For people who have invested in a large screen TV with a view to enjoying a home cinema experience, one of the most common complaints is the quality of the built-in speakers.
The latest flat-screen TVs lack the big wooden cabinets of old for sound to resonate around in and so the audio quality from their on-board speakers tends to be a bit weedy. Most therefore look to add a soundbar or external speaker system to improve the experience.
Edifier is a company that always seems to manage to produce interestingly styled speakers at the same time as delivering decent sound quality. The Luna E certainly doesn't disappoint on the looks front, though it's a bit of an acquired taste. It's also big, the sub-woofer is like having a life-size deep sea diver's head emerging from under your floorboards. The satellite speakers have a similarly curvy, chunky look and each contains four separate speakers. In contrast to the big, bold style of the speakers themselves the remote control is a tiny sliver of a thing. Our test system came in a smart piano black finish, but the E is also available in a rather striking bright red.
Setting up is straightforward and the design means that you avoid some of the tangle of cables that is inherent in most multi-speaker setups. The satellites are wired together and power, plus an optical or 3.5mm audio input, goes to the right speaker. The sub-woofer though connects wirelessly, there's just a power lead neatly hidden underneath. While this does mean you need two power sockets it does leave you free to place the sub-woofer some distance away from the rest of the system without having to worry about hiding cables.
There's Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity too, so you can stream music from your phone or tablet. The one drawback here is that the button you have to press to pair the system is hidden away on the bottom of the sub-woofer. The rest of the controls are easy to access, the left satellite has touch controls for power and volume but you can do everything from the remote anyhow.
You can control the volume of the overall system and of the sub-woofer separately so that the bass doesn't overwhelm things. And given the size of that sub-woofer there's plenty of overwhelming to be had. The remote offers three pre-configured modes -- 3D, THX and Music. 3D creates a surround sound effect although it seemed to make the mid range a bit weedy. THX is the best compromise for most uses, adding an extra dimension to watching movies and TV, bringing out things in the sound track you wouldn't notice on standard TV speakers. Music mode delivers a warmer, fuller tone with a bit more bass emphasis.
The Edifier isn’t a cheap system, costing $499.99 in the US or £399.99 in UK. The satellites are available to buy separately if you want, but to do so would be to miss the point as it's the solid bass sound from that sub-woofer which makes the system. If you need decent sound quality and you can live with the sub-aqua style of the Luna E then it's well worth considering.
More information can be found on the Edifier website.