People that know me well know that I love gaming, music and playing my bass guitar. When I had the chance to try out the Edifier MR4 Studio Monitors I was ecstatic! While I have always been a bit dubious of quite how much bass small speakers can generate, I had high hopes that the MR4‘s would deliver.
Let The Beat Control Your Body
It’s time to open up the box and take a deep dive into the world of Edifier. How will they perform? How compatible are they? Are they value for money? Read on and find out!
At 288mm high, 140mm wide and 198mm deep, the MR4 studio monitors are a fairly decent size in comparison to some of the other desktop speakers I have navigated through. My desk isn’t the widest in the world, however, they certainly didn’t look out of place given that my Samsung 32″ monitor takes pride of place in the centre.
Constructed of MDF, the wooden cabinets are refreshing to acknowledge, given the number of speakers there are manufactured with plastic cases. Not that it is an issue when built correctly, however, there is something about wooden cabs that enriches the tone and lowers acoustic resonance that I love. I play in a function band and I am used to lugging large heavy wooden speakers around! Weighing in at 4.5kg for the pair, these two speakers are far from light-weights!
Each speaker houses a 4″ woofer that can achieve a low frequency of 60Hz as well as 1″ silk diaphragm tweeter that has a special coating to give you a smooth and natural treble. With an active right speaker that drives the passive left speaker via a good old trusty speaker wire, you have a tasty power output of 21W+21W RMS. As you can imagine, the MR4‘s are mains powered.
On the rear of the active speaker, there are left and right RCA sockets to connect your speakers to a PC using the included cable that converts to a 3.5mm stereo jack. Above them are 2 dials to control the low and high trim while below there are left and right 1/4″ balanced TRS mono jack inputs to allow connection to a mixer or console.
On the front of the active speaker is a 3.5mm stereo Headphone output as well as a stereo Aux input. A multi-functional knob turns the speakers on and off as well as controls volume and switching between monitor and music mode. There is no wireless connectivity to be had here.
One of the features of the MR4‘s is the ability to choose from either a studio or music mode at the touch of a button. In essence, this adjusts the sound output so that you can fine-tune audio if you were mixing a song.
I have been using the Edifier MR4 speakers for a few weeks now and for their size, I have been very much blown away. Out of the two sound modes, Music mode is certainly the one I found myself using the most due to my usage. Having been in the recording studio a few times I can appreciate the Monitor mode’s need to flatten the EQ to allow the work to be carried out on the mixer and give you the true representation of what you are producing.
With Music mode on, I couldn’t hold back the smile as I went to my go-to track of “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince and hit play. That intro as the bass rolls in after the record scratches. The MR4‘s had me grinning from ear to ear. The warmth of the bass and the clarity of the claps and vocals was simply beautiful. Florence + the Machine’s “Call me Cruella” was next. An epic song featuring crisp haunting vocals, low bass, punchy drums and a lovely progressive guitar rift. From a low volume to a loud one, there was no distortion to any frequency as the richness of the song filled my room.
Onto gaming next. The MR4‘s are more than capable of producing the clear sound that you require when playing. Online multiplayer games such as Rainbow Six Siege and Modern Warfare 2 require you to be able to pick out the footsteps of the enemy while also immersing you in the action through gunfire and explosions. The bass, middle and treble output of the speakers produced all of that with ease. The Hunter Call of the Wild sounded amazing when playing a session. The weather effects enveloped your body while the animal calls seemingly moved all around you, aiding tracking. If you were to shut your eyes you would be transported into the wilderness, surrounded by nature.
As mentioned earlier, I enjoy playing bass guitar in a function band. Thanks to my Behringer U-Phoria unit I can play my guitar on the PC, fantastic for recordings. While the MR4‘s are great to listen to the playback, I spend most of my time learning new songs, and that is where the Aux-in comes into play. With a short lead from the headphone socket out of the U-Phoria into the Aux-in of the MR4‘s I have a mini rig for practicing. Better still, when plugging into the Aux-in you can still play music from the PC, therefore, I can play a song from the PC and hear my Bass guitar at the same time. This simple setup has enhanced my sessions as I prefer to play through a speaker rather than headphones when I can. Thankfully my home has good acoustic insulation with my neighbours! The MR4‘s reflect the tone of my guitar beautifully without any distortion whatsoever, even on the low E note. Playing through a range of songs, styles and octaves each note was distinguishable and clear, helping me refine my playing and also detect those bum notes!
The Edifier MR4 monitor speakers retail at around £100 to £120 and to be honest I really feel that they are worth it. For the money, you are getting well-built wooden cabinet speakers that have enough tech in them to satisfy most audiophiles. For people like me that like to game, listen to music and also play music, they are amazing allrounders. The richness and clarity of the sound output ensure that you hear every minute detail of audio, helping you easily immerse yourself into the game or music as well as fine-tune your ear when making music.
I give the Edifier MR4 speakers the Thumb Culture Platinum Award.
Disclaimer: A sample was received in order to write this review.