Important Specs Overview
Speaker type: powered, 2 way, front-ported
Continuous power output: 33 W (each, woofer + tweeter)
Frequency response range: 60 – 20k Hz (+/- 6dB)
Unit weight: 7 lbs
Unit dimensions: 6 x 8 x 10 inches (width x depth x height)
Warranty: 2 years
Review and Discussion
Edifier is a newer and lesser known American audio company, but they produce a wide variety of budget-tier bookshelf speakers that fill just about every niche. The R1700BTs are an inexpensive pair of powered bookshelf speakers that have Bluetooth capabilities, and despite being ~5 years old, remain one of the best selling and most popular bookshelf speakers on the market.
The R1700BTs are self proclaimed “near-field” speakers, and the specs reflect as such – they’re meant to be computer/desktop speakers that are optimized to being listened to from a few feet away. While 33 W speakers would likely fall flat in a traditional home theater set up, these aren’t meant for that, and they’re plenty powerful enough for near listening at medium volume. The response floor of 60 Hz within a 6 dB variance is decent, but not stellar, so the bass won’t be booming so to speak. This is the usual concession that budget-tier speakers will make, but we don’t think the intent of these speakers really calls for what a full fledged subwoofer could produce.
The design of these speakers is quite nice for the price-tier their in. The upward angle is a subtle yet nice feature – to optimize the sound right at ear level from a desktop, which will usually sit a couple feet below a user’s head. The washed cherry wood look is nice style that’s distinct from the homogeneous look of most black-box budget bookshelf speakers. Another nice feature, in addition to the volume knob, are tone-balancing dials to adjust the individual volume of the tweeter or woofer, as part of it’s 2 way design.
The major benefit of powered speakers such as these is that you don’t need additional equipment – just plug them in and they’re ready to go. You can connect a source via Bluetooth obviously, or you can utilize the dual standard RCA outputs, and what’s nice is a dual RCA and RCA/3.5mm cable comes included. Edifier offers a 2 year warranty on all its bookshelf speakers, which is actually quite good coverage for a powered speaker that’s as low priced as these.
Our Overall Take, As Compared to the Competition
The R1700BTs are convenient, have solid specs, and have a really good overall design for near-field desktop speakers, all at a very competitive price. If that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for, they’re a great choice.
Do note, though, that these are neither intended nor optimized for a traditional home theater set up. In that case, we’d recommend looking at more powerful passive speakers in conjunction with a receiver.
If you don’t think you’ll actually need Bluetooth, you might consider the equally popular Edifier 1280Ts (reviewed here) – they’re less expensive and otherwise very similar.