The Edifier R1700BT and I started off as a little challenge given to me by a guy over at Inter-Asia. They know I’ve been using the Edifier C3 for years, and that guy wants me to replace my personal unit of the Edifier C3.
Alright – here’s the deal. I’ve been using my Edifier C3 for about 9 or 10 years now. I can’t remember the exact number of years, but yes, it’s old and has been obsolete since many years ago. Actually, I love the Edifier C3 a lot, though the flat sound signature sucks. I had to tune the bass and treble on the amplifier (which doesn’t save my settings each time I power it off) to get the sweet sound signature that I loved for nearly a decade.
So, knowing this premise, the Edifier R1700BT has a pretty big role to fill. How does it fare against my personal ears? Is it worthy to even be placed near to the Edifier C3?
Unboxing the Edifier R1700BT
It’s a rather simple box, really. Minimalist design and have its important features highlighted at the top left corner of the box itself.
Opening up the box shows another story. One flap itself tells us what’s inside the box, and the other flap tells us what input method the Edifier R1700BT supports. Also, how to wire up the Edifier R1700BT – if you choose to use it with a 3.5mm audio jack.
The contents in the Edifier R1700BT itself is rather minimal too. There’s a 5-button remote control, a total of 2 sets of audio jacks – one is an RCA-to-RCA cable, whereas the other one is an RCA-to-3.5mm jack cable. Then, there are a few documentations nicely packed in the plastic pouch, a large, thick, heavy, and long proprietary cable, and the Edifier R1700BT speakers themselves.
I think in this case, the only biggest complaint I have regarding the Edifier R1700BT is the proprietary cable. As the name suggests, it’s a proprietary piece of cable. Secondly, this cable is thick and long – and that’s what she said!
However, the including both the RCA cables is something that I appreciate a lot.
By the looks of it, the Edifier R1700BT has a pretty classical design for a speaker. It has an angle, which is nice. At least now sound produced from the speakers will be aimed towards my ears instead of my chest.
As Edifier highlighted, the R1700BT is made out of a wooden enclosure. And yes it is and even the dark wood is shown at both its sides too. The Edifier R1700BT has a beautiful classic design, in my opinion.
Near the bottom part is where an angled facet is located. This subtle design actually does spice up the aesthetics by a bit.
Taking a look around the entire Edifier R1700BT itself, it’s a rather simple design with a few geometrical tweaks to spice things up.
This is a rather simple speaker in terms of features. There are 3 different methods to connect to the speaker – two of them are RCA cables but through different channels, and another one is through Bluetooth connectivity. Hence, the “BT” moniker in the Edifier R1700BT name.
As for all of the controls, it’s pretty minimalist. There are 3 knobs and a LED on the right side of the right satellite. The first knob is for treble, the second one is for bass, and the third one is for the master volume level. That LED beneath those knobs has two colors – yellow, and blue.
The controller is simple. There are only a total of 5 buttons, which are to control the volumes, mute, toggle Bluetooth input or line-in as the source. That’s it.
Now, the Edifier R1700BT has the same Bluetooth limitation on the Edifier XM6BT that we’ve reviewed here. Once it is connected to Device A, you’ll have to explicitly disconnect the Edifier R1700BT using Device A before you can connect it to another device via Bluetooth. Of course, it’s an issue exclusively for those who wants multi-device connection. First world problems, am I right?
Is it a dealbreaker? No, not at all. This is obviously a problem that I don’t think many people will face, unless you’re constantly reviewing multiple devices like I have.
Using the Edifier R1700BT
First of all, thanks to the form factor, everything can be placed and set up pretty easily. Just position the two satellites on where you want to put it, and make sure the channels are correct, then connect all the cables and you’re done. Turn the little switch at the back and the LED turns yellow.
Cable managing the proprietary cable is a tough feat to pull off. No joke – that cable is thick and rather lengthy. To coil them up is actually quite difficult.
I first used the Edifier R1700BT with zero tuning done to the bass and treble. It sounded okay. Better than the Edifier C3’s flat sound signature, that’s for sure.
To be honest, I don’t expect the Edifier R1700BT to even come close to the C3’s performance at all, because the C3 has a separate amplifier and another dedicated 8-inch subwoofer – effectively a 2.1 speaker. The Edifier R1700BT is a 2.0 speaker – but a very powerful one, and obviously not to be looked down.
Now, knowing the difference in the form factors, they both obviously have their own advantages. The Edifier C3 has a much better bass potential, but loses out in the sparkly bass department. But the Edifier R1700BT isn’t far off either.
Of course, this leads us to the sound quality test. As the Edifier R1700BT is placed against my lovely Edifier C3, I tried hard.
By its default sound signature with zero tuning done, it’s actually pretty good. I enjoyed some bassy tunes like The Salmon Dance by The Chemical Brothers and also Kali 47 by Savant. The Edifier R1700BT managed to create a rather pleasing amount of bass. Once I tuned the frequency response to give a little more emphasis on the bass and treble, the Edifier R1700BT can actually output a surprising amount of bass!
Listening to my usual list of test songs yielded some good results. Adventure Time by Rogue was actually a surprising experience! The mids and highs were actually decent, and the bass is there. It doesn’t thump as hard as a 2.1 speaker does, but it’s definitely adequate to enjoy.
Then comes the second song – The Very Thought Of You by the BBC Big Band. The saxophone sound, in particular, was very enjoyable. Bass and treble sounded great, mids sound great too!
The Edifier R1700BT has a much better treble, but a more “realistic” bass, in my opinion. I have to admit that although the C3 can output extremely heavy bass, I never once opted for that much bass but the Edifier R1700BT can output an appropriate amount of bass, although there is not much headroom for further expansion of bass. It’s a personal preference thing so your mileage will vary.
This is also the first time that I’ve experience stereo bass and not from a single subwoofer from a corner under the table. It might not be significant for some, but it might help your gaming experience.
Wrapping up the Edifier R1700BT review
I have to clarify something. Comparing the Edifier R1700BT with the Edifier C3 is not really fair to begin with. One is a 2.0 bookshelf speaker where the two satellite speakers and some cables are the only things required for the speakers to work. The other one is a 2.1 speaker, where it requires an amp, a subwoofer, and two satellites to get it working.
In some ways, I can confidently say that the Edifier R1700BT can match the C3 if it is to be used as a desktop bookshelf speaker and not for parties. At a more comfortable and realistic listening day-to-day usage scenario, the Edifier R1700BT is actually a very good option for a speaker that is relatively small and compact for the quality of sounds that it outputs. Though, I do wish that there are more headroom to adjust the treble to go higher.
Overall, the Edifier R1700BT gets a glorious thumbs up from me, and I can definitely say that the Edifier R1700BT is definitely a fantastic set of speakers. Also, this set of bookshelf speaker made me experience something that I would’ve never thought of before – stereo bass.
For the price of RM409, it’s even priced lower than my lovely Edifier C3 when I got it over nearly a decade ago, yet they both are able to compete with each other. Now you see just how far has technology advanced?