Important Specs Overview
Quick preliminary note: these speakers are only different in their cabinet design and a few components, but otherwise have the exact same technical specs.
Speaker type: passive, two way, front ported
Continuous rated power handling: 20 W
Peak power handling: not specified
Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: not specified
Frequency response range: 55 – 20k Hz
Driver size: 4 in
Unit weight: 13 lbs
Cabinet dimensions: 5 x 6.5 x 9.5 in (width x depth x height)
Warranty: 2 years
Review And Discussion
Edifier has come into the limelight in recent years for releasing a wide variety of powered speakers that have become both popular best sellers and highly regarded. Their flagship 1280T (reviewed here) is still currently one of our favorite bookshelf speakers.
And so, when Edifier released two sets of passive bookshelf speakers, the P12 and P17 reviewed herein, we were interested to see how they stack up to the competition.
The only discernible difference between the P12 and P17 is that they have a slightly different aesthetic cabinet design as well as a different woofer material.
Edifier doesn’t disclose specifics on the woofer material, but they both look like fairly standard paper cones with a plastic dust cap. You can see the P17’s has a different blend that’s non-contoured, and the best we can surmise is that it will perform better enough to justify the slight price increase from the P12.
The SPL and power handling specs are quite modest at initial glance, and oddly lesser than most of their powered speakers, which generally will be less performant than passive speakers around the same price. These are definitely near/mid-field desktop speakers, or possibly surround speakers, but they won’t be loud enough at full home theater range.
The speakers have the same standard one inch silk dome and driver baskets, though the baffle and cabinet shape and finish is slightly different. Any non-aesthetic differences this may cause are probably insignificant.
Both of these look really great for budget bookshelf speakers – like Edifier’s speakers generally do – and are definitely a stylistic level up compared to most other boilerplate black MDF boxes you’ll see amongst the competition.
While edifier’s 2 year warranty is excellent for powered speakers, they don’t increase the duration for these passive speakers, and the same warranty is pretty minimal – a lot of passive competitors will offer up to five years of coverage.
One nice thing is that these speakers are pretty compact and have front firing ports, so they’ll be about as easy to place as it gets and won’t need room in the back for the port to breathe. They’re still kind of heavy for their size but not exorbitantly so.
Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition
These are great looking speakers that are both very competitively priced, but there’s a lot of stiff competition now amongst passive bookshelf speakers in this price range. Edifier’s main shortfall here is the lack of power – a lot of competitors will be able to get significantly louder.
But that doesn’t mean the P12/P17 is inferior. It’s also a strength for a speaker to sound good at lower volume, especially if you’re going to be near/mid-field obviously. Ultimately it depends on your preferences and priorities, but these are definitely worthwhile enough to at least get a listening test. They also come with the speaker wire you’ll need which is nice.