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S880DB Active Speaker Review

Edifier’s new speakers are as at home on your computer as they are playing your music, but is this jack-of-trades a master too? Let’s plug them in and switch them on.

  • Price: £259.99, $299, 279 €
  • Manufacturer: Edifier, https://www.edifier.com
  • Compatibility: Bluetooth, RCA, 3.5mm AUX, USB audio, Optical/Coaxial

You can’t fault them for versatility. Edifier’s S880DB Active Speakers can connect to your Mac through a 3.5mm-to-RCA cable, a USB lead or optical/coaxial connections. You can also connect to your computer through RCA, and they’re Bluetooth 4.1 compatible, so you can stream your sounds from your computer wirelessly if you wish. Naturally, this also means you can listen to music from your tablet or smartphone too.

The S880DBs are active speakers, which means they have their own built-in amplifier. Specifically, the amp is in the right speaker, which also houses the on-board volume, bass and treble controls, the power input and connection ports. Also supplied is a handy remote, which lets you change the volume, skip tracks, switch to another input source and choose one of four preconfigured equaliser settings.

Aesthetically, the speakers are old school, with their 19mm titanium-laminate tweeters and 94mm metal diaphragm mid-range bass speaker on show.

There’s a rear-facing bass port too. The cabinets are wooden, with a white wrap sided by two pine panels. A small display at the foot of the right-hand speaker illuminates to show what input source you’re currently using.

Sound quality is excellent, with a lively, well defined bass and clear mid-tones. If you like your music bassy, perhaps for hip-hop or hard rock, beefing up the bass increases its punch without swamping the rest of the sound. Drum sounds are commendably defined, with none of the mushiness associated with lesser speakers.

The mid-range audio is just as well defined, and integrates well with the bass. Individual instruments are clearly represented, but never separated to the point where the overall audio sounds disjointed. Unfortunately the vocals, while far from poor, struggle to escape the mid-tones, sometimes getting buried in the mix. Tapping the Vocal option on the remote helps, of course, and the problem is far from universal anyway. Most songs reproduce well, but sometimes the singer is subdued.

Naturally, as a computer speaker set, the S880DBs are as at home playing movies and YouTube videos as they are with your music collection. They’re nothing if not versatile. They don’t lack volume either, putting out more than enough to fill a decent-sized room. Throw in an excellent build quality and a reasonable price given their quality, and you’ve an excellent set of speakers for your money.

Ian Osborne

S880DB Active Speaker
  • Overall
4

Summary

A solid, versatile speaker set that gives a great overall performance.

+ Versatile connectivity options
+ Excellent overall sound
+ Great build quality
– Vocals can sometimes get swamped

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