Edifier Luna Eclipse review

Style over substance needn’t always be the case for even the most esoteric looking loudspeakers you’ll see on the market. In the case of the Luna Eclipse there are even sound acoustic reasons why a truncated Smartie could make a great sounding speaker.

The Luna Eclipse from Edifier is a stereo speaker system comprising two gorgeously shaped desktop speakers, around 220 mm high, sculpted from high-gloss ABS plastic. Our sample was finished in shiny black and you’ll also find them in a two-tone red and black which shows off the curves even better.

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You can control the speakers’ volume through controls on the side of the primary right-hand speaker, using + and –  touch-sensing areas. There should also be an IR remote control although this was strangely missing from our sealed sample.

Inside the right speaker are the Bluetooth electronics and amplifier, four channels of Class D amp modules from Texas Instruments. This is specified with 15W to each 19 mm soft-dome tweeter, and another 22W to each 110 mm mid/bass unit.

Note that the manufacturer’s power ratings are based on 10 percent distortion and noise, a huge amount for any class of amplfier; the company later claimed 1 percent high-frequency distortion which remains a troubling amount for a ‘digital’ amp. An active crossover splits the music between bass and treble before the amplfiers, as you’d find in a professional PA setups.

A curious but effective addition is a pair of passive radiators in each little speaker cabinet. These 75mm oblong bass units face each other in a long slot cut from the back of the cabinet.

They’re not connected to any amp but serve to augment bass output by resonating in sympathy with the limited output from the mid/bass speaker drivers. All drivers are also specified as magnetically shielded, even if that’s of less concern in a post-CRT world.

For wireless connections the system will only use the lowest common denominator of SBC, the poorest audio codec available in the Bluetooth audio specification. We asked the designer about their choice here, who responded that ‘SBC is good enough’. The CSR chip inside can accept aptX streams, we were told, but Edifier chose not to license it.

Build quality is good, with neat touches such as a metal loop that unobtrusively protects the children’s-finger-magnet dome tweeters. For the size these speakers are quite massive and didn’t suffer unduly from cabinet rattles or creaks at higher volumes.

Edifier Luna Eclipse review: Sound quality

Initial impressions are of a fantastically spacious and open sounding speaker system. That must be helped by the non-square cabinet shape that resists internal standing-wave resonance and reduces diffraction effects as sound radiates from the front-firing drivers.

They gave their best sound when used with the minijack analogue input, although even here we could easily hear the debilitating effects of Class D amplification that robbed the music of layers, replaced with a two-dimensional facsimile of sound.

Textile tweeter softened the worst effects of a grainy treble, and the two main drivers integrated reasonably well in the crucial crossover band. At the low end the Luna Eclipse could give a semblance of punchy bass, lacking some pace but relatively tuneful rather than entirely monotonic.

Turned up, the speaker tone would harden considerably, more metallic and grating. Electric guitars did not come out sounding at all good, we soon discovered after sampling Muse’s The 2nd Law.

OUR VERDICT

Fabulous styling goes some way to endear these speakers, and some clever electroacoustic tricks such as active crossovers and passive bass radiators help move the sound upscale for their size. Ultimately the speakers proved just too wearing on the ears, brought down by low-grade amplifiers and a third-rate Bluetooth audio codec, a combination that does not befit the potential of these speakers.

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