Developer: Edifier USA
Minimum Requirements: Bluetooth audio source or device with 3.5mm stereo output
Hello again audiophiles. Edifier presents to you the Spinnaker Bluetooth 2.0 speaker system. If you need some desktop audio and want something with a bit more style than a small box, these just may fill the bill. By the way, these speakers are Bluetooth enabled so you can pair your iDevice wirelessly as well.
First, let’s run down what comes in the box. The unit comes with two speakers, a power converter/cable, the cord to connect the left and right speakers, a rechargeable remote, USB to micro USB charging cord for the remote, a 1/8” to 1/8” cable to connect to an audio source, a 1/8” to RCA cable, and an optical fiber audio cable. There is also the ubiquitous owner’s manual as well as a pair of handy reference cards for the remote. The reference cards are the same size and material as your average credit card.
Now for some more detail for the hardware. The speakers look a bit like, well, garden gnome hats. From the name, I’m sure the manufacturer was trying to evoke the shape of a sail. Since the housing has to enclose all the parts, it’s less of a sail and more of a curvy cone. It is not a displeasing shape, but it does make your desk look like it has horns.
For each speaker housing you will need to reserve a space of about 6” x 8”.
The remote control is a silver dome with a 2-1/4” radius and sits 2” tall. There is one button on the top, and the upper section of the dome is actually a knob. The button on top fills three roles. First, it is the power switch—press and hold to turn the unit on or off. Second, a quick tap during playback toggles the mute function. Third, it is the selection switch to toggle between cable input and Bluetooth connection. There is a small LED on top of the right side speaker which will be green when the power is on and you are connected via cable, blue when you are connected via Bluetooth, and will blink red when you power down. The knob is the volume control when used alone. If you press the button and turn the knob clockwise at the same time it will skip one track forward (anticlockwise will skip one track back). Just to let you know the remote is actually doing something, there is a red LED in the base of the remote unit which lights up when the remote is transmitting.
Let’s talk connections. When setting up the unit, you need to plug in a few things. The base of the right side speaker is where you connect the power input, the left side output and the 1/8” connector. There is an additional 1/8” output for a powered subwoofer (not included). Since there is a limited footprint and not much wasted space in the housing, there isn’t much room left for the connectors. This is one of the minor annoyances—it’s a bit cramped, and I was worried about bending and damaging the connection points. But even though it’s a bit tight, everything works fine. There is only one input on the bottom of the left side speaker. The bases have some protrusions to help hold the cables in place.
The second minor annoyance is the retaining protrusions don’t run all the way to the end of the extension plates on the bases. You may need to do some work to get all the cables to lie nice and flat, but once the speakers are in place you’re good to go.
There was one oddity I noticed about the Bluetooth behavior: I had the Spinnaker connected to my computer playing some John Lennon, and when I walked into my office it tried to make a connection to my iPod touch even though the touch was not turned on. A press of the button on the remote and the computer connection was restored.
Now for the really good part: the sound. Edifier is fond of using good speakers and magnetic shielding to keep the sound clean. The Spinnaker is a solid hit on this front. The sound—when connected by cable to my computer or via Bluetooth to my iPod touch—was clean, crisp and full. The high end is tight, the midrange is clean and the bass is quite respectable. The bass of the standard 2 speaker set up may not quite have the rumble and punch of a good subwoofer, but this unit is no slouch on the bass front. I played everything from AC/DC to Tchaikovsky, and the Spinnaker handled everything I threw at it wonderfully. It was next to impossible to make the speakers distort or clip, so feel free to turn it up. Conversely, when you turn the Spinnaker down for some very quiet listening (in the office, maybe?) the sound is still good and the volume control and range is very good.
For the tech oriented and numbers minded, here are the official specs:
- Model number: e30
- Total power output: RMS 10W x 2 +10W x 2 + 25W x 2
- THD + N (testing level): 10%
- Signal to noise ratio: ≥90dBA
- Frequency response: 68Hz – 20kHz +/-3dB on reference axis
- Frequency range: 50Hz – 23kHz -10dB
- Crossover frequencies: 135Hz -10dB
- Distortion: ≤0 0.5%
- Input sensitivity: 800mV±50mV
- Audio input: Bluetooth, Optical, Auxiliary
- Audio output: Bass expansion for outboard subwoofer
- Adjustment: Wireless remote control
- Power supply: Input 100V-240V AC, Output 20V/60W DC
- Speaker unit: Treble: 19mm silk dome, Magnetically shielded, 4Ω Midrange: 2¾ inch (70mm), Magnetically shielded, 4Ω Bass: 4 inch (116mm), Magnetically shielded, 6Ω
- Dimension: 140mm x 413mm x 189mm (W x H x D)
- Weight: 4.3Kg (net) | 5.3Kg (gross)
Edifier has done a pretty good job of getting quite a bit of sound from such small drivers. You may notice the right side speaker does generate some heat at a spot about 1/3 up from the base. This warm spot is not present on the left side, so I presume it is due to the power input/output. The spot is only a bit warm to the touch, so nothing to worry about. The volume is good for the rated output and the shielding does a very good job keeping the sound quality high.
I can honestly say the only real drawback is the price tag. I’m rating these 5 out of 5 for the sound quality and performance, but for the list price of $349.99 I would like to see the subwoofer included. If you spare no expense for your sound, and style matters, the Spinnaker will not be money wasted.