Edifier e235: AWARD-WINNING SOUND SYSTEM
Independent industrial designers, engineers and members of the trade media have given the e235 Luna E 2.1 Edifier speaker system the 2015 CES Innovation Awards Honouree. Its outstanding design and engineering have set it apart from competitors.
THE POWER OF BLUETOOTH 4.0
With a signal reception range of up to 300 feet and the use of Bluetooth 4.0 this audio system achieves high-quality sound no matter where you place it. Best of all, it can be controlled from virtually anywhere in your house through your paired device.
This powerful 2.1 speaker system also features connectivity via optical or auxiliary input port.
The subwoofer is wirelessly connected at a 5.8G radio frequency to its satellite companions. Built with an 8-inch driver to provide clear, crisp sound. With its 100-watt built-in amplifier, the subwoofer takes your music to the next level, leaving the wires behind.
It’s a match made in heaven when combining the subwoofer and the 2-way satellite speakers. Designed with dual layer housing to provide outstanding sound dampening, this team provides professional sound tuning. Both satellites are equipped with a ¾” tweeter producing 15w and a 3-inch driver.
SLEEK REMOTE AND SIMPLE TOUCH CONTROLS
Edifier’s e235 2.1 speaker system is controlled easily with the slick remote that accompanies the system. The small and thin remote fits right in your pocket for simple volume control.
Closer to the speaker than the remote? Thanks to the touch sensitive controls on the e235 Edifier system, the remote is not always necessary. The touch sensitive controls on the speaker allow you to turn the system on and off, and adjust the volume without using the remote. It also features a swipe motion track navigation to easily change songs.
If red is too flashy, the award-winning sound system also comes in black, white, blue and orange to better match your home’s interior design.
COMES WITH THE SPEAKER STANDS
The speaker stands are 3 feet tall making them the perfect height from the ground so the sound will play at appropriate level. The e25 speaker stand comes with a mini-TOSLINK to TOSLINK cable, 3.5mm auxiliary extension, and speaker cable.
It’s no secret that a large portion of the E25’s popularity stems from their gorgeous design. You can read more about the details in my dedicated E25 review since the e235’s are identical apart from the addition of a subwoofer and a THX logo on the fronts of the speakers however, I will give some brief impressions here.
I do feel that the speakers are better suited towards a more contemporary computer setup over bookshelf usage since they are designed to stand out as much as possible; they hardly blend into any regular room landscape and would be more comfortable in an art gallery. However, that is not to be taken as a negative since the speakers capture the right kind of attention with their sweeping styling and range of vibrant colours. The signature red colour scheme is captivating without being gaudy and fit into my more natural room more comfortably than I would have thought. If you are looking for a more coordinated look, the speakers are also available in white and black.
The rubberized front face houses the two active drivers, a 4” exposed woofer unit and above it, a 19mm silk dome tweeter. Edifier aren’t afraid to brandish the E235’s new found THX certification on the fronts as well though the uncentered log on the right speaker is irking and a little cheap looking. The right speaker also houses a power/status LED that provides clear, distinct feedback.Unfortunately, as with the E25’s, the black rubberized texture attracts dust like nothing else and its grippy texture is very difficult to clean. A significant amount of processing went into these product shots to provide a palatable viewing experience.
The rear of the speakers are just as intriguing, with a brushed aluminium support bridging the gap between the two opposing passive bass radiators. It’s hard to look away from the exposed drivers during high volume playback, it’s a very unique look that has remained fresh and futuristic despite minimal change.
The new 100W subwoofer fits perfectly into the speaker system with identical design language and colour. While some speakers can be a statement of design, I have yet to really see a truly visually innovative subwoofer; rather most are designed to draw less attention with plain, geometric designs. As always, Edifier don’t settle for the status quote, and the e235 sub pursues a very futuristic look that vastly deviates from essentially every other 2.1 speakers system out there.
The sub looks integrated yet alien, with the rounded driver enclosure sitting atop a moulded matte black base that gives the impression that the sub is floating on black aether. Despite being almost entirely plastic, the sub is far heavy than that included with the Logitech Z623 for instance, weighing in at ~5Kg. This keeps the sub steady on its base and prevents wandering during high volume playback. It’s also a reassuring hint that there is are quality drivers and amplification circuitry inside.
Speaking of drivers, the Edifier e235 has a single 8-inch driver that is augmented by two 8inch radiators that fire outwards from each side. They have a similar design to the radiators at the rear of the E25’s for a more engaging and uniform look.
The base has rubber feet to prevent vibration and protect your floor since the speaker is considerably heavy. Similar to the Edifier Spinnaker’s, the base houses the recessed 3pin power port and has integrated cable routing to produce a cleaner look. I found it far easier to hide the power cable and keep everything looking minimal when combined with a small cable box.
A white power status light sits at the top of the sub. The design of the light is similarly space age, there is also minimal light bleed through the plastic housing which enhances the quality of the product.
I must restate, the E235’s are absolutely striking, I love the look of the new sub and the 3-year-old satellites still feel as futuristic and contemporary as they were at launch. The E235’s have a timeless look that I feel will age very well; they don’t compliment your TV setup or office landscape, they completely steal the show. While I still feel the same way about the overzealous tweeter protector and the dust grabbing rubberized texture on the front face of the speakers, it’s hard not to love the overall design of the system, so I’m happy it has remained mostly the same.
The E235’s are just as easy to setup as any other speaker despite the complication of their multiple wireless components. Once both the subwoofer and speakers are powered and the passive left satellite is connected to the active right speaker via the proprietary interconnect, the speakers and sub instantly pair over a 5.8GHz connection. In addition, if any one component is powered off, they promptly reconnect without issue. Should you need a replacement sub or speaker, the sub does have a manual pairing function. I didn’t notice any phase or latency issues during usage and the subwoofer maintained a solid connection even at a distance of about 3M.
The right satellite houses the interfaces and wireless circuitry. On the rear are the 3.5mm and optical inputs, both functioned perfectly in my usage as with any other speaker. In addition, the Edifier e235’s support Bluetooth 4.0 and apt-x, producing considerably lower latency and, in theory, CD quality audio over a BT connection.
In usage, range was solid, a little worse than the S1000DB, but better than the older E25 and completely reliable. At first, I did experience some loud crackling when switching between Bluetooth devices on my laptop, however, these issues did not persist with other sources so I would chalk that up to an issue my laptop rather than the speakersthemselves. Latency was slightly higher than the S1000DB, that is to say, noticeable but overall negligible and watching films and videos were all perfectly served by the E235’s. Quality loss over Bluetooth was also minimal (streaming from my apt-x enabled HTC 10); there are a few videos demonstrating a substantial quality difference between a wired and wireless connection on the E25’s, however the more standard rich E235 did not have the same quality deficits in my experience; sub-bass remained nice and tight and the highs didn’t become any more brittle or splashy than they already are. Maximum volume also remained more than sufficient though it is possible to achieve more volume over a wired connection from a good source.
The Edifier e235 automatically enters BT mode when powered on, as always, Edifier’s Bluetooth system is very intuitive, there is no pairing mode, the speakers simply pair on first come first serve basis, great for multi-device usage. I’m very happy to see that Edifier have removed those cheap audio cues denoting power and connection, the speakerscommunicates source and power solely through the status LED on the front of the right speaker. Source selection is easily selected through a single pressing of the power button on the remote (while holding will power off the speakers). The LED glows:
Blue – Bluetooth
Red – Aux
Green – Optical
The included remote has several basic functions that provide some audio flexibility. It’s an IR remote and as such, must have a line of sight connection to the right speaker. Theremote functioned well and has very good battery life, my E25 remote lasts about 6 months before needing a new cell, often more. Up top is the power button that controls both the sub and speakers. Beneath is a 4-way d-pad where up and down control volume and left and right control subwoofer volume, great for compensating for a larger or smaller room. The centre button allows users to easily switch off the sub and use the speakers in 2.0 mode, it’s not necessary but does help on some really poorly mastered tracks or videos, effectively removing the popping from a non-filtered microphone recording.
The same capacitive controls remain from the E25. Once again, they are on the wrong side of the speakers and aren’t super sensitive. They work in a pinch, but the remote is still the ideal way to control the speakers.
With a drastically increased RMS rating (72W-172W) along with the addition of an external 8” subwoofer, the E235’s achieve considerably more sub-bass extension and rumble than its predecessor. As I noted in my E25 review, the Luna Eclipses suffer from a prevalent bass roll-off at lower volumes. Obviously, this poses great coherency issue when combined with the fixed frequency crossover of the sub. Thankfully, Edifier have mostly alleviated this issues through digital volume correction that increases bass presence on the satellites at lower volumes. As such, the Edifier e235’s sound rich and extended throughout their volume range, and they even sound pretty punchy when the sub is powered off too.
The speakers produce minimal hiss, there is only slight noise from the tweeter driver and even that is only audible when placing my ear next to the driver. As stated, the right driver contains all of the amplification circuitry for both satellites. I did notice the right speakers getting quite warm though they never got notably hot during use. Maximum volume is very good, Edifier build in their signature DSP that lowers bass and treble levels at higher volumes to prevent distortion. Perhaps because the processing is more mature, or as a result of a higher quality Bluetooth connection, I didn’t notice the shouty character that was prevalent on the E25’s at high volumes on the E235’s. As is expected, the E235’s have a similar maximum volume to the E25’s, though the inclusion of that subwoofer does mean you don’t need as high a volume to produce full, room filling audio and the Edifier e235 is a much more realistic home theatre solution than the plain E25. That being said, I do feel that the E235 is more tuned for near field listening as theSubwoofer did lean out in my larger lounge room, even when subwoofer volume was turned up to its max setting. Perhaps placing the sub near a wall or in a corner would alleviate this issue, but I found the speaker much better suited to my medium sized study and small bedroom. I can’t help but draw notable comparison to my Edifier Spinnaker/Energy XL-S8 2.1 speaker setup since they are so similar on paper yet so vastly different in reality; I will provide ample comparisons to this setup in the following sections.
The E235’s have slightly bright midrange response with adjustable sub and lower bass responses that range from neutral to considerably full. They have a noticeably boosted treble response that aids detailing and clarity but does fatigue at times.
The music setting is quite flat though I feel that it’s been purposefully hampered to promote the use of the THX eQ. The music and THX settings are very similar, however, the THX setting is slightly bassier and the highs are more extended and sparkly, the Music setting seems to roll off the highs quite considerably, resulting in quite a dull sound. The 3D setting is the most different and provides, as its name would suggest, a very expanded soundstage. It also considerably increases sub-bass output and makes vocals sound very distant. I feel that the processing is a bit overzealous and I rarely find myself preferring this setting over the THX or Music presets even when watching films or gaming, it is simply too sculpted. I will use the THX preset in my following sound evaluations.
Edifier e235: Bass
The e235’s have a remarkably linear lower/sub-bass response that extends to the deepest audible lows and provides a hearty dollop of physical slam too. Sub-bass has great rumble and texture and the E235 provides a very tight and coherent bass reproduction; it’s a far tighter response than my Energy 8-inch sub for instance. The Edifier e235 also has a more linear tuning than the Energy sub, but that speaker cost me just $50 (original RRP of $300 USD) and the Spinnakers are a stronger performing speaker than the E25, especially with their active bass drivers. As aforementioned, the E235 does not provide a large space-filling sound and the sheer physical impact that a home theatre sub provides, instead, it augments the satellites with an extremely linear, extended and textured sub-bass response. The sub really is very good but is best suited for near field listening at a computer rather than with a TV. It’s a very nice subwoofer that, on its own, might cost $500, especially given it’s rock solid, super low latency wireless integration. The Energy sub augments the Spinnakers incredibly well, but its roots as a home theatre speaker are reflected by its poor definition and texture, especially when compared to a discrete system such as the Edifier e235. It also requires a wired connection to the satellites and has no phase settings meaning that placement will be heavily limited, it is far from the ideal solution proposed by the Edifier e235 but ultimately remains a more budget option for the economically constrained.
As with the E25’s, mid-bass is punchy and upper-bass is slightly recessed, sapping the lower mids of some body and warmth. The dual opposing passive radiators at the rear of the speakers provide a very punchy, fast bass response that has heaps of resolution. The Spinnakers do sound fuller on their own and perhaps have the ability to sound better than the E235’s when paired with a better sub, but as they are, the Edifier e235 offers a more textured response and no longer suffers from the lack of extension and slam that affected their predecessors.
Bass is well integrated on a whole, but the crossover of the sub may be too low depending on volume. As mentioned in my E25 review, the Luna Eclipses (satellite) sound anaemic at lower volumes due to their use of passive bass radiators which rely on pressure changes within the housings to increase bass presence. At lower volumes, the E25’s sound a little thin, leaving a gap in lower-bass before the subwoofer kicks in, providing quantity to the sub-bass. This creates a somewhat skewed bass response that sounds a bit unnatural but still quite pleasing depending on the type of music being played. At higher volumes, the sub sounds more integrated. The subwoofer is very, very good on its own and I want to love the E235 more. But as a package, I feel that the overall audio performance does not justify the asking price and I do feel that the Subwoofer’s benefits here may not be enough to justify the speaker’s exorbitant price increase; just having a subwoofer does add to the experience, but a subwoofer can only do so much and I would have liked to see some improvements to the Satellites as well. Sadly, they are essentially identical to the E25’s.
Where the looks and feel of the speakers have aged incredibly well, I feel that the sound quality of the satellites hasn’t kept up with more recent speakers or conversely, higher end older speakers that have since come down in pricing. The Edifier e235’s have a spectacular subwoofer with very good, but not exemplary satellites. For $800, I expect such outstanding performance in all regards and the E25’s are simply not up to scratch. This section will be very similar to my E25 review since the satellites are practically identical apart from some minor digital tweaks.
The speakers have a bright midrange with a focus on clarity. Male vocals are especially thin but very clear and female vocals share this thinner presentation, but to a lesser extent. The satellites have great clarity and are aggressively detailed. The lower midrange is a little unnatural and scooped sounding, contributing the bright tonal balance of the midrange. Male vocals do tend to be a little behind in the mix, though their clear nature means this character does not overly affect definition. Fortunately, the upper midrange isn’t so variable and while female vocals can sound ever so slightly raspy, the speaker’s supreme clarity does enhance the overall sound without becoming overbearing or harsh. I feel that female vocals may even be better done on the E25’s than the S1000DB’s, the E25’s specialise in texture and upper midrange, the S1000DB’s sound a little dull by comparison (but not on their own). If you enjoy a lot of female vocal, pop and especially Asian pop music, both the E25’s and Edifier e235’s are a really solid choice. For instance, booting up Resident Evil VII, a game with fantastic atmospheric effects, and the E235 delivered clear vocal performance and plenty of rumble for more action intensive scenes. The exaggerated atmosphere effect were well reproduced by the speakers, every nuance was brought to the fore creating a truly engaging experience however the treble did become overbearing during VCR scenes that are mastered with a constant beep that was accentuated on the E235’s. Imaging was spot on and enemies were easily located. The S1000DB’s did sound richer as usual, but they lacked the visceral rumble of the E235’s which does vastly enhance gaming and film.
Overall, the E235 is still a very good speaker and their upper midrange performance is a testament to the E25’s value at $300. However, the $800 Edifier e235’s faults cannot be so easily dismissed and the lower midrange could still do with a lot of work in future models. The Spinnakers and S1000DB both sound considerably fuller and more natural throughout their midrange. The E25’s sound great in isolation but start to falter in comparison to these higher range speakers.
Edifier’s bookshelf speakers have always had stunning treble quality and the titanium driver S1000DB’s exemplify this strength. Instantly, treble is far more resolving on the S1000DB, and the Edifier e235’s lack a lot of upper treble detail. They are still nicely resolving due to a middle treble emphasis though that same accentuation can make the speakerssound splashy as a result. As with the E25’s, I didn’t find the Edifier e235’s to sound harsh per say, but the treble response does still become grating at higher volumes or with songs with brighter mastering. The S1000DB actually has a similar amount of treble emphasis overall (also controllable via the rear facing dials), though it has more treble body, extension and texture, creating a more engaging experience. The Music preset does take the edge off, though it is a little too effective, making the speakers sound dull.
Award-Winning Sound System
The Power Of Bluetooth 4.0
Sleek Remote And Simple Touch Controls
Versatile connection: Bluetooth, Optical/Coaxial, 3.5mm AUX