Edifier S3000 Pro Active Stereo Speaker Review

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Edifier S3000 Pro Active Stereo Speaker Review Rating

Summary

The Edifier S3000 Pro are pair of outstanding active stereo speakers. The sound quality is incredible and the wireless speaker connection is flawless. However, they are very big, not the most attractive and quite expensive.

Overall
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Pros

  • Outstanding sound quality
  • Flawless wireless connectivity

Cons

  • Massive speakers with a bit of an old fashioned design
  • No sub out

I have reviewed quite a few of the Edifier speakers over the years, and I loved the Edifier R2000DB enough that I switched to them as my main PC speaker after my Bose Companion 50 speakers died.

I have been very happy with them over the past few months, but due to the nature of my work, there was always that niggling desire to have something better.

I had planned to finish upgrading my home theatre 5.1 system and use the retired system for my PC audio. However, Edifier asked if I would like to review the Edifier S3000 Pro, and I couldn't be happier.

Edifier S3000PRO Hi Res Audio Active 2.0 Wireless Monitor...
  • Bluetooth V5.0 with QualcommaptX HD decoding
  • Input type: Line in, Balance, Bluetooth, Optical,...
  • Certified HiRes, these speakers are not only...
  • Bass drivers: 6.5” (179mm) aluminum alloy...

Specification

  • Wireless connection between the speakers
  • HiRes certified quality
  • Planar diaphragm tweeters
  • 6.5″ (179mm) bass unit
  • Qualcomm aptX HD decoding
  • USB, line-in, optical, and balanced inputs
  • Remote control

Edifier S3000 Pro vs Edifier R2000DB

I doubt many people will be trying to decide whether to get the Edifier R2000DB or the S3000 Pro, but this is what my upgrade path looks like.

Edifier S3000 Pro Subwoofer

Most people will probably not need a subwoofer with these speakers, they have more than enough bass as it is.

There is no subwoofer output on the speakers, but they are compatible with them, and I have seen a few people online state they have done this with excellent results.

The Edifier states that you can use a subwoofer with the powered speakers, but the subwoofer must also be self-powered. You will need an RCA Y-splitter. From the audio source, run one set of the RCA's to the speakers and the other set of RCA's to the subwoofer. Note that speakers without a sub-out do not have a low-pass filter, so they will continue to play bass frequencies when connected to the subwoofer.

There seems to be conflicting information if you can run a subwoofer while using the built-in USB DAC, but if you are using an external DAC, you should be OK.

Design

The first thing you will notice about these speakers is that they are massive. They have dimensions of 232*368*356 mm and weigh 21.1kg in total. They are not exactly discrete speakers that will fit on a small desk. Ideally, you want speakers stands for them.

The overall design is divisive. They are a bit old fashioned looking, massive bookshelf speakers in a wood grain finish.

I have no strong feelings about them, it is more the size that is noticeable rather than the wood finish.

With the speakers being wirelessly connected, they both required individual power. Unlike some of the other Edifier products, the power lead is not integrated into the speaker (thankfully) and instead uses an IEC C7 (Figure 8) power lead.

On the rear of the left speaker, that's about all you have. There is then an LED to let you know it has power and a physical switch.

The right speaker has all the connection options. You then also have volume, bass and treble dials.

Kleernet Wireless Speaker Connectivity vs Mitchell Acoustics uStream One

The Edifier S3000 Pro are one of the few speakers on the market that connect wirelessly with each other eliminating the need to run a thick cable between the two speakers.

I have previously used the Mitchell Acoustics uStream One. These had True Wireless Stereo Bluetooth technology to connect to each other with no connecting cable.

In general, they worked well. However, I did experience some issues when using them in my office, with the occasional dropout and some popping/crackling. The issue was predominantly with Bluetooth, but when I used them for a longer period, I did get intermittent dropouts from the wireless connection right speaker. I suspect part of the issue was the wide spacing combined with the vast number of electronics in my office, including wireless routers, three monitors and more than one PC running. I think they suffered from some interference somewhere.

The uStream One would also require some time to pair up, and you'd be informed when this happens. When not in use, they would auto-power down after a period of time.

As much as I loved the sound of the speakers, they just didn't work for my personal requirements.

The Edifier S3000 Pro are completely different. Kleernet is a proprietary wireless technology that operates in the 2.4 GHz, 5.2 GHz, and 5.8 GHz ranges.

Once I powered them up, that was it. No fuss, no muss. The speakers establish a perfect wireless connection, and in the past week, where I have used them for around 50 hours, I have noticed no problems with connectivity at all.

They also don't auto power down, which may be a bad thing to some people but is something I need. My plug sockets automatically switch off at night, so it is not an issue for me.

Connections – No network connectivity but a decent USB DAC

You have a wide range of connections, more than enough for anything I could want.

  • There is line in, which is what I have mainly been using. My FiiO K5 Pro Desktop DAC feeds the audio to the speakers.
  • You can bypass a DAC and use the built-in DAC using a USB input.
  • Then there is Optical, and even balanced
  • There is also Bluetotoh

There is no network connectivity, so there is no fancy streaming functionality like you find on some other speakers.

Even though I used these with my FiiO K5 Pro, I did use the built-in USB connectivity connecting to my PC.

The built in DAC is a PCM5242, supports 24bit/192kHz, and the signal-to-noise ratio is up to 114dB. You may need to install some drivers to get 24bit/192kHz.

The overall performance is very good, there is a slight difference in sound, but I couldn't say which one is best.

I am sure most people looking at £700 speakers will be using a good quality DAC, but the built-in one could help justify the cost.

Sound Quality

For transparency, I haven't reviewed any active / computer speakers that cost anywhere near these in the past. My opinion may be biased because, as you would expect, these sound a lot better than £300 speakers.

With that out of the way, these sound amazing.

Following some recommendations online, I placed this on the left and right of my office desk facing straight rather than angled towards me. They are a little bit above ear level.

Even though there is no subwoofer with these, the generous 179mm bass driver is capable of sensational bass, which you can tweak via the rear of the speaker as you wish. While these may not have quite the same low-end performance as something with a dedicated subwoofer, I found that they never struggled with anything, they can go from booming sub base to low mid-range with ease, never sounding uncontrolled.

Mid-range sounds highly accurate with a  superb level of detail. Vocals sound amazing both with lower end male voice and higher-pitched female.

The high end doesn't roll off very much, and these can provide a good level of sparkle without becoming harsh on my ears. It is not uncommon for me to switch from hip hop or electronica to punk or things like electro violin. Many speakers can handle the lows of hip hop quite well, but when you get some high pitched screamy vocals and lots of cymbal crashes, it can feel quite jarring on my ears. However, with these, I have no experience with that issue.

That being said, I am quite sensitive to treble, and I eventually dialled the knob back to -1 for the treble.

Stereo and soundstage separation is superb. Most stereo speakers can obviously handle this well, but there is something a little extra special about the detail with these speakers.

With these being so big and heavy, they don't seem to suffer from the same sort of distortion that some other lighter speakers can struggle with. Even when placed on my wooden tables and didn't get any echoeyness or distortion. They can also go very loud, again, my office is quite large, and these can provide room-filling audio without struggling.

The remote has four EQ profiles, and these are subtle at best. It was really only the vocal option that seemed to make a significant difference to me.

Price and Alternative Options

The Edifier S3000 Pro sit at the top of the Edifier range and are priced at £700.

Going down a step takes you to the S2000MKIII for around £400.

You then have the premium range of Airpulse speakers, which starts with the A80 at around £700 and goes up the A300 at £900, then the A300 Pro at £1500. These all use horn-loaded ribbon tweakers.

As far as I can tell, it is only the Edifier S3000 Pro and the Airpulse A300 Pro that have the KleerNet wireless connectivity.

The KEF LSX or the KEF LS50W are perhaps the best known wireless speakers. The LS50W cost about three times the price but the KEF LSX is within range at about £1000.

The Q Acoustics Q Active 200 are an option for around £1000. These use a hub that then connects wireless to the two speakers. They are geared a bit more to home theatre/TV use with an HDMI port. Reviews for these speakers are mixed.

You could, of course, use Sonos speakers in a similar manner to these. It is not quite the same, as it depends on what inputs you need.

Overall

The Edifier S3000 Pro speakers are by far the best speakers I have ever reviewed and better than any other active speaker I have personally used.

They are also the most expensive and largest active speakers I have used, so being anything other than the best would have been a disappointment.

As well as being wowed by the sound quality, I have been particularily impressed with the stability of the wireless connection. The Mitchell Acoustics uStream One were good but not perfect in this regard, whereas the Edifier has been absolutely flawless.

While these cost a lot of money, how expensive something tends to be relative. Looking at user reviews online, these perform better than many speakers at similar price points, so it could be argued that these are actually quite affordable.

The overall size and price of these are going to limit their appeal from the mainstream market. However, for anyone wanting something a bit more high end then these are a fantastic choice.

Last update on 2022-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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