Edifier R1010BT bookshelf speaker review; Jack of all trades, master of none
+ Refreshing design with a mix of curves and angles; contrasting yellow woofer looks great
+ Solid wooden build
+ Bluetooth connectivity
+ Energetic highs; decent mids
+ Can go very loud; adjustable bass
- Controls on the back are very inconvenient
- No IR controller
- Status LED is annoyingly bright
- Bass doesn't reach down low, can sound a bit boomy
After moving up the ranks of Edifier’s bookshelf speakers range, we are now back at the entry-level once again to check out the Edifier R1010BT. The Edifier R1010BT is an upgrade over the Edifier R1000T4, the most apparent of which is part of its name: Bluetooth. With an added input option and a different look, does the Edifier R1010BT have an advantage on the most important aspect of a speaker, the sound quality? We will get to that, but first let’s get to the unboxing.
The Edifier R1010BT comes in a plain cardboard box, a change from the glossy color printed packaging that the previous Edifier speakers we have reviewed came in. Over on the right of the packaging we have a sticker with the frequency response graph and the colors the speakers come in. We have the black version here with us.
The back of the packaging is where we find the specifications and some of the highlight features of the Edifier R1010BT. Bluetooth 4.0 support is present here, a great addition to allow the Edifier R1010BT to work with your HTC U11 or iPhone 7.
The speakers are held in place by polystyrene. I prefer the molded pulp trays Edifier used before this, as the polystyrene blocks shed little particles all over my floor when I was unboxing the speakers. Considering molded pulp is also more recyclable than polystyrene, this shift is quite baffling.
We have here the entire contents of the package. We get a 3.5mm to RCA cable, 3.5mm female to RCA adapter, speaker interconnect wires, standard documentation and of course, the Edifier R1010BT in black. I am not sure if the 3.5mm to RCA adapter is a cost-cutting measure, but since I don’t use it, at least it helps me save space when storing it away.[nextpage title=”Appearance”]
As usual for Edifier speakers, the Edifier R1010BT came out of the box with a black mesh protecting the drivers. You can opt to remove the mesh to showcase the drivers, with the yellow woofer particularly standing out with the all-black design of the Edifier R1010BT. There is a little circle insert between the woofer and tweeter, looking very much like the IR receiver found on higher end Edifier speakers, but sadly that’s where the similarities end. It is actually a window for the status LED. The contrasting wood grain finishing on the sides and rough matte surface along the center line of the speaker enclosures look really good in my opinion. There are also a lot more chiseled edges here and there to further enhance the aesthetics of the speakers.
You can see that the Edifier R1010BT also adds a lot of curves along with the angles here. This is definitely an improvement over the Edifier R1000T4’s decidedly boxy design. And in case you were looking for the controls, they are here over on the back of the right speaker. The Edifier R1010BT carries over the Edifier R1000T4’s volume and bass dials, omitting the treble dial found on the Edifier R1280T and higher models. The reflex port is also found on the rear end of the Edifier R1010BT here, just like it was on the Edifier R1000T4.
|Power output:||RMS 24W|
|Signal to noise ratio:||≥85dB(A)|
|Frequency response:||65 Hz – 17 KHz|
|Input sensitivity:||Line A: R/L: 700 ± 50 mV
Line B: R/L: 500 ± 50 mV
Bluetooth: 400 ± 50 mFFS
|Input type:||RCA stereo input (2 sets), Bluetooth|
|Dimensions:||152.4 x 241.3 x 177.8 mm|
The process of setting up the Edifier R1010BT is connecting the left speaker to the right with the speaker interconnect wires, plug the right speaker to the wall with the non-removable power cord and pick your input. Edifier has provided a 3.5mm to RCA cable and an adapter to let devices with only RCA outputs work with the Edifier R1010BT.
Well I am no fan of controls on the back, but they allow Edifier to have all the electronics situated near the back of the speaker, and reduce the cutouts they have to make on the enclosure of the speakers. It is quite annoying to have to stretch to reach the back of the speaker, but hey, maybe it’s Edifier’s way of telling me to do a few random stretches when working? Still, I would prefer controls on the sides. The volume dial allows you to swap inputs by tapping on it. The lack of an IR controller means that you can’t put the Edifier R1010BT into spots where you can’t reach around the back to fiddle with the controls.
To know which input the Edifier R1010BT is receiving audio from, you just have to look at the false-IR-receiver-which-is-actually-a-status-LED. If it glows blue, the speaker will be in Bluetooth mode, and if it glows green, it is in line-in mode. The LED is annoyingly bright, and unlike the LEDs on the Edifier R1700BT and Edifier R1280T which have their status LEDs in the control cutout on the side, the one here is right in your face. Yes, this little green LED will be absolutely glaring if you are working in the dark. Perhaps yet another measure by Edifier to improve your working conditions?
Now once you get over the LED irritating you from the corner of your eye, you will get to enjoy the sound from the Edifier R1010BT. Now before I get called out for not being smart enough to use the speaker grilles to cover the LED, I prefer the sound of the Edifier R1010BT with them off. The Edifier R1010BT’s sound is quite a clear improvement over the Edifier R1000T4. Bass here reaches down a bit further than the Edifier R1000T4, but not by much. It gets pumping once you get to around 70 Hz, with a slight hint of boominess here and there. I have the bass dial tuned back a notch to the -2 position, which lets the Edifier R1010BT reproduce more controlled bass. Fire up EDM tracks like Speakerbox and you will definitely miss the non-present sub-bass. The mids of the Edifier R1010BT is rather laid back, resulting in the Edifier R1010BT being less satisfying when listening to the vocals in acoustic songs. Highs are actually done pretty well here, just like the Edifier R1000T4. You get just the right amount of energy and sparkle, but with the higher end of the treble range rolled off, you loose out some detail here. On the bright side, it will not sound harsh even with poor recordings.
The above is true over Bluetooth too, but there is a noticeable audio delay when watching videos and gaming on my Honor 8. I would say the Bluetooth implementation is pretty good, with a decent range as well. I could get to around 10 feet before a wall in between me and the speaker would cause drop outs. The problem with the addition of wireless input to the Edifier R1010BT is that there is no remote control for me to adjust the speaker volume from a distance. I would also have to swap inputs by tapping the volume dial, not the most convenient of ways. On the bright side, the Edifier R1010BT supports pairing with two Bluetooth devices, but the first device to initiate playback will get priority, having to pause before the second device’s audio will be played.
Loudness wise, I would consider the Edifier R1010BT to be rather loud, easily filling my small studio apartment with music without any hint of distortion. Understandably they won’t sound the best from really far, but I would consider it sufficient for some background music in parties or what not.
The Edifier R1010BT is sold for RM249 on Lazada, comfortably sitting between the Edifier R1000T4 and Edifier R1280T. I would say the Edifier R1010BT represents better value than the aforementioned models, considering it comes with support for Bluetooth which both the speakers lack, offers an improvement in terms of bass quality over the Edifier R1000T4 and more energetic highs when compared against the Edifier R1280T. It does look better than both the speakers too, but that’s rather subjective. There are certain shortcomings here and there which hold it back from being my favorite speaker from Edifier, but still it makes a great proposition for its price. For that, it will get our Bronze Pokdeward.
Our thanks to Edifier Malaysia for the Edifier R1010T in this review.