Edifier QD35 Bluetooth Speaker review: So close to greatness
If you’re looking for a brand new speaker to fill your home with sound, then you’ve likely already heard about the run-of-the-mill offerings from the likes of Google, Amazon, and SONOS. While each offers its own unique functionality, whether it be smart home capabilities or impressively high audio quality, they’re all decidedly utilitarian in their appearance.
Most other audio equipment manufacturers opt for homely materials in their designs, blending in with the furniture you might find around a suburban household. However, it’s rare that we see a speaker that could be considered as a statement piece, even less so one that could be targeted at gamers.
That’s where the Edifier QD35 Bluetooth speaker comes into play. Bombastic and unapologetic in its design, this speaker has the potential to light up a room with not just sound waves, but photons too. Keep reading to find out if the sound quality and feature set of this speaker live up to its appearance.
There are a few areas that, if addressed, would push version two of this product into the instant recommendation box. However, as this speaker stands, it’s a purchase that requires a bit of consideration beforehand, especially with that hefty £189.99 price tag.
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way - if you purchase this speaker for your own home setup, it will be just that. The Edifier QD35 can't help but catch the eye of the beholder as soon as they walk into a room with its two LED light strips reflecting across its chrome interior.
The speaker is built around two front-facing speakers, a 3” mid-bass driver and a 1” tweeter, all of which sit in a plastic case with a transparent shroud to the front of the device. Through that front panel, a chrome faceplate sporting an industrial design refracts and reflects the RGB lights across the entire front of the unit.
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Below the speakers is also a digital clock that displays the seconds in addition to control options for the input mode and lighting controls. There’s also some heavy Edifier branding to the right of the unit, which lights up when the speaker is turned on.
The design of this speaker is likely to be very controversial. While it fits in extremely well within a gaming setup that sports tons of RGB, it’s highly unlikely to fit in with a cosy, homely setting. The environment that this speaker will live in it’s definitely something to keep in mind.
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Knocks your socks off
While the design of the speaker is likely to be divisive, you’d be hard to deny that the Edifier QD35 sounds incredible. Featuring LDAC playback via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm connection, this speaker is able to fill a room with sound that’s punchy and fulfilling.
My testing included a variety of music, ranging from heavier rock styles to the lo-fi beats that usually envelop my office during the workday. Whatever I decided to play through the speaker sounded incredible, especially at higher volumes. While other speakers can suffer from distortion, cranking this bad boy proved an easy feat.
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Function over form
Of course, speakers are primarily purchased for their sound quality. However, it’s the overall functionality of the Edifier QD35 that impressed me the most.
A pair of USB A and C ports are situated on the left-hand side of the device, making charging my wireless devices a breeze while sitting at my desk. In addition, the digital clock that shows the seconds tick by is an underrated lifesaver for a journalist whose work benefits from knowing the time down to a tee.
Overall, the Edifier QD35 is just a dream to use, too. Two physical knobs on the right flank of the device control both volume and lighting brightness manually, so there’s no need to dig into software if you don’t want to.
That said, the software is incredibly easy to use as well. There aren’t too many lighting options to pick from, but there’s something suitable enough for you and plenty of colour choices. Easy-to-use EQ settings let you customise your listening pattern exactly to your liking, making the Edifier QD35 an excellent choice if you’re picky about audio.
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Conflict of interest
This speaker’s biggest downfall isn’t due to any of its specific features, but rather all of them paired together. The extreme level of functionality this speaker offers lends itself well to being perched front and centre on a desk.
However, since the speaker only has drivers that emit sound from a single point, any sound it emits sounds extremely directional. This would be ok if it was sat on a shelf in the corner of the room, but that would make the charging ports and small office clock rather redundant. Especially given that there is no support for either Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or Apple Homekit, meaning voice assistants are off the menu.
It’s a minor gripe, as the sound that does come from the Edifier QD35 is ecstatic. However, given this speaker seems to appeal to the gaming crowd that might want to use it to play their favourite single-player or multiplayer games, it’s hard to recommend given the poor positional audio experience.
While the Edifier QD53 Bluetooth speaker has a couple of clashes in its overall design package, its supreme audio quality is undeniable. There are a few areas that, if addressed, would push version two of this product into the instant recommendation box. However, as this speaker stands, it’s a purchase that requires a bit of consideration beforehand, especially with that hefty £189.99 price tag.
Review unit provided by the manufacturer.