Edifier was founded in May 1996 in Beijing by a small group of enterprising music lovers guided by their love of music and passion for sound. Today the company has more than 3000 employees worldwide and state of the art manufacturing facilities producing eight million units each year. Their current product range includes a wide array of multimedia and home theatre systems, portable bluetooth models and larger hi-fi active systems such as the R2000DB, the subject of today’s review.
The R2000DB is a bookshelf model incorporating a 5” alloy mid/bass driver and a 25MM ‘Eagle Eye’ silk dome tweeter. Its low resonance MDF cabinet features profiled side panels with a piano lacquer finish and textured top, base, front and rear panels. Inside class D amplifiers and digital crossover are based around a Texas Instruments chipset and sophisticated DSPs (digital signal processors).
Output power is 60W RMS per channel (36W bass, 24W treble). DSP-based dynamic range control minimises distortion, keeping the total harmonic distortion below 0.3% at normal volume levels. The DRC seems to act a little like a loudness contour, slightly altering the response. Classic mode appears to offer a somewhat flatter frequency response, while DRC boosts the bass and treble slightly and offers better control at higher volume levels.
Out of the Box
The speakers are supplied with a selection of cables including RCA to RCA, RCA to 3.5 mm and an optical cable. A 3m cable with 5-pin DIN connectors at either end joins the 2 speakers. The connectors are of high quality and it’s nice to see a complete selection provided in the box.
An infrared remote control is provided with controls for mute, standby and volume, input selection and ‘classic’ and ‘DRC’ modes. The remote feels a little cheap in comparison to the rest of the system with spongy buttons and a flimsy overall construction. The IR codes are non standard, though Edifier will provide the codes on request so it is possible to configure a universal or learning remote to operate the R200DB.
The active speaker hosts the connections including 1 optical, two pairs of RCA line inputs and a bluetooth receiver. The RCA line inputs differ slightly in sensitivity (600MV and 800MV). Volume, bass and treble dials are located on the back, the former doubling as an input selector when pressed. Moving the controls to the front of the unit would allow for easier access, and there is no control to bring the system out of standby on the speaker itself.
There’s a hard power switch too with a permanently attached cable and the output for the passive speaker. The passive speaker is largely featureless besides a cable jack on the back and the driver arrangement on the front. The speakers are rear ported and have a slight upward tilt to angle the sound toward the listener when placed on a desk, cabinet or low stands.
Dispersion is extensive in all directions so placement is easy. I positioned the speakers on stands with the tweeters at ear height, forming an equilateral triangle between them and my listening position with the speakers pointing straight on. The speakers sat roughly 1.8 m apart, wider angles may benefit from a small degree of toe-in toward the listener to achieve the best stereo image.
Once setup, the R2000s delight with a sound that belies their budget price. I spent some time experimenting with the Dynamic Range Control, switching it via the remote at different volume levels. I concluded that for newer recordings, DRC is best left enabled; particularly where the mastering leaves a lot to be desired. For older analogue recording, Beatles albums in particular, DRC was best disabled as it made them sound a artificially bright. DRC gave the speakers greater depth and greater scale, while seemingly boosting the bass and the treble somewhat. Determining the size of a kick drum for example was easier with it enabled, though with harsh or heavily limited modern masters at high volume levels it could be a little bright in the treble. It does enable to you to push the speakers hard, though I can’t say I noticed any issues pushing the speakers hard with it disabled either.
One area where the R2000s excel is stereo imaging. They produce a wide, convincing image, with great depth and height too. The speakers have a large sweet spot so you’ll get a good stereo effect in more than one listening position, and they have no trouble filling a fairly large room. The low end is deep and well controlled and the top end is crisp and extended. Most importantly, as promised, the speakers appear to be free of audible distortion even when running at extremely high volume levels.
Even the Bluetooth connection put in a solid performance. Bluetooth audio is vastly improved since its introduction some years ago, to the point where a good Bluetooth stream is (almost) CD quality. While some Bluetooth streamers suffer from audible artefacts, most notably an irritating high frequency distortion, the R2000s do not and I happily streamed hours of content via Bluetooth from an iPhone.
Edifier’s R2000DB is a budget speaker with impressive build, a decent array of features and superb sonics. It’s the equivalent of a budget hi-fi system costing more than double its price. It’s perfect for those looking to improve the sound from their TV with a basic 2-channel setup, to stream high-quality music wirelessly via a smartphone or tablet, or even to connect a turntable. Highly recommended.