Important Specs Overview
|Speaker Type||powered, 2-way, sealed||powered, dual passive radiators|
|Continuous Power Handling||75 W x 2||150 W|
|Response Range ( +/- 3dB)||160 - 20k Hz||20 - 130 Hz|
|Woofer Size||3.5 in||10 in|
|Unit Dimensions (w x d x h)||4.5 x 6.5 x 8 in||14.5 x x 19 x 15.5 in|
|Unit Weight||~15 lb*||~23 lb*|
*Approximated from overall net weight.
Review And Discussion
The S730 is currently Edifier’s premium 2.1 computer speaker system. It has significantly higher power than the less expensive but very popular S350DB system (reviewed here), and has volume capabilities quite on par with a full fledged traditional passive 2.1 system. It’s an unabashed contrast to the normally rinky dink PC speakers that you generally see these days.
The main advantage of a powered all in one system is the amplification is built in, so you don’t have to worry about getting the right receiver. The S730 can plug right in and play out of the box – all necessary connection cables come included which would rarely be the case with traditional passive speakers.
the longstanding disadvantage of non professional grade powered speakers has been that they’ve had less power for the money, and couldn’t get loud enough for a full sized room. But this has changed in recent years with more and improved powered speakers being released, and the S370 system is a prime example of such. The combined 300 W of power handling is right on par with what you’d get with similar priced passive units, maybe even more in some cases. Though the S730 is marketed as a computer/desktop system, it could certainly suffice as a basic home theater system at longer range.
The satellite speakers have a standard MDF cabinet with a sheen piano finish, with chrome trimmed baskets that house the tweeter and woofer. They look kind of like an older version of the Elac speakers if left uncovered, or you can choose to put on the included cloth front covers. The tweeter is a standard 1 inch silk dome, and the woofer is a smaller 3.5 inch that looks like pretty standard rubber/plastic polymer with a dust cap, though Edifier doesn’t specify the material type. The smaller woofers would be a limitation, but since the subwoofer takes over at the bottom the high response floor becomes irrelevant. Two way bookshelf speakers often sound best if they can be really optimized for the mids/highs and not have to worry about the bass if a subwoofer takes care of it.
The subwoofer on this system is quite big, and larger and more powerful than many popular independently sold subwoofers. Despite being so big it interestingly uses a sealed design with dual side firing passive radiators to help with dispersion. What’s really impressive is the 20 Hz floor, which is about as low as the human ear can even detect on average – you don’t normally see that kind of a spec until you get into the boutique elite products that are very expensive.
The response ceiling on the subwoofer is kind of low at 130 Hz, which in itself could work perfectly fine in a system, but in this case it leads to a pretty big apparent flaw: Why is there a 30 Hz gap in the range between the subwoofer and the speakers? This might not seem like a big deal, but even if the units could exceed the quoted response ranges, there would still be a major dip in the curve right at that critical baritone level, and certain notes/sounds/instruments might wind up really missing from a track, movie, or whatever.
This is such an obvious flaw, on paper at least, that we suspect it might actually be a typo on their product page or something. Perhaps we’ll email Edifier at some point and inquire. It’s weird because they normally make really great powered speakers and we wouldn’t expect such an oversight, much less on their premium 2.1 product.
Anyhow, back to the subwoofer. Not much else to discuss besides how it looks. Pretty tacky and juvenile honestly? We’re not sure what purpose the wavy grill serves, and the giant chrome basket doesn’t help. If you care.
All of the connection terminals are on the back of the subwoofer, and it’s got pretty much everything one could need: dual RCA, optical, coaxical, an input for the wired controller that has a neat little stand and display, an on/off switch, and of course the power adapter and terminals to hook up the satellite speakers. A 3.5mm/RCA and speaker wire comes included (they don’t say how long it is though), but you’ll need to get separate cables to use the other inputs.
The system includes a little wireless remote in addition to the bigger wired remote, which seems kind of redundant but whatever.
Edifier’s 2 year warranty on all its powered speakers is also quite good, even in the higher price ranges. Usually you’re lucky to get more than one year of warranty coverage on active audio electronics.
Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition
How to we feel about the S730 system? Ambivalent. It seems like it’s having an identity crisis at an awkward price point. While the power specs are fantastic, it’s just going to be unnecessary volume in a close range computer/desktop setting which this system is marketed as. Maybe you like the idea of being able to push your chair back and watch a movie or something though? Or you could use the extra inputs to hook these up to an external TV as well. Maybe in those such cases the power makes sense. Otherwise, we’d say just spend less money on their equally good S350DB system, which is excellent overall (link to our review again).
And while the overall response range is great, there remains the issue of that 30 Hz gap between the sub’s ceiling and the satellites’ floors. It might be unnoticeable, but it would be hard to objectively assess without doing a lot of independent testing to see how big of a valley there would be in the curve. Or maybe it’s just a typo on their spec sheet, because that’s a pretty glaring design oversight that we frankly wouldn’t expect from a good company like Edifier. On a bit of a digression, we also don’t really see the point of paying for two included remotes.
For the same amount of money you could get a nice passive 2.1 system and a receiver too, which is going to have a lot more customizability and upgrade potential. Edifier also has a pair of really nice powered speakers with a subwoofer connection (the 1850DBs, reviewed here), and you could instead just buy a separate subwoofer, many of which allow you to adjust the crossover point to avoid a gap.
Bottom line: Is this a quality system with good specs for the price? Yes. Does Edifier make good powered speakers? Yes, absolutely, currently some of the best and most popular selling in fact. If you listen to the S730 and like it should you get it? Sure, by all means.
But is it the best choice for the money? Eh, hard to say, especially when, at this price range, there are so many other options, many of which could overcome some of the shortfalls of this system.