If you're concerned that the M300s might look better than they sound, you need not worry; in fact, for their size and price, the quality of output is truly remarkable. Upon firing up the speakers for the first time everyone in the office stood up, wandered over and asked whether "that sound" was coming from "those speakers". As first impressions go it was a very good one.
Largely this good first impression stood up to prolonged inspection, too. What immediately impresses is simply the cohesiveness of the sound. In And If I Fall from The Charlatans every element of the song, from the tuneful bass line and crisp percussion to the staccato guitar riffs and doleful vocals are produced very well.
Pumping up the volume also reveals an amazing lack of distortion, something that's achieved thanks to the Electric Intelligent Distortion Control (E.I.D.C.) system that detects and adjusts the M300s to avoid input overload. Naturally, for a set that can be used anywhere a power socket can be found, the power adapter will work anywhere in the world.
Continuing with the audible assessment, Reckoner by Radiohead also showed how strong this set is. Its bass line was produced very nicely, proving warm but never overpowering, while the complex percussion was clear and crisply defined. This track did, however, reveal a slight weakness in the mid-range. It's subtle and didn't detract too greatly from the overall sound, but the lead guitar didn't come through as clearly as we'd normally expect.
This is a fairly consistent characteristic of the speakers whatever the source material, but is largely the result of their nature. Whereas the full-range Creative Gigaworks T20s sacrifice some bass for deep and well defined mid and high notes, the Edifiers sacrifice a little mid-range punch for more fulsome bass.
This also has the knock-on effect of slightly superior performance at lower volumes. If we had a complaint about the T20s, it was that you always needed to listen at reasonably high volumes to get the ideal balance. Thanks to the Edifier's dedicated sub, though, you can listen quietly and still find a nice balance. Of course, when you pump the volume up further, you also have the benefit of some serious thumping bass, something that's demonstrated very well by Daft Punk's, Human After All.