Edifier R12U Active Speaker review: A small pair of multi-function speakers from Edifier

Edifier r12u review

– When it comes to buying a set of speakers, most people have three things in mind, the size, application and price. For example, you wouldn’t buy a pair of 3ft high speakers for your laptop, and you probably wouldn’t get a pair of 3″ high units to accompany your 60″ plasma (although I’ve seen some Bose speakers that could easily cope with that scenario).

9 Total Score
Edifier R12U Active Speaker review

Good quality sound considering their size and price..

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Edifier R12U Active Speaker review

Edifier R12U Active Speaker review

The R12U active speakers from Edifier are, from a price standpoint, probably the cheapest I’ve reviewed to date. Yet they are superbly made, with high gloss enclosures, available in three colors. Incidentally, the ones I reviewed were white with silver grey inserts and don’t look at all out of place alongside my iPod.

The styling and quality of manufacture is outstanding. They look and feel like units costing a lot more, they’re smooth to the touch and weighty enough to stay where they’re put. The casing is open at the front, revealing the main 60mm driver cone, while the left-hand speaker houses the rotary volume control, which also incorporates the on/off switch. Alongside this is the 3.5mm headphone jack, which automatically switches the sound when your headphones are plugged in. They come with permanently attached yet reasonable lengths of cable for both the audio input and the USB power connections, so you can route them into the back of your PC without having taut cables running across your desk.

I imagine they’ll appeal mainly to computer users, because of their diminutive size and USB power connectivity. Having said that, the 3.5mm audio cable obviously makes them compatible with most media devices, so they could potentially be used while connected to your smartphone or iPod as a media centre.

As I’ve already mentioned the R12U are quite small, each unit measuring just 70 x 80 x 120mm, and the pair weigh roughly 560g, yet for their size they produce a clear full sound, with reasonable bass quality even at full volume. While it’s not easy to describe what they sound like, I can only stress that the price and size is not an indication of their quality. I sampled them with music from rock to opera, and games that a man of my age should not be playing; in all these scenarios they performed well. Obviously, they can’t produce the bass levels you’d get from full-size enclosures with dedicated bass drivers, but they certainly don’t output the raspy tinny sound normally associated with relatively small, inexpensive  speakers. Consequently, I have no reservations in recommending them.

For those who like to know the stats, the R12U active speaker has a total power output of RMS 2W x 2 (THD+N=10%, F0=1 KHz), a signal to noise ratio of 85dBA THD (Total Harmonic Distortion), a frequency response of 30Hz ~ 20KHz (±5dB) and an input sensitivity of 700mV ± 50mV. Personally, I prefer to use the Mark-1 ear to judge whether speakers are any good or not, and mine tell me that these punch well above their price. Joe Lavery

Good quality sound considering their size and price..

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