The Edifier Stax Spirit S3 are a premium pair of wi-fi cans with an impressively hi-fi sound, Bluetooth efficiency and lengthy battery life, although the creaky design and plasticky controls cut back its ‘premium’ really feel.
- Articulate, clear, and detailed presentation
- Comfy to put on
- Lengthy battery life
- Glorious Bluetooth efficiency
- Creaky construct high quality
- Plasticky controls
- Not for bass-heads
Planar Magnetic driversFor extremely low distortion and wider dynamics
Snapdragon SoundHelps Qualcomm’s lossless audio platform
Multi-point BluetoothJoin to 2 units without delay
2022 was the 12 months of the flagship headphone. From Bowers & Wilkins to Sony, Sennheiser and Technics, it appeared all the massive manufacturers determined this was the time to launch their salvo on the premium wi-fi over-ear market.
And one product that was ignored on this sprint for headphone supremacy was Edifier’s Stax Spirit S3. The Stax Spirit S3 – S3 for brief – are a resurrection of the ‘legendary’ Japanese Stax model that Edifier acquired in 2012, a reputation that existed pre-World Warfare II, and a model that positioned an emphasis on high-quality audio replica with its merchandise.
With the introductions out of the best way, the S3 are up in opposition to a troublesome subject of competitors, however their fame suggests they received’t be cowed by their illustrious rivals.
- Construct high quality feels cheaper than price ticket
- Plasticky buttons
- Light-weight for planar magnetic headphones
It needs to be no shock that the Edifier Stax Spirit S3 seem like a pair of over-ear headphones, although they’re not essentially a trendy pair. Furthermore, construct high quality is less than the extent you’d anticipate with a £399 value at launch.
It’s using arduous plastic that offers the headphones a creaky high quality that’s noticeable when dealing with and sporting them. It’s under the usual of different cans at this value such because the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2. Give the headphones a jiggle they usually really feel a bit of cheaper than they need to.
Not less than the degrees of padding on each the earcups and underside of the scarf are beneficiant: delicate and pliable and appearing as a very good cushion for the headphones’ 329g weight (pretty light-weight for a headphone with planar magnetic drivers).
Black is the one color they arrive in, the Stax emblem engraved in gold on the earcups above a sample that provides some distinctiveness. The earpads are replaceable ought to they get broken, and slightly than make use of contact controls, the Edifier goes ‘old style’ with bodily buttons for playback and quantity management. Like the general construct high quality, these plasticky buttons don’t really feel as in the event that they belong on a premium pair of over-ears.
Regardless of that, the Edifier’s noise-isolating properties are served decently by the scale and depth of the earcups. Outdoors sounds nonetheless filter by way of to my ears, however on commutes (buses, trains and tube) the shortage of noise cancelling isn’t as missed as a lot as I believed it will. Nudge the quantity up a number of notches and the skin world turns into much less of a distraction.
Persevering with the old fashioned vibe is the existence of a 3.5mm jack for wired listening (plus a 6.3mm adapter) alongside a USB-C port for charging. The headphones are additionally collapsible for transportation within the arduous case and given the creakiness of the development, you would possibly wish to think about using it.
- AptX Adaptive
- Very lengthy battery life
- Multi-point Bluetooth assist
The Edifier Stax Spirit S3 bear no assist for Energetic Noise Cancellation or a Transparency mode, however the viewers courted right here is strictly audio purist.
Connectivity is Bluetooth model 5.2, with transmission of audio over Bluetooth by way of SBC, aptX, aptX-HD and aptX Adaptive. The aptX variants permit for increased high quality audio transmission with Android units (aptX-HD), in addition to a ‘stickier’ connection (Adaptive).
AAC, which iOS units use, is notable by omission however don’t take that to essentially imply audio high quality is worst served by solely having SBC for iPhones. The efficiency of the driving force can have extra of an influence on the sound than the codec utilised.
Bluetooth efficiency has been glorious, much like Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 and Px8. There have been few if any interruptions I can recall utilizing these headphones round London. Nothing appears to bother them on the connection entrance.
Multi-point Bluetooth can also be supported to be used with two units without delay, and the Spirit S3 additionally helps Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound platform, however a appropriate machine is required to profit from the audio high quality that platform can ship, and units are at present few (and particular to Android).
Battery life is a gigantic 80 hours. Repeated battery exams from an hour of Spotify streaming resulted in a lack of 2-3% at regular listening ranges, and 4% at louder volumes. Count on the style of music and quantity to have an effect on how briskly the battery drains.
Edifier’s quick charging claims are 10-minute for 11 extra hours of playback. It does look like very spiffy at recharging – ten minutes yielded a 21% enhance in battery life.
The Stax Spirit hyperlinks to the Edifier Join app that enables a level of customisation and personalisation. For instance, the sound will be tailor-made to what kind of earmuffs are used (leather-based or ‘ice feeling’). Equaliser choices embrace Basic, Hello-Fi and Stax to change up the sound. A recreation mode will be activated, which feels barely at odds with the headphones’ audiophile outlook however noteworthy if you happen to play cellular video games.
Different options embrace enjoying ‘soothing’ sounds for rest functions, customisation of controls and quantity prompts and, in fact, firmware updates.
Sound High quality
- Clear and detailed throughout the frequency vary
- Not the largest bass efficiency
- Clear presentation
The Edifier Stax Spirit S3 referred to as in help from Audeze with its planar magnetic driver setup. The headphones use Edifier’s EqualMass expertise comprised of Audeze’s Fluxor magnetic construction, Uniforce diaphragm and Fazor wave guides for part administration, all meant to precisely reproduce the unique sound with minimal distortion, higher stereo imaging, and a cleaner presentation.
And the Edifier hits the suitable notes on the music entrance. There are variations between the Basic, Hello-Fi and Stax however these variations aren’t large: Hello-Fi is probably softer and hotter (as if the sound had been handed by way of a tube amp), whereas ‘Stax’ is crisper and sharper on the high finish, and ‘Basic’ is the mode I’ve caught with the vast majority of testing as that appears to supply the perfect steadiness throughout the frequency vary. Whichever sound you find yourself going for, the Stax Spirit S3 are a spacious, and articulate sounding pair of cans.
Serve up Avishai Cohen and Huge Vicious’ Hidden Chamber (Tidal Grasp), and there’s a shiny replica of the trumpet that opens the tune, adopted by crisp cymbal crashes, the monitor furnished with loads of element to explain the (mild) percussive parts, pick the synthesiser and the assorted guitars all through within the monitor. Add in an efficient line in dynamism, each on a broader and smaller scale, that makes the monitor each pure sounding in its tone and energetic (however not overly so) in its supply.
Vocals are delivered with loads of readability whatever the vocalist or style, whether or not it’s Veronica Swift in The Man I Love, Jacob Collier in All I Want or 070 Shake in Trumpets. The midrange is spacious, the highest finish of the frequency vary in a monitor reminiscent of GoGo Penguin’s Erased by Daylight is clearly outlined – not distractingly shiny – however with a pleasant element and specificity to the piano in that monitor, all the assorted tones and that sense of strain being utilized to every word evident by way of the headphones.
Bass shouldn’t be what I’d describe as ‘thumping’. These headphones are modest of their strategy to low frequencies, making use of them gently in a monitor reminiscent of Beyonce’s Déjà Vu. The bassline shouldn’t be as highly effective because the Sony WH-1000XM5’s richer strategy, the Edifier extra content material to play it in a measured method, but it surely does imply that bass doesn’t at all times have the load and heft you would possibly anticipate. Should you desire your tracks bass-forward or with a V-shaped signature, maybe give these headphones a skip.
Must you purchase it?
If you would like high-quality sound and may do with out ANC:
Aimed extra in the direction of the hi-fi lover than the on a regular basis commuter, the Edifier ship an impressively managed and articulate sound.
You need premium design to go together with the premium value:
Corners seem to have been minimize with the design to maintain prices down, which is a disgrace. The Edifier’s construct high quality doesn’t match the audio efficiency.
The Edifier Stax Spirit S3 supply a transparent and nuanced sound. They’re not showy, preferring to err in the direction of an articulate, audiophile sense of readability and element.
No noise cancellation or transparency could put some off, and the creaky design and plastic controls definitely will. However consolation ranges are good, making certain it is a headphone that may be worn throughout prolonged periods. The noise isolation of the design makes an honest jab at blocking out sounds when used on a commute, and each the battery and Bluetooth efficiency excel.
This isn’t a headphone that hits each word with the aplomb its price ticket would recommend, however Edifier and Stax have created a satisfying pair of headphones relating to sound high quality, and that’s the principle cause to hunt them out, particularly if you happen to hearken to high-quality music apps.
How we take a look at
We take a look at each headphones we assessment totally over an prolonged time frame. We use business customary exams to check options correctly. We’ll at all times let you know what we discover. We by no means, ever, settle for cash to assessment a product.
Discover out extra about how we take a look at in our ethics coverage.
Examined throughout a number of months
Examined with actual world use
The Stax Spirit helps SBC, together with aptX, aptX-HD and aptX Adaptive, however there isn’t any AAC assist for iOS units.
Edifier Stax Spirit S3
110 x 208 x 255 MM
STAX SPIRIT S3
SBC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive
89mm x 70mm Planar Magnetic Driver
20 40000 – Hz
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Qualcomm’s aptX codec can assist increased high quality audio than Bluetooth alone.
Bluetooth multipoint is a tool’s potential to connect with two or extra units concurrently over a Bluetooth connection