2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

    $200
    Speakers

    Edifier Luna Eclipse

    If Edifier is known for one thing, it’s the unique shapes it comes up with for speakers. Not content with dull boxes, the company has explored all sorts of different designs. Its Mac-friendly Luna Eclipse ($200) is no exception. This handsome set of desktop speakers is unlike anything we’ve seen from other companies in the past, a design that uses its curves to create what’s almost a floating effect. Updated February 3, 2014 with hands-on details.

    Inside each of the two speakers, there’s a 19mm tweeter, a 3” full-range driver, and two 3” passive bass radiators. You can connect them to your computer using an aux cable or Bluetooth, but the included power cord is needed either way. In addition to touch-sensitive controls, a remote controls the volume. Very nice looking black, red, and white versions of the speaker are available.

    We were generally but not entirely pleased with the results of our hands-on testing of Luna Eclipse. On a positive note, the speakers are Edifier’s nicest-looking designs yet, with distinctive shapes that aren’t quite as alien as some of its earlier designs—the red versions we received could as easily go on the desktop of a Ferrari designer as in a home office. We also liked how seamlessly the Bluetooth wireless streaming feature worked: after pairing, it was extremely easy to toggle between wireless and wired modes using a connected MacBook Pro, and the capacitive controls on the right speaker’s side worked well to control power and volume. Edifier’s remote control also works properly. Sonically, the system’s drivers are highly competitive and arguably outstanding for the price point, capable of producing a nice range of highs, mids, and lows, as well as operating at small room-filling volumes. Although it’s substantially made from plastic, Luna Eclipse compares sonically with desktop speakers such as Bowers & Wilkins’ MM-1 that sell for more than twice the price, in large part because the passive bass radiators provide additional, subwoofer-like low end.

    The only small hitch is that the Bluetooth wireless mode doesn’t sound identical to the wired 3.5mm cabled mode. Luna Eclipse sounds best when it’s connected with a wire, losing a bit of treble sharpness, midrange clarity, and bass depth over Bluetooth. It’s not a profound difference, nor is it a huge surprise given the limitations of Bluetooth streaming, but we noticed it—particularly in the highs—immediately after switching from wired to Bluetooth mode. Thankfully, Edifier has kept streaming-related amplifier static levels down and pairing relatively quick, so if you don’t care about pristine audio fidelity, using Luna Eclipse in fully wireless mode is pretty painless. - Jeremy Horwitz

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