Edifier S2000MKIII Review

by Bruno Brozovic

Edifier S2000MKIII powered bookshelf speakers offer high-resolution audio support, robust Bluetooth connectivity, and versatile DSP modes, making them a top choice for a premium and adaptable home audio experience. Additionally, their elegant design enhances their appeal.

Intro

I understand that as a potential buyer, I can’t always listen to the speakers in the store before buying, so I recommend ordering them one by one within a specific budget. In the case of the Edifier S2000MKIII, I measured them according to their price on the list, from the cheapest to the most expensive, to simulate how someone might buy them without knowing exactly how much they should spend. The most expensive set I tested until today was the Edifier S2000MKIII.

Edifier S2000MKIII Review

Edifier S2000MKIII Review

The Edifier S2000MKIII is a highly acclaimed pair of powered bookshelf speakers that have captured the attention of audiophiles and casual listeners alike. Known for their exceptional sound quality and elegant design, these speakers are designed to deliver an immersive audio experience. With features such as high-resolution audio support, a robust Bluetooth connection, and a suite of customization options, the S2000MKIII stands out as a top choice for those seeking both performance and versatility in their home audio setup. This review will delve into the key aspects of the Edifier S2000MKIII, including sound quality, design, connectivity, and overall value.

Construction & Design

The first thing I noticed about these speakers was that they come from a reputable audio manufacturer – in fact, they lack any branding at all, making them difficult to differentiate from genuine Edifier products. However, despite this lack of branding, I believe these speakers are of the highest quality and would be perfect for anyone looking for a real active monitor system. Who knows, maybe some enthusiasts will modify them after purchase?

Edifier S2000 MKIII Front View

Edifier S2000 MKIII Front View

As I mentioned earlier, the speakers – the Edifier S2000MKIII – were fantastic in terms of quality and style. I have no criticisms about their workmanship or appearance. Many of the features found in the S2000MKIII are also present in the S880DB or R1850DB, although these two models are not identical to the S2000MKIII. They share similar quality workmanship, side panel location, and back BR ports. The S2000MKIII inherits its delicate slope structure from the R1850DB, as well as its grilles and identical knobs and audio inputs. They even placed the volume control knob as the first one from the top, which I found to be a relief. However, on closer inspection, it is evident that the veneer print is not real wood.

Edifier S2000MKIII Side View

Edifier S2000MKIII Side View

With the help of the included remote control, you get access to more features. The remote control has a standard and slim design and is powered by two AAA batteries (included), along with all the necessary cables and accessories to run the speakers, except for the coaxial cable which is not included. However, the quality of the cables has not changed and is the same for all three loudspeaker designs, except for the connector between the loudspeakers. The cable in the S2000MKIII is the thickest and most solid, while the rest are detachable and treated as universal. This indicates that the speakers are ideally designed for use via Bluetooth (with aptX HD) or S/PDIF (maximum 24/192).

The speakers come with a convenient digital display that automatically adjusts its brightness, but unfortunately, the dimming function cannot be controlled. Nevertheless, the display shows active audio input, the volume level, and the active DSP mode. Although the speakers are mostly flawless, there are a few drawbacks that caught my attention. Firstly, the power cord is fixed, and I would prefer a detachable cable for convenience or the option to choose a longer one. Secondly, switching between sources takes about 4-5 seconds, which can be a bit frustrating if you use different signal sources frequently. Lastly, the right speaker grille can obscure the display when viewed from a sharp angle from above.

Edifier S2000MKIII Backside View

Edifier S2000MKIII Backside View

Initially, the speakers appeared to be in default mode without any Digital Signal Processing (DSP), which is only activated upon turning them on. Changing the DSP mode can be done through the remote control, and returning to the default mode is only possible by turning the speakers off and on again. I’ll provide further details on this topic in addition to the audio description. The measurements proved to be very useful, as without them, my review would have been inaccurate due to not following the correct steps after turning the speakers back on.

The remote control for the speakers is made of low-quality plastic and the labels are only somewhat visible. While it functions like a typical remote, it does not match the quality of the speakers. To open the battery compartment, you need to use your thumb in a reversed position. The speakers are more responsive to the signal when pointed toward them, and not at extreme angles.

Edifier S2000MKIII Remote Controller

Edifier S2000MKIII Remote Controller

In addition, I encountered no issues related to noise, shooting, rattling, or temperature, which means we can proceed to the sound test phase without any further delay.

Edifier S2000MKIII Review Sound Test

The main DSP modes of Edifier S2000MKIII are:

  • Dynamic
  • Classic
  • Vocal
  • Monitor

The initial interaction with these speakers left a great impression. They not only look like high-quality active monitors but also perform as such. The experience was very positive, as it combined the best features of the R1850DB and S880DB. The build quality and equipment were taken from the S880, while the sound was built on the R1850DB set, which I prefer over the R1280DB. The sound is a combination of the R1850DB and S880DB, with the DSP tunings built on the former, resulting in a sound quality that surpasses both models and the S880. It can even be said that this is a total sound of the same quality as the two models put together, resembling very mature salon loudspeakers.

Edifier S2000MKIII Coaxial, Bluetooth, Optical and RCA Bookshelf 2.0 Speakers, Near-Field Active Tri-Amped 130w Studio Monitor for Audiophiles with Wireless, Line-in and Optical Input Walnut
687 Reviews
Edifier S2000MKIII Coaxial, Bluetooth, Optical and RCA Bookshelf 2.0 Speakers, Near-Field Active Tri-Amped 130w Studio Monitor for Audiophiles with Wireless, Line-in and Optical Input Walnut
  • HIGH-END AUDIOPHILE COMPONENTS - Built using planar diaphragm tweeters and 5.5 inch woofers, the S2000MKII delivers...
  • BLUETOOTH 5.0 WITH aptX HD DECODING – Stream high quality audio wirelessly with reduced latency and increased...
  • LINE-IN/OPTICAL/COAXIAL INPUTS - Connect the S2000Pro easily using wireless, dual RCA, line-in and optical. Connect to...
  • WIRELESS REMOTE - A convenient remote control allows you to adjust playback or inputs on the fly.
  • 2 YEAR WARRANTY - S2000MKIII is proudly designed and manufactured by Edifier. The entire system is back with a 2-year...

Quick overview of DSP modes

The setting for the Monitor mode was switched to the Vocal mode and this time I preferred the latter DSP mode. However, unlike the S880, the other modes did not fully satisfy me. In some cases, I found the treble to be slightly disruptive in the Dynamic mode, while in others, such as the Monitor mode, the sound was too warm and indistinct. Although the Monitor mode was suitable for listening in the evenings, it was not as balanced and open as the Vocal mode, which appeared to be the most consistent and natural-sounding option. The Vocal mode focused on the soprano, while the aforementioned mode had a more subdued sound that was reminiscent of the Classic mode.

It’s possible that Edifier made a mistake because it’s unlikely that the two modes have the opposite effect of the S880. In the S880, the vocal mode emphasized the vocals, and I checked this on specific tracks. The S2000 also has no chance of mistakenly changing modes via the remote control because the speakers have a display that shows the correct mode. Therefore, it’s likely that my suspicion is correct.

Initially, I favored the Vocal DSP mode, but during the S2000 model testing, I discovered what I believed to be a secret and potentially problematic fifth mode of operation. This mode would activate without any adjustments to the DSP settings and would reset the S2000 to a mode without DSP, which I referred to as “clean.” Unlike the S880, the S2000 did not retain its previous settings.

However, I later learned that this mode was not a secret nor a defect, but rather the Classic mode. The only issue was that the S2000 would reset to this mode on its own.

Classic mode (default)

In my opinion, the speakers perform most evenly and balanced in this mode. However, switching between modes triggers an intermediate mode, resembling the Classic mode, before reaching the desired mode. The issue arises when attempting to set the speakers to a permanent DSP mode other than Classic. Despite attempting to turn the speakers off and on again, whether through the button or remote control, the speakers always reset to the Classic mode. The reason for this remains a mystery, but it poses a problem for individuals seeking to work with alternative DSP modes. Nevertheless, the tonality control knobs on the rear of the speakers offer a solution, as they are digitally remembered and implemented in the process. I preferred the sound of the S2000MKIII without any modifications, so I did not utilize this feature. As a result, this sound description focuses on the native Classic mode, as the differences with other DSP modes are relatively similar to those in the S880.

Bass

The sound of the S2000 speakers has a unique blend of qualities that can be attributed to both the R1850 and S880 models. It has the smoothness and warmth of the R1850, while also delivering the precise and punchy sound of the S880. Unlike the S880, which suffered from a lack of power, the S2000 has a more spacious enclosure and larger BR ports, which enhances the overall sound quality. This difference is immediately noticeable when compared to the previous two models that were tested.

The S2000MKIII can deliver a surprisingly rich bass performance. While in the past, I considered its bass output to be only second to Solo29 in terms of quantity, due to the latter’s superior bass extension and potential resulting from its construction. To fully utilize the volume and design of the S2000MKIII and Solo26, proper placement behind the speakers is crucial. Nonetheless, the Edifiers strike a good balance between power and control, much like the Solo26.

Surprisingly, they produce more bass than my floor-standing Q80s. However, it’s important to keep in mind that physics imposes certain limitations on the size of speakers or monitors, so any cubature in small speakers will inevitably work against them. Despite their impressive fullness, richness, and saturation, the impact of these speakers is primarily felt in the overall momentum and format, particularly in terms of the membrane activation at the lower end.

I’m not bothered by this issue because it affects all stereo speakers and those without a subwoofer. While some may want that extra bass, it’s not always necessary for music listening. In my experience, even with tracks that have deep bass notes, like “Council of Nine,” I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. I mention this because it’s a feature typically associated with higher-end speakers. However, I’ve found that lower-end models can also deliver satisfying bass, as was the case with Microlabs. The S2000MKIII handles low tones very well, even meeting my high expectations, which is surprising and adds to its appeal.

Edifier S2000MKIII Review

Midrange

The midrange this time around has more weight and saturation, taking over the bass line and creating its presence, though it’s still not fully presented up close. The vocal has a bit of a guttural quality, giving the piece a distinct flavor, even if the performer didn’t intend it to be so. However, it’s not being forced upon us or being presented strictly as a monitor midrange in the near field. It’s as natural as possible, not too far away and not too close.

Those who wish to reduce the range can utilize DSP, but I find such actions to be invasive and counter to the exceptional quality of these speakers. The superior sound quality is evident in both the bass and midrange. I appreciate the vocal in the S2000 as is. The R1850 is similar, but not identical, and I believe the Solo26 is the closest match. The music is tastefully presented, not too close or too far, without overwhelming or smoothing out the details. The singer’s voice is conveyed naturally and coherently, with any issues present in the song being conveyed in a human-like manner.

Treble

The S2000MKIII’s treble also has a slightly weighty character, but it’s not sluggish. Like the R1850DB, you can detect that the speaker’s tone is somewhat lowered, but the Solo has a much greater influence. It’s as if Edifier designed its speakers based on these models. Nevertheless, there’s an attempt to create a soprano with a slight “room effect,” which imparts a subtle reverb to the sound, strengthens the three-dimensionality, and adds a fascinating atmosphere to the piece. As a result, the speakers don’t sound flat, but they’re also not entirely transparent, and in a certain sense – as with the bass and midrange – they are still audible.

The speakers are slightly tilted towards a warmer sound, or perhaps it feels like the typical V-shaped sound signature of Edifier has been enhanced by an added layer of musical filtering that enriches, enhances, and refines the sound. Nevertheless, this has been accomplished with great care and skill, resulting in a distinctive sound that is not at all intrusive, and applying DSP to the sound does not undermine the overall construct.

Using DSP modes often makes the treble sound artificial, with the Dynamic mode sometimes missing its intended effect and producing a glassy and fake sound. However, the description provided here comes from a specific mode, the S880 formula, which is the most enjoyable and reliable of all the single modes. Of all the S2000 models, this one has the best balance between registers, except for the Vocal Mode, which interferes with the sound. Despite this, the Edifier has created a delicately balanced sound profile that is worth preserving.

Sound Stage

Despite the many positive aspects of these loudspeakers, what impressed me the most was their stage capabilities. Compared to other loudspeaker systems I have tested over the past year, the S2000MKIII had the best stage. I am only referring to the past year because active speaker unit tests have recently gained momentum, providing a great opportunity for experimentation. But it’s okay to indulge once in a while, isn’t it?

To be completely honest, the S2000MKIII are the most stage-like loudspeakers of their size that I have come across. While they may not sound as wide as the Q80, they still have a notable width for monitors, along with a pleasing depth that the Q80 lacks due to its more plastic midrange and replacement of other desirable features. However, as I mentioned earlier, the S2000 is not primarily a midrange driver, so this is a natural outcome.

For a loudspeaker to sound spatially impressive, the manufacturer needs to put in some effort. Edifier has made this effort, resulting in a speaker with a great stage that sounds good in all directions, including the transaxial transitions. While speakers like Solo29 also perform well in this regard and have a unique stage presence, Edifier’s speakers excel even more and on a larger scale.

About sound as a whole

The strongest points of the S2000MKIII are:

  • bass
  • musical general character
  • stage

In my view, these three factors are what make this model sound unique. They combine various upgrades and features from the R1850DB and Solo26, along with components from the S880DB, all presented in a visually appealing package. Despite my initial skepticism towards pricier speaker designs of this type, especially those with a computer background, I have become a convert. I prefer not to speculate on products that I have not experienced firsthand, even if others may challenge me to do so.

The S2000MKIII loudspeakers are a prime example of how one can be impressed even before listening, based solely on their reputation and price. The age-old adage that “seeing is believing” applies here as well. As always, I encourage readers to form their own opinions by listening to the product themselves, if possible. The purpose of my blog is to highlight products that I find interesting in my personal opinion and to indicate what sounds good and enjoyable to my ears.

Will the experience be the same after the purchase? It’s hard to say. There will likely be variations due to different rooms, accompanying equipment, and individual preferences. As for myself, I have certain criteria that I look for in sound quality, and I have already found many of them. So my search is no longer as intense and is not driven by a need to constantly upgrade. I can afford the luxury of examining equipment from a calm and experienced perspective. Peace of mind and experience are crucial elements that the hobby often lacks. The latter leads to the former, and you can never have too much experience.

Edifier S2000MKIII Sound Test

Returning to the main point, I find the Edifiers to be “very cool” and that term probably suits them best. They are enjoyable to work with, set up, and use. However, they come with a specific DSP setting that is activated each time the speakers are turned on, and this setting cannot be manually overridden. While other DSP modes may be available, in my subjective opinion, they tend to sound more artificial than pleasing, particularly for this specific speaker model. It’s worth noting that I did not have this impression with the S880, which may be due to its general “V” shape and the default setting of Monitor mode, assuming that no changes were made before shipping. It’s unclear why the S2000MKIII defaults to Classic mode. I can only speculate, but I don’t feel it’s my place to question the manufacturer’s decisions. My role is simply to evaluate the product as a consumer and offer a critical assessment based on what I receive in the box.

However, that doesn’t mean I can’t make some educated guesses or speculate on what I hear. With the S2000, it seems like the manufacturer has chosen to fine-tune all sound elements only in a specific configuration and rely heavily on a specific DSP setting. While with the S880, I viewed this as a very nice addition, effectively increasing the speakers’ versatility and flexibility, with the S2000, I couldn’t shake the impression that it was treated as a more experimental and optional feature. The R1850DB didn’t have DSP, but rather the usual equalization (which the S2k also has), and still performed admirably. Although we pay extra for this addition in the S2000, perhaps unnecessarily, it is available as an option at any time, whether we like it or not.

Edifier S2000MKIII Coaxial, Bluetooth, Optical and RCA Bookshelf 2.0 Speakers, Near-Field Active Tri-Amped 130w Studio Monitor for Audiophiles with Wireless, Line-in and Optical Input Walnut
687 Reviews
Edifier S2000MKIII Coaxial, Bluetooth, Optical and RCA Bookshelf 2.0 Speakers, Near-Field Active Tri-Amped 130w Studio Monitor for Audiophiles with Wireless, Line-in and Optical Input Walnut
  • HIGH-END AUDIOPHILE COMPONENTS - Built using planar diaphragm tweeters and 5.5 inch woofers, the S2000MKII delivers...
  • BLUETOOTH 5.0 WITH aptX HD DECODING – Stream high quality audio wirelessly with reduced latency and increased...
  • LINE-IN/OPTICAL/COAXIAL INPUTS - Connect the S2000Pro easily using wireless, dual RCA, line-in and optical. Connect to...
  • WIRELESS REMOTE - A convenient remote control allows you to adjust playback or inputs on the fly.
  • 2 YEAR WARRANTY - S2000MKIII is proudly designed and manufactured by Edifier. The entire system is back with a 2-year...

I recommend using the S2000 in Classic mode. This setting slightly emphasizes the warmth of the drivers and power amplifier, resulting in a fuller and richer sound that is both pleasant and versatile. While the characteristic Edifier V-shape is still present, it is not too overpowering and blends seamlessly with the rest of the sound. In essence, it’s like having two different sound signatures in one package.

I listened to a variety of songs, some recorded better and some recorded worse, as well as streaming audio from YouTube which is known for its compression and artifacts, using the Edifiers speaker system. The “Eski” model was able to handle everything without any issues or distortion. In comparison to the S880 and R1280DB models, the “Eski” speakers are less sensitive to spacing and acoustics, which is a better design concept as it doesn’t require the user to be as aware or knowledgeable about the acoustics of the room.

While acknowledging that users may not always know how to connect speaker systems, the manufacturer must still account for this in their designs. It is not a problem for someone to lack knowledge in a particular field, even when it comes to basic things. However, speakers should not be released on the market with spacing requirements that exceed those of a real full-size kit. Even when setting up full-size column systems or more serious monitors, there are numerous discussions and threads on the internet. The R1280DB was a prime example of a design mistake, as it caused so many problems that frustrated users left negative comments. Interestingly, some users posted pictures of speakers mounted in unconventional locations, such as between books, on shelves, outside of a base, at different heights, facing different directions, or even on a windowsill.

Edifier S2000MKIII Bass Reflex Opening

Edifier S2000MKIII Bass Reflex Opening

The S880 speakers are relatively forgiving, but still quite sensitive to spacing due to their compact size and unique approach to the subject. On the other hand, the S2000 speakers are a paradox in that they still adhere to the principles of proper spacing and basic room acoustics, but do not require strict adherence to precise measurements. For example, if one speaker is placed 0.5m from the wall and the other is 0.6m away, there should be no major issues. It is possible to negatively impact the performance of the speakers by positioning them too close to walls or obstructing the BR ports, but following basic rules of acoustics should be sufficient for most users. Ultimately, it is up to the individual user to experiment with different placements and find the best setup for their needs.

Based on the aforementioned comments, the S2000MKIII speakers simply sound like good speakers and don’t try to pretend to be anything they’re not. They don’t seem to have any issues with spacing or connectivity and can be used at any time of the day or night due to their pleasant tuning and overall high quality. Additionally, they have a built-in DAC of very good quality, so there’s no need for an external one. The speakers also come with a convenient remote control and display. All things considered, the S2000MKIII speakers are nearly perfect and should appeal to a broad audience.

Profitability

The Classic mode of these speakers is so versatile that it’s hard for me to imagine anyone not liking them. In my opinion, the speakers sound fantastic for their price range, especially because they are active speakers (which means there’s no need for separate amplifiers and cables) and have a high-quality built-in DAC (so there’s no need for an additional device of this type).

In summary, the S2000MKIII, along with other speakers from this manufacturer, do not require any additional devices and are a comprehensive solution for both RCA and S/PDIF inputs. While there is a noticeable difference between the outputs, it is not significant enough to justify additional costs. Interestingly, the S880DB appeared to be more sensitive to the quality and class of the signal provided via RCA, despite having a USB DAC available. The lack of a USB DAC on the S2000MKIII is not a concern for me as I have a S/PDIF combo output and can route the DirectSound signal from one source to both analogs (headphones) and S/PDIF outputs without the need to switch software or physical outputs.

Edifier S2000MKIII Close Up View

Edifier S2000MKIII Close Up View

You can easily calculate the cost-effectiveness of the S2000MKIII by subtracting the value of a separate DAC and cables that would be needed to achieve a similar quality of sound from the cost of the speakers themselves. For example, if you were to purchase a DragonFly Red DAC, which may not be perfectly suited to these speakers due to its jack output and lack of a standard RCA, a high-quality Y-type cable would solve this issue.

I consistently conduct the analysis mentioned above, not only with Edifier speakers but with all products. I break down the cost into its components and explore alternative options, asking myself if there are better options available for the same price point that can provide superior sound quality or additional features. Therefore, with the S2000MKIII, the only viable option is to search for alternatives.

Some alternative options to consider at a similar price point as the S2000MKIII could include passive speaker systems, other active speaker systems, near-field studio monitors, or less expensive active sets.

The last option is particularly appealing to most people, or at least it seems logical. Of course, it all depends on our budget. Cheaper alternatives include the R1850DB, Solo26, and Solo29. These systems have similar features and playing styles to the S2000MKIII, such as built-in DACs, Bluetooth, and remote controls. Although they are not identical, lack DSP and are not as well-built, the sound quality will be comparable to the S2000MKIII but at a much lower cost. My point is that if someone cannot afford a certain solution, it’s not the end of the world. If you need equipment right away, purchasing a cheaper set may be just as justified and result in an overall positive experience.

I want to make it clear that I cannot predict which set of equipment will be better for a specific individual or if they will notice a difference in sound quality. It is not within my abilities to read minds or foresee the future. Therefore, I cannot give a definite answer to such questions. Additionally, speculating or running polls would be against the purpose of my website and may cause inconvenience to those who have to return the product.

Each set of equipment I have mentioned has its strengths and is a great investment within its price range. Therefore, each option will give equal satisfaction and enjoyment. Even though cheaper options may have inferior sound quality, they are still worth considering as they will be less expensive.

Edifier S2000MKIII Video Review

Edifier S2000MKIII Specifications

  • Total power output: L/R (treble): 15W+15W RMS,  L/R (mid-range bass): 50W + 50W RMS
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: ≥90dB(A)
  • Noise level: ≤25dB(A)
  • Input sensitivity: Line 1 input: 800±50mV, Line 2 input: 600±50mV
  • Bluetooth input: 450±50mFFs
  • Optical/Coaxial input: 350±50mFFs
  • Frequency response: 45Hz~40KHz

You can download & view the manual here->Edifier S2000MKIII Manual

Final Verdict

Potential buyers might hesitate to purchase the Edifier S2000MKIII due to its high price and computer background, but this fear is unfounded. The speakers are well-made and stylish, featuring a built-in digital-to-analog converter, sound processing, equalization, and remote control. They deliver a well-rounded music experience with strong bass and a wide sound range, sounding great no matter where they are placed in the room.

In my opinion, these speakers are nearly flawless, with only minor improvements needed, such as the inclusion of a USB DAC, a DSP application, and a replaceable cable like IEC. Despite these small drawbacks, the speakers sound exceptional in my room, impressing me with their integration and sound quality. The S2000MKIII provides a pleasant, musical, natural, and well-balanced sound, exceeding expectations and justifying its price.

Although made by Edifier, these speakers could easily fit in with prestigious brands like KEF or Magico, but at a much higher cost. At $550, they are still excellent speakers, especially with a good digital transmitter or analog DAC, decent RCA/OPT cables, and enough space for positioning. They offer a quality music experience comparable to more expensive monitors from award-winning brands.

Are Edifier speakers good?

Edifier S2000MKIII Review

These speakers are practically perfect and it is very difficult for me to find any flaws here. Great workmanship, great look, built-in DAC S / PDIF, DSP, EQ, remote control, and finally high insensitivity to the spacing and great sound served in the form of a musical foundation with a very well-balanced bass with low descent and a great stage.

Which are the best Edifier speakers?

Edifier S2000MKIII Review 2

The Edifier S2000MKIII is the top-of-the-range powered model from Edifier that offers the professional-level sound quality, in a compact and beautiful wooden finish box. This set of speakers was designed from the bottom up with the best quality materials.

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3.8/5 - (81 votes) - Click on stars to leave a review

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