Edifier MS50A Smart Speaker Review – Spotify & Alexa but no microphone for improved privacy

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Edifier MS50A Smart Speaker Review Rating

Summary

The Edifier MS50A is an excellent affordable smart speaker. For those that prefer increased privacy, this will be much more appealing than Amazon Echo devices, and it offers better performance for the price compared to the Sonos One SL.

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Pros

  • Attractive price
  • Room filling sound and good overall sound quality
  • No microphone

Cons

  • No microphone (if you want voice control)
  • App and integration is lacking vs Sonos

Edifier has predominantly focussed on active speakers and TWS earbuds. They are now expanding into the increasingly competitive market of smart speakers.

The Edifier MS50A is a good first attempt as well. It is a compelling choice thanks to its reasonably low price tag and smart speaker functionality without the privacy concerns of an always-listening microphone.  

Unlike big brand names, Edifier has implemented smart functionality via existing platforms. It works with Alexa (minus voice control), and you also have Spotify connect and Bluetooth connectivity options.

Specification

  • 19mm silk dome tweeter
  • 102mm wool diaphragm
  • 40W RMS average power rating – Mid-base(25W) + treble(15W)
  • 5GHz fast WiFi streaming and Bluetooth v5.0 connection.
  • Natively support Apple Airplay2 and Spotify, works with Alexa.
  • 2-way speaker with digital crossover.
  • 211.3mm x 145.5mm x 145.5mm dimensions
  • 2.26kg

Set Up

One initial gripe I had with this speaker is that Edifier has separated the apps for the WiFi speakers away from the Bluetooth earbuds, meaning I now have two Edifier apps.

Beyond that, the set-up was like most other WiFi smart home tech nowadays. Once you enable the location services, the app will find the speaker and ask you to connect to the WiFi.

I didn’t read the specification when I first got this and connected to my 2.5Ghz network, however, you can use 5Ghz too.

If you have two speakers, you can then pair them up for stereo use.

With the speaker set up, Amazon Alexa was automatically identified (because I have the app on my phone).

From there, the app doesn’t do a great deal.

Edifier MS50A vs Sonos One Features and Performance

I currently have a Sonos One and a Sonos Beam in my kitchen, so this is where I mainly tested the Edifier MS50A.

Both the 2nd Gen Sonos One and One SL have an Ethernet port for more reliable connectivity, but they lack Bluetooth. They are also both humidity resistant, whereas the Edifier is not.

The Edifier is much more attractive than the dull Sonos, and it is also physically larger and heavier.

The Edifier sounds good, and I immediately noticed that it seemed louder and less likely to distort than my Sonos One.

Audio quality is excellent for a speaker at this price, and I would say it was as good if not better than the Sonos. However, at higher volumes, I did notice some sharpness in the highs. The poor acoustics in my kitchen likely did not help.

The Edifier Home app is very basic and not much use other than setting up the speaker. Unfortunately, there is also no equalizer, whereas Sonos has some very basic EQ options.

While the speaker lacks a microphone, you can still control it if you have an Echo Dot or other similar devices nearby.

Price and Alternative Options

The Edifier MS50A is priced at £129.99 on Amazon

For Sonos you have:

  • Sonos One SL is £170
  • Sonos One (Gen 2) is £190

For Amazon Echo devices, you have:

  • Echo Studio for £190 – This is quite a bit different, being much larger.
  • Echo (2nd generation) for £90
  • Echo Plus for £140

Then the Denon Home 150 is £195

Audio Pro A10 has an RRP of £180 but is available on Amazon for as low as £130 – This seems to have basic Alexa integration but has a wider range of streaming compatibility via the Audio Pro Control App.

Overall

I like the Edifier MS50A a lot. The low price, decent sound quality and relatively loud volume make it an appealing choice compared to Sonos or Amazon options.

The smart speaker functionality can’t compete with the excellent Sonos App. However, Sonos has damaged its reputation recently by not upgrading speakers over 5 years old.

Last update on 2022-06-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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