Interest in solid 2.1 speaker sets seems to have dissipated a little in recent times, a by-product perhaps of a mixture of a move towards laptops with on-board audio, and the growing number of us who sit at our computers with headphones on. However, there’s something far richer about an independent speaker set, and Edifier has priced its latest at a level that could and should tempt the curious buyer.
It’s a fairly compact set-up. You get one weighty wooden subwoofer and two satellites, along with the necessary cables to get up and running. It’s clear enough how you rig the speakers up (and you can always refer to the simple diagram), and there’s a wired remote built in to control volume and for you to plug in headphones as required. What’s more, if you need a bit of silence at a given point, then you just touch the main volume knob to activate mute. A quick peek at the back of the subwoofer also reveals that there’s a bass control for you to adjust to your preference.
The system itself is finished in glossy black on the satellites, and the whole package gives every impression of being a sleeky, snazzy setup.
Inevitably, then, down to business. We tested the M3300SF system with a mix of uncompressed music, videogaming and movies. And the results were good. At mid-volume, and with the bass set somewhere near the middle too, the output of the M3300SF setup was impressive. It goes without saying that you can tell the difference instantly over the output you get from any device’s in-built speakers, but what may surprise you is just how much of an improvement this set is.
The sound was consistent and solid at high and low volumes, no matter what material we tested. Furthermore, the subwoofer has real throat to it, quite surprising given how far down the price scale the M3300SF setup sits for standalone speakers.
On the downside? Clearly the more you spend, the better the output you can get, and there’s only so much that a 2.1 setup can do. Furthermore, if you’ve become used to built in speakers – and it’s not an unfair assumption that Edifier is targeting its system at those who have – then there’s a degree of bulk and wiring that you need to take into account.
Yet with solid response range and an ability to deliver on a broad range of material, Edifier has delivered a tempting, fuss-free yet effective speaker set-up here, and one that’s competitive with others in the same price bracket.