I remember getting my first Bluetooth speaker. It felt like the world was about to change. I could take my music with me anywhere, and the sound quality wasn’t the tinny-sounding mess phones tend to give us. In hindsight, the sound quality was still awful. In fact, I recall trying to show people songs and making the excuse “you have to hear it on some real speakers”. I think we often settle for inferior quality in the name of convenience and portability. I spent the last several weeks with Edifier’s R1850DB bookshelf speakers and felt like I was being reunited with a long lost best friend – superior quality sound.
Oh so pretty
The speakers are glossy black. I have always preferred more of a wood finish, but these still fit into my setup well. I tend to notice more fingerprints on glossy products, which is why I avoid them, but how often do you really look at the sides of a set of speakers? I leave the speaker cover on, but it is tempting to take them off. Without the covers, they give off an industrial vibe that would fit in well with a modern room or motif.
More than just a pretty face
If there is an all-around competition for speakers, the Edifiers win the gold medal. It has been a long time since I have been impressed by sound. The R1850DBs absolutely destroy the other Bluetooth speakers I own. There just isn’t a comparison. Imagine going from mono back to stereo.
The difference is obvious and nostalgic – taking me back to my receiver and stereo speaker days (too long ago). The great thing is, I can still get amazing stereo sound without needing a giant receiver to connect speakers into.
The Edifiers plug in with a power cable and connect to each other with a single, high-quality cable. I don’t feel that the bass is lacking in any capacity, however, for those that do, the speakers include a subwoofer input. Whether it’s Bluetooth music or a crowd celebrating a touchdown, the sound is terrific and powerful.
They thought of everything
These are not just a set of run-of-the-mill Bluetooth speakers. They can also physically connect to just about any device you can reasonably think of. I assumed these would just be a set of Bluetooth-only speakers so imagine my surprise when I discovered they have optical, coaxial, two-line in RCA inputs, and the option to connect a subwoofer (which I would argue isn’t necessary). Edifier doesn’t stop there. They provide the cables for each input/output as well. I wish other companies would take a page out of the Edifier playbook when it comes to accessories. If the connectivity is provided – then provide the cables. Edifier for the win.
My favorite part? Regardless of what I have these speakers hooked to, I can still connect via Bluetooth on my phone (or other Bluetooth capable device). I left the speakers sitting on either side of my 4k Sony television with the optical connection. I use the included remote to adjust the sound, and if I misplace it, I can still power the speakers (and change inputs) manually on the back of the physical speaker. I also enjoy connecting the speakers to my PC with the provided RCA to 3.5mm cable. Gaming without a headset just got a lot more fun. I ultimately switched back to using these with the TV to conserve desk space as the speakers take up a bit more real-estate than a standard set of computer speakers.
Worth the purchase?
If you are looking for superior sound and great functionality, the Edifier R1850DB bookshelf speakers should already be in your shopping cart. You can find them for around $200 or sometimes on sale for even less. I still can’t get my mind around the variety of connectivity options and the inclusion of all necessary cables. They lack the simplicity of a portable Bluetooth speaker, but the sound they put out makes it worth the sacrifice.