Since working from home over the pandemic, computer speakers have become a thing again for many, including me and instead of using headphones, I now use speakers when working from home as there is no one around to complain about my awesome choice of music. Edifier has a new’ish pair of computer speakers, the R33BT. Let’s take a look.
The Edifier R33BT are an active pair of computer speakers. Spec-wise, we’ve got connectivity via Bluetooth 5.0 or Aux-in. Frequency response of 70Hz to 20Khz, a noise level of <25dB(A) and a total output of 10watts, 5 per speaker. Each speaker has a 0.5” tweeter, plus a 3.5” bass driver.
Edifier has gone for a very subtle, simplistic appearance with these. MDF casing, black stain throughout, highlight the wood grain really nicely. A glossy plastic and mesh cover to each speaker, which can be removed. To the bottom of each speaker, four small rubber feet sit the speaker proud and help with vibration transfer etc. The right speaker is the master, with the built-in amplifier and includes the aux input, aux out to the left speaker and power on/off. The power cable is hard-wired into the right speaker and the aux link cable between the two is hard-wired into the left speaker. The length of that cable is about 2.5m. To the very top of the right speaker, three buttons. The central button is used for switching between the sources, with the left and right used for volume control only, it won’t change track and there is no remote control with these either. Size-wise, 116 wide by 160 high by 205 deep. They’re certainly compact, you can pick them up with one hand and for me, my monitors are on a desk arm and high enough from my desktop, that I can put them underneath, which looks pretty tidy.
Set up and using the speakers is dead simple, it’s just plug and play and the only thing that you really consider is positioning the speakers noting that 2.5m link cable. Choose either Bluetooth or aux in, connect to your smart device and hit play.
As for audio performance, based on the size, spec and price, I think they sound pretty good and they’re fit for purpose. Volume, plentiful, they can get more than loud enough to fill your home office with music. Listening to something a little bass-heavy, some classic UK garage, the bass is lacking in a big way and the 3.5″ drivers just don’t have enough punch at the higher volumes to keep up with the mids and highs. Turn the volume down a little, low to mid-volume and that lack of bass isn’t as apparent, and it’s actually quite an enjoyable experience.
Listening to music, I used the Bluetooth feature but these are of course PC speakers, so I plugged them directly into my motherboard on my PC, played some games and watched some content on various streaming services. A similar experience with the music, video content was good, watching YouTube videos or a movie on Netflix, the dialogue was clear, background effects, all good. Same with games, although I would have liked a little more oomph when something would explode while I was playing the Battlefield 2042 beta. Would I use these for gaming, no, not unless it was a game of Age of Empires or similar. Playing a first-person shooter, you need that spatial awareness to hear your enemies coming, which isn’t that accurate with PC speakers. No-fault of Edifiers, headsets are just better than PC speakers in this instance.
All things considered, the R33BT is a worthy choice for a set of PC speakers. If you wanted something a bit more serious, something with a better musical audio experience, Edifier has a number of active bookshelf speakers that if you have the space, would look and sound better on your desk. Not too long ago, we tried out the Airpulse A80’s, from Edifier and they were superb, although a completely different ball game in terms of spec and price.
I like the size, great for a desk, I like the subtle appearance, with the grille off, I’m not a grille fan generally. Bluetooth and aux in should be enough, at this price you cant expect optical in or HDMI Arc. Controls work fine and audio performance is good at low to mid volumes for PC content and background music.
The R33BT’s currently retail for £69.99 and are available at online retailers like Amazon. For more info, head over to the official Edifier website.