After we last looked at the R33BT, a relatively compact bookshelf speaker, we will now look at the R1700BT, which is also offered by Edifier. These are also bookshelf speakers, but with a price of € 154.99 * [review price: 130 Euros, RRP: 170 Euros] they are priced higher.
In return, Edifier promises a good sound quality, which is supposed to be achieved by the interaction of a 19 mm tweeter and a 4″ bass-midrange driver each in an MDF housing. In addition, the speakers are also advertised with, for example, Bluetooth support and a special feature in the housing: The speakers built into the R1700BT are installed with a 10° tilt and thus radiate slightly upwards. This in turn is supposed to make the placement easier.
In the following review, we’ll find out whether these promises actually work in practice and how Edifier’s R1700BTs perform in use. You can see the R1700BT in brown. Alternatively, the speakers are also available in black and white, and the R1700BTs also support Qualcomm’s aptX codec.
|Frequency range:||60 – 20,000 Hz|
|Noise ratio:||> 85 dB(A)|
|Noise power:||< 25 dB(A)|
|Power:||2x15W (tweeter) + 2x18W (woofer)|
|Connection:||Bluetooth 4.0 (Codec: SBC), 2x AUX|
|Price:||€ 154.99 *|
Scope of delivery
Edifier ships the R1700BT in a colorful printed box that contains the speakers and accessories. These are a manual and a bit of additional paperwork, an IR remote control with CR2025 battery, two connection cables for the RCA jacks with a length of 1.6 m each and the almost 2.5 m long speaker cable that connects the two boxes. This in turn has DIN plugs with four pins on both sides. Various replacement and extension cables are also offered on the web, so that you can also realize a different speaker distance.
Design & Workmanship
The body of the R1700BT is made of MDF, but of course nothing of that is visible from the outside. Instead, the center segment of the speakers is covered by black and slightly rough plastic. On the other hand, there is either white plastic or a black or reddish-brown imitation wood on the sides, depending on the color variant.
In our case, it is the reddish-brown imitation that is supposed to have a walnut look according to Edifier. Due to the rather reddish coloring, we would rather compare the speakers to mahogany, but in the end, the imitated wood type is of course hardly important. What is decisive is how well the imitation has succeeded – and here the R1700B can largely convince in our eyes. The suggested grain looks good and the coloring is almost consistent everywhere. The imitation wood only gets a bit lighter at the lateral corners of the housing, but this is hardly noticeable in use.
Apart from the separate choice of materials, the construction of the speakers is as usual. Both speakers have the drivers and the bass reflex tube at the front, where they are normally hidden behind a covered frame. This can be removed with ease. If you want, you can also operate the R1700BT “open”.
The speakers are connected via the right speaker box, which has three controls (treble, bass, volume) on its right side. There is also the metal connection panel on the back of this box, which houses the power switch, the power cable and the analog connections. The R1700BT can be connected to two different sources via RCA, and pass the amplified audio signal to the left speaker box through the said DIN connector.
In terms of build quality, there’s nothing to complain about with the Edifier R1700BT, except perhaps for the slight color variation. The speakers are visually as well as haptically flawless everywhere and they make a very stable impression.
Before you start playing music, you should of course think about the placement of the R1700BT. Edifier advertises the speakers as shelf speakers, which means that they are particularly suitable for positioning directly against the wall, which in turn emphasizes the bass range somewhat. In practice, you can of course still correct this a bit with Edifier’s built-in bass control, but in most cases, the speakers will probably be placed just in front of a wall anyway. In our opinion, the sound is good without any adjustments.
When positioning the speakers, users have to keep in mind that the connector of the two speakers protrudes from the back of the housing. Therefore, you should allow at least six centimeters towards the back to prevent the plug from bending too much. Apart from that, the setup is inconspicuous: The connection via the installed plugs is easy and the included cable should also be long enough for the vast majority of uses.
For the optimal sound quality at the place the height is still a problem with most loudspeakers. Since high tones are often emitted only at a narrow angle, tweeters should ideally point toward the listener’s ears. Since an identical height of tweeter and listener is often not given, Edifier has unceremoniously angled the front of the R1700BT by 10°. As a result, one only sits in an optimal position when the speakers are a bit lower than the listener.
It depends on the intended use whether this solution is better than a classic front radiation. For example, at a desk, where the speakers are always lower than the listener, the upward radiation pattern is a great advantage in our eyes. Depending on the height difference between the listener and the speaker, you can thus adjust the sweet spot by adjusting the distance and enjoy the treble undamped.
Practice & Sound
The operation of the R1700BT is simple. The speakers can simply be plugged in and connected either wirelessly via Bluetooth or with the included RCA cables to two analog audio sources. In both cases, a separate adjustment of the treble and bass is available via a potentiometer each, through which the sound image can be adjusted in a wide range.
There is also a rotary encoder for volume adjustment, which speaks for digital volume adjustment. In addition, you can also press the rotary encoder and thus switch between the playback modes (Bluetooth/analog).
All these functions are also available via the remote control provided by Edifier, which always works with its IR transmitter when there is visual contact between the remote control and the speaker. The Bluetooth connection, on the other hand, is less susceptible to interference: Even if the playback device is in the next room, there are no dropouts. Thus, there should never be problems with Bluetooth playback in practice.
Edifier’s R1700BT presents itself well in terms of sound: No matter whether analog or via Bluetooth, the speakers don’t allow any dropouts from the bass to the treble. Of course, you shouldn’t expect any miracles: For considerably more money, there are speakers that let you hear much finer details. However, the performance is definitely appropriate for consumer speakers and the target price range. The R1700BTs deliver a quite detailed and spatial sound. Playing games, watching movies or listening to music is fun, instruments can usually be distinguished well from each other and the speakers’ precise bass is also convincing. The R1700BT is only less suitable for low bass fans: The bass only really kicks in from around 50 Hertz. Thus, explosions, for example, come across less powerful than they could.
With the R1700BT, Edifier has well-done bookshelf speakers on offer. For their price of € 154.99 * [review time: 130 euros, RRP: 170 euros], the speakers make quite a statement both visually and haptically, and the build quality of the speakers is also good. Moreover, the speakers are sufficiently flexible for most applications with a Bluetooth option and two analog inputs.
The R1700BTs also do well in terms of sound: The sound is lively and quite detailed for the price range. We also like the very precise bass, even if the speakers unfortunately cannot deliver a real deep bass. Fans of particularly deep bass, or simply of bombastic explosions, might therefore be more satisfied with a 2.1 set in this price range.
For everyone else, the rating of the R1700BT might mainly depend on the price, because it varies a lot. A look at common price comparisons shows that the speakers were often available for 130 Euros in the last few months, and occasionally even slipped to 100 Euros. For this money, the R1700BT do very well in our eyes, and thus it is just enough for a Gold Award in the end.