In a perfect world, we would all have a workspace that is perfectly positioned in front of our best small audiophile loudspeakers. In the real world, we tend to be tethered to our devices, our laptop or, in my case, a beloved 49-inch-wide, curved, LG 4K computer monitor. While this “window on the world” is how I spend eight-plus hours of my life nearly seven days per week, it does come with some audio challenges as I listen to a lot more music in the desktop (nearfield) world than I do in front of my Bowers & Wilkins 802 D4s speakers.
The Edifier S1000W is a powered Bluetooth, WIFI and traditionally connected pair of powered speakers, priced at $449 and sold in mainstream venues like Amazon.com and at Best Buy (buy at Amazon). The speakers have a bit of a Sonus faber vibe visually, with wood finish and faux leather front baffles. They are ported on the front and back, which helps get more volume for the speaker’s low-frequency performance. For those of us who spend a lot of time in front of our computers and love music passionately, finding a solution for some audiophile performance in this nearfield venue is a worthy endeavor.
What Makes the Edifier S1000W Powered Speakers Special?
- The Edifier S1000W powered speakers are HD-Audio-approved, which means that you can feed high-resolution sources into these speakers and get high-resolution sound. Not every $449 pair of powered speakers can say this and, for audiophiles streaming from some of the better venues like Tidal, QoBuz or Amazon Music, this is highly important, even at this low-low price for a pair of powered speakers.
- The Edifier S1000Ws work fantastically with Apple Airplay, Amazon Alexa, TIDAL Connect, and Spotify Connect. That might not be all when it comes to music streaming options, but that’s enough for any of us to be happy.
- These speakers connect via either WIFI or Bluetooth. I have enjoyed the sound of WIFI over Bluetooth in past experiences, and that was the case here, too.
- The internal amps are Class-D, but they aren’t specifically any of the fancy options, like GaN, Pascal or Hypex chipset, nor should you expect them to be. This is an affordable set of powered speakers that have limitations based on cost. A standard Class-D amp gives a lot of power, creates very little heat and uses very little energy, thus one can easily see why this is a good path to go down in terms of affordable powered speaker designs.
- There are also all sorts of hardwired connections, including RCA in and COAX in. You can use these Edifier speakers in all sorts of systems, and in all kinds of applications.
- There are actual tone controls on the back of the speakers that, along with a master volume control, makes for easy sonic fine-tuning.
- The dual ported design provides for some bigger than expected bass coming out of out of a traditional-sized bookshelf speaker.
- There is a small, plastic remote included. Don’t expect a fancy remote, but the remote is ergonomically likable, and it is very easy to use. For example, you can switch from WIFI to Bluetooth right from the remote.
Why Should You Care About the Edifier S1000W Speakers?
As mentioned earlier, most of us can’t enjoy our big-boy audiophile system during the work day, but bringing in some dynamic, solid-performing sound reproduction to the desktop and/or nearfield situation can bring some better-sounding music into your work space. For gamers, these speakers bring a move vibrant, visceral sound than any small form factor desktop speakers that I have experienced. Other media, like the increasingly high-quality videos on YouTube.com, streaming TV and others, justify better-matching sound, and that is where the Edifier S1000W shines.
Some Things You Might Not Like About the Edifier S1000W Speakers…
- The Edifier S1000W are best set up using the Edifier Home App, but not everybody wants to download yet another app. I encountered a complication without using their app.
- There is one finish, and those who like a more traditional look will like the Edifier S1000W speakers. They resemble a small pair of Sonus Faber speakers, but without the higher-end touches found on the much more expensive, unpowered speakers from Italy. If you are looking for more color options, you likely need to look to another pair of speakers from another brand.
- The Edifier S1000W powered speakers are “wireless,” but the two speakers have a cable to connect them, as well as one to get AC power from the wall, thus they aren’t truly wireless, if you want to get literal about it.
Listening to the Edifier S1000W Powered Speakers…
On “Don’t Tell Me” from Madonna’s Greatest Hits Volume 2 (GHV2 at CD quality – buy at Amazon), I liked how Madge’s voice popped out in front of the staccato-styled musical bed. The richness of the string sound was more engaging and three-dimensional-sounding than I expected. The synth bass and associated lower-frequency effects sounded impactful, even without a subwoofer in the mix. Although from a different Best of Madonna Record, this time Madonna’s Immaculate Collection (buy at Amazon), the spicy track “La Isla Bonita” offers more space and more realistically reproduced acoustical musical information. The imaging was even better on “La Isla Bonita,” with a pleasant sound coming from the silk dome tweeter in the high frequencies that wasn’t at all harsh or annoying.
“Love 2 The 9’s” is a track from the (unpronoucable) Love Symbol record (buy at Amazon),which is a highly underrated album from the Purple One. While the musical scope of this post Warner Brothers contract record is very polished, unlike many of Prince’s other efforts after being paid higher than any other artist in musical history at that time, thus a so-called “slave,” this is mostly a pretty nifty pop song that develops over time into a more complex R&B track. The opening guitar riffs image fantastically in the near-field, which was a pleasant surprise while sitting at the kitchen 27-inch iMac. The 5.5-inch drivers with the ports on both sides put out respectable bass for their rated 40 Hz low-frequency results.
Since these speakers are designed to be in a venue where they might get some serious sonic abuse, I cued up Tom Morello featuring Bring Me The Horizon doing “Let’s Get The Party Started” (buy at Amazon), which is a modern, bombastic song that has guitar playing that is plain fire. The overall production takes what I liked about the first Madonna track and cranks the volume up to 11. Did the Edifier S1000Ws roll over and play dead at high volumes? Not at all. There was some sonic compression at very high levels. but that’s to be expected at this price point. Blasting speakers this close to your ears is about as stupid as abusing your ears with loud headphones, so I scaled the volume back quickly, but I was happy that I kicked these speakers around a little bit, because you are likely going to do the same thing, be it streaming the newly-released Stones, or AI-generated Beatles song, playing an intense game of Fortnite, or listening to your favorite YouTube.com content, like my car guru, Doug DeMuro.
Will the Edifier S1000W Powered Speakers Hold Their Value?
I like that the Edifier S1000W speakers are sold at audio-video retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy and beyond, but they are so affordable overall that when you are done with them you shouldn’t expect much left down from the retail of $449 per pair. And that seems very reasonable for long-term value expectations. The nature of these powered speakers is that they are likely to find a home in another room of your home or be given away before they get sold.
Who is the Competition for the Edifier S1000W Speakers?
The SVS Prime Wireless Speakers at $899 (buy at Amazon) come to mind as strong competition. I like the form factor of the SVS Prime Wireless speakers (read the review here) better, as well as the gloss white speaker finish. Sonically, these speakers are more resolved, and will appeal more to the audiophile who is looking for upgraded sound in his nearfield or desktop system. I would call the bass comparable to the Edifier, but when you crank it up, as I did with the Tom Morello track, the nearly double the price SVS powered speakers hold together much longer. It is also easier to match the SVS Prime Wireless speakers with a subwoofer, which should be no shock to anybody who knows SVS as a subwoofer brand.
Kanto Living is out with an even less expensive powered speaker called the ORA (buy at Amazon) that just came to market a few days ago. Nasim Abu-Dagga got an early pair, and has a review of these $349 powered speakers from the Canadian audio company, and just loved them. Read the review here. These powered speakers can be used with small stands to customize their imaging. They pair with affordable subwoofers very easily, and they sound dynamic but not bright or harsh. The slightly smaller size of the Kanto speakers will make them fit well into more spaces, but the Edifier speakers are more capable of producing a little bit lower bass without a subwoofer.
The Audioengine A5+ is a 150 watt pair or powered speakers priced very comparably at $399 per pair and sold at places like Amazon. The Audioengine speakers, like the SVS powered speakers, are offered in both white and black. They look more modern, like the Kanto ORAs, and have some front controls, which are really thoughtful. They too benefit from a subwoofer, as most speakers in this class do, but they don’t technically need it. There is a $100 per pair premium on the speakers in white over black, which is a bit off-putting.
Final Thoughts on the Edifier S1000W Powered Speakers
I first became aware of Edifier during some of my later trips to The Consumer Electronics Show during the early 2000s. The Chinese company maintained a big booth presence in the South Hall of The Las Vegas Convention Center, which was, in years gone by, a mini-CEDIA of sorts, complete with more custom installer products, home theater brands and quite a few speaker brands. Edifier is one of the last remaining, assuming that they still go to CES. They also are the parent company of STAX headphones, which we just love here at FutureAudiophile.com. Steven Stone just reviewed STAX’s SR-009, top of the line headphones for us (read here), which are legendary, and Edifier is doing a solid job curating this historically important and currently relevant headphone line.
The Edifier S1000W powered speakers (buy at Amazon) are not expensive, can play lower bass than you might expect, and image very nicely. They connect every which way from Sunday, including both hardwired and wireless options. They are perfect for music playback that audiophiles can dig. They also are capable of giving you some very nice sound reinforcement options for other sources that come from your computer and/or connected devices. Their long-term value because of their technological versatility is going to make that $449 investment go a long way, and for years to come.