Edifier S2000MKIII vs S3000Pro which is better?

I take my music very seriously. I want rock music to give the sound and feel of the metal as it should. I want the bass to give off soothing low frequency rather than sounding fuzzy and overdriven. Therefore, I’m always hunting for good speaker systems.

On my list of today’s comparisons is “Edifier S2000MKIII vs S3000Pro”.  Edifier has been around in the audio niche for quite some time now and their game is getting really strong. They have introduced some high-quality, budget speakers one after another.

Appearance:

S2000MKIII:

When it comes to bookshelf speakers, appearance matters! At least to me, it does. I don’t want to put something ugly and bulky in my living room that looks utterly out of proportion with the aesthetics of its surroundings.

Judging from the looks, S2000MKIII had a complete make-over. The speakers look quite stable and elegant deeper walnut color. I like the use of vertical panels instead of the inclined ones we saw in S2000Pro.

It has a crisp and beautiful digital display which allows users to have clear feedback for every option. The text is visually superior i.e. you can clearly see the entire words of the four EQ modes such as “DYNAMIC” and “MONITOR”, not to mention the input of Line1 and Line2. The font is large enough to see clearly from 3-4 meters away.

The remote control in this version is similar to AirPulse A300. Although it is relatively more compact and very convenient for function button operation. Since the speakers have High-resolution audio certification, a golden “Hi-Res” logo has been added to the cabinet.

The back of the speaker is quite simple which makes the installation process easy. There are two sets of RCA inputs and optical and coaxial S/PDIF digital inputs as well as the volume knob and knobs to control the gain of treble and bass, respectively. The wiring of the main and auxiliary boxes is no different. The connection cable between the left and right speakers are similar to the AirPulse series and measure ~  5 meters.

The gold-rimmed feet are another worthy feature. They ensure there’s enough clearance so the speakers don’t scuff any surfaces they’re placed on. On the other hand, it’s worth taking into account the depth of these speakers for placement. They’re quite deep (342mm) and will need some space to operate.

S3000Pro:

As soon as you take out the S3000 Pro of the package, you realize how well-made they are. The design is a smooth amalgamation of high-profile audio technology with a classic, shiny wood paneling that contrasts beautifully against muted but extremely sharp metal.

They are quite large. I feel that they are not quite suitable as ‘desktop’ speakers. The massive size and sound quality make them more suitable for living rooms or someplace where you are at least a few meters away from them.

The remote control is similar to S2000MKIII. We see the same digital display screen on these speakers as well. However, the display and font on S3000Pro are smaller, which is a bit of a disappointment since these are more expensive.

Flipping towards the back, You’ll see controls for bass, treble, and volume. It has extra input for XLR and USB which S2000MKIII doesn’t have. I like the fact that the power cable is removable and accessible.

If you don’t like ugly cables sprawled everywhere or simply don’t feel like getting ambitious and running cabling behind bookshelves or the wallboard, then the S3000 Pro speakers are a blessing for you as they are wireless. It uses the wireless audio streaming technology called the KleerNet. Each speaker simply needs access to its power plug and they will link up, communicate with the desired audio input device, and crank out the tunes.

The Price:

S2000MKIII:

First, we had the S2000 which was good but a bit plain. Then we had S2000MKII which looked cool with a new sloped design and planar tweeters. Soon Edifier launched S2000MKIII having the same cabinet style as S3000, which was a daring move.

They are available for $499.99 on Amazon. The packaging includes RCA cables + optical cables. Nothing else is needed to get this up and running. To understand and appreciate S2000MKIII better let me give you a little background.

S2000 Pro was an important upgrade and revision of Edifier’s flagship desktop 2.0 speakers S2000 in 2016, twelve years after its launch. S2000 Pro uses the flat diaphragm tweeter and 5.5-inch aluminum alloy diaphragm unit developed by Edifier. However, with S2000MKIII Edifier has made a significant jump in terms of technological use and performance. As I dive deeper and discuss drivers and internals, you’ll realize that these actually might be well-worth your money.

S3000Pro:

S3000Pro is available on Edifier’s 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.

From a price point perspective, the glaring omission of the XLR cabling in the whole package is a disappointment. Edifier is usually very vigilant about matching up their speakers with all your devices as gratis. If there is a port in the back of the speaker, they will provide a cable on purchase. Unfortunately, there are two XLR sockets with no accompanying XLR cables to fill them.

You will probably have to use the ones provided with the device you intend to connect your speakers to. My point is that when buying such costly audio speakers, I don’t want to run around looking for cables that should already have been part of the packaging. Leaving out these cables is notable for Edifier and not their typical way.

Drivers and Internals:

S2000MKIII:

The sound is churned out via planar diaphragm tweeters and 5.5-inch woofers, with 15W of power delivered to the tweeters and 50W reserved for the woofers. Powering that sound is a Class-D digital amp. A dual DSP digital processor is used to manage crossover for frequencies. It uses two chips to independently manage treble and the medium-bass channels. This is different from AirPulse, which uses the XMOX chip to do digital crossover tasks.

It uses PCM9211 chip as digital signal reception as it has S/Pdif digital input. An ADC chip, PCM1802 converts the analog signal. This is nothing new and has been used by Edifier in previous products as well.

Edifier has used Qualcomm’s QCC3031 chip that supports aptX HD and Bluetooth 5.0 mode. In theory, aptX HD can support a sampling accuracy of 24bit instead of the 16bit of AAC and aptX. But the sampling rate is still locked at 48kHz. From Qualcomm’s information, the code rate after data compression is about 350kbps, which is theoretically better than aptX.

S3000Pro:

For S3000Pro Edifier installed TI’s TPA3251 power amplifier chip in each cabinet. The theoretical maximum power can reach 175W. According to the Edifier, the undistorted power of each speaker can reach 128W. This is extremely high for a pair of bookshelf boxes with 6.5-inch speakers. This power-packed performance is the reason why S3000 Pro gives a more balanced sound.

Both speakers have their power switches on the back panel. The right speaker is also equipped with an optical input, an RCA input, a USB input, a coaxial input, and even two XLR inputs.

S3000 Pro also has Bluetooth 5.0 functionality and Qualcomm aptX HD audio decoding which supports 24-bit music quality and means that the fine note stuff in your playlist will not get lost on transmission. I appreciate Edifier for including Qualcomm aptX since it minimizes distortion and sound output is indistinguishable from high-resolution audio.

Sound Quality:

S2000MKIII:

As I mentioned before, a medium-sized living room or a small den are ideal places to keep these speakers and there will be no obvious problem. However, for a bigger space, I would advise looking for some other speakers such as AirPulse A300.

As soon as you play them, you’ll notice that they are articulate performers in terms of mid-range detail. I feel bass could have more depth and clarity. Some tracks, though cleanly delivered, feel a bit reined in.

Flat diaphragm tweeters have a more powerful resolution as compared to silk or metal diaphragm tweeter units. Another advantage of flat diaphragm tweeters can be felt in the improvement of treble. High frequency sounds a lot softer. This calmness of sound quality brings S2000MKIII close to AirPulse A series (there is still some difference in the limit, but rest assured you are getting your money’s worth!). You can tweak bass and treble with the dials on the ‘master’ speaker, which will give you further scope to play with the sound.

Edifier has put a lot of thought into details and balance. The soundstage is wider and fuller and the bass is better than what you’d get from a flatscreen TV with intelligible dialogue too. I like the fact that it gives a TV’s sound more weight and directs it into the room, but these are big in size. They’d need a speaker stand if you’re going to set them on either side of a 50-inch+ TV.

S3000Pro:

With S3000Pro frequency separation is balanced and clear, with little to no overlap between the drivers. Note separation and imaging is impeccable as is an excellent depth of field. The tonality of the S3000 Pro speakers is rich and has depth when blended with the bass register.

Brass and string instrumentals retain their brightness without being sounding harsh and jazz or classical pieces with piano allow listeners to hear individual notes easily. The overall sound presentation comes across as natural and realistic.

The bass is punchy and deep, but with no thump because of the absence of a sub-woofer.

However, the bass range is still excellent. Bass production during movie viewing is a visceral experience. It is something you do not typically see in this price point category.

With the large bass woofers, movie special effects that include explosions or deep rumbles are clear-cut and quite noticeable. Low-frequency response is also powerful and there is no discernible distortion even at mid-to-high volume levels.

There is outstanding clarity across the mid-range at all volume levels. Mid-range tones are smoothly integrated with the bass output and do not come across as conflicted or veiled. This is what gives S3000Pro an edge over other speakers in this range.

The tweeters produce crystal clear highs, but are not overly bright or piercing. There is no detectable sibilance, leaving vocal highs clear and balanced. Although the tweeter does not dominate the mid-range but is well integrated to provide some zing in the highs. On the whole, I feel that the drivers of the system are well-blended.

The Verdict:

S200MKIII is a remarkable pair of speakers that deliver a neutral approach that is precise, detailed, and clear. They do offer a degree of versatility and are a decent alternative to soundbar for TV. I feel they are tailored more towards home studios or desktops.

Since I’m a music person, I would opt for S300Pro. It provides a great bang for your bucks. The sound quality is excellent and the connectivity is superb. You can always purchase sub-woofers to pair with them, however, I feel that the low-end bass quality of S3000Pro will be sufficient for rich-toned audio listening.

SPECS:

SPECIFICATIONS S2000MKIII S3000 Pro
Power Output RMS 15W x 2 + 50W x 2 2 x 8W RMS (Treble), 2 x 120W RMS (Mid-range & Bass)
Drivers 1 x 5.5″ / 139.7 mm Aluminum Woofer (Front-Firing, per Speaker)1 x Tweeter (per Speaker) 1 x Planar Diaphragm Tweeter (per Speaker)1 x 6.5″ / 165.1 mm Aluminum Cone Mid-Woofer (per Speaker)
Woofer 5.5 inches aluminum 6.5 inches aluminum alloy
Frequency Response 45Hz-40KHz 38 Hz – 40 kHz
Bluetooth 5.0, aptX HD 5.0, aptX
Connections Optical, Coax, RCA 1 x Stereo RCA, 1 x Stereo XLR, 1 x USB, 1 x Optical, 1 x Coaxial
Dimensions (WxHxD) 98 x 276 x 342mm 232x368x356 mm
Weight 17.1 kg 21.1 kg
Warranty 24 Months 24 Months
Package Contents S2000MKIII, Speaker Cable, 3.5mm>RCA Audio Cable, RCA Audio Cable, Optical Cable, Remote Control, User Manual S3000PRO, Remote Control, Batteries, Power Chord, USB Cable, Optical Cable, 3.5mm>RCA Cable, RCA Cable, User Manual

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