Tech News on G4

Edifier Spinnaker Bluetooth speakers offer horn of plenty

Sept 7, 2012

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada

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SpinnakerI’ve seen many speakers in my day, but none that remind me of shark fins, rhinoceros horns or hats worn by the Loyal Order of Water Buffalo in The Flintstones cartoon, until now.

Dubbed, “Spinnaker”, or Spinnaker E30 Powered Stereo Speaker System by Edifier to be more precise, reminds me of all three – depending on how you look at them. These towering, fashionable and avant-garde speakers are there to make a statement. They sail in at over 16” tall, 7.7” wide and 5.5” deep, you’d be hard pressed to miss them.

They are Bluetooth enabled, so you can wirelessly stream audio from your source like iPhone, iPod, smartphone, laptop or other compatible devices from line of sight up to 30 feet away. Alternately you get audio in via a standard 3.5mm Aux port or by fibre optical input and both of those cables are actually supplied.

Driving the Speakers

Under the hood, or fin, are 3 drivers: a 4" down-firing 25 watt sub, a 0.75” silk dome tweeter and a 2.75" midrange each front facing and with a capacity of 10W for a total output of 90W total RMS. It uses digital sound processing technology (DSP) with separate 6-channel digital crossover powered by 3 separate built-in amp modules located in the left speaker module.  For even more bass there is a provision to attach an external subwoofer. This is a nice touch.

Because it has its own built-in amps, you could adjust the volume from both your source and your speakers.

Spinnaker Set up

The set up was fairly straightforward but getting it set up just right took a little patience. To maintain its clean sleek design, all the ports are recessed on the underside of each speaker. The ports/connectors at the bottom of the active speaker include power, audio-in and subwoofer out. There are also ports to connect to the passive speaker as well as a connector for software updates. Each one a tight fit and is required to pass through the cable track so the bottom of the speaker stays completely flat.

Once they are all in place, you’re good to go and best they stay there for a while.

Since these are wireless speakers, what was really too bad is the need for a cable and a proprietary one to boot to connect to the passive speaker.  I think where you don't have an option to hide that cable it can detract slightly from its overall beauty. Furthermore, you are limited as to how far apart the 2 speakers can be, by the length of the cable.

Domed Remote

The Spinnaker comes with a truly unique multi-function remote control. It will allow you to connect, mute, and adjust the volume, change tracks and more with the button on the top and the body that turns from side to side.

You pair the speakers with your Bluetooth Device using the top button of the remote.

The speakers themselves run on AC, but the remote has a built-in lithium-ion battery that can be recharged through the dome’s micro-USB port with the supplied cable that you can attach to your computer or wall adaptor.

In lieu of an LED, there is a red indicator light which glows around the lower circumference of the remote which will either flash when the remote is in use; glow in and out while charging and turn itself off when completed, which should take about 2 hours.

Sounds spectacular

I was truly impressed with the quality of the sound; playing music from Chris de Burgh, The Rolling Stones and The Who to ELO’s Roll Over Beethoven and Beethoven’s 9th itself. I also pumped up the jam with a little dance music and even a little comedic spoken word. The tri-amped system made for crisp clean sound. I did notice that with the down-firing subs sitting on my coffee table, cranking up some Coldplay, would actually cause it along with some of “stuff” to actually rattle, so I guess one would need to consider placement before cranking up the tunes.

Spinnaker Bottom Line

Overall, the Edifier Spinnaker E30 Bluetooth Sound System is certainly one incredible piece of industrial design. Some might even consider it art, or both. Either way they would certainly be a great conversation piece for anyone who wonders what they are.

Not only do they look good they sound great; and the Bluetooth connectivity makes it a cinch to switch from earbuds to streaming audio from your iPod and optical audio in option allows you to enhance the sound experience from your gaming console. The ability to add a subwoofer gives you that much more capacity.

The funky remote takes a little getting used to – I’m still trying to do it all with one hand, but once you master it you’ll be fine. You’ll just need to remember to charge it.

My only little bone to pick is with the speaker-to-speaker cable. First, it would have been nice if they could have been able to wirelessly connect to the passive one. Of course I understand the complexity of this, but it would have been nice. Second, the cable is proprietary, so if you lose it or misplace it, you can’t jump over your local shop and pick one up. Finally, it’s too short, especially if you really want to separate them.

Now this last item might be a plus or a minus depending on whether or not you’re an audiophile - and that’s the price.  They retail for $349.99. Now for an audiophile and if you consider these Art, this is a bargain. But if you compare it to a simple set of average consumer grade computer speakers, they might seem a little pricey and are likely not for you. Being impressed with the overall package, I tend to lean towards the former.

The Spinnaker Edifier E-30 is available in Black or Burgundy and can be purchased directly through their online shop as well as on-line at Newegg.ca, Amazon and Apple Canada’s on-line store although they currently show as unavailable).

On a final note, I performed a quick Google search and I discovered that a spinnaker is actually a three-cornered sail. Looking closely, I can see that but I also call ‘em as I see ‘em!

RATING: 4/5

Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy "at" telus "dot" net , GadgetGreg.com , or on Twitter @GadgetGreg

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