Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers Review


PC’s and audio are starting to become a match made in heaven. Companies like Klipsch and other high-end audio manufacturers are even throwing their hats into the ring. PC speakers may not be at the point that Seth Green wanted them to be in Italian Job, but there may be a day, in the not too distant future, when they will actually blow your clothes off. Edifier is a relative newcomer to the audio world, although they have been around since 96 a lot of people have not heard of them. I for one am very impressed with their products line and can’t wait to try them out, so let’s get into it and see what the Edifier M3400 Multimedia PC Speaker can do:

Provided By: Edifier

Closer Look:

The overall design of the packaging is very well composed. The graphics are clear and very professional. The box contains all the information one would need if they are looking for specifics in a PC speaker setup. The nice part of the Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers is that they are not just for PC they include right and left audio outs so you can pretty much hook them to anything.

Included with the speakers is: a speaker control/volume control, Y R/L to stereo computer input converter, specs manual, PC mic port extension cable and setup manual.

The desktop speaker control includes an input and headphone jack which is nice if you want to pop in your headphones. Or plug in your mp3 player on the fly. These two options are what make these speakers a step above the rest. I have owned many PC speakers in my time and my favorite sets have always been the ones that included a headphone jack. The addition of input for mp3 on top of a headphone jack is just awesome!  If they ever include a mic port on their speakers I will never buy other companies’ speakers again. Skype is a major part of my business and there is nothing worse than running back and forth behind my pc to switch things out. The mic port extension is a nice bonus but it always falls behind the computer.

Let’s have a  closer look at the speakers:

Closer Look:

The Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers are very well built, the silver on black looks great. I have to say I was surprised by the packaging because my previous 5.1 surround speakers came in a box that was the same size. It was at this point I took the speakers out of the box and said “ooOOooh…. that’s why.” The sub is huge and the speakers are pretty substantial as well. These are not cheaply made by any means. The speakers are not plastic like what seem to be industry-standard speakers these days. I like to see speakers made with MDF again, the depth of sound compared to plastic is very significant.

The Speakers:

The satellite speakers for the Edifier M3400’s are impressively built with MDf as I mentioned before. The nice thing about them is that they are not just a 3 inch mid-range driver; they also have a ¾ inch high frequency driver. This gives you a much broader range in tone, which allows you to really feel treble and mid-range without sacrificing either frequencies specific properties.

Two nice little bonuses these speakers offer is the built in holes for hanging the speakers on a wall and for me personally I like the fact the speaker ends are bare wire like a regular stereo meaning you wont have to mod them in any specific way in order to use them with your home stereo system.

The Sub:

The sub is also made with MDF, and it is a monster compared to other subs I have seen for PC. With a 6.5 bass driver unit like this you will need substantial air flow; the folks at Edifier did just that with the Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers.

A feature I really like about the Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers is their adaptability. The sub is set up to hook into anything and the fact it uses a standard speaker input means you can hook up whatever you like for your satellite speakers. This makes the Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers very versatile. You won’t need to go buy a whole new stereo if anything happens to individual speakers you can just mix and match with whatever you have on hand. Another option is to input more than one set of speakers for an even broader range of sound. Also included on the sub is a subvolume control which is beneficial for songs that are too bass-heavy, you can just turn down the sub to hear the song better.

On top of the sub is a power on/off switch; the desktop control turns off the speakers but doesn’t shut down the sub or the amp so if you want to completely cut power to the sub you need to use the sub-switch. On the sub is a blue LED indicator when the sub is powered or not. I love the look of blue LEDs, they are used on both the sub and the ring around the volume control on the desktop speaker controller.

 Let’s Check out some specs and features:

Specifications:

  • Power out: RMS 8W x 2 + 18W(THD=10%)
  • Signal to noise ratio: >=85dBA
  • Input port: Strero RCA Line-in
  • Input impedance: 10K Ohm
  • Bass driver : Magnetically Shielded , 6.5″ paper cone, 4Ohm,
  • Mid-range driver: Magnetically shielded, 3/4″ paper cone, 4 Ohm
  • Tweeter Driver: Magnetically shielded, 3/4″, 8Ohm
  • Dimension: Subwoofer 234(W) x 261(H) x 305(D) mm
                      Satellite: 90(W) x 181(H) x 137(D) mm

Features:

  • All MDF wood enclosures for subwoofer and satellites.
  • 6.5 inch High-performance bass driver unit.
  • 3 inch mid-range driver unit.
  • 3/4 inch high frequency driver unit.
  • Power button on sub-woofer front panel.
  • Master volume on wired remote controller with Halo style power indicator.
  • All drivers are magnetically shielded.

 For Use With:

Computer (2 channels sound card), CD player, Discman, MP3, etc.

Description:

The superb Edifier M3400 model sports MDF wood enclosures for the subwoofer as well as for the 2 way satellites, making this 2.1 system sound breathtaking. A rotary ‘Blue Halo’ wired remote controller with MP3, CD, and Auxiliary source input, together with a headphone output jack, completes the listening enjoyment.

Let’s see how well these speakers stack up:
Testing Rig:

  • Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q9450
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6
  • Memory: OCZ 2 x 2GB
  • Video Card: Nvidea 260GTX
  • Power Supply: Mushkin 800w Modular Power Supply
  • Hard Drive: Seagate 750GB SATA
  • Optical Drive: LG DVD
  • OS: Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Thermaltake armor

Testing:

Normally I would do a head-to-head test against another speaker set, this time I am going to do things a little differently. The Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers destroyed the sound quality of my Creative Inspire T6100 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System. My ancient Altec Lansing 2.1 system couldn’t even hold a candle to the Creatives let alone the Edifier. Instead of a standard head-to-head match-up, I will just be going through the treble, mid-range, bass, and speed tests as well as seeing how it performs for gaming and movies. Before I did any of these tests I “burned in” or broke in the speakers for a good 3 days before truly testing. This ensures that the sound quality is at its peak and that the sub-woofer has its full range of motion and doesn’t remain “stiff” during deep bass and quick bass hits.

High (Treble):

Classical music is one of the better tests for treble so this is exactly what I decided to use for this test. The overall treble quality was a nice mix of smoothness (due to the MDF box most likely) and sibilance. There was no hissing so the sibilance was kept in check. I believe adding one more high-frequency driver and turning these into a 3-way speaker would have added benefit for the treble’s loudness, but overall it was very pleasant to listen to and you did not have to strain to hear the treble tones.

Of course this test wasn’t for bass but the drums and cello had an extremely rich sound for this test, far beyond other PC speakers I have heard in the same pricing structure.

 Mid (Mid-Range):

Mid-range tones are found mostly in guitar and vocals in any given song, most of which is found in Alternative or Metal genres of music. These types of music are known for their distorted sounds so hearing vocals in amongst all of the “noise” can be difficult with poorly made speakers. While I did have to turn down the sub a bit for these genres the vocals were still very clear and understandable even with the most distorted songs.

If you only listen to rock, metal, and alternative based music these may not be the best choice for you but I will definitely say that they destroyed the Creatives for clarity

 Low (Bass):

Usually, I play copious amounts of rap to generate bass hits; I did play rap and these performed amazingly but for a true test I did something different this time. I ran through this cd to generate a full range of dual-tone bass frequencies. The Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers produced incredible, clear, powerful, and hitting bass throughout this test. I was incredibly impressed with how well the Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers performed in this test. Another more painful test I performed is this one: (be careful not to play it too loud the frequencies used in this bass test can genuinely destroy your subwoofer if it is not properly broken in or if it is a cheaper design.)

 

Thankfully this bass test did not kill the M3400’s but some of the hits were pushing it pretty hard. These speakers stood up to it and held their own. For bass, the Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers are top-notch as far as PC audio goes. If you are into heavy bass music these are pretty impressive speakers.

Movies, Speed Response, and Gaming:

2.1 is not usually the speaker system of choice for gamers or avid movie watchers, but the Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers performed very well. Granted you are not going to get a full surround sound experience with these speakers you are going to get s pretty good room-filling sound due to the MDF speaker boxes. Even though I got more of a surrounding sound with my 5.1 Creative speakers they did little for room-filling sound with substance. The plastic encasing for the Creative speakers made them sound a lot cheaper than the Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers.

Movies still sounded amazing even though it was only 2.1. Movies like Star wars and august rush have symphony music playing periodically through the movie and the Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers really shined for the epic emotional inspiring music. Actors with a lot of bass in their voices like James Earl Jones sounded incredible on these speakers.

For gaming, the speakers did about as well as my favorite gaming headset. They gave the illusion of three-dimensional sound, this is one place however I do have to say the Creatives did just a little bit better. If you are looking for an all-around speaker the Edifiers are still great for gaming just not quite as immersive as the Creatives.

For Speed tests, I used punk, speed metal, and house music. Poorly made speakers will distort all sounds in a fast-paced song into one sound instead of differentiating between them. The Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers performed all types of music hitting every note cleanly and crisply, I had no issues differentiating between each note, especially with the house music’s fast bass hits. The subwoofer on the M3400’s is a lot faster than I would have expected it to be, and the satellite speakers have a very quick response overall.

Let’s see the final thoughts:

Conclusion:

While the Edifier M3400 2.1 Multimedia PC Speakers won’t be blowing anyone’s clothes off anytime soon, they will however impress even the most cynical of the digital audiophiles out there. They performed very well on just about everything and something it was above and beyond what I would expect for a $65 set of speakers. These speakers had style, quality, and versatility all wrapped up in one awesome package.

Would I recommend these speakers? Yes, yes I would. Normally this is where I would specify whom I would suggest them to, this time around however I leave it open-ended. There is no one that is looking for PC speakers I wouldn’t recommend these too. For their price, and how much you get, in my mind they are the best 2.1 surround system I have used to date.

Pros:

  • Style
  • Price
  • Build Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • Blue LED’s
  • Headphone and MP3 Jacks on the Volume Control

Cons:

  • Could Use an Integrated  Mic Port

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