Review: Edifier S2000 Pro Bookshelf Speakers | iLounge

Review

Review: Edifier S2000 Pro Bookshelf Speakers

B+
Recommended

Company: Edifier

Model: S2000 Pro

Price: $400

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Earlier this year, we tried Edifier’s S880DB active speakers. Though we loved their look and versatility, we couldn’t ignore the fact that a slightly bigger midrange driver would have helped their limited bass extension. As if in direct response, Edifier next sent us another set of powered speakers that seemed likely to scratch that low-end itch — the higher-end S2000 Pro. For $100 more than their compact siblings, the S2000 Pro offers significantly improved sound over the S880DB, with just one significant compromise.

The S2000 Pro are significantly larger than the S880DB, at 8” x 13.5” x 10.5” each. They’re also much heavier, and their cabinets feel more solid and feature large rear ports — all good signs. We love how the S2000 Pro mates the old-school look of birchwood paneled cabinets with a unique, futuristic, floating, see-through grille design. Like the SD880B, the S2000 Pro also features a small, unobtrusive display on the active speaker to indicate the selected input and receive commands from the included full-function remote control. On the back of the active speaker we find RCA and XLR analog inputs, optical and coaxial digital inputs, and three knobs to control bass, treble, and volume/input selection.

Analog and optical cables are included in the box. Bluetooth input is also available, with aptX (but not AAC) supported. The speakers are connected with a thick, heavy, long (16-foot) cable terminated in Edifier’s included proprietary five-pin connector. Digital to analog conversion is handled by a Burr-Brown PCM1802 DAC capable of decoding 24bit/192kHz audio; Edifier says that DSP is being applied as well. This is where we encounter the S2000 Pro’s biggest compromise: no USB input. The choice to include balanced analog inputs instead of USB seems to target the S2000 Pro at a certain kind of customer — pros and enthusiasts who own balanced DACs, as opposed to normal people who would play audio through their phones or laptops. Still, the inclusion of decent Bluetooth support made it easy to integrate the S2000 Pro into even the most basic setup, and its upward-facing drivers are ideal for a desktop use.

Each S2000 Pro speaker features a planar diaphragm tweeter with an external phase plug and a 5.5-inch aluminum-cone woofer. Paired with its internal amplifier, Edifier claims that the S2000 Pro is capable of 12 watts per channel to the tweeters and 50 watts per channel to the woofers, with a frequency response of 48 Hz to 20 Khz and signal-to-noise ratio of 94 dB. To cut to the chase, we were very impressed by the S2000 Pro’s sound. Their imaging and detail reproduction is excellent and, like the S880DB, its hardware tone controls are complemented by four EQ settings — Vocal, Monitor, Dynamic, and Classic. Though we usually prefer to evaluate audio gear in its most neutral settings, we found ourselves tweaking the S2000 Pro’s sound from track to track, never finding a song that they couldn’t handle.

Across all those settings, however, one aspect of the S2000 Pro stood out — the quantity and quality of its low-end response. Though the quoted frequency response of these speakers would not seem to indicate that the S2000 Pro reaches much deeper than the S880DB, almost two extra inches of speaker cone makes a big difference. The S2000 Pro not only reaches deeper and punches harder than the S880DB, but also does so more cleanly — with extra power and more driver surface area, it’s simply able to move more air than its smaller sibling. It’s still no replacement for a dedicated subwoofer, but we are totally comfortable recommending these for music and video without a subwoofer.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time with the Edifier S2000 Pro. Though its lack of USB input may be a turnoff for some — for sure, there are more customers out there looking for USB speakers than those with balanced DACs — its modern Bluetooth support should more than bridge the gap. We thought the S880DB was good, but the S2000 Pro is simply better suited for a wider range of media, especially today’s popular music. The S2000 Pro easily earns our strong recommendation.

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Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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