The Esiena is Edifiers take on the popular all in one home audio system – on which the music on your iPods, iPads, Androids, and everything bluetooth can be played through. Edifier have not done anything particularly different, but most importantly, what they have done, they’ve done well.
Smart Style, and Expensive Looks
As we saw with the Spinnaker Bluetooth speakers a few months ago, Edifier sure know how to design and the Esiena system is no different. Almost everything about it oozes quality, from the subtle red glow on the top buttons, to the sharp edges along the glossy surfaces.
On the front of the system the two speakers sit either side of the glossy front panel which houses an informative and clear green dot matrix display. It’s a shame the display did not co-ordinate a little better with the red back-lighting of the buttons as the green was a little jarring overall and spoiled the smart looks a little.
The other thing that looks a little awkward is the flap that covers the iPod dock. It works well if you use the dock, but if you connect using Bluetooth or one of the other connection options it just doesn’t look flush enough. The system comes with a number of dock adapters should you need them but does not support the new Lightning connector.
Flexible and Capable
The rear of the system adds to the flexibility of the system with a USB socket, SD Card slot, Headphone input and a RCA Phono inputs. All of which will have their benefits in everyday use, but it’s the Bluetooth connectivity that really makes the system a winner. Connecting is easy, simply pair your phone or tablet with the device and enjoy!
If your pre-recorded music isn’t enough, the built in FM radio should provide what you need which is simple and quick to get set up, although it was a bit of a missed opportunity not to include a DAB radio too. The system can function as an alarm clock should you need it to.
The touch controls are all mounted on the top of the device and the jog dial works particularly well. There is also a small and light remote control supplied too – the kind that has sealed buttons so is useful if you use the Esiena in a kitchen for example.
Room filling power
Despite the size of the Esiena, it does kick out some impressive power especially when connected with an iPod dock. The quoted 30W (RMS) per channel is enough to fill most rooms and just gets up to neighbour bothering volume if you let it.
The Bluetooth connection did seem a little lacking in volume though, and when we turned our Android phone up to full volume to counter this, there was some noticeable distortion – this could have been our phone though.
The overall sound quality was impressive, with a decent powerful bass and nice controllable treble. Given the price of the device though we would have liked the audio quality to be a little higher, but we’re being picky and it’s going to be more than adequate for most people.
What to consider…
Whilst there is much to applaud, there are a couple of areas of concern.
Perhaps it was the benchmark set by the Spinnakers, but the Esiena’s sound quality didn’t quite reach the levels of quality we expected. That said though, there was nothing really wrong with the audio and for the price, we can’t really complain too much.
The other main downside is that owners of iPhone 5’s or those with the new Lightning connector will not be able to dock their devices without the buying an optional adapter.
Why you should buy the Edifier Esiena (IF360) System
What we liked most about the Esiena was its flexibility. With a good range of connection options, the system can play from a multitude of devices and coupled with the built in FM radio and alarm clock functions, it really is the jack of all trades, and definitely worth a further look.