Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $300?
Having a portable speaker and headphones at-and-around my home office desk has been a blessing all these years. Yet, for over a decade there’s been something missing, and that’s a pair of bookshelf speakers. I’m not talking about a sub-$100 pair from the likes of Logitech or Cambridge Sound Works. I mean a good or great pair of bookshelf speakers; something to be proud of and to impress house guests with. This is where Edifier comes in with 16 pairs to choose from. So without further delay, let’s take a closer look at one of these in this Edifier S880DB Bookshelf Speakers review.
• High-quality audio
• Multiple inputs and controls
• Multiple cables included
• A futuristic remote control
• Two-year warranty
• Bass is limited to 55 Hz
• $300 price may be an issue to some
Edifier S880DB Bookshelf Speakers Review
Design and Features
As you can all see, the Edifier S880DB speakers are one attractively designed pair of speakers. And they’re feature rich too.
Now think about this for a moment. When was the last time you saw a pair of white-and-tan bookshelf speakers?
For the past month or so, I’ve been testing the S880DB to much delight. How could I not when there are so many different audio sources that I could connect to.
Per the Edifier website, “The S880DB has a range of inputs including RCA, AUX, USB, optical, coaxial, and Bluetooth. The USB, optical and coaxial inputs have a sample signal rate of up to 192 kHz. Adjust volume, bass, and treble controls with knobs located on the back of the speaker with a built-in amplifier.” I couldn’t have written that better myself.
Using the RC600B remote control, going wireless is a piece of cake. On the remote, there are the standard Play/Pause, Forward Track, Previous Track, and Volume Increase and Decrease buttons in addition to Power and Source. This latter button takes us to the aforementioned audio sources: RCA, AUX, USB, optical, coaxial, and Bluetooth.
Then there are the four equalization modes: Monitor, Classic, Vocal, and Dynamic. Each method subtlety alters the audio to your preferred preference. See the User Manual for more information.
Note: Don’t strike the Source or Mode buttons too quickly in succession as they won’t change as quickly as you would like. Wait a second or two before hitting the next one.
On the reverse side of the active speaker are all the numerous inputs and controls. See the images above. All except for the optical input method were tried. You can even adjust the Treble, Bass, and Volume using the dials on the rear of the active speaker.
Want to listen to gaming audio from your desktop computer? You can do that.
How about listening to some jazz from your turntable? You can do that too.
Then there’s listening to Amazon Music from your mobile phone or Kindle. You can do both via Bluetooth. Pairing to both was easy.
All of the above sources were tried, and they worked just fine.
• 3.75″ (94 mm) mid-range speaker
• 0.75″ (19 mm) tweeter
• Frequency Response: 55 Hz – 20 kHz
• Bluetooth Version: 4.1
• Power Input: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz, 1.5A
• R/L Mid Range: 32 + 32 Watts
• R/L Treble: 12 + 12 Watts
• XMOS digital processor
• Built-in amplifier
• Noise Level: ≤ 25 dBA
What’s In The Box?
• RC600B Remote Control
• Power Adapter and Cable
• User Manual
• RCA to RCA Audio Cable
• Fiber Optic Input Cable
• Speaker Connecting Cable
• USB Connecting Cable
Amazon Music Playlist
• Halsey – Badlands
• Ellie Goulding – Halcyon
• Lorde – Pure Heroine
• Zedd – Clarity
• The Black Keys – El Camino
• The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream
• Rush – Clockwork Angels
• Imagine Dragons – Night Visions
As I almost always state, the most critical factor regarding headphones and speakers is sound quality. The Edifier S880DB powered bookshelf speakers were tested across a wide range of music including these from the artists and playlists listed above.
The first thing I noticed was how clear and strong the mid-range and upper-frequency sounds were with the Edifier S880DB. Whether it be vocals, acoustic guitar, or some other instrument, they sounded terrific across the albums tested. There’s a dedicated 0.75″ tweeter and 3.75″ mid-range per speaker to target these ranges.
Conversely, bass audio was in the fair – good range as there’s no dedicated bass driver. But, I suppose that’s what a subwoofer is for. The speakers couldn’t produce below 55 Hz which is the lower half of the bass range, and that’s a shame. I missed out on that great bass audio in the 20 – 55 Hz range. If I were listening to music from the likes of The Prodigy or Massive Attack, I’d feel slightly let down as everything short of the deepest bass sounds are present.
I would have been remiss if I didn’t listen to either of Halsey’s albums listed above. The first time I heard Halsey through Edifier speakers took place at a Las Vegas listening party a few months back. I’m pretty sure everyone in the suite was impressed by the quality audio.The first thing I noticed was how clear and strong the mid-range and upper-frequency sounds were with the Edifier S880DB. Click To Tweet
Whether it be from a sight or sound perspective, the Edifier S880DB powered bookshelf speakers are impressive. The size and shape of the speakers were an excellent fit for my desktop arrangement. Mid-range and high-frequency audio terrific. However, the bass languished a bit as the S880DB is unable to produce audio below 55 Hz. I just wish the bass sounds had been deeper and more pronounced.
When compared to its competition, the S880DB definitely stands out. The same can be said with respect to the other 15 bookshelf speaker models offered by Edifier. With its lighter color design, none look quite like this one.
At a list price of a hair under $300, the S880DB offers much to the buyer. Even an audiophile would be impressed. My only complaint with these speakers is now that they’re no longer here, they’re missed, and my desk appears empty without them. I suppose it’s time I start saving for a pair.
• Features – 4.75
• Value – 4.25
What do you think of this Edifier S880DB bookshelf speakers review? Do you agree or disagree with our verdict? Let us know in the comment section below or via social media. We’re eager to hear your thoughts.
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Don’t hesitate to head over to the Edifier’s social media pages to see their latest announcements. To learn more about warranties, click this Warranty Terms link for information. These headphones come with a two-year limited warranty. To learn about returns, click this Returns Policy link for more information.
FTC Disclosure: Edifier provided Beantown with one (1) set of Edifier S880DB bookshelf speakers as a loaner for review purposes. This writer’s opinion is 100% his own and not a paid product ambassador.
All photographs are the copyrighted property of Beantown LLC © 2019.