered speakers are not powerful, and they’re unlikely to impress an audiophile, but for the worth, they make an excellent pair of desktop, bedroom or even living room speakers. In saying they’re not powerful, they are powerful enough for most people, and turned 1/4 way up will be uncomfortably loud for post people, while still sounding good. We live in a smallish one bedroom flat, and sound really travels through the whole place pretty easily. I was previously using a pair of expensive 1990 Bowser & Wilkins with a solid 90s amplifier that i could not turn up above 1% before it was too loud, and which had stereo balance issues due to being turned down too low.
Part the reason I wanted to change to powered speakers was to cut the amplifier out of the equation. Yes, my B&W sounded awesome, but most of the time I am not listening listening to music – it’s just filling the background, and having the amp taking up all that space, not to mention all the wires, was starting to eat at my nerves. The Edifiers are smaller speakers and plug straight into the wall. Perfect.
They are clearly designed for steaming, and not just because of the inclusion of Bluetooth. The volume is on the back so using it as the primary means of changing volume is not practical at all. Thankfully I use Airplay, and control the volume via devices. Of course I set the speakers to that maximum volume is not too loud in case I want to run the Apple TV sound through them too (or even a the DVD).
I’m not going to lie, part of the reason I got these particular speakers was price. I was on a pretty tight budget at the time. But for what I spent, I was pleasantly surprised with the sound as well as the solid feel.
The reason I was using a bunch of old overpowered gear was because I like quality. So how do the Edifiers sound? Surprisingly good for their cost. What I like about them is their decent default sound and the fact they are traditional room speakers in a familiar shape. They have a good build quality, have a nice weight to them and look good in any room.
But if you love music and are looking for a primary way to listen to it, look elsewhere. The bass is a bit muddy, as if it’s reverberating at the wrong frequency. If you do what I do, and put on some good headphones when you want to really listen, and just want something for more casual listening, these might do it, even at their price point – if you don’t expect too much. They have a full sound, generally well rounded.
If you absolutely must have a bottom heavy sound – and I’m one of you – it might pay to check them out in a store. The bass is there for listening, but if you want to bring it in front of the rest of the music, it just wont work that well.
Having two RCA inputs at once is awesome. I can have the Airport Express feeding airplay into once, and have the other hooked up to my PC or the DVD player.
There is no 3.5mm input – you’ll need an RCA to 3.5mm stereo lead (or whatever you have to RCA) if you plan on plugging anything in. RCA are the red and white split stereo inputs.
I don’t use the Bluetooth feature, but it’s there. I find Airplay works better with multiple devices and use an Apple Express to feed the signal in.
Like the volume, the only means of altering the sound – a single bass knob – is on the back of the speakers. You’ll need to do any EQ adjustments in the source. For iOS users, the Jazz preset (accessed in Music section of the settings app) might be good, it will add richness to the bass and highs, but honestly I prefer the unaltered sound of the speakers. It says a lot about them that I can’t find an EQ setting that improves them. I do like a nice warm sound though. Some people might even like the Loudness preset which really removes the mids.