Edifier Extreme Connect
Unlike Arctic and Luxa2, Edifier is a brand dedicated to audio. Let's see if the company's Extreme Connect can distinguish itself in the ultra-portable playing field.
Bundle And First Impression
Packed in an Apple-esque white plastic case with a clear plastic cover, Edifier's Extreme Connect includes an accessory bundle that closely mirrors its ultra-portable competition. You get a USB-to-micro-USB charging cable, a 3.5 mm male-to-male input cable, a carrying case, and a manual (not shown). Considering an even higher price range between $83 and $100 on Amazon, we're all the more let down that there's no AC charger in Edifier's kit.
At least the Extreme Connect feels sturdily built, with hard rubber top and bottom caps, and wrapped in a metal mesh grille. The black-on-black motif is simple and tasteful, though there are more interesting color options available (blue, red, yellow, and gray).
The system sports two 1.9" drivers and one 2" x 3.5" passive radiator. Those are the largest speakers of the three ultra-portables we're reviewing. At 2.4" x 6.4" x 1.7" and 1 lb (450 g), though, the Extreme Connect is still fairly diminutive.
Connectivity And Controls
Edifier's product really stands apart from its competition in a comparison of connectivity. Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and a 3.5 mm audio jack are merely par for the course. But the Extreme Connect also features a microSD slot for playing music from a memory card, and the microUSB jack doubles as a PC interface. That means you can hook the speaker up to a notebook and use it as an output device. You'll find a power switch over there as well, next to the other I/O.
Other controls are up on top of the speaker, etched into the rubber material that surrounds them. This low contrast, coupled with seemingly random placement, makes the buttons less clearly defined than we'd prefer. There are seven of them in total: select input, answer phone, previous track, next track, play/pause, volume up, and volume down.
Subjective Sound Analysis
Armed with the largest drivers in the ultra-portable category, the Extreme Connect has a flat frequency response. Bass is still minimal, but the output is still reasonably good. However, Luxa2's Groovy offers the richness that Edifier is missing. There's a more pressing issue, though. The Extreme Connect runs into a lot of distortion at high volume levels, so you need to be somewhat conservative to really enjoy the sound.
The built-in microphone does a decent job with phone calls, but it seems to muffle high frequencies. It's a little quieter than Arctic's S113BT, but louder than the Groovy.
Livability And Subjective Conclusion
Again, Edifier's Extreme Connect boasts a nice, flat frequency response. It also includes USB and microSD connectivity options you just can't get from any other Bluetooth-capable speaker in our round-up. Assuming you can find it at the lower end of our observed price range, you'll have a hard time choosing between this speaker and Luxa2's Groovy. Just remember that the Groovy doesn't have next/previous track controls or those unique input options.
|Edifier Extreme Connect|
|Power:||2 x 2 W RMS|
|Maximum Volume at 30 Inches:||77 dB Line-in77 dB Bluetooth|
|Speakers:||2 x 1.9", magnetically shielded1 x 2" x 3.5" passive radiator|
|Measured Outdoor Bluetooth Range:||9 meters|
|Inputs:||5 V, 0.5 A micro-USB charging port/PC input3.5 mm input jackmicroSD Card|
|Controls:||Input selector buttonPhone buttonPrevious track/folder buttonNext track/folder buttonVolume up buttonVolume down buttonPower switch|
|Battery:||Built-in Li-ion rechargable battery, 1400 mAh|
|Running Time at 46 dB(A), 20 inches:||Approximately 6 hours|
|Dimensions:||62 mm (2.4") height162 mm (6.4") width43 mm (1.7") depth|
|Weight:||450 g (1 lb)|
|Build Materials:||Upper and lower silicone shell, black painted perforated metal wrap|
|Available Colors:||Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, Grey|
|Accessories:||USB-to-micro-USB cable, 3.5 mm male-to-male cable, carrying case, manual|
|Bluetooth:||Bluetooth 2.1 + EDRA2DP (Audio sync-only)AVRCP (Remote control only)Hands-free (Built-in mic)|
|Microphone Sensitivity:||Not specified|
|Charging Time:||<3 hours|
|Amazon.com Price Range:||$83 to $100|