Edifier R501 Speakers - Testing and Installation

Article Index
Edifier R501 Speakers
First Impressions
Testing and Installation
Edifier R501 Final Thoughts

Edifier R501 Testing and Installation:

 

Testing of these speakers was very easy, installation is very straight-forward, they worked like a charm right out of the box.

I did have one issue, when I first hooked all the speakers up I was getting crackling in the speakers, which I thought was weird. So I consulted the handy manual and it suggested turning the computer volume down and using the speaker volume control to increase the volume. I did this, and it fixed the issue. According to the manual if the volume is too high, or too low on the computer end, you might experience crackling or popping, due to the lack or overabundance of signal strength.

I tested this set of speakers with Music, Movies and Games.  I picked a variety of different types of music and movies, and picked BF2 for the games testing. I tested these speakers with my Creative X-FI FATAL1TY sound card.

Music - Music sounds great. They have some good volume even though they are only rated at 6 watts @ 8 ohms. If you crank them up excessively loud they start to distort a bit, but that's expected. After a little easy adjusting with the remote you can get a very nice surround sound, not just on music, but on all the types of media I tried. For the normal person who listens to music at a decent level, or even turns it up a bit, these speakers work just fine, if you like your music cranked to 11, then chances are you've already got a much more expensive set of speakers to satisfy your hunger for ear-piercing volume.

Movies - Same result as music, they sound very nice, and with a nice sound card provide a very nice surround sound experience.

Games - With games I came to pretty much the same conclusion as with music and movies, the overall experience was very good. After testing movies and music already, I was pretty sure the end result would be pretty much the same, and I was right.

 

Comparison:

At the moment the only other set of 5.1 speakers I have at my disposal are my set of Logitech Z-5300e speakers. These speakers retail for almost double ($199 USD) what the Edifier speakers do. I was very interested to see how a set of less expensive speakers would be able to match up to the Z-5300's.

The Logitech speakers are 35.25 watts @ 8 ohms (Center is 39 watts @ 8 ohms), and the sub is 100 watts @ 8 ohms, so obviously they are going to be able to go louder than the Edifiers. I thought this would be a bigger deal, but then I started to think about how often I really crank my speakers, and that would be hardly ever, I'd much rather have a great sounding set of speakers at a normal level, so that definitely evened the playing field between these two sets.

The Logitech speakers do have more power, and definitely provide more bass when cranked up, but in the end, the sound quality between the two sets was very similar at normal to moderately loud settings. For my normal everyday music listening and occasional movie watching and gaming, the Edifiers would do just fine. The Logitech speakers have a few more features (THX certified, Matrix mode), which is nice, but at twice the price you would expect it. The biggest feature that the Logitech Z-5000e's have that I like is the Matrix mode, where you can put in a stereo or 4.1 input, and it will convert the audio to 5.1 (simulate 5.1).

At the end of the day, the Edifiers keep up with the more expensive Logitech's a lot better than I was originally expecting. If you have a 5.1 sound card in your computer, and don't want to spend a bunch on speakers, the Edifiers will definitely be a set of speakers to check out and strongly consider.