Tech Review: Edifier S880DB Bookshelf Speakers: At home in the office

We’ve covered a few of Edifier’s range of bookshelf speakers on The Iris before, so taking the S880DB twin set for a spin made sense. In keeping with the company tradition of quality sound in a compact package with a price point that may make you wince on first inspection, the S880DB represents the perfect speaker set for audiophiles with a home office.

The first thing you’ll notice after opening the box and pulling everything out is that these speakers have a more plush look to them than Edifier’s typically staid, wooden look. The S880DB still has a wooden finish but its a very light one. The indentations on the side give the impression that it might be leather. Strictly for those who prefer lighter decor, if that’s something you think about when purchasing audio hardware.

The second thing you’ll notice is that the IR remote included in the bundle is a cut above Edifier’s usual standard. Typically Edifier provide the sort of disappointing flimsy rectangle remote that most audio manufacturers are content to ship. Mushy buttons and easily lost among the couch cushions. The S880DB comes with a circular remote with clearly defined buttons and a series of presets that can be activated with easy. Moving from source to source is now a two-press but its a hit I’m willing to take for being able to jump between audio profiles so easily. The remote also keeps volume steps nice and small which is great for people who are particular about their settings.

The bookshelf speakers themselves each contain a 19mm titanium dome tweeter with a 3.75″ diaphragm driver. All these speakers are interested in doing is sounding good, and they do. The sound stage is surprisingly wide for a bookshelf duo. I was actually able to attach them to my PC while playing Overwatch and still have a good idea of where my enemies were positioned. Quite something. Musically, these speakers are great for audiophiles who want to hear every layer of a given mix. It’s easy to pick out individual instruments and parts which, again, sets the S880DB apart from the pack.

Given that much of their packaging boasts their stature as Hi-Res certified speakers, its no surprise that the S880DB presents a pretty flat default EQ, all of which can be played with in the Monitor profile. Jumping between sound profiles is a great way to get a read on the bass response — Dynamic has a very punchy, vibrant boom to it and you’ll actually feel it more from the right than you will the left.

The mids don’t really change a jot no matter which profile you choose, which is good because they’re really fine as they are. It actually makes the S880DB great for hooking up to your tele or PC for watching TV or movies because the dialogue won’t get lost in the mix.

If there’s anywhere the S880DB falters its probably the highs. They never get lost in the mix, they’re just a bit harder to pick out if you aren’t on the Dynamic profile.

Volumewise, the S880DB isn’t going to be too quiet for anyone. With a whopping 88W of power, they’ll cheerfully deafen you if you decide to crank them up in a fit exuberance during a party. They’re actually the sort of speaker that you can have on in the living room during an evening gathering, take the party outside and still be able to hear them quite clearly.

As stated in the intro, Edifier are very, very good at what they do. And what they do is produce solid, reliable, lovely sounding speakers that are maybe a bit pricier than you’re expecting. For those chasing the very best sound quality, they’ll be on the shortlist for sure.

Score: 8.0 out of 10
Highlights: Solid sound; Solid design; Great remote
Lowlights: May not fit in with all decor
Manfuacturer: Edifier
Price: $369
Available: Now

Review conducted using a loaned retail unit provided by the manufacturer.


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David Smith

David Smith is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.

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