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 large 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 towards a troublesome discipline of competitors, however their repute 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 appear to be a pair of over-ear headphones, although they’re not essentially a classy pair. Furthermore, construct high quality is lower than the extent you’d anticipate with a £399 worth at launch.
It’s the usage of laborious plastic that offers the headphones a creaky high quality that’s noticeable when dealing with and carrying them. It’s under the usual of different cans at this worth such because the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2. Give the headphones a jiggle and so they really feel a bit cheaper than they need to.
No less than the degrees of padding on each the earcups and underside of the scarf are beneficiant: delicate and pliable and performing as 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 brand engraved in gold on the earcups above a sample that provides some distinctiveness. The earpads are replaceable ought to they get broken, and moderately than make use of contact controls, the Edifier goes ‘old fashioned’ 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. Exterior sounds nonetheless filter via to my ears, however on commutes (buses, trains and tube) the dearth of noise cancelling isn’t as missed as a lot as I assumed it might. Nudge the quantity up a number of notches and the surface 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 laborious case and given the creakiness of the development, you may need to think about using it.
- AptX Adaptive
- Very lengthy battery life
- Multi-point Bluetooth help
The Edifier Stax Spirit S3 bear no help for Lively 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 via SBC, aptX, aptX-HD and aptX Adaptive. The aptX variants enable for larger 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 motive force can have extra of an influence on the sound than the codec utilised.
Bluetooth efficiency has been wonderful, 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 suitable system is required to profit from the audio high quality that platform can ship, and units are presently few (and particular to Android).
Battery life is a gigantic 80 hours. Repeated battery assessments from an hour of Spotify streaming resulted in a lack of 2-3% at regular listening ranges, and 4% at louder volumes. Anticipate 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 may be tailor-made to what kind of earmuffs are used (leather-based or ‘ice feeling’). Equaliser choices embody Basic, Hello-Fi and Stax to change up the sound. A recreation mode may be activated, which feels barely at odds with the headphones’ audiophile outlook however noteworthy should you play cell video games.
Different options embody taking part in ‘soothing’ sounds for leisure functions, customisation of controls and quantity prompts and, after all, firmware updates.
Sound High quality
- Clear and detailed throughout the frequency vary
- Not the largest bass efficiency
- Clear presentation
The Edifier Stax Spirit S3 known as in help from Audeze with its planar magnetic driver setup. The headphones use Edifier’s EqualMass know-how constructed from 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 appropriate notes on the music entrance. There are variations between the Basic, Hello-Fi and Stax however these variations aren’t huge: Hello-Fi is probably softer and hotter (as if the sound had been handed via a tube amp), whereas ‘Stax’ is crisper and sharper on the high finish, and ‘Basic’ is the mode I’ve caught with nearly all of testing as that appears to supply one of the best 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 Massive Vicious’ Hidden Chamber (Tidal Grasp), and there’s a brilliant replica of the trumpet that opens the track, adopted by crisp cymbal crashes, the monitor furnished with loads of element to explain the (gentle) percussive components, select 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 comparable to GoGo Penguin’s Erased by Daylight is clearly outlined – not distractingly brilliant – 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 notice evident via the headphones.
Bass will not be what I’d describe as ‘thumping’. These headphones are modest of their method to low frequencies, making use of them gently in a monitor comparable to Beyonce’s Déjà Vu. The bassline will not be as highly effective because the Sony WH-1000XM5’s richer method, the Edifier extra content material to play it in a measured method, however it does imply that bass doesn’t at all times have the load and heft you may anticipate. Should you favor your tracks bass-forward or with a V-shaped signature, maybe give these headphones a skip.
Do you have to purchase it?
If you would like high-quality sound and might do with out ANC:
Aimed extra in 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 along with the premium worth:
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 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, guaranteeing this can be a headphone that may be worn throughout prolonged classes. The noise isolation of the design makes a good 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 notice with the aplomb its price ticket would counsel, however Edifier and Stax have created a satisfying pair of headphones with regards to sound high quality, and that’s the primary cause to hunt them out, particularly should you hearken to high-quality music apps.
How we take a look at
We take a look at each headphones we assessment completely over an prolonged time frame. We use trade commonplace assessments to check options correctly. We’ll at all times inform you what we discover. We by no means, ever, settle for cash to assessment a product.
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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 is no such thing as a AAC help 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 help larger high quality audio than Bluetooth alone.
Bluetooth multipoint is a tool’s capacity to connect with two or extra units concurrently over a Bluetooth connection