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

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S301 came unexpectedly as Edifier didn't leak anything to us. This speaker has a particular design, making a big difference from the traditional 2.1 speaker system. It adopts a wireless sub-woofer thus bringing different experience.

  • Source: Manufacturer
    Type: Mass produced
    Commercial Relationship: Yes
Hardware

Hardware

It can be seen that S201 has inherited old S2.1. Since Edifier tried to build a new 2.1 speaker system, S301 could not find an elder generation design. Edifier S series regarded 2.1 as 2.0+1 where it had an essential difference from the inexpensive 2.1 speaker systems. Both S201 and S301 are following this design concept. However, S301 had a more through realization, featuring that wireless sub-woofer brought more design space.

S301 adopts a planar tweeter that is different from the common dome one. And it doesn't contain the inevitable distortion that dome structure has. Better definition is a natural advantage for planar tweeter.

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We didn't tear down the S301 tweeter because it has been used to S2000MKII and we could use former photos directly. It can be seen that diaphragm was a piece of flexible printed circuit board with a looping wire. Given electricity, circuit would produce magnetic field, which drives the diaphragm to move in permanent magnetic field and produces sound. The function of the looping wire was similar to the voice coil of traditional dome speaker except that the former could transmit the driving force averagely to the diaphragm, which was the same as the planar earphone. The woofer of the satellite was a 4" aluminum alloy diaphragm adopting aluminum basket. The configuration was also similar to S2000MKII, but the speaker was smaller.

Traditional 2.1 speaker system design used to put the amplifier subsystem into the sub-woofer, and only the control system was placed in satellite. The woofer of S301 is wireless, so the satellites must be integrated amplifier. In this way, the satellite doesn't have any differences with bookshelf active speaker.

The satellite uses two TI TAS5754 to drive two sets of speakers, totally four speakers. And it uses TLV320AIC3254 to realize digital crossover. Compared with 2.0 stereo speakers, 2.1 speaker systems are 3-way in reality and need to confirm bass crossover between satellite and woofer. Edifier brought in a novel and practical design named dynamic bass management, you probably cannot understand its function literally, so we will illustrate it later.

The satellite speakers have a stereo design, and a 5 PIN cable connects the right with the left speaker. The acoustics structure is back reflex, and the right channel speaker's side panel is placed to control master volume, treble and bass gain as well as input switching. S301 can be input to two sets of analog signals, optical and coaxial S/PDIF signal from the back panel. S301 also supports Bluetooth wireless aptX input and is convenient for smartphones. You can also use the remote controller to switch input source.

The 8-inch sub-woofer adopts reflex structure with a side port tube, the same size as S201. But Edifier specified that the wider coil and thicker T-yoke were to guarantee a larger and stronger control range during the long stroke movement. The sub-woofer adopts wireless design, and it must be supplied electricity alone. Therefore, it also has independent amplifier subsystem, which also adopts TAS5754, and the output power is 70W. 5.8Ghz wireless technology is used between sub-woofer and satellite, the same as S70, featuring low latency with an official data of 13ms.

Pay attention to the sub-woofer, it has a separate power switch. What will happen if sub-woofer is powered off? Let's go back to the "dynamic bass management", which is the essence of S301 design.

When you turn on S301 sub-woofer, the digital crossover divider is 3-way in reality with 2 crossover points: one is for mid-range and treble, the other is for the satellites and sub-woofer. The bass crossover point is about 120Hz, under which the signal is replayed by sub-woofer.

Turing off sub-woofer, the satellites will become dual crossover mode when the bass crossover point has been abandoned and the satellite replays complete signal.

In addition, according to the demand of bookshelf active speaker, the bass has been strengthened to make sure a new balance between texture and volume.

Then here comes a new optional approach. Turning on the sub-woofer, it is in 2.0+1 system; turning off, it is merely a set of bookshelf active speaker that you can just regard as a S2000MKII mini, for similar in configuration except size and power.

Finally, let's talk about the appearance. S series is the most conservative of all Edifier products, so S301 is also without exception. It adopts conservative colors, black with rosewood skin that doesn't have sense of fashion. The speaker cabinet is well made of MDF, weights 19.3 kg, rather thick.

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