Edifier’s first “smart” speaker, the MS50A, isn’t as smart as all that — and that’s a good thing. While you can control it using Siri or Amazon Alexa on the devices you connect to it, it doesn’t have a mic of its own. That means it’s not “listening” to you perpetually in the way that voice–controlled speakers like the Sonos One are, so helping keep your interactions with it just that bit more private. Read our Edifier MS50A Review.ROB MEAD-GREEN
What you get instead is a stylish bookshelf speaker with touch–sensitive controls on its matt black top and real wood wrap–around veneers, plus built–in Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi, and AirPlay 2 — making it easy to connect and use solo, as as a stereo pair, or part of a multi–room system. It doesn’t, however, come with any other audio inputs, so no aux or RCA phono or USB. This is a strictly wireless affair.
Sound is provided by a single 19mm soft dome tweeter and a 102mm mid–bass driver with a power output rating of 15W (tweeter) and 25W (mid–bass) while the frequency response is 52Hz–18kHz. You don’t get a full–on deep bass (20Hz) experience, but that’s not unexpected in a bookshelf speaker of its size (5.73×5.73×8.32 inches).
The reason for the heightened security is the lack of a microphone, so you don’t have to worry about the speaker constantly listening in. Of course, this also means that you can’t activate the speaker with your voice – which will undoubtedly go against the grain for some.
Set up is easy. Plug the MS50A in, put it into pairing mode, then use the free Edifier Home app to connect it however you wish. Once paired, we had no problems connecting the speaker via AirPlay from Apple Music on Mac, iPhone or iPad and the speaker supports other streaming services such as Spotify Tidal and TuneIn too. And on Bluetooth, it worked seamlessly with no evidence of dropouts or stuttering.
The MS50A, which stands at just over eight inches in height, features a 19mm silk dome tweeter and a four-inch wool diaphragm woofer, with a combined mid-bass and treble output of 40W. The sound quality is excellent and the way the volume level gradually builds when you start streaming is a really nice touch.
Aside from the convenience of voice control, there certainly doesn’t seem to be much lacking in Edifier’s maiden smart speaker – it’s an affordable beefcake.
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Should not buy anything from AudioAffair.
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“Security is assured by the lack of a mic – so you don’t have to worry about it listening in”
When it comes to sound quality, the Edifier MS50A is loud and proud with a slightly in–your–face presentation that serves up lashings of reasonably deep bass and a clear, ringing treble, but you wouldn’t exactly call it subtle — it’ll happily sit there playing driving rock and dance, but it’s a bit less accomplished with jazz and classical.
Notably, there are no on–device controls to help shape the sound and the barebones Edifier Home app doesn’t have any either, so to tweak the sound you’ll either need to head to Settings > Music > EQ on iOS/iPadOS or Music > Window > Equalizer on Mac. Having said that, the Edifier MS50A is a lot of fun to have around and, of course, it can also double as a speaker for an Apple TV — adding serious sonic weight to movie soundtracks and dialog. It’s a great–sounding wireless speaker for the money — and one less device to worry about as far as your privacy is concerned.
Features 19mm silk dome tweeter, 102mm mid–bass driver, 40W power output, 52Hz–18kHz frequency response, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz), AirPlay 2 compatible, Tidal HiFi, TuneIn, Spotify and Alexa support; 5.73×5.73×8.32 inches, 4.98 lbs
THE BOTTOM LINE
It sounds solid and full-bodied, covers all of the modern wireless connectivity options and doesn’t look unpleasant. Edifier’s MS50A must therefore be considered something of a triumph.
Best Edifier MS50A prices in the US ?
Best Edifier MS50A prices in the UK ?
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