Edifier S301 2.1 Speaker System: Review A Combine of 2.0 and 2.1 Speaker System
Author:Soomal
Source:eng.soomal.com

Rate:10.00/20
Subjective sound performance

We used Musiland MD30 Plus as input resource in real-hearing experience, and chose S2000MKII and S201 as our comparison object. From first impression, we could make sure the overall sound performance of S301 was better than S201, S880 and even S1000. The reason why we use DAC was that high-quality analog input could reach the best sound performance.

S301 surprised us from the beginning, and obvious improvement has made on treble quality by planar tweeter. Warming up for dozens of hours, the sound became tender and smoother, mainly mid range was better than the first impression where the sound was a little stiffer.

Treble: In fact, speakers under 10,000 yuan (about 1500 dollars) seldom have planar tweeter, and S2000MKII breaks the unwritten routine. It is not because the planar tweeter costs a lot, but the price of audio products is fixed according to the sound performance. The structure of planar tweeter endows advantages to treble resolution. Not surprisingly, it's easy for planar tweeter to surpass mid-range and treble dome tweeter in detail performance without exception. Especially in high volume, it's easy to find dome tweeter would have distortion and lead to fluttering of tweeter while the planar tweeter is more stable. Compared with others in same or higher price, from 4000 to 5000 yuan, only a few could rival S301 in treble performance, not mention others in same series, S201, S880 and S1000. S301 treble performance reaches the level of S2000MKII as Edifier has given equal attention in tone tuning. There is no big difference between S301 and S2000MKII in high treble resolution, transient and dynamic aspects. The treble is fast but light and clean, sounds delicate and is difficult to be disorder. When you enjoy all kinds of plucked stringed instruments, a clearer sound stage and more treble information will come out correctly. We could find the advantages of S301 tweeter from a piece of high-quality guzheng music.

Mids: S301 is full and stable, and it is suitable for all kinds of vocal. There is a little difference between S301 and S2000MKII, and the latter shows slacker, better dynamic in mid-range, and woofer bringing extending sound. S301 has advantages in imaging ability and density. We cannot say which one is better because S2000MKII is more natural in a thick male voice while S301 is better when we hear a bright female voice. We believe the difference was not created by tuning but bass size. Mid-range is the result of participation by both tweeter and woofer, and bass based on bigger woofer sounds tenderer. The mid-range performance of S301 and S2000MKII are equivalent, compared with S201 and S1000, they are more delicate and natural. Mid-range is also fundamental tone area of many instruments, for which S301 provided helpful assurance through its stable and thick mid-range. S301 will surprise you if you witness in person for it's hard to believe such delicate mid-range and treble is published by one 2.1 system, and yet it doesn't lose to S2000MKII.

Bass: S301 has the right to choose whether to turn on the woofer or not. When turning on, the bass output of the satellite can be deep to 120Hz. Under such condition, satellites cooperated with woofer to realize deeper bass and more volume than S2000MKII, while S2000MKII has well texture and better bass density under 120Hz. The bass of S2000MKII has advantage in listening to musics, while S301 is excellent in playing games and watching videos. We can also turn off woofer, and then the deep bass and texture are certainly not as good as S2000MKII, and the difference is mainly lies in bass resolution. If turning off S301 woofer, the bass performance is still better than S880. We will not feel inadequacy of bass when enjoying music of small and middle constitution with the bass turned off.

As for the sound stage performance, S301 doesn't lose to S2000MKII, and the woofer will add grander atmosphere in some application scenarios. When turning off bass, the sound of S301 will be a little more delicate than S2000MKII in small and middle volume. The satellite of S301 can be put on sale in the name of S2000 Mini, which sound performance keeps pace with S2000MKII, and the gap in bass was caused by the difference of woofer. Things are varying after turning on the sub-woofer. S301 is a set of 2.1 or S2000 mini woofer? S301 introduced dynamic bass management because of wireless woofer, blurring the borders between 2.1 and 2.0 and bringing new strategy. This design worth to be recommended, which we're deeply in love because the speaker can be put on the narrow computer desk or TV.

S301 is full of sincerity, it not only reaches the standard of S2000MKII in sound quality but also achieve breakthrough in structure design. There is little weakness except the unfashionable appearance. It is the best product among Edifier 2.1 system and is of top-class among we've used. Also, it is one of the most innovative speakers that can be regarded as both 2.0 and 2.1. Therefore, Soomal gives Edifier S301 strongly recommendation.

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