Edifier E3350 2.1 Multimedia Speakers

Print

Product: Edifier E3350 2.1 Multimedia Speakers
Provided By: Edifier
Price: $99.99CDN Online

Introduction:

While the brain shaking bass of a $500+ set of computer speakers is enjoyable for some, many others don't have the budget or understanding family and neighbors to warrant such a display of audio power.  I've personally had a set of Logitech Z-5500 speakers for a over a year, and while I love these out in my garage, I know I won't be able to use them to their potential when I move my office into the house in the near future.  It's for situations like these that Edifier has released their E3350 2.1 Multimedia Speakers.  These little beauties have a power output of 9w per satellite and 32W for the subwoofer.  While that may not sound like much, please bear in mind that Edifier is one of the companies that offers more realistic ratings and does not cheat on its specifications like many other companies do.

 

About Edifier:

Edifier Group, founded in Beijing in 1996, is one of China’s first specialized manufacturers of genuine wood enclosure speaker systems. Edifier was also the first speaker manufacturer in China to successfully develop an exclusive international market when it evolved in 1998 into a transnational group company selling into most major world markets.

The Group has about 3,000 employees and more than two million square feet of manufacturing facilities with full product research and development, plastic injection, machining, molding, painting, silk-screen printing, product testing and assembly facilities. The annual output of active speakers is eight million sets.

Edifier Enterprises Canada Inc., the North America head office of Edifier Group, was founded in Vancouver, Canada in 1998, and is mainly responsible for group strategic planning, product research and development, marketing Edifier products for customers in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Their Mission: 

"All originates from the unrelenting pursuit of high sound quality"

Edifier, well-known multimedia speaker brand, is one of the finest acoustical product manufacturers with a rich and vivid international personality in the World. Edifier always insists on producing the best possible sound and product quality in a given price point. Using only the finest materials available, and real wood enclosures on many of it's systems-- Edifier creates the Art of Sound!

 

First Look:

We first saw these speakers at CES 2008 and their unique design caught our eye.  They are quite fashionable and are made from plastic - not wood.  This right away will turn off some of the audio purists, but when you consider the price tag of > $100, you have to realize that they aren't made for audiophiles.

 e3350 Box
e3350 Box

 

These speakers are quite large for a standard 2.1 set and come with an attached volume control for overall speaker volume.  The bass volume is located on the subwoofer itself and once adjusted to the appropriate level should be able to be left alone for most music, movies and gaming.

 

The E3350 speakers ship with just enough hardware to hook up to your computer or anything else that plugs into a 1/8" stereo jack.  These are very capable of plugging into your iPod, Zune or Sansa MP3 player for a much better experience than a $100 dock.  There is even a quick install guide if you can't figure out how to run the two wires. 

e3350 Bundle
e3350 Bundle

 

Features & Specifications:

Below is a list of the features and specifications of the E3350s as taken from Edifiers site.

Features:

  • Exotic pyramid shaped downward firing subwoofer.
  • 2-Way satellites with soft silk dome tweeters - magnetically shielded.
  • Pro-design 2-way satellite crossover.
  • New anti-resonant composite material satellite enclosures.
  • Separate bass level adjustment on subwoofer.
  • Unique wired controller with red Halo style design power indicator includes headphone jack, and input for MP3, and CD players.


Specifications:

  • Power Output: RMS 32W + 9W x 2 (THD=10%)
  • Signal to Noise Ratio:>=85dBA
  • Distortion:<=0.5% THD
  • Input Impedance: 10K Ohm
  • Input Sensitivity: Satellites---550+/-50mV; Subwoofer---200+/-50mV
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz - 20kHz
  • Bass Unit: 5 inch driver, magnetically shielded, 5Ohm
  • Satellite Unit: 2.75 inch oval shaped driver,4 Ohm and 3/4 inch PV dome tweeter, magnetically shielded, 4Ohm
  • Dimension: Subwoofer --- 248 x199 x 294mm (W X H XD)
                     Satellite --- 96 x 234 x 118mm (W x H x D)
  • Gross Weight: approximately 5 kg
  • Power Input: 100V-240V wide range AC power adapter,18V

On the next page we'll take a closer look at these speakers before we jump into testing them out.


Closer Look:

The E3350 speakers some complete with a pair of tall satellite speakers and the included Subwoofer.  These are powered speakers and the amplifier is located in the subwoofer as are the sub volume controls and connections.  On the bottom of the subwoofer are three small foam pads that keep it in place and prevent it from rattling on the floor if you turn it up too loud.  The satellites have a nice soft padding underneath that prevents them from sliding around on the desk.

 Padded Bottom
Padded Bottom
Subwoofer Bottom
Subwoofer Bottom

 

The satellites are tall and quite narrow and are tapered as they extend upward.  They measure 9.25" in height and are have both a 2.75" driver and 0.75" tweater in each unit.  Due to the plastic construction of these speakers, we are not able to take them apart without destroying them and can't get a better look at the actual speakers under the grill.  As you can see below, the Edifier logo is brandished on the glossy top of each of these speakers.  Also take note that the speakers are wired together to a single 1/8" stereo jack and can only be separated as far as the cable is long.  That being said, these will easily sit at least 7' away from each other and should provide ample stereo separation.

 Satellite Profile
Satellite Profile
Satellites - Top Down
Satellites - Top Down

 

While we can't see much of the subwoofer due to its plastic design, we can take a peek and see that there indeed is a driver residing under the plastic pyramid.  Edifier says that the driver is a 5" unit capable of reproducing sound as low as 40Hz.  It may actually do that, but not at any volume.

 Peak At Sub
Peek At Sub

 

The design of the subwoofer is quite unique and the whole set of speakers is a little "jolie vie".  On the subwoofer we have connections for power, speaker output and audio input as well as a connector for the external wired volume control.

 Sub - Profile
Sub - Profile
 Sub - Top Down
Sub - Top Down

 

You don't get a real good idea of the shape and style of the subwoofer until you take a "Top Down" look at it.  It has a very interesting triangle footprint that is probably more for style than for function.  It catches the eye though and the very top of the subwoofer also holds the power button that controls sound to all speakers - not just the sub.


Testing the E3350 Speakers:

Unless you have a lot of studio equipment, a sound chamber and a great reference mic, testing a set of speakers is a little subjective.  What sounds good to one person may be fraught with issues to another person.  I'm not an audiophile, but I do like good sound and have invested in a Creative X-Fi Platinum that I use over any on-board solution.  We used the E3350 speakers on both an on-bound audio solution as well as the X-Fi Platinum and even plugged them into an iPod Classic to get a broad idea of how these speakers sound is a multitude of situations.

It is important to set up your computer to work with these speakers.  If you currently have a 5.1 set or are using headphones, you should make sure that your computer is ready and willing to go with a set of 2.1 speakers.  You may have to change some audio settings of if you have a "smart" on-board solution with jack sensing, you should be good to go.  Either way, make sure you have the right audio profile applied.

 

Game Testing: 

There was a time that I did all my gaming on my main computer hooked to my nice Logitech Z-5500s, but time has changed things and my main workstation is no longer a gaming rig.  Now I do all my personal gaming on a test rig using a set of headphones.  I usually use whatever I've reviewed or what I'm working on, so it has been a nice change to take off the headgear and use a set of speakers again.  I made sure that everything was set up correctly in Windows and in the games and let fly with some UT3, CoD4 and Crysis.

Overall game experience was quite positive.  The little 5" driver in the subwoofer has enough punch to make games sound pretty good and when UT3 calls you a "Rocket Scientist" or "Flak Master" in the nice deep voice of the narrator, it gives you a nice little chill.  Stereo separation is also good and you can clearly hear the direction of the enemy and can anticipate their arrival with a nicely timed shock-combo in the doorway.

Call of Duty 4 is equally enjoyable.  Overall gaming performance of these speakers is very good.  Machine gun fire sounds crisp and throaty and the metallic clank of spent shells hitting the ground is quite satisfying.

e3350 Set

Movie Testing:

I never had a chance to watch many movies with these speakers, but I did make sure I sat down for a bit of quality time to watch Rush Hour 3, and Resident Evil: Extinction.  These movies sounded very well on the E3350s and in a small room they are more than adequate for watching movies on your computer by yourself or with some friends.  Some sound effects appear a little muffled though if deep bass is required.  Also the mid-range gets a little muffled at high volume, but overall they work very well for the price.


Music Testing:

Not everyone is a gamer, and many people don't sit down to watch full-length feature films on their computers but almost everyone I know listens to music on their PC.  That is why man invented the hard drive; so that we can hoard, store and listen to thousands of songs.  "Turn Your Lights Down Low" by Bob Marley sounded a bit muddy as this song is heavy with deep bass guitar, and the resonance of "Classical Gas" by Eric Clapton also produced some undesired effects from the speakers trying too hard to reproduce the sound.  If you reached behind the subwoofer and turned the bass down more than normal it helped, but the plastic enclosures are showing a drawback with this type of music.

Music that has a little more punch like "Rawkfist" by Thousand Foot Crutch, "Everything" by Pillar and "I'm So Sick" by Flyleaf sounds pretty good.  While all the music sounds a little muddy at higher volume levels, these are not bad for a $100 set of speakers.  They have as much punch as the Z-5500s and they aren't nearly as clear as the Able Planet NC500SC Headphones, but they are very good for a set of speakers in this price range.  Using our SPL Meter I tested these speakers to determine the level where they start to distort and sound muffled.  These sound pretty good at 90-95dB, however at greater volumes these products a lot of distortion.

 

Conclusion:

The Edifier E3350 2.1 speakers are a decent set of speakers for those on a limited budget who want a set of speakers that sound great at normal volume levels.  The bass has enough punch for a small room and if these are a gift for your teenager, you will want to make sure that their room is not right next to yours.  When I was playing UT3 with these connected to the computer in my detached garage, I was reminded by my wife that the kids were in bed and she could hear them inside.  That's pretty impressive for a $100 set of speakers.

 

Pros:

  • Unique, stylish design
  • Smooth, sleek volume control
  • Good audio quality at low - normal volume levels
  • 2-way satellite speakers have excellent mid-high range


Cons:

  • Single cord with "Y" split for satellite speakers
  • Plastic enclosures cause distortion and resonance issues at higher volume levels

These speakers rate pretty well for the price and that's why they score an 8.8.  They have great sound for the price.  If you've got an extra $150 to spend though, I'd recommend some bigger speakers from Logitech - especially if you have a larger room to fill, or enjoy music that shakes your chest.

BCCRating

 

I'd like to thank Edifier for sending these speakers our way to review.  It's been nice to get some speakers on the test bench and not be strapped down with a set of headphones all the time.

Please post your thoughts, comments and questions regarding the Edifier E3350 Multimedia Speakers in our forum at the "Comments" link below.