Edifier R1850DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers Review

Last updated on: 9-25-18
Bottom Line: a really nice option for an easy to set up 2.1 system that doesn’t need a receiver. Good powered bookshelf speakers anyhow, Edifier does a really good job in that niche. Not really worth paying the premium for if you don’t plan to add a subwoofer, the same company makes comparable alternatives without the feature that are significantly cheaper.

Important Specs Overview

Speaker type: Powered, 2-way, front-ported
Continuous power handling: 35 W (tweeter + woofer)
Frequency response range: 60 – 20k Hz
Unit weight: 7 lbs
Unit dimensions: 6 x 9 x 10 inches (width x depth x height)
Warranty: 2 years

Review And Discussion

Edifier is a newer and lesser known American audio company that now produces a wide variety of highly popular bookshelf speakers, particularly so of the powered variety, which have the main benefit of being easy and convenient to set up without needing ancillary equipment. The R1850DBs are a step up from the 1280s (one of the most popular bookshelf speakers currently) that have the main distinction of having an LFE/Sub output for a subwoofer. It’s a neat feature that isn’t common amongst powered bookshelf speakers, and the R1850DBs are thus a nice option for those who might want to pair a subwoofer with their desktop speakers.

At ~35W of power handling/output, the R1850DBs aren’t all that much louder than their more popular lower tier products, and this about middle of the road for what you can expect out of powered bookshelf speakers. It’s plenty enough power for near-field listening, which powered bookshelf speakers are generally designed for, but they’ll probably fall short in a full sized home theater setting. The response range is fairly average for a 2 way bookshelf speaker, but, of course, these have the option of adding a subwoofer to fill out those bottom frequencies.

The LFE/Sub output is an industry standard connection, and the good thing is that most home theater subwoofers are powered too, so you still won’t have to worry about a receiver or amplifier. Any popular subwoofer should be compatible with these speakers. While the essential cables come included they don’t indicate if an LFE cable is included, so you might have to get one separately.

The R1850DB design is nice, like the rest of their bookshelf speakers. Jet black this time with a sheen cabinet, kind of old school Yamaha loudspeaker looking, with the option of either a foam front grill cover or an exposed vinyl front with the drivers. One feature we really like with these is the upward angle – it positions the focal point right at the head of a sitting user without needing to elevate them as you might with plain box-speakers. Edifier offers a 2 year warranty on its powered bookshelf speakers, which is decent but not top of the line.

Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition

We mainly like the R1850DBs because they include an uncommon feature that gives a really easy way to have a 2.1 system for a computer or desktop, without needing a receiver. They’re also decent powered bookshelf speakers in their own right – Edifier does well in that niche. If the subwoofer feature is appealing to you, then these are definitely a good choice for the marginally higher cost.

A subwoofer certainly isn’t necessary though, and if you don’t feel like you need or want to deal with one, then we see no reason to pay extra for these when their R1280Ts (reviewed here) are half the price and have essentially the same specs.

Another consideration is that most half decent subwoofers will totally overpower a pair of ~35 W active bookshelf speakers. If you’re looking to go the home theater route, it might be better to just go with traditional passive speakers which will almost certainly be cheaper and a lot more powerful. You can dedicate the saved money towards a nice receiver.

You can check out the links below for some inexpensive subwoofer recommendations if that’s something that interests you.

Get the R1850DBson Amazon

See our current picks for the overall best budget bookshelf speakers