Tech Review: Edifier R2000DB Bookshelf Speakers (2016)

Edifier has long been a significant name in quality audio. From simple PC speakers to home theatre, they’ve built a reputation for crafting speakers that not only sound amazing but look quite stylish as well. In the R2000DB, Edifier have created a simple dual speaker set up that is perfect for those who want to create a space-efficient home theatre or add a bit of grunt to their PC.

I’m going to kick this review off by talking about the aesthetics of the R2000DB because, real talk, if you’re reading a review for a pair speakers, you probably couldn’t care less about how they look and we should therefore get it out of the way.

The speakers actually look quite stylish, curved and rather elegant with a shiny black finish that reminded me of a piano. There are speaker grilles provided with the unit but they aren’t required for use so if you’d  prefer to leave them looking quite utilitarian, you’re welcome to. I used them both because Edifier would have been very upset if I’d damaged the review set and I found the look with them on unobjectionable. You can check them out in the image below.

The design of the speakers has a slight tilt to it so that the speakers are angled upward just slightly, and this makes them look quite nice if you actually give them a home on a bookshelf. I did not, using them with both my TV and my gaming PC at various points, and found that they fit in quite well with my existing set up, though given that they are a little bulkier than standard 2.1 speakers, they did take up quite a bit of room on my already rather large desk.

The rear of the left speaker features knob controls for bass, treble and volume, along with the usual input suspects — RCA jacks and an optical port for connecting to various devices — and a single jack to connect the other speaker (useful for those who like to hide their cords). As someone who grew up with an ancient multi-knob amplifier from the 70’s as a part of the family stereo, being able to tweak the bass and treble to my liking was a feature I relished. While this may make the device less accessible to those who are not audiophiles or tweakers by nature, you can just leave both knobs in their default 12 O’Clock position and the speakers still sound quite pleasant indeed.

Putting the volume knob on the back of the unit seemed like an odd design decision at first, but after my first few days of playing with the unit I actually forgot it was there. The R2000DB comes with a remote control should you need to change audio sources or play with the volume, but for the most part I found the volume was dictated by whatever I had the speakers connected to which was nice.

You actually have to plug them into anything if you don’t want to, however. The R2000DB also comes with Bluetooth playback so if you’d prefer to simply stream tunes from your phone from across the room, you can absolutely do that. This is where one of my only gripes with the speakers comes into play — the only way to know what audio channel the speakers are on is via a single coloured LED at the top of the right speaker. The manual does tell you what each colour means, but until I was forced to go hunting for that information, I found myself a mite bewildered.

I was pretty impressed with the quality of sound on offer here, given their roughly AU$370 price point. There’s minimal distortion at high volume, even when you’ve cranked that bass knob as far as it will go. The high range remains crystal clear while the lows are pleasantly rumbly without pounding in your ears. I did find that when playing music on these speakers it had a tendancy to tend to push the vocals forward more than the instruments but this can be worked on with a bit of treble and bass tweaking.

When attached to my home theatre and gaming PC, the performance was solid. The unit’s pair of 25mm silk dome tweeters help to keep your audio clear and crisp and keeps the din of even the most action-packed round of Overwatch from sounding like a muddied din. What you sacrifice in directionality when picking a 2.1 speaker set up, the R2000DB more than makes up for in clarity.

Overall, these are a solid pair of bookshelf speakers. While some may find them a touch on the bulky side to be used comfortably on a desk, they produce a sound that is far and above what is usually found in the $350-$400 price bracket and they’ll look rather stylish no matter where you put them.

Score: 8 out of 10
Highlights: Great sound for its price range; Stylish as hell
Lowlights: Hogs the desk space when used as PC speakers (though your mileage may vary depending on your desk)
Manufacturer: Edifier
Price: AU$369.99

Out now.