Edifier – Soundbar USB review

A very portable external speaker for laptops
Photo of Edifier – Soundbar USB
£39.99

Laptops aren’t known for having great speakers. This can be a pain if you want to do things like listen to music while you use your computer, or deliver presentations to others directly from it in a work situation . Not surprisingly, there are plenty of third-party speaker sets designed to give the sound quality you want.

The Edifier Soundbar is a relatively low-cost and easy to use option. It’s very portable, and comes with its own drawstring carrying case to help you easily tote it around.

The Edifier is rather nicely designed, being a triangular tube reminiscent of a certain Swiss chocolate bar whose name we won’t mention. Its brushed aluminium, silver and black colour scheme should look fine in conjunction with most laptops.

The Soundbar measures 261x36x44mm, and its shape means it will usually fit in the crook that’s created between lid and base section when a laptop is opened, so it doesn’t need any desk space of its own.

The Edifier Soundbar is powered by the same mini-USB cable it uses to take music from your PC, so you need just a single cable to connect it. It also comes with an AUX cable, though, enabling you to plug in external devices like an iPod, or anything with a 3.5mm headset connector. These two connectors sit at one end of the Edifier Soundbar.

At the other end is the volume control. We don’t really like the way this works. You press it for a while and volume falls, tap it repeatedly and volume rises. We find the system fiddly, and would have preferred a roller wheel or slider.

The Edifier Soundbar is pure plug and play, and it takes seconds to install and start pushing sound through.

But what really matters is the quality of the speakers. The Soundbar has a bass reflector port in the centre of the device, and stereo speakers to the left and right. The bass port’s effect is noticeable, though not substantial. If you really like your bass then the Edifier Soundbar might not deliver for you. Volume is reasonably loud, but not as loud as we’d have liked. At least there’s no distortion at higher volume levels. The stereo effect is pretty good, with good, rounded sound.

Audio output was certainly better than we normally get from our laptop, but nowhere near as good as we enjoy from our current desktop PC with its five speakers attached. But that’s no surprise, really.

Overall, the Edifier Soundbar is good enough to let you enjoy a movie or make a presentation to a small group. But neither volume nor quality are high enough to play sounds to a group for leisure purposes – at a party, for example.

Company: Edifier

Contact: 0870 458 0011


Verdict

The Edifier Soundbar is a very portable external speaker that's easy to set up, and it will produce better sound quality than the internal speakers of many laptops. We'd have liked the connector to be micro-USB rather than mini-USB and we found the volume control a bit tricky. Overall, though, it's not a bad little speaker.