Audio setups for home entertainment are getting more complex these days, with so many options: Should you get a soundbar? Should you get speakers? What’s best for music, and what’s best for TV?
The S2000MKIII Bookshelf Speakers from Edifier manage to keep things simple: they’re a pair of very powerful (and very heavy) active speakers, that will serve audiophiles well with their rich sound and deep bass, but also do an excellent job as a soundbar replacement for your TV, thanks to their abundance of ports and connectors, including aptX HD via Bluetooth (no HDMI, though).
That being said – they’re built for music first and TV later – so you’ll have to decide what your priorities are. To help you with that decision, let’s take a closer look at all their features in this in-depth review.
Quick Look – Edifier S2000MKIII Speakers
What is it: Powered bookshelf speakers with Hi-Res Bluetooth support and a multitude of connection ports.
Value for Money
- Clear, powerful sound with very beefy bass
- A lot of connection options (including Bluetooth)
- Hi-Res audio
- Impressive design
- No advanced surround technologies (PCM Only)
- Can’t control Bass/Treble from the remote
- Quite heavy
Features and Specs
- Size: 198 x 276 x 342mm (WxHxD)
- Weight: 17.1kg (Each)
- Drivers: 5.5″ Woofers, Planar Diaphragm Tweeter
- Frequency Response: 45Hz~40KHz
- Audio Formats: None (PCM)
- Ports: Optical, Coaxial, 2 RCA Line-Ins
- Wireless: Bluetooth (Hi-Res)
- Extra Features: Remote control / Four EQ modes: Monitor, Dynamic, Classical, Vocal / LCD Status display
These speakers are big and heavy, but they look good and sound even better than they look. At this price, you get surprisingly good audio quality – especially when you’re listening to music. They do a good job with TV shows and films as well – but that’s not their speciality, and it shows.
Table of Contents
Who Are The Edifier S2000MKIII Speakers For?
With soundbars becoming so popular in recent years, traditional speakers seem to have taken a step back – at least for living rooms and home entertainment setups.
Many soundbars, however, are great with films and TV shows – and mediocre with music. They’re good for explosions and bullets and talking actors – but not so much for audiophiles who want to sit for hours and just listen to music.
Edifier, a Chinese company that’s been manufacturing audio products for years – is bringing bookshelf speakers back to the forefront with the S2000MKIII pair, in a way that will satisfy music lovers, while also catering – at least partially – to home entertainment enthusiasts.
With terrific, balanced sound and meaty bass – these will do a lot of justice for whatever type of music you throw at them. But with their Optical and Coaxial ports, you can also easily connect them to your TV or streaming device – and they will happily fill your living room with the sound of films and shows.
As for the pricing, they’re not particularly cheap, but give you a lot for your money. While it wouldn’t be fair to compare them to speakers that cost twice as much (or triple) – they still hold their own admirably.
All in all, these are speakers for people who put their music listening at Number 1, and their TV watching at number 2 – while still giving you the “bonus” of not having to buy a separate soundbar, and still sounding much better than your average TV’s built-in speakers.
Using The S2000MKIII Speakers
The first thing you’ll notice about this pair is that they’re pretty – with a combination of wood and plastic, they have a very traditional old-school look, and would complement most living rooms.
The second thing you’ll notice is that the speakers are big, and… heavy. 17.1kg heavy. That’s something you should keep in mind, especially if you’re planning to position them next to your TV – as you’ll need a lot of space, and a TV cabinet that can hold the TV AND the speakers, in terms of the combined weight.
In the box, you get several types of audio cables – an Optical cable, RCA cable and a Digital Coaxial cable – so you have a lot of flexibility with how to connect them to your equipment.
There’s also a long, thick cable that connects the right speaker to the left one (only one of them needs to connect to the power socket), and a remote control (with included batteries).
The power cable is built into the speaker, and you can’t disconnect it or replace it – so you need to be extra careful not to damage it.
The ports on the back match the supplied cables – Optical is usually best if you’re planning to connect the speakers to a TV, but you also get two RCA Line-Ins and one Digital Coaxial input.
You can certainly connect several devices at the same time, using the different ports – so you can connect the TV with Optical, for example, and a CD Player via one of the line-ins. You then easily switch between these ports using the remote.
The back of the right speaker also hides three dials – the Master Volume, Bass level and Treble level.
And finally, the speakers also support Bluetooth 5, so you can easily pair them with your phone or with a laptop, and stream music directly to them (and with Qualcomm aptX HD support, you can stream High-Res music from supported devices and music streaming services).
As you’ll notice, there’s no HDMI port – so make sure your TV has an Optical port if you plan to connect it to the speakers. No HDMI also means no ARC – so you can’t have your TV’s remote turn the speakers on and off along with the TV.
On the bottom front of the right speaker, you’ll also find a small LCD status display – it shows you the currently selected input, volume levels, etc. – it’s bright, and quite easy to see, even in heavily lighted rooms.
I really liked the design of the remote – it’s quite stylish, while also being easy to use, even in the dark (as the buttons are easy to find).
The remote includes direct buttons for switching between the various inputs, volume controls, and player controls, for when you play music from an app via Bluetooth.
Plus, there are four buttons that let you switch between the four EQ presets.
My one disappointment with the remote is that you can’t control the bass and treble levels.
I know that dedicated audiophiles usually set the bass and treble levels to their liking, once, never to touch them again – but for home entertainment use, and especially when you’re watching TV at night or in the early hours of the morning – it would have been useful to have some more control on the remote.
Instead, I found myself having to get up from my sofa at 6am, to turn the physical bass dial, when the bass levels from Squid Game were about to wake my neighbours up. First world problems, I know…
S2000MKIII Sound Quality
As I repeatedly mention, these speakers are first and foremost intended for music – and I’m happy to say they excel in that department.
The soundscape is expansive and airy, and the speakers fill the room with clean sound and strong bass (you can lower the bass levels, of course – but why would anyone want less bass, I say!).
To give the speakers a run for their money, I invoked our in-house musician, Stav Drieman, to have a listen.
Having just watched Doctor Who: Flux, he started with Raleigh Ritchie‘s Werld Is Mine. “The speakers sound great with this drum n bass production. The bass is beefy to the point where you might wanna dial it down a notch.
“Vocals are crystal clear with crisp drums and terrific separation between frequencies. When bringing the volume up there was little to no distortion, and the listening experience was very enjoyable
“All together modern productions would pop out in a realistic layered manner, complementing both intimate and explosive moments.”
Moving on to something a bit more cinematic, we continued with Dave Grusin‘s piece from The Goonies soundtrack – Fratelli Chase.
“This action cue from is not only a masterclass in cinematic orchestration, but also a great example of how high-quality speakers can make a terrific recording sound even better.
“The rhythm section is carrying the pulsating beat beautifully from its piercing kick to the gentle metal percussion. The string orchestra is clear and lush, bringing that familiar 80s adventure sound.
“And when the brass section kicks in the excitement level is at a 100. You can really rediscover your favourite soundtracks with this pair of speakers.”
Next, my job was to test the S2000MKIII’s capabilities where it comes to TV watching. Having used them for almost two weeks, they’re certainly an adequate replacement for a soundbar.
There are no advanced audio codecs here – no Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos or Dolby-Anything, so you’ll have to send uncompressed PCM sound from your TV or streaming device.
With that in mind, you won’t get any “virtual surround” effects. Instead, these speakers throw power and volume at you. Having watched Spider-Man: Far From Home, there was very little nuance to the sound, with music, effects and speech all smashed together into one big sphere of sound around me.
It works – the volume and power levels make it exciting and the sound does fill the room – it just veers more towards (sound) muscle than brains.
Where they under-perform a bit is when you lower the volume – when you’re watching late a night, for example. With their extra-power no longer in play, sound aspects of TV sound get lost – speech, for example, is hard to follow at the lower volume levels, because it’s not separated or emphasized enough.
The remote does let you switch between four EQ presets – Monitor, Dynamic, Classical and Vocal – but these were more effective with music than with TV content.
Bottom Line: Are The S2000MKIII Speakers Worth It?
The main question you need to ask yourself is whether your top priority is music or TV watching.
For music – these are truly excellent speakers, especially at this price level. They reminded me of the days of yore, when instead of tiny soundbars or compact surround speakers, we had huge hi-fi beasts that knew what to do with musical pieces.
If you listen to a lot of music – whether via your phone or with dedicated players – you will truly enjoy these.
Just remember that their performance when connected to a TV is almost a “bonus” – they’ll give you A LOT of power and volume for your pound, but won’t go the full mile as a dedicated home entertainment Dolby Atmos soundbar does.
Note: The speakers were supplied by the manufacturer for this review. As always, this did not influence my unbiased opinion of the product.