Reviews: 2.0, 2.1 and 3.1 Speakers

REVIEW / Edifier M1380

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Tristan François Published on December 14, 2010
Updated on December 14, 2010
Translated by Catherine Barraclough

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Power supply External
  • Sound-To-Noise ratio NC dB
  • of subwoofer 2x8 / 12
  • Nominal output power NA
  • Remote Wired
  • Connectivity Mini-jack, headphones socket
It's not often we see new contenders in the market for PC speakers—a sector that's now fairly static and already saturated. However, Edifier has taken this small world by surprise on more than one occasion, with 2.1 speaker sets that are really quite good.

Hardware & Design: basic but good

You can't really expect a flash design or excellent handling with cheaper speaker sets, but Edifier still does a pretty good job of things with an overall look that's basic but subtle and discreet. These speakers don't necessarily have the most sleek, stylish design, but they won't be an eyesore on your desk. The M1380 speakers are also very well made and finished.

The same can't be said of the remote control, however. Although it's compact, when it's resting next to your keyboard its dubious-looking quality is particularly noticeable. We don't think its paint job will hold fast for very long either!

Audio Quality: can you really expect better?

Bearing in mind that this is a budget speaker set, the M1380 is quite clearly not the best product on the market. The subwoofer is rather feeble, there's a slight shortage of mediums, and higher sounds can be aggressive.

On the whole though, it's decent enough, especially for a product in this price range. Voices are clear and instruments are defined and positioned correctly. It's no match for a hi-fi system, but you can't really ask for anything more.

We were, however, disappointed to see a problem typical to this kind of 2.1 speaker kit: the satellites and subwoofer aren't in proportion. As is often the case, the subwoofer helps out the satellites with the lower mediums, but they still struggle to keep up. It'd be better to have larger, more powerful satellites and a less imposing subwoofer to help bring more balance to the overall output.

Edifier hasn't really made a name for itself in the high-end market but it's certainly a manufacturer worth considering when you don't want to spend and arm and a leg on an audio system. Mainstream manufacturers had better watch out!
Don't Scrimp on Sound
We've noticed that audio equipment tends to be the poor relation of the consumer tech market. It often seems more important to invest in good image quality rather than good sound quality, and users often spend larger amounts of money on a monitor or TV than any audio systems.

However, don't forget that any video, TV show, film or video game won't be as immersive with poor-quality sound. After testing all kinds of speaker sets, we reckon you'll need to spend at least £50 for a set that produces decent sound. We'd only recommend cheaper products as a back-up or temporary solution.

If you still need convincing, try listening to a speaker set that costs £100-£200 and then go back to your low-end set-up: the difference can be quite incredible! Obviously, not everyone has that kind of money to be spending on speakers, but where possible, investing in a decent quality set is worth every penny, especially for anyone who's serious about games, music or films.

PROS

  • Not too expensive, good value for money
  • Subtle, discreet design
  • Decent sound quality

CONS

  • Imbalance between the subwoofer and satellites
  • Design is a little harsh
  • Remote control could be better

CONCLUSION 3/5

The Edifier M1380 speakers are good choice for anyone on a tight budget. You can certainly find better, but you'll also have to be prepared to pay more.
3 Edifier M1380 DigitalVersus 2010-12-14 00:00:00
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