On the down side, they’re pretty much restricted to iPod and iPhone devices – so if you have different branded phones or MP3 players, they’re a bit limiting.
And if your existing docks were made for for the older i Device connector rather than the new ‘Lightning’ connector, you might be wanting to try something a little different and more flexible this time.
This is where Bluetooth speakers come in.
Not the sort of speakers you’ll want to hide away
Developed for those of us who want a great looking pair of speakers, good quality sound, and the flexibility to run any device through them, the Spinnakers look tempting from the outset. The price is going to be a sticking point for many, so how they perform is even more important.
First off, the speakers came in a good quality box so the initial impressions certainly matched our hopes. Removing the speakers from the box only enhanced this. The height of the speakers, at 413mm, was bigger than we expected and they looked much more impressive in the flesh than in the pictures.
The overall weight at just over 2 Kg each was pleasing too and the base remained firmly planted to the surface throughout the test – they aren’t likely to get knocked over easily.
The details make the difference
It’s the details though that sets off the Spinnakers – little things such as the small green LED at the very top of the control speaker really enhances their quality and adds to their interesting looks.
The quality of the fabric that covers the entire visible surface of the speakers was also very good quality, although they will require a careful vacuum every now and then to keep them looking their best.
Underneath the right side speaker is where we have all the connections, and this is somewhere the Spinnakers’ are particularly strong. As well as the main power cable, there is the cable that connects to the left speaker, an optical connection, and and auxiliary port meaning you could connect to pretty much any device you wanted – your television, DVD or Blu-ray player for example. There is also a subwoofer output if you need a little more bass.
We were most interested in their Bluetooth capabilities though. Connecting our Android smartphone was simplicity in the extreme, and we were playing music off the devices, and through the phone from our NAS in no time. Connecting the iPad was a similar story, so you’re not likely to face any problems here.
How do the Spinnaker’s sound?
The sound was crisp and natural with a subtle bass that never interfered. In fact every type of music we put through the speakers was handled with aplomb and in a un-fussed manner.
However, when we drove higher volumes through them we noticed a subtle change in the dynamics. At higher volumes the bass got more pronounced that it had done before, and it was certainly surprising how much these relatively small speakers chucked out. This was definitely welcome and our respect for them grew as a result. They went from a nice set of speakers for every day use, to a set you could use when you want the audio to more dynamic such as parties, or for movies.
We’ll finish our review with a small mention to the volume control that comes with the Spinnakers. The dome shaped wireless controller finished in aluminium is a masterstroke in design and takes the speakers to a whole new level in our opinion. Simply turn the knob to adjust volume and press down to pause, play and skip tracks – easy and intuitive. It’s re-chargeable too.
What to consider…
There are two pretty obvious and potentially major sticking points with the Spinnakers: looks and price.
Looks are completely subjective of course and a very unscientific survey amongst friends and colleagues told us that more people like the looks, than don’t. Of course whether you can live with them is up to you, but for whats it’s worth, we like them.
The second point is a bit more black and white – these are expensive speakers. They are most definitely a premium product, and the sound is worth paying for – whether you can quite stomach the £329 RRP is another matter.
Why you should buy the Edifier Spinnaker Bluetooth Speakers
With Apple recently changing the docking connector on their new devices to the ‘Lightning’ connector, there are going to be a lot of docking stations around that won’t be compatible, and while £25 adapters are available, people are very likely to look for an alternative solution. What we like about Bluetooth speakers is the degree of device independence they give you. The Spinnakers take this to the next level by giving you a little bit more too.
Arguably nicer looking than any dock we’ve seen, and with a sonic performance that almost justifies their cost, they are certainly one of the very best on the market at this time. We can certainly recommend them, and if you take a deep breath and just hit the ‘buy’ button, we doubt it’s a purchase you’ll regret later.