If you have a gaming PC or home-office machine that lives on a workdesk or in a study, it makes sense to invest in a good pair of speakers. But on my desk, I also have two smartphones, an iPad, and a constantly revolving suite of wireless devices. It makes more sense, then, to invest in a good set of speakers that also have Bluetooth. Edifier's Luna Eclipse speakers, new to Australia, are made for everyday PC usage but are equally at home playing back your favourite tunes wirelessly.
What Is It?
Edifier has just started selling PC speakers and other equipment in Australia again, after four or five years of them not being available -- and we're really happy they're back. It's always good to have another brand selling high quality speakers and PC components and peripherals; even though Logitech, Creative and Audioengine have the market pretty much locked down there's still a lot of potential for Edifier to make a new name for itself. Edifier's thing, if you look at its website, is PC speakers and equipment that is superbly fashion-forward while also sounding pretty damn good at the same time.
- Total Power: 85 Watts
- Frequency Response: 50-20,000Hz
- Speaker Drivers: 19mm tweeter, 4-inch woofer, 3-inch passive radiator
- Colours: White, Black, Red
- Dimensions: 122x212x222mm
- Weight: 3.6kg
The $299.95 E25 Luna Eclipse is a stereo pair of speakers in the 2.0 configuration -- that is, there's only two speakers and no standalone subwoofer for low-frequency effects -- connecting to your PC, Mac, laptop or even your gaming console with a single 3.5mm stereo analog input. You can buy the speakers in a glossy red, white or black finish, each of which are accented by silver and matte black. The two speakers connect with a six-pin cable, there's an 18V DC power input, and a 3.5mm stereo analog audio input. If hooking up with a wired connection isn't your whimsy, you can also use the speakers' inbuilt Bluetooth.
That sleek design is deceptive, though, because the two speakers weigh almost 4kg -- they're very solid, and that means no rattling or untoward vibration, even during heavy bass hits from the twin 22w low frequency drivers. There are no visible controls on the E25 Luna Eclipse; that's because there's only a touch-sensitive power toggle, volume up and volume down on the right speaker, as well as a wireless, Apple-esque remote control with the same three buttons. Not being USB connected, you'll obviously be using your PC or laptop's sound card -- unless you're using Bluetooth, these speakers are just about as dumb as PC hardware can be.
At 85 Watts, the Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse is relatively grunty, as PC speakers go -- it's nothing compared to the hundreds of Watts of power that you'll get from a surround sound system You could use these speakers with a PC as Edifier intended, but the Bluetooth means they're perfectly happy being fed a wireless source like a smartphone or tablet, or you could compromise and run them from a laptop that has Bluetooth. Setup is extremely simple, with most of your time spent hiding cables away and making the speakers themselves look nice -- the sheer mass of cables if you're connecting using the 3.5mm jack is a potential frustration. They're also fingerprint magnets, so make sure you have a cleaning cloth handy.
What's It Good At?
The sound that you're able to get out of the Edifier E25 speakers belies their size -- there's a hell of a lot more bass than the enclosures' size suggests, purely because of those comparatively large front-firing woofer drivers and their upward-firing 3-inch passive radiator counterparts. It's bass that smaller speakers are generally abysmal at, and it's bass that makes the Edifier E25 a pair powerful enough to fill a small- to medium-sized room with sound at moderate to maximum volume levels. Despite that strong bass response, midrange is not compromised -- there's a surprising amount of detail audible in the mids when you're playing an appropriately high quality audio track.
Bluetooth, too, is absolutely rock solid. You can't have more than one device connected at any one time, and that's a pain especially if you're the kind of person (like me) that flits between multiple devices on a regular basis. There's no significant drop in sound quality when going from wired to wireless, crucially, at least that you can hear through the speakers -- and that's what matters. It's worth considering, though, that any audio coming in over the wired connector will be prioritised over Bluetooth so multiple devices are a little less easy to navigate when you havc a full-time PC or laptop plugged in. Also, there's no microphone in the speakers so they're not so great for conferencing or use as a speakerphone.
What's It Not Good At?
The amount of cable mass means that the Edifier E25 Luna Eclipse can be annoying to set up, especially if you have both left and right speakers spaced closely together. All the cables are quite long, so you can place the speakers quite a long way away from each other -- that's actually a great thing for their soundstage and the stereo image that they create -- but if you put them close then you'll have to invest in some zip ties or cable ties. This is hardly a pressing concern, but it's worth noting since the speaker-to-speaker connection is a specialised design and you can't just use a simple shorter 3.5mm cable as a replacement.
The design, too, is sturdy but invites punishment -- those two exposed, front-facing drivers, both woofer and tweeter, beg to be touched and prodded and poked. They're well put together and stand up to minor bumps and pokes, and the fact that the tweeter has a small hoop somewhat concealing its silk cover is a welcome inclusion, but what would have been really smart was if Edifier had taken the opportunity to include a pair of speaker grilles -- that would have both protected the all-important speaker drivers and offered a slightly more understated, but still fashionable design choice at the same time.
Should You Buy It?
Edifier's little PC speakers put out a surprising amount of power for their size; by virtue of being quite tall and they have the internal volume to make enough bass and move enough air to sound good. That curved, softly rounded body makes for a beautiful design, too, although you'll have to like red, white or black since no other colour combinations are available. The wiring situation is a little messy, to be fair, but that's a necessity given the speakers' 85-odd Watts of power and intention as a full-time non-portable setup.
If you wanted, you could use the Edifier E25 purely as a pair of Bluetooth speakers, although they lack the kind of portability and battery power and troublefree setup that we like in wireless systems. That's selling them short, though, because they function at their best for close listening and near-field audio -- the kind of use that you'd get on a PC desk in an office or home study. They're an odd mix of sturdy and fragile; the speaker enclosures themselves are hardy but the drivers seem a little less so and do invite some poking and prodding because of their prominent placement and the lack of included speaker grilles.
If you want a system for your gaming PC or your office desk, but you don't have quite enough space for a full set of full-size monitors, then the Edifier E25 is a great choice.