Hearing is one of the five major senses that humans have. We can here sounds that range around 50Hz and 20KHz which allows us to hear things that are very low and very high. Speakers have been around for quite a long time and are in almost every home, connected to a CD player, TV, DVD player, or many other things.
However another thing that one can use speakers for are computers. Since they are moving toward a merging of your home video system to your computer, it would be obvious that speakers would be something that you would need. We have moved from speakers that have been directly connected to the motherboard, and are good for nothing more than basic beeps of the system, to speaker systems that can rival many standard systems out today.
Edifier Enterprises have been around for eight years, and has grown quite a bit moving from China to include Canada in just two years. They specialize in making genuine wooden enclosure speaker systems, which is nice to see that they are actually using wood instead of plastics or other less expensive substances for speakers. So lets see what this company can produce for the computer user.
Edifier R501 Speakers
Since we here at Viperlair haven't looked at too many speakers, what does Edifier include with the speakers we received. If you want a more detailed specification sheet, please look at Edifier's site, though we will look at most of the specifications during our review.
So lets take a quick inventory of what was inside the box:
- Five satellite speakers
- Five speaker cables (varying lengths)
- Three stereo to stereo RCA cables (6' each)
- Three Stereo (RCA) to 1/8" jack
- Two speaker stands, with screws
- IR remote, with two AAA batteries
We see that all the things you would need with speakers are included here. From the different length speaker wires, three shorter and two longer speaker wires. What was nice to see is that you get cables to connect to either the computer or a DVD player with all six channels.
The packaging is very professionally done, with everything in its proper place. The top layer had six spots, for five speakers and for the accessories (wire, cables, remote). Underneath that is the subwoofer's location, which is well packed in plastic and Styrofoam. Gladly batteries have been included with the remote, unlike many things with the famous words, batteries sold separately. Now lets look at the separate parts of the system a little more in-depth.
The remote that is included is of the infrared variety, with the receiver in the subwoofer itself. There is the obviously the power button, mute button, and volume button, just as one would expect from any remote. The majority of buttons are for controlling the individual sound levels of the center channel, the surrounds, and the subwoofer, and there is one button to equalize all three, which is how it is set in all our tests.
Looking at the speaker itself we see one interesting fact, there is no tweeter included with the speaker. The actual woofer is full range and is 3.5" in size, using a paper coil. The casing is very small, smaller than most computer speakers, but still larger than the little cubes that some computer speaker systems use. Supposedly there is two different speakers, one for the center speaker and one for all the rest of the speakers, but I couldn't tell the difference between them. Marking the speakers, or at least the center channel would be a very good idea here. All the speakers are magnetically shielded, so putting them next to your monitor or anything else that is sensitive to a magnet is okay. The speaker cabinet itself are made of the wood that many good speakers are made of, MDF, which is held together with a generous amount of glue as you can see in the bottom middle picture. The back of the speaker uses a quick connect speaker connector. The grill is nothing unusual just a standard plastic grill with a cloth cover.