Edifier R1200T Multimedia Speaker System Review
Over the past few reviews here at ModSynergy, there has been an influx of high quality products being shared to our readers. We’ve seen how a great display can make DVD experiences awe inspiring (with the Samsung 2232GW) and we’ve seen when complimented with a great audio system (in the M-Audio AV40) that is transparent and has amazing imaging can bring that experience to an almost bliss state. Now you’re probably thinking of how expensive some of these audio systems are and that is mostly true. But is there an audio system out there can that keep up with the more expensive units while keeping the cost to a minimum?
Well today hopefully we can shed some light regarding an advertised cost effective active professional 2.0 monitor with ¾” silk dome tweeters and a 4” range driver that won’t break your wallet and that can provide you with an improved audio experience. What if I told you this system cost only $59CAD and can be found in Wal-Marts all across Canada?
Edifier is a relatively unknown company here in North America. I reviewed the Edifier e2100 multimedia system a few years back and while it did not receive my recommendation, I really felt that it was a decent system and with a few tweaks here and there had the potential to become a great system. In fact my thoughts on Edifier as an audio company were that they had a chance to become a force to be reckoned with in North America since they are very popular in China and other parts of the world.
With that in mind, I was fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to share with you one of Edifier’s latest offerings for their North American market, the Edifier R1200T Multimedia Speaker System.
“Edifier Group, founded in Beijing in 1996, is one of China’s first specialized manufacturers of genuine wood enclosure speaker systems. Edifier was also the first speaker manufacturer in China to successfully develop an exclusive international market when it evolved in 1998 into a transnational group company selling into most major world markets.
The Group has about 3,000 employees and more than two million square feet of manufacturing facilities with full product research and development, plastic injection, machining, molding, painting, silk-screen printing, product testing and assembly facilities. The annual output of active speakers is eight million sets.
Edifier Enterprises Canada Inc., the North America head office of Edifier Group, was founded in Vancouver, Canada in 1998, and is mainly responsible for group strategic planning, product research and development, marketing Edifier products for customers in Canada, the United States and Mexico.”
Features and Specifications
Looking at these specifications makes the Edifier R1200T a little smaller than it really is. The wattage on the Edifier R1200T is only rated for 8w continuous per channel thus resulting in a total of 16w total RMS. Now this really does not sound much, but I told you time and time again that wattage numbers don’t really reflect how well a particular system performs and we’ll see how the Edifier R1200T perform as wattage indicators can be misleading.
First impressions and overview
Edifier prides itself in constructing their systems out of MDF (medium-density fiberboard) and this R1200T is no different. The MDF is covered with wooden accent vinyl that gives it a quality looking finish and upon inspection reveals a top-notch job creating these cabinets.
The Edifier R1200T is a two-speaker bass reflex system in which air exits the back of the system and has looks that are reminiscent of studio monitors such as the M-Audio AV40 we reviewed previously. Edifier agrees and advertises the R1200T as a cost effective active professional 2.0 monitor setup consisting of a 4-inch range driver that handles the low-frequency and ¾” silk dome tweeters that handle the high frequencies. Paired together, the two separate driver systems will try to balance both treble and midranges the best it can.
The Edifier R1200T is called active powered because it contains an integrated amplifier that allows no utilization of a pre-amp to power them. The amplifier changes the amplitude (height and power) of the sound waves accordingly between the ranges of 60Hz to 20,000Hz. Unfortunately there are no specifications on sound pressure levels but the signal to noise ratio is > 96dB. The Edifier R1200T are magnetically shielded (both drivers) to prevent any interference to your electronics.
The Edifier R1200T isn’t very versatile in the type of connections it has but has enough of the connections to allow it to perform great as a desktop system and one for MP3 players, DVD, televisions, and other equipment using the RCA audio output since the R1200T has two of them. The speaker with the amplifier has the controls and connections that include volume, bass; there are no treble volume, power cable, power switch, and two RCA connections named Line A and Line B. RCA input Line A has the dynamic treble-upgrade function and reinforcement of 10db to 10 KHz which basically means line A has more treble than line B.
The manual is poor in the area above as it does not provide any comments (very vague) on what the differences between both RCA inputs mean and whether one is recommended over the other. You can use both line-A and line-B RCA inputs simultaneously. If you play two sources at the same time you can hear both playing. Having two RCA inputs is a great thing because I can hook these up to my computer along with my Xbox 360 and I won't have to hook it up whenever I needed to if I only had one RCA input. Being a budget system, it doesn’t have the higher quality left and right 1/4" TRS input jack that is a is commonly used for situations where you need to utilize long cable runs for your sound recordings. The TRS connection is a great way to reduce the vulnerability to external noise which is an important factor when doing sound recordings.
Simply put I think it is safe to say that the Edifier R1200T is a stereo multimedia system with looks of a studio monitor but don’t mistake it as one as it misses some of the key connections.
Two of the things I’m disappointed with are the exclusion of a 1/8" aux input that is used if you want to use the speaker system to play from an MP3 player source and there is no headphone jack. For me, a headphone jack is something I always use from time to time.
Purchasing the Edifier R1200T will find these items inside the box that it comes in…
The Edifier R1200T is roughly the same size as the M-Audio AV40 which we reviewed previously along with the same size 4-inch driver. Being as it is, I would have liked the volume and bass control knobs to have been made on the front left side of the cabinet. This is the same beef I had with the M-Audio AV40’s but at least the AV40’s had the volume at the front of the unit. I really dislike having to reach back to increase/decrease volume and to increase/decrease the bass. The power switch I can compromise with being at the rear of the unit since that isn’t really important. The volume knob at the side of the unit would have been a good compromise though and still be keeping the clean look Edifier was trying to go for.
At the end of the day, how does it sound?
The Edifier R1200T is a budget multimedia system; I had to take this into consideration. When reviewing any audio system a few things I’m looking out for to determine if the system is good is that I want to see is if the system is balanced and doesn’t have strength in one area more than the other. A good system is one that is balanced between its woofer and tweeter and not one that overpowers. In this case we have two drivers comprising of two different frequency ranges. Does one range sound prominent over the other or do they work in harmony with one another? These are just some of the things I am looking for.
In this review I will take another approach in offering up my thoughts in bullet format instead of long paragraphs. These are the thoughts I had when reviewing the Edifier R1200T. Things may not be in a logical format but bear with me. I’ve spent a couple of weeks with the Edifier R1200T.
Well there you have it. The overall feeling is that the Edifier R1200T is a damn good system for the money. I don’t think I’ve heard anything better than this for the price.
The comparison between the M-Audio AV40 and R1200T is only for reference since it’ll have been a completely absurd comparison. These two systems are for different purposes and different segments. But the R1200T wasn’t really beaten down in shame; it actually held its own.
Sure the M-Audio AV40 won all the rounds, sounded fuller and more transparent but the Edifier R1200T is good for what it is. To hang with a much better system in the AV40 says how good the R1200T really is. I have no problem with recommending these.
They aren’t the best out there, but they are really good for the price. To be able to hold its own against the superior M-Audio AV40’s is a testament of how good this system really is.
On the audio side, I really didn’t have too many negative things to say about the R1200T other then the fact that it does lack the forward movement bass and the treble overpowers the low-frequency driver in RCA line-A. But increasing the bass all the way can lessen this difference and tinkering with the EQ in Windows Media Player can help really make this Edifier R1200T a relatively balanced system.
Having now seen how well the R1200T performs, I’m very curious to how the bigger brother R1900 performs. If the R1200 has already impressed me, I’m pretty sure the R1900 must be better in every way. Unfortunately R1900 not sold in the North American market…Shame that they are offered only in other markets.
I’ll say it again. I see the potential in Edifier as a company and there is a reason why their highly regarded in China and other countries but I’m dumbfounded to why they are not known much in North America. They really have to market their products better to be competitive with the likes Logitech, Altec Lansing, Klipsch, and Creative.
And seriously Edifier, please bring all your great lines to North America such as the R1900 and S2000V because if you do that, Edifier should be a force to be reckoned with. Seriously. They even have famous loud speaker specialist Phil Jones helping in designing their products.
Pros and Cons