Founded in 1996 and based in Beijing, Edifier has become a leading brand in the home audio industry. The company focuses on innovative products employing the latest technology and prioritises sound quality while at the same time making products which are simple to use and stylishly designed to fit in to any home situation.
Their products include high-quality speakers, headphones, and more recently, active bookshelf speakers with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. The S1000W is the latest such model. Based on the S1000 Mark II, it adds streaming, Air Play and Alexa functionality to the existing features. It retails at $449.99.
The S1000W comes securely packed in a large robust box. Protected by polystyrene blocks, the speakers are wrapped in clear plastic bags. Inside the box you will find:
- Edifier S1000W speakers
- Mains lead
- Speaker connecting cable
- Optical digital cable
- RCA to RCA cable
- 3.5mm to RCA cable
- Remote control with batteries
- Instruction manual
Build and Design
The speakers are solidly built and the appearance is immaculate. The sides of the cabinets are real wood and have a soft varnished finish. This contrasts well with the leather effect black design of the top and front of the units.
A shaped mesh grille covers and protects the drivers. The front panel is angled which helps with time alignment of the drivers, improving soundstage and imaging and maintaining phase coherency. In addition, this should help with reducing standing waves within the cabinet. The speakers sit on four rubber feet which provide excellent stability and isolation.
The right speaker contains the amplification with controls and ports mounted on the rear which include the following:
- Master volume and input selection dial
- Bass dial
- Treble dial
- Power switch
- Two line in RCA inputs
- Optical digital input
- Coaxial digital input
- Connection port to left speaker
On the front there is a display window featuring coloured LEDs to indicate the input mode.
The colours are:
- WiFi – white
- Bluetooth – blue
- Optical – red (flashes once)
- Coaxial – red (flashes twice)
- Line 1 – green (flashes once)
- Line 2 – green (flashes twice)
The left speaker has a connection port on the rear from the right speaker.
Driver and Internal
The S1000W is an active two-way design. The bass/midrange driver is a 5.5 inch unit featuring an aluminium cone and 35 Watts per channel and treble duties are handled by a 1 inch titanium dome with 25 Watts per channel. The high-efficiency Class-D digital power amplification employs electronic crossovers and dynamic control based on DSP. The DAC used is theTexas Instruments Burr-Brown PCM9211 and Bluetooth is version 5.0 with SBC and AAC codecs.
A frequency range of 45Hz – 40KHz is quoted. This impressive bandwidth earns the speaker a Hi-Res certification.
The remote control covers all the basic functions and input modes. It is solidly built and has a good haptic feel. At the top there are buttons for power on/off and mute. Below this is a panel with play/pause in the centre surrounded by buttons for optical, coaxial, line 1 and line 2 inputs. Finally at the bottom there are two buttons for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth operation. A red LED illuminates when a button is pressed. I would have liked to see some EQ functions or control over the bass and treble on the handset.
App and Connectivity
When first switching on, the speaker enters set up mode. Using the Edifier Home app you are asked to connect to WiFi. After selecting the device “Edifier S1000W” you enter your WiFi password and security type and then wait for the connection to be completed. It took me a number of attempts to establish a connection after I was told my WiFi password was incorrect.
However eventually a stable connection was obtained. Along with simple volume and track controls, the Edifier Home app also enables connections to an Alexa device. It would have been helpful if the app had added some EQ functions or to remotely alter the bass and treble controls on the S1000W.
Initial connection via my Huawei phone was successful but I was unable to establish a connection with my Xduoo and Hidizs DAPs or my Avantree Bluetooth dongle. However a Sony A15 DAP connected perfectly. The problem seems to be limited to CSR devices. I was also a little surprised to find that in a premium model such as this there was no support for higher quality Bluetooth codecs such as aptX and aptX HD.
The S1000W includes support for Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect (if you have a subscription for their premium service) and TIDAL Connect. It will also work with Alexa but (for privacy reasons) there is no microphone so an external device such as the Amazon Echo is required to use voice commands. Multi-room function is also supported and this can also be controlled from the app.
No matter which input was selected, the S1000W impressed with a powerful and immediate sound displaying the speed and precision associated with active operation. The overall presentation was a touch forward and was well balanced across the spectrum with incisive treble, an expressive and open midrange and powerful, impactful bass.
The tonality was very natural. In my listening room, with the speakers set around three feet apart, I found the best balance by setting the bass control at 10 o’clock and the treble dial at 2 o’clock. The sound quality was particularly impressive via the coaxial and line inputs, displaying a largely transparent, airy and neutral character.
This clarity and neutrality displayed the S1000’s ability to distinguish the quality of the source as evidenced in a compilation of mp3 tracks where the higher bit rate files showed their superiority very clearly.
The bass was deep, detailed and visceral with a great immediacy and impressive weight. In Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message” the bass line was clean and snappy with no overhang, supporting the percussion and all-important vocals in a perfectly balanced fashion. The speed and rhythmic integrity was well maintained, producing an entertaining foot-tapping result.
This powerful bass response also impressed with movie soundtracks. Via the coaxial input on DVD, the First World War scenes in “A Little Princess” came to life with the explosions and other effects displaying great impact and believable stereo imaging.
The midrange performance was also excellent. Vocal delivery was clear and open with lyrics perfectly discernible. In a CD recording of “How could an Angel break my Heart” via the line input, Toni Braxton’s voice was full of character allowing the emotion of the song to come through while displaying the full range of her performance which displayed both subtlety and dynamic shading. Her voice was beautifully delineated above the accompaniment and the superb guitar solo in the bridge was clearly etched.
These qualities also came to the fore in classical music. Playing via the optical input from digital radio, Borodin’s Nocturne from the String Quartet No. 2 was beautifully reproduced with the cello’s natural timbre blending seamlessly with the string accompaniment. The pizzicato section near the end of the piece was particularly effective with precise transients and contrasted effectively with the counterpoint, bringing the performance to life.
The treble from the titanium dome tweeter was extended, clean and airy with a wonderfully smooth and natural tonality and fine detail delivered effortlessly
“Forest Guitar” by Achaean (an Ambient music band) features acoustic guitar and piano set against soft synth patches and nature sounds. This was reproduced really well with the finest detail clearly audible within an impressive three-dimensional soundscape. Layering and separation were very well portrayed and the whole piece gelled together most convincingly.
The delicate sitar arpeggios and bells in Georg Deuter’s “Cagnes sur Mer” from his album “San” were projected beautifully above the synth chords and choral effects with each layer very well defined. The high frequencies possessed a sparkly and crystalline quality which stood out clearly above the multi-tracked dense accompaniment. The excellent treble extension really showed its quality in this piece.
Soundstage and imaging
With the speakers set about one metre apart, an expansive soundstage was presented when sitting in the listening position. Stereo imaging was effective with left/right movement well portrayed. “Private Investigations” by Dire Straits was a perfect example of this. With Mark Knopfler’s vocals centrally placed, the acoustic and electric guitars left and right and the powerful tom-toms switching channels, a believable 3D image was created which was further enhanced by the various sound effects in the recording.
The S1000W also excelled with classical music with orchestras being presented in authentic style. “The Young Prince and Princess” from “Scheherazade” by Rimsky-Korsakov came over very well with the various sections of the orchestra laid out in a believable way both laterally and in depth with the layering easily discernible. The ambience of the recording venue was nicely reproduced with a natural decay.
With superb build quality and finish, a wide range of input options and class-leading sound quality, the S1000W is an outstanding product which really delivers, including the “room-shaking bass” promised in the company’s own advertising. Powerful enough to fill a large room with high quality sound, its classic design fits into any home environment. Apart from some minor connection issues and app features and the lack of high quality Bluetooth codecs, there is little to criticise here and the S1000W receives a hearty recommendation.