A Deep Dive into Edifier S3000 Pro Speakers
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Edifier is a maker of audio components that range from earbuds to full-sized speakers. The full-sized speakers are what we are going to review today: the S3000 Pro.
Edifier was founded in Beijing in 1996 by a small dedicated group of music enthusiasts and audiophiles who felt that the market lacked well-made, small speakers with some decorative finesse.
Most small speakers simply look like industrial products made of plastic and metal parts. Edifier sought to make small speakers built with quality components and incorporating the beauty of wood, which adds warmth and an organic feel.
Here, we will review their entry into the large speaker field with the S3000 Pro.
A Deep Dive into The Edifier S3000 Pro Speakers
Intended for entertainment centers including video watching and use with professional audio systems, the S3000 Pro speakers are at home as the center of a living room for fun and entertainment. These large speakers easily fill larger rooms with rich sound with no problems.
Made with walnut-stained genuine wood side panels, they are a tasteful addition to any living space and have a retro look that blends well with both classic and modern furnishings. In addition, the speakers have several means of audio input for flexibility and are wireless, so there is no need for running unsightly cabling across the room.
Who’s It For?
The S3000 Pro speakers are a great choice for anyone who wants to have a full stereo system in their room for use with a large flat screen for movie watching or as part of a stereo system for musical entertainment while dining or throwing a party. The volume of output of the S3000 Pro’s is more than adequate to be heard in adjacent rooms and is ideal for social gatherings.
People who would like a sound system in their living room that does not look like it came off of a science fiction movie set will greatly appreciate the aesthetic appeal of the S3000 Pro speakers. Edifier, as with most of their speaker products, has chosen to use genuine wood side panels as style elements and the S3000 Pro speakers have beautiful, walnut-stained side panels that give them a retro look that invokes memories of earlier stereo systems.
If you hate the ugly look of cables, don’t feel like getting ambitious and running cabling behind bookshelves or (ghast!) behind the wallboard, then the S3000 Pro speakers are the ones for you since they are wireless. Each speaker simply needs access to its own power plug and they will link up, communicate with the desired audio input device, and crank out the tunes.
What We Like About the Edifier S3000 Pro Speakers
There are plenty of things to mention in our list of positives about the S3000 Pro speakers. First of all is the general build quality, which is excellent.
Edifier uses a quality case design with absolutely beautiful stained wood side panels that give the speakers a classic, retro 1970’s look but are packed to the guts with modern components and connectivity interfaces. If you are going to have large speakers in your living room (not jewel cube speakers that you intend to hide in the corners), then you might as well have ones that look like furniture and add warmth to the room.
The Edifier’s choice of high-quality driver components is also a plus. The aluminum alloy dome bass driver is agile and does an excellent job at sound reproduction. Mated with the bass reflex cabinet with the bass relief directed away from listeners and reflected from a back wall, Edifier is able to play some acoustic tricks to extend the perceptible bass range and provide a sound richness and room-filling quality to these speakers.
Their choice of a large, 1-inch planar silk diaphragm tweeter is also a good call as it produces loud highs that are not swamped-out by the bass and are blended well into the whole system. A mark of a good speaker is when the drivers do not overlap, but each has their respective jobs and never produce sound in conflict.
Here, Edifier has chosen driver components that do just that and make for a smooth and rich listening experience, pumping out 256 Watts of power. Other component choices of note are the electronic guts of the system, which includes a high-efficiency Class D digital power amplifier, digital signal processing (DSP) for dynamic control, and electronic crossovers.
Inputs on these speakers are many and include a USB port mated to an XMOS xCore200 board that can accept bitrate data transfers up to 192 kHz. Wireless connectivity is also a big plus with on-board Bluetooth 5.0 and Qualcomm aptX HD audio decoding which supports 24-bit music quality and means that the fine note stuff in your playlist will not get lost on transmission.
Qualcomm aptX minimizes distortion and sound output is really indistinguishable from high-resolution audio, for which Edifier should be complimented for thinking to include in the S3000 Pro speakers. A final note is in regards to their KleerNet Wireless technology, which dispenses with the need for bulky cabling to link up the speakers.
What We Don’t Like About the Edifier S3000 Pro Speakers
To be completely honest, this section should be nearly blank. There are a few negatives that can be mentioned regarding the S3000 Pro speakers.
However, we will discuss a few. Although the equalizer presets is a nice addition to the system, we really do not see the point since there were no discernible differences between the sets with respect to sound quality (which was all still excellent, just not distinctly different).
Tests with different sound sources (action movie tracks with bangs and music, orchestral instrumentals, jazz with piano and horns, metal tracks, flamenco guitar, acapella solos) were conducted and no differences in sound could be discerned. The preset settings all appeared to sound the same with no differences in emphasis of mid-range tones, treble high’s, or bass emphasis.
We were disappointed with the glaring omission of the XLR cabling in the whole package. Edifier is usually very good about matching up their speakers with all your devices as gratis.
If there is a port in the back of the speaker, they throw in a cable on purchase. In this instance, there are two XLR sockets with no accompanying XLR cables to fill them.
We guess they intend for you to use the ones provided with the device you intend to connect. We’re just saying that leaving out these cables is notable for Edifier and not their typical way.
Another annoying thing concerns the placement of the manual control knobs at the rear of the right speakers. These knobs are standard components of their other speakers, but many models feature them on the side of the speaker, where they can be easily reached.
In this case, the knobs are hidden in the back and will likely never be used. We guess that this was an aesthetic choice by Edifier, which we can see since knobs on the side would break up the beautiful wood side panels and be a bit unsightly.
They must have included them so that users would not complain that this model lacked manual control knobs. Nonetheless, their positioning makes their use a moot point and more of a vestigial feature.
- Audio performance is powerful
- Bass depth is excellent
- High-frequency sounds are clear
- Plenty of connectivity
- A beautiful design like pieces of furniture
- The equalizer modes do not seem to differ with respect to sound output
- Speakers are a little on the expensive side
S3000 Pro Speakers (2)
Standard RCA audio cable (1)
RCA-RCA audio cable (1)
Power cables (2)
USB A-to-B data cable (1)
Fiber optic audio cable (1)
Remote control (15-button)
Overview Of Features
Build and dimensions: Genuine wood (walnut stain) and metal cabinet, with some plastic components. 9.1-inch-wide face x 14 inches tall x 10.5 inches deep (23.1 x 35.6 x 26.7 cm)
Drivers (each speaker): Woofer (aluminum alloy cone mid-woofer, 6.5 inches; 165.1 mm), planar ribbon diaphragm tweeter (1-inch; 25.4 mm)
Amplifier power: 256 W RMS (root mean square)
Frequency response range: 38 Hz to 40 kHz
Ports: Front: woofer, tweeter. Rear: bass relief)
Wired connections: Optical TOSLINK (1), digital coaxial (1), USB Type-B (1), Stereo XLR (1), RCA (1)
Signal-to-noise ratio: 85 dBA
Input sensitivity: 1000 mV
Wireless connections: Bluetooth, remote control
The design of the S3000 Pro speakers is beautiful with a black central block flanked by walnut-stained wood side panels. The side panel edges have a rounded bevel and there is an upsloping triangular, rounded-edge inverted fillet up top that gives the side panels some flair.
The case size of the S3000 Pro speakers is generous and, since they are a bass-reflex design, provide a large bass acoustic volume. All speaker ports are in front and the large oval bass relief is at the top rear of each speaker.
Edifier uses 6.5-inch aluminum alloy cone mid-woofers as the main bass drivers, set nearly in the vertical center of the speakers, topped by a recessed 1-inch planar ribbon tweeter. Below the woof on the right speaker is an IR sensor bar for the remote control.
The cloth covers are key-shaped, gauzy and mostly see-through, and minimalist in shape, just covering the woofer and tweeter and not much else. The main point here is that the drivers are meant to be seen and the woofer watched as it thumps out the sound.
At the rear of the right speaker is the interface panel with all the speaker inputs and also features three manual control knobs for bass, treble, and volume. The knobs are metal and have some weight, lending to precise tuning and have a tendency to stay set.
Access to these knobs is, however, awkward and they are likely to never be touched with users primarily controlling the system through the IR remote. The inputs at the rear of the right speaker include a pair of XLR sockets (L/R), an RCA port (L/R), a USB Type-B port, an optical fiber cable port, a coaxial cable port, and a power cable socket along with a power switch.
On the left speaker, there is only a power switch and power cable socket. Each speaker is individually powered and must have access to its own wall socket, but the audio controls are sent only to the right speaker and are routed wirelessly to the left speaker.
The S3000 Pro speakers come with cabling for most of its connections and include a user manual and 15-button IR remote control. The cables included are an RCA audio cable, an RCA-RCA audio cable, a USB A-to-B data cable, a fiber optic audio cable, and two power cables.
However, no stereo XLR cable included, which would be a nice addition. For an additional purchase (not included), optional matching speaker stands with walnut-stained wood are available for $150.
The stands position the speakers at a sitting listening height.
Apart from the bonus of a wireless speaker-to-speaker link using their proprietary KleerNet Wireless technology, the S3000 Pro speakers have several audio inputs that accommodate most audio sources. These include fiber optic inputs for some stereo systems and smart televisions, standard RCA ports, XLR sockets, and a USB port for use with laptops and other data devices.
Also included is Bluetooth connectivity, which allows for pairing with smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. The remote control, a 15-button IR unit, has buttons that allow the user to change play volume or mute and easily switch between various audio input sources.
The remote also includes controls for forward and reverse program as well as play/stop so that devices with CD stacks or playlists can be controlled easily at the touch of a button. In addition, there are four audio equalizer presets for different types of audio which are classic (the default setting when the speakers are powered on), dynamic, vocal, and monitor for near-field listening and tuning of the stereo effects.
Tonality: The S3000 Pro speakers use a high-efficiency Class D digital power amplification system with dynamic sound control modulated by DSP (digital signal processing). Frequency separation is balanced and clear, with little to no overlap between the drivers.
Note separation and imaging is superb as is an excellent depth of field. Since Edifier focuses most of its engineering efforts on mid-range sound, the tonality of the S3000 Pro speakers is rich and has depth when blended with the bass register.
Brass and string instrumentals tend to retain their brightness without being sharp or harsh and jazz or classical pieces with piano allow users to hear individual notes easily. The overall sound presentation is not overtly sculpted but comes across as natural and realistic.
The sound output is excellent and consistent. SPL (sound pressure level) versus frequency analyses indicate some short ramp-up at the low-end registers, but are surprisingly flat all across the S3000 Pro’s audio production spectrum, falling off abruptly at the top end. This basically says that sound output is consistent across nearly the entire audio range in these speakers. This output profile was also consistent, regardless of the preset audio equalizer setting.
Bass: The bass is punchy and deep, but with no bass thump or kick since these speakers do not include a sub-woofer. However, the sound is not at all muddy.
Although the bass extension is limited by the lack of a subwoofer, the bass range on these speakers is excellent. Bass production during movie viewing is a visceral experience with these speakers and something not typically seen in this price point category.
With the large bass woofers, movie special effects that include explosions or deep rumbles are distinct. Low-frequency response is powerful and there is no discernible distortion even at mid-to-high volume levels.
Mid-range: Here is where the S3000 Pro speakers really shine. There is outstanding clarity across the mid-range at all volume levels.
Sound control, detail, and depth define the mid-range acoustics of the S3000 Pro, an area where Edifier typically excels, so this comes as no surprise. Mid-range tones are smoothly integrated with the bass output and do not come across as conflicted or veiled.
Vocals in the mid-range and upper register are clear and cleanly delivered, reflecting good sound accuracy.
Treble: The tweeters produce crystal clear highs, but are not overly bright or piercing. There is no detectible sibilance, leaving vocal highs clear and balanced.
The tweeter does not dominate the mid-range but is well integrated to provide some zing in the highs. The overall take is that the drivers of the system are well-blended.
The big take-home conclusion from this exhaustive review of the S3000 Pro speakers is that for their price, which is considerable, you get a very high-quality speaker system with excellent sound quality and superb connectivity. To find similar quality components in a speaker and similar sound excellence, you would need to consider speakers that are double the price.
True, there is no sub-woofer for ultra-lows in this system as you would find with more expensive speakers, but the low-end bass quality of the S3000 Pro is more than adequate for immersive movie viewing experiences and rich-toned audio listening. Always remember that you can purchase a sub-woofer to integrate with the S3000 Pro if you wish and get everything, but still at a lower price than speakers of comparable performance.