Massive, sweet-sounding 2.1 speaker system
There are plenty of poor PC speakers on the market, but Edifier's S730 2.1 system provides good quality speakers that deliver good sound, particularly for games.
- Lively sound, great treble and lower bass
- Massive subwoofer, slightly lacking mid-range
As a PC speaker system for games and movies, the S730 is excellent. Audiophiles will be flustered by the slight lack of mid-range, but unless you're listening intently the speakers will be all but perfect for day-to-day tasks.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
PC speakers are generally relatively small, but Edifier breaks the mould. This is one of the largest 2.1 PC speaker systems we've ever come across. The satellites are sizeable — rivalled only the most expensive systems from Logitech and Creative — and are built to mimic traditional mini-monitor bookshelf speakers.
The real show-stealer is the system's subwoofer. It's massive. When we received the S730 we thought we'd accidentally been sent a 5.1 system, but closer inspection revealed the enormous box was mostly taken up by the subwoofer. Measuring a whopping 50cm(H)x37(W)x38(L), the subwoofer will struggle to fit under all but the largest desks, especially if you've got a PC tower taking up room as well.
The system includes both a wired remote and a wireless credit card–style one. The wireless one is able to control volume levels and simple settings, but you'll want to use the wired one for changing subwoofer power and inputs.
Plenty of connections are available, with coaxial and optical digital being the main inputs for PCs, while two analog RCA inputs suit users who wish to connect an MP3 player or external source like a DVD player.
Sound from the Edifier S730 is not what you'd expect. With larger-than-average satellite speakers and an equally oversized subwoofer, you'd imagine the sound would be incredibly bass-heavy. Instead, sounds are relatively balanced at default settings, with the satellites easily able to reproduce mid-range and treble notes without being overpowered by the imposing subwoofer.
Treble is definitely one element we didn't expect the S730 to handle well — PC speakers are usually cheaply constructed using budget components. Thankfully, the satellites' bookshelf design allows for dedicated 1.5in tweeters that can produce a sweet, crisp sound without sounding overly harsh or ragged.
Mid-level sounds are the weakest frequency range, due to the comparatively small size of the woofers when compared to an 'ideal' bookshelf speaker like the Tannoy Mecury F1 Custom. This doesn't mean they're not present, though. While dialogue during games and mid-range guitar notes during music do seem a little recessed, these elements are still audible enough to not detract from the listening experience.
For all the imposing size and weight of the subwoofer, it's noticeably composed. Instead of the booming, muddy bass we expected, the S730's subwoofer is focused on deep, punchy notes. This does make it sound less powerful than it is — especially when only action games, movies and dance music make significant use of these frequencies. However, when you're in the middle of a game you can certainly notice the subwoofer in action, adding a powerful kick to the sound.
With all these musical elements combined, the Edifier S730 has an overall crisp sound that's not lacking in deep bass. Those that listen to acoustic or classical music obsessively will notice the recessed mid-range, but for casual gaming and movies the S730 will be more than acceptable.
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