Edifier e2100 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System Review
This Christmas, many will be looking for computer speaker systems as gifts to loved ones. Looking for speakers can be a daunting task because there are just so many to choose from. Most people know names such as Creative, Logitech, and Altec Lansing. How about Edifier? Most wouldn’t know who Edifier was. Edifier is a small company that has a Canadian affiliation. Today I will look at one of Edifier’s new speaker system, the e2100.
“Established in Beijing, China, in May 1996, the Edifier Group quickly expanded overseas, and in 1998 developed into a transnational group company. Edifier is one of China’s first specialized manufacturers producing genuine wood enclosure speaker systems, and one of the first groups of loudspeaker manufacturers who have successfully developed an exclusive international market.
Now that you know Edifier a little bit more let us take a look at their e2100 on paper.
For all of you who do not know what “MDF” is, it stands for “Medium Density Fiberboard”. This type of wood is made from wood fibers glued under heat and pressure that helps lessen resonation.
The main reason why most audio companies use MDF is because its advantages. These advantages are a dense, flat, strong and stiff wood that works well in audio applications where in this case, bass is being reflected around the enclosure and in the case of MDF being dense and stiff wood, bass sounds better. MDF used in subwoofer cases are great for absorbing reflective sound waves. MDF wood also has a thicker core density and prevents those annoying rattling, vibration noises at higher bass levels and it lasts longer.
Edifier’s e2100 speaker system arrived at ModSynergy in a cardboard corrugated box. Upon opening the box, one notices that Edifiers box is very funky, with this weird spherical thing that seems to be exploding. Nonetheless, it is indeed eye catching. The version I am reviewing is the ivory colored version.
What you will receive in purchasing the e2100 are the following items…
The first time you see the system as a whole, you really notice how cute this system looks. It is very compact and stands out, especially the satellites because the funnel looks like it is jumping out at you.
The subwoofer is a compact design measuring in at 202x153x278mm. It is not too heavy but is very solid being constructed out of real MDF wood. There should be no rattling as is common with those made from plastic enclosures. Edifier chooses to go with a 4” long-throw subwoofer driver. Since this is a compact design, 4” seems a good enough but we will see if the subwoofer will perform like it should. However keep in mind it only has 12 watts RMS allocated to it, which doesn’t seem too powerful. The front design has a nice glossy finish and features the volume, bass and power buttons. Don’t ask me why Edifier chooses not to include a treble control. I suspected the system would have too much treble on default. There is an orange LED once the unit has turned on. The rear of this subwoofer is very well laid out. Edifier has made a nice decision in color-coding every connector. You will never ever make a mistake upon installation. The bottom of this unit contains four rubber feet to keep it planted on the ground. The power connector wire is of sufficient length. Lastly, the subwoofer is magnetically shielded which is always a nice feature to have.
The Edifier e2100 comes with two nice looking satellite speakers. With 16 watts RMS allocated to these satellite speakers, we can assume they will sound good and have plenty of power for this kind of compact setup.
The satellites each have 3” heat treated paper voice coils and feel like they are of good quality. It doesn’t feel like the cheap $10 speakers I’ve come across many times. These ones actually feel like they will last.
The satellites come with aluminum stands which are a nice touch. These stands add some weight to the light satellites and prevent them from moving or falling aside while listening at high volumes.
Lastly Edifier packages two plastic covers for the satellites which is a nice touch. You can decide whether or not you want them installed. I personally like them off.
I want to go over the wired remote. It is a small device that goes between the speaker system and your computer. It controls the ON/OFF switch, volume and offers a headphone jack. Now this device doesn’t come with any sort of suction cup at the bottom so it is prone to sliding and falling anywhere it goes. The usefulness of this type of device is questionable. I think Edifier should have chosen to integrate the headphone jack into the satellite speaker. I don’t see the need of having two volume controls and two ON/OFF buttons.
How it sounds – The results
Overall, for the money the Edifier e2100 speaker system sounds good. However, there are some weaknesses. This system is hands down better than the Logisys speakers I reviewed some time ago. However it doesn’t trump the sound quality of an Altec Lansing. This system feels more live and vibrant than the Logisys speaker system, yet it doesn’t feel quite has live and vibrant compared to the Altec Lansing VS4121.
The subwoofer is the weakest link. There is not enough power allocated to it. It generally feels weak when you play music on the lower volumes and when you make your way up you can hear the bass, but cannot feel it. You need to position the subwoofer box next to you to even get the chance of feeling it. I had it situated on the floor and that did not fare well because I really could not feel the bass, unless I increased the volume considerably. However, when the e2100 was connected to the iAudio MP3 player and custom tuned with more bass, it improved to where it had better bass than the Logisys system. Bass was more fluid, more revealing. I changed my PC soundcard to produce more bass, but it was still not enough. The satellites were overpowering the subwoofer every step of the way.
As I mentioned, the satellites tend to overpower the subwoofer. But the problem isn’t with the satellites - they are great performers. The voice reproduction out of these two satellites is very good, almost crystal rich. Their distortion in minimal. The satellites perform well in each level low, medium and high. But the lack of base and lack of treble control means the treble can be quite pronounced, even overpowering at high levels, depending on the piece of music.
The e2100 as a whole is that it’s a vocal driven system. If you listened to the sound of glass shattering, you would feel the pieces of glass being broken. This is just not a bass-oriented system.
During the past few long months I have had this speaker system running and it has functioned well. The quality of the subwoofer and satellites has remained as it was the day I opened the box with no sign of deterioration in any sort of way.
I see great potential in Edifier as a company after reviewing these e2100 speakers. If they can make a system with great bass mixed in with an already good satellite system, they could have a hit. The Edifier e2100 is a good speaker system that is well suited to the music based on vocals. This system is also good a small room. There is just not enough power to fill a living room. The e2100 looks better than it performs and it performs decently. It is no Altec Lansing, not yet, but Edifier could be if they work on a couple of things.
Pros and Cons
I would like to thank Edifier for making this review possible. I invite you to chat about this review in the forums.