A good party is never complete without a great speaker system. As Christmas is around the corner and most of us will be hosting friends and family, I think this is the perfect time to review the two speaker systems by Edifier. To be honest, good audio speakers do a lot in amplifying the ambiance and setting up the mood for the party.
Having said that, Edifier has made a name for itself in the niche by providing us with audio products that are on the more affordable range of the spectrum. However, AirPulse A300 and S3000Pro are more towards the pricier side, so you can imagine that this had piqued my curiosity. Let us dive deeper and analyze the two audio speaker systems side by side. I have a feeling that it’s going to be an interesting match-up.
I prize my hard-earned money, so I like to spend and invest them wisely and you should too! That’s why I’m starting this comparison with the asking price for both of these devices. There is a slight variation between their prices but for the most part, you are getting great value for money.
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Edifier AirPulse A300 is priced at $1349.99 on Edifier’s website. You can also get them from Amazon. They are designed by the famous audio engineer Phil Jones who is the founder of the highly respected British audio company Acoustic Energy. AirPulse A300 is among the top of Edifier’s speaker lineup. Some of its features include (but are not limited to) 6.5inch mid-woofers and 65mm ribbon tweeters. It does have some great specs but they do not justify the $1000+ price tag for me.
Also included in the package is the very thick interconnect cable, a remote control, an optical cable, an instruction manual, a high-quality RCA cable with gold plated connectors, and an RCA to 1/8″ adapter.
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By introducing the S series, Edifier has tried to improve on its line of high-end home audio products. They are available on Edifier’s own website for $799.99. At the time of writing this article, these speakers are ‘Out of Stock’ on Amazon. You can also look them up on eBay. They deliver subwoofer-like responses and have dials for numerous connectivity options.
The A300 is built with 25mm thick rigid MDF with cherry wood veneer finished in a satin lacquer. Internal bracing is designed to support and stabilize the drivers. This helps minimize cabinet resonance and sound coloration. Furthermore, the cabinet interior is fully lined with 36mm thick waved sound absorption material. The conventional design measures 8.86 x 15.16 x 14.09 inches.
They don’t have a front cover which I don’t think is a necessity at this point. Why would somebody want to cover a speaker they paid so heavily for, right?
Moving around to the back, there is an air inlet on both speakers to improve bass response. The right speaker has all of the connections and circuitry. The left speaker is passively connected with a single cable. To connect the two, there is a 16ft interconnecting cable.
It looks like a MIDI connector, but those certainly won’t be able to deliver 80W, so your mileage may vary if you want to replace it. A more standard connector here like traditional banana plugs might be a suitable option in my opinion.
An in-wall installation may also be a problem since I don’t believe that the included cable is certified.
The back panel includes inputs such as Optical, USB, XLR, Coax, and RCA. Built-in Bluetooth receiver enables you to play your preferred playlist from any device. They use the PCM9211 Digital Audio Transceiver and TAS5756M Class-D Amplifier. Low and High-frequency EQ settings and volume adjustments are also at the back. Personally, I like volume adjustments at the front as it’s more convenient. Bass and treble settings allow up to 3dB adjustments which is not much.
A word of caution, make sure you wear gloves during installation as these speakers are dangerous fingerprint magnets.
The speakers have four rubberized bottom feet. To get the most out of your experience, you may want to place them at ear level which would require some sort of stand. Edifier also sells speaker stands specially designed for A300 speakers which are available for $199.99.
The S3000Pro speakers are somewhat heavy at roughly 14.0 by 9.1 by 11.5 inches (HWD) each. However, they are also nice to look at and don’t come off as bulky. Wood veneer paneling envelops most of the enclosure, while black cloth grilles (that can be removed) cover a 1-inch tweeter and 6.5-inch woofer on each speaker to deliver 256 watts (total) with a frequency range of 38Hz to 40kHz. For efficient driver operation, each speaker is ported on the back.
It has a thicker box structure which uses a high-strength MDF board with a thickness of 21mm. The thick plate gives a sturdy support structure to the cabinet and also adequately avoids the cabinet’s resonance. This gives an excellent sound quality. Naturally, blended cherry wood textured side panels bring a strong Retro visual impact.
Power switches for both speakers are at the back. Moreover, the right speaker also has an optical input, a USB input, a coaxial input, an RCA input, and two XLR inputs. Bass, treble, and volume adjustment knobs are also at the back.
The remote control has buttons for Power, Mute, and input for all six options. Additionally, there are four EQ listening modes i.e. Dynamic, Vocal, Monitor, and Classic.
The speakers can be purchased with optional floor stands, which brings the price to $949.98.
Driver and DSP:
It has a horn-type aluminum tape ribbon tweeter. Ribbon tweeters are not like your traditional tweeters. They are suspended within a magnetic field which makes them lighter and there is less resistance to motion when compared to the traditional tweeter. The ribbon diaphragm is designed for well-defined resolution, superb transient response, extended frequency range, and high sensitivity.
The mid-woofer is a 6.5″ driver with an anodized aluminum alloy cone. This is suspended in a heavy-duty, stringent cast magnesium alloy frame. The Proprietary Aluminum Alloy Cone (PAAC) of the mid-woofer was designed from analysis of all types of cone geometry and materials using a Klippel Laser Doppler Interferometer.
The Aluminium Alloy Cone hosts a large underhung motor structure with a high-gauss Neodymium magnet and a 50mm diameter edge-wound, copper-clad aluminum ribbon voice coil. This not only allows the speakers to gain maximum linear excursion and control but also reduces the weight of the driver. As a result, the speakers have a fast transient response as well as total loss-modulation distortion.
The rigidity of the cast-magnesium alloy frame reduces speaker coloration. It also helps to disperse heat efficiently from the voice coil much faster. This leads to increased dynamics and power handling, which gave me a satisfying musical experience.
Edifier’s A300’s success lies in the integrated design of digital crossover and speakers, and the fine-tuning of the entire speaker by DSP. The digital platform is also furnished with XMOS chips. This chip helps in USB connection with computers and external devices and also enables digital frequency division.
The S3000 Pro is equipped with a new planar diaphragm tweeter, which costs more than a silk diaphragm tweeter. One of the great features of planar ribbon tweeter is that it provides an unparalleled transient sound response for more detailed, delicate sounding highs. You will get a more consistent sound from room to room. I actually enjoyed the same quality audio in a large living room as well as in a small den. These speakers respond to even the subtlest waveforms and offer a brighter, airier sound.
These speakers use the 6.5-inch aluminum alloy diaphragm bass unit. The aluminum cone provides consistent flex less piston action even at high output volumes. This delivers a clearer, more precise sound. Output powerful room-shaking bass is great for everything from movies to music. The large-sized mid-bass unit usually brings a more relaxed and natural sound. This is good as you will not be exhausted from extended listening as compared to listening from a small-sized driver.
As a highly digital speaker, S3000 Pro also uses digital crossover technology and DSP technology. The DSP chip uses TI’s professional-grade DSP chip TLV320AIC3268. Each box contains a separate set of DSP chips, which control the input signal’s dynamic range. This helps in reducing the probability of distortion of the final sound.
The digital interface part of S3000 Pro features the classic PCM5242 DAC, supports 24bit/192kHz, and the signal-to-noise ratio is up to 114dB. The analog interface uses TI’s PCM1861 chip, which can also achieve the highest sampling rate of 192kHz, and the signal-to-noise ratio is also up to 110dB.
AirPulse A300 speakers provide efficient Bluetooth support. The chip is a new Bluetooth 8645 product from Qualcomm CSR, which supports apt-X encoding.
The S3000 Pro has been fully upgraded in Bluetooth transmission. It uses the CSR8675 Bluetooth 5.0 chipset from Qualcomm, and a built-in apt-X HD high-definition audio decoder, supporting lossless transmission up to 24bit/192KHz sampling rate.
The soundstage for A300 is very vibrant and clear. It is more cohesive from left to right. Thanks to the ribbon tweeters, high frequencies were transient and had excellent resolution. Cymbal hits had an extra shimmer. I also noted that guitars and drums had more definition and distinction. This is a difficult thing to achieve since the middle frequency range often gets very crowded in rock and pop music.
These speakers can get quite loud and easily deliver room-filling sound. Since the woofer on the A300 is a bigger speaker, so naturally, it sounded better in the low frequency. In terms of midrange style, the sound is much softer and relaxed.
Overall, I would say that A300 provided a fluid listening experience. It sounded like a harmonious symphony of musical notes rather than just two individual speakers playing music.
Listening to music on Edifier S3000 Pro is very natural. I really liked its high-frequency dynamics and resolving power. It is easy to grasp the control of details. Whether it is at high volume or medium and low volume, the notes are discernible. My ears did not feel irritated.
In the mid-frequency section, the vocals are clear-cut, and the instrument’s separation is kept just right. The position of the vocals is so apparent it feels as if the singer was singing tenderly in front of me. Every subtle sound is clear and audible.
The low frequency of the S3000 Pro is prolific and flexible. When listening to fast-paced metal music or traditional classical music, the low-frequency transient control is solid. It doesn’t sound loose, and slow at all.
With Airpulse A300 low-frequency dive has been dramatically increased, and the dynamics and levels have been upgraded. However, judging from the performance and price perspective Edifier S3000Pro is a clear winner for me. It gives variety and convenience due to the high degree of digitization. From Bluetooth 5.0 to XMOS to coaxial, optical fiber SPDIF, and other diverse access capabilities, its flexibility is unrivaled by traditional HIFI active speakers. It is especially beneficial for those music enthusiasts who are just getting started and have a tight budget and limited space. They can easily set up a sound quality system without spending too much energy and money, allowing people to enjoy the music itself. I think this is the strongest point of the S3000 Pro.