What We Like
- A simple, geometric design that looks more interesting than most at this price.
- Audio is solid, and the bass response is particularly enjoyable.
What We Don’t Like
- Sub-bass is non existent.
- Bluetooth doesn’t work as well as it ought to do.
Established in 1996 in Beijing, Edifier has come a long way in a short amount of time. Today, they are operating in over 70 countries and produce 8 million units a year. Let’s explore how their entry-level studio monitor performs.
The R1010BT sports a pretty standard, classic design which is essentially what you can expect from the overwhelming majority of studio monitors. Available in two finishes—black or brown—, the cabinet does a good job of blending into whichever room or setting you choose for it. It is a largely unobtrusive design which is unlikely to draw too much attention to itself in the looks department.
The build quality is good. The speakers feel sufficiently solid and robust, and have more weight to them than you would expect given their compact form factor. The main bit of visual flair is the yellow ceramic cone woofer which does a nice job of contrasting with the dark cabinet finish to add to the overall aesthetic.
Volume controls and bass levels are located on the back of the speakers. Some people dislike this placement, but it doesn’t feel like too much of a problem. An LED status light on the right speaker indicates whether the unit is in Bluetooth or wired mode.
Like most studio monitors at this price range point, you will not find a whole host of extra features included alongside the basic audio capabilities. But what you do get is decent. Dual integrated line-in jacks allow connection to analog audio devices to connect to the R1010BTs. Two plastic dials (which, it should be pointed out, feel the least well made of any aspect of the overall device) control Bass and Volume/Input. This gives you ample control over the playback.
As the BT in their name would suggest, the R1010BTs do offer Bluetooth playback. You can connect up to two Bluetooth devices at the same time, and this is certainly a useful feature to have when it comes to taking care of streaming needs. It’s also fairly unusual to see Bluetooth support at this price point, so Edifier have done well to differentiate this model from the immediate competition. If streaming is important to you, that should be enough to make the sub-$100 category an easy one for you to decide between in terms of purchasing options.
Given their size and price, the R1010BTs perform well across the board. We found that removing the covers added something to the overall resolution of the sound, so this is a recommended action before you begin listening. The use of active drivers means that the sound remains rich and full-bodied even when playback is at a pretty low volume level. This makes them quite versatile little speakers, and allows you to listen to them quietly without losing out on too much quality.
The low-end of the speakers is warm and enjoyable, and outshines the comparatively less noteworthy performance of the mids and highs. That said, there is almost nothing in the way of a sub-bass response as you would expect from a speaker of this size. The bass itself is solid, if a little booming at times, and provides a mostly accurate, enjoyable response across a wide variety of tracks.
Bluetooth worked moderately well, although the range left something to be desired. We did experience some latency during playback which, while not a deal breaker, means that you wouldn’t necessarily want to pick up a pair of these if Bluetooth was your primary use case.
For what they are, the R1010BTs do a great job of combining solid audio response with an adequate feature list. Topped off by a design that is attractive enough, though hardly revolutionary, these are a good choice for an entry-level consumer.