The Edifier S880DB are a top-shelf set of desktop speakers for a very reasonable asking price. Offering good looks and excellent build quality, along with a host of connectivity options and a very adaptable sound signature, these are an easy recommendation for anyone looking to upgrade their speaker game.
- Attractive design
- Lots of connectivity options
- Lively sound
- Big, bulky connecting cable required
- Remote needs line-of-sight to work
- Limited to Bluetooth 4.1
- Hi-Res Audio-certifiedCan play lossless audio files
- 4 EQ modesA choice of Classic, Dynamic, Monitor and Vocal modes
It’s often underestimated how much a good audio setup can contribute to the feel of a space. Whether it’s an office, a living room or otherwise, a well-positioned set of speakers can do plenty to make a room feel whole.
This has been particularly true during the pandemic, where many have spent unprecedented periods of time at home, noses to the digital grindstone. But where we have little power over the make-up of the office, the ball is now in the court of the worker, from a design perspective (not to twist a metaphor). Understandably, the time for upgrades is nigh; enter Edifier, with its S880DB speakers.
Sporting High-Res Audio certification, a svelte design and an attractive price tag, these speakers are an attempt by the veteran manufacturer to carve out a space in the increasingly competitive desktop/bookshelf/lifestyle segment. And with a host of connectivity options and a smart-looking design, they’re certainly ready to compete – but with close competition, do they do enough to stand out?
The Edifier S880DB speakers are available from Amazon for prices starting at £259.99 / $361. They’re only available in one colour option: white.
- Wooden panelling
- White finish
- Puck remote
Budget pricing tends to bring with it budget ambitions when it comes to design. No matter the attempts at appearing premium, more often than not, there are failings with the finish or otherwise that can leave products looking generic at best and offensive at worst.
The Edifier S880DB sit in the upper range of the budget speaker spectrum, and this is reflected in their looks. While there are no fancy stands or an all-wooden finish, these speakers manage to appear solid and classy while never drawing the eye.
The discreet white colouring and pine finish of the sides provides a hint of visual flair, but not so much that they’ll stand out to any great degree. So while they’re unlikely to ever be the centrepiece of a room or win any design awards, it does mean they’ll fit in almost anywhere with ease. Whether under a TV unit, on bookshelves or on a desktop, these units will squeeze in and brighten almost any space.
This is made simpler too by their compact nature – at 27 x 17 x 23cm the Edifier S880DB are substantial, but not excessively so. They’re smaller than many other options on the market, if a little big to be considered pure desktop speakers. They feel solid, too; like they’d survive a few knocks.
Slightly unfortunate is the 10ft cable that connects the two units, which cannot be hidden. This is thick, and could potentially make it difficult to place the units on a bookshelf – a more flexible option would have been welcome. People who hate seeing wires may need to look elsewhere.
In all, and especially given that these are aimed at the somewhat budget-end of the market, the S880DB are attractive speakers that should fit into most setups without issue.
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Over six input options
- Hi-Res Audio certified
Just looking the part isn’t enough for success in the speaker game; it’s important to be ready for any connectivity situation. Luckily, the Edifier S880DB are something of a Swiss Army knife in this regard, offering multiple options so as to be able to fit in almost anywhere.
There’s USB, an optical pass-through, AUX and more, although one facet of this connectivity suite is somewhat surprising. Bluetooth is offered, but it’s the old 4.1 standard, which delivers poorer data transfer speeds and range compared to the likes of the newer 5.2 standard. Although this may not sound detrimental for everyday use (Bluetooth, particularly with large lossless files, always entails a certain level of compromise), it does mean that the S880DB speakers aren’t quite as future-proof as they could have been.
The units do offer a Hi-Res certification – Edifier claims these as its first speakers to achieve this standard – which means full compatibility with a range of lossless audio file types and the theoretical ability to play them to a high acoustic standard. This is aided by a 19mm titanium tweeter and a 3.75-inch bass unit included in each speaker, which will hopefully prove to provide the necessary power to succeed.
An interesting inclusion is the unusual puck-shaped remote control. Unfortunately, though, it only works within line of sight. However, its shape at least made it easy to find in the chaos of a toddler-dominated household. Beyond the basics it offers four preset audio profiles for the user (Dynamic, Monitor, Vocal and Classic), each of which changes the sound considerably.
These are unlikely to be of interest to audio purists, who may prefer to tune speakers themselves using the rear dials. However, for those who are a little less savvy, the preset profiles are a useful inclusion. We found that the Dynamic profile in particular gave a little oomph and sparkle to playback, and as such this ended up being our most-used mode.
- Good sound quality
- Bright profile
- Not loud enough for large rooms
Features and options are nothing without solid core performance; it doesn’t matter how fancy the wrapping, if the present inside turns out to be sub-par. It’s lucky then that the Edifier S880DB are great performers, and especially for their price.
From the outset they offer a particularly bright sound signature, which may be in part due to the use of metal rather than wood for the construction of the main section. With the Dynamic profile active, the signature becomes a little warmer, with plenty of detail evident.
Playing a complex orchestral arrangement, we could hear layers in the music, both closer and at a distance, with the units not relying too heavily on volume to reveal more detail. This is only aided by the relatively warm and energetic bass, which in conjunction with the strong detail and sparkle in the treble means that there’s very little that the S880DB cannot tackle with aplomb.
They might not have sufficient oomph to drive a TV set-up in a large room, but for most use cases the Edifier S880DB are an exceptional choice for the price, performing well beyond our expectations.
Should you buy it?
You want an upgrade but don’t have the largest budget If you can’t quite stretch beyond your means for a more expensive set of speakers then the Edifier S880DBs are a good-value in-between effort.
You need the best sound quality possible These are good-value speakers but for those wanting better sound quality, even Edifier offers superior – but pricier – options.
As the Work From Home revolution continues, the market for good desktop/all-purpose speakers is booming. The Edifier S880DBs are priced at the upper-range of the budget segment and so may be a little expensive for those making a first purchase, but those who do take the plunge will be rewarded.
Offering good looks, generous connectivity options and solid audio performance, these speakers will fit into almost any set-up with ease – and are a definite upgrade from Bluetooth speakers and units under £100. This is a case of spending a little extra to get a lot more, for these are definitely worth the price of admission.
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How we test
Yes, you could connect the Edifier speakers to a TV through their optical/coaxial connection.
The Edifier S880DB support Bluetooth 4.1, which isn’t the latest version of the standard.