Edifier’s got an ingenius new twist on bookshelf speakers, and we’re totally digging it. The audio quality from the new Edifier Spinnakers is phenomenal, but these uniquely designed speakers pack a secret weapon: bluetooth. You can hook these stereo speakers up to your surround sound system, computer, or TV, but you can also use them as stand alone speakers that stream music from your cell phone or Bluetooth device.
The Spinnakers are slicked back cones that stand 15 inches tall, though Edifier would say they’re horn-shaped. They’re a bit taller than most bookshelf speakers, but they’re a lot sleeker. Almost the entire speaker is covered in speaker mesh, with the exception of the aluminum base and plastic spine. The audio ports are underneath the speaker and there’s a cable track that runs the cables neatly out the back. The right speaker contains all of the audio ports and it runs a proprietary cable to the right speaker. This speaker also has a connection status LED on the tip.
Each satellite speaker sports a 19mm front-facing dome tweeter, a 2 3/4inch mid-range driver, and a 4 inch subwoofer. Altogether you have a six-channel digital crossover system with digital singal processing (DSP).
Edifier did a great job of preparing you with all of the necessary cables. There’s only two cables you actually need, one being the power cable which plugs into the right speaker. The other cable is a proprietary speaker cable running between each speaker. On the underside of the right speaker is universal aux/optical in for use with one of three cables. Your options are 3.5mm cable, which would plug into an mp3 player or laptop, or red and white RCA cables for a receiver or TV, or a digital optical cable for your receiver or TV.
The speakers pair to a compatible device just like any other Bluetooth device. It should have no problem working with Android, Windows Mobile, iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, New iPod Nano), or any laptop, Mac and Windows. Your phone should recognize the Spinnakers as speakers without a microphone, so phone calls will not be made over the speakers. Only one device can be connected at a time, as you might be able to imagine.
There’s a 3.5mm output so you can hook up your own subwoofer, you may need an adapter for this.
The remote control is just as unique as the speakers. The remote control is dome-shaped and palm sized made from plastic and aluminum. It spins to adjust volume. On the top of the remote is a sole button. The button pauses or mutes music, and in conjunction with the spinner you can navigate back and forth between tracks over Bluetooth. There’s an LED status light that illuminates the bottom of the remote. The remote’s rechargeable and has a micro-USB port. It has a range of 30 feet. The Spinnaker’s volume control is independent from the Bluetooth device or receiver/TV…so don’t lose it because you’ll be without volume control.
To put the Spinnakers in the category of “Bluetooth Speakers” or even “Computer Speakers” would be an injustice to these. I’ve never heard Bluetooth speakers or computer speakers sound as full and alive as the Spinnakers, they’re a gigantic step up and belong in the “Bookshelf Speaker” category. Even as bookshelf speakers they sound better than average. In terms of design, they’re definitely far from average.
I described the Spinnakers as “full and alive”, which is extremely fitting. They produce audio you can feel. The bass is amazing to the extent you really don’t even need a subwoofer if you’re listening to music. The subwoofer could make more sense if you’re hooking these up to your home theater and want to rattle the house. The mids are very balanced and clearly defined, the highs are also balanced and very precise.
The sound quality has a very natural and warm reproduction. The separation of the speakers makes for a great sound stage with good dispersion. Dispersion, or the ability to fill the room is a quality usually only found in better full-sized speakers. You can turn up the volume without the Spinnakers hurting your ears, yet another quality of better speakers. Loud audio shouldn’t be ear-piercing; it remains precise and undistorted on the Spinnakers. The speakers get quite loud, but if you really want to rock the house for a large party, you might be better hooking them up to a receiver for some extra juice.
There’s not much we didn’t like about the Spinnakers. The most annoying thing is that the cable running between the speakers is not even 6 feet long. The 6-pronged cable seems to be proprietary, so there’s no chance of distancing the speakers much more than 5 feet. The other issue is that the Bluetooth spec should support a distance of about 33 feet, but we found the range to be much shorter. If you’re in the same room, it should be no problem.
We love the Edifier Spinnakers. If you’re not impartial to the bold design and you’re in the market, they’re definitely worth taking a look at. It’s really nice that you can hook them up to your sound system but easily stream music wirelessly straight from your phone. They’d also nicely compliment a computer setup with or without a bluetooth connection. The audio quality is definitely supreme. The remote is pretty cool too, just don’t lose it because you’ll be without volume control. Good bookshelf speakers can cost hundreds; the Spinnakers are no exception. From sound quality alone most people can pretty much guesstimate the $349 price tag. It’s pricey, but most will find that they hold up in value. The Edifier E30 Spinnaker Bluetooth Speakers are currently available in black or burgundy from Edifier.us.com or from Amazon.com.
The Good: Amazing sound quality, full & rich, great bass, good dispersion, unique remote and design, Bluetooth, includes cables, easy to use, and good packaging.
The Bad: Speaker cable is propriety and under 6 feet, Bluetooth range is shorter than average, remote is only way to adjust speaker volume, tricky to access cables, and can’t hang.