Sound with style: Edifier QR65 speaker review

Style, substance, and plenty of sound

from Edifier
RRP  £329.99
Sound with style: Edifier QR65 speaker review

by Kyle Purves |
Published on

For consistently brilliant speakers, you usually can't go wrong with selecting one of Edifier's designs, but does that still stand true when it comes to the QR65? We've taken a deep dive into this pair of speakers in order to find out what they're really like and if they're worth your money.

The QR65 are a pair of versatile Hi-Res certified speakers, one active and one passive, designed with acoustics in mind so as to provide the best sound quality possible. They're visually striking, featuring a unique light effect that makes them stand out from the crowd. Whether you use them as PC speakers or stick to listening to music, they're sure to complement your setup.

Another aspect that makes the QR65 stand out is the specs, so it's worth knowing what they mean. The drivers help produce sound, with the shape and design playing a large role in the output. The other important spec to consider is the frequency range, which details the range of sounds the speaker can produce from low frequencies to high.

We've had one of our resident tech experts, Kyle Purves, on the case. They're no stranger to testing out speakers and have been using the QR65 for a couple of weeks now. From plenty of different music genres to movie and video audio, they've experimented with how the QR65 performs with a variety of media, all so that they can uncover the strengths and weaknesses of these speakers.

The quick version

With its mid-low and treble drivers, the Edifier QR65 proves to be a powerful pair of speakers suitable for a variety of situations. The light show is impressive, and much like the rich sound the speakers produce, it helps to make the QR65 distinct and stand out.

Edifier QR65Edifier

Pros

  • Clear and distinct audio quality
  • Controls are very easy to adjust
  • Works alone or as a pair
  • Handy set of connections, including Bluetooth
  • Impressive sound projection
  • Useful EDIFIER ConneX companion app

Cons

  • The connecting cable between the active and passive speaker is a bit short

How it performs

When talking about speakers, I always believe it's important to consider how they perform with music, and I'm pleased to say that the QR65 excels. The audio quality is stellar, being consistently rich and clear without ever dropping. Even with just the active speaker by itself, the QR65 has a noticeable soundscape presence. The frequency range is excellent too, and even without a true woofer driver, the bass still sounds fantastic and distinct. Speaking of which, if you do want to further add to the bass, there's a SUB OUT port that you can connect to an external subwoofer if you have one, although I never felt it was necessary.

The sound projection of the QR65 also impressed me, and in my testing, I found that no matter where I was in the same room as it, the sound balance never faltered. It feels like you would need to actively try to make these speakers sound bad.

For extra customisation, there's the EDIFIER ConneX companion app. Once it detects the QR65, you can use it to adjust the lights and, more importantly, change the EQ. There are a handful of presets you can select, or you can adjust levels individually. This is always a nice feature for a set of speakers to have, but I usually found that the default was the best.

Speakers aren't just for music, and the QR65 prove to be very versatile, being consistently great for movie and video audio. Spoken dialogue comes out sharp, and it feels natural on the ears. In fact, this became one of my favourite ways of using the speakers. Being able to go between music and video audio without needing to switch around any settings is an amazing case of versatility and one of the QR65's best factors.

The QR65 active speaker can connect to the passive one for a dual speaker setup. This makes for a more powerful sound overall, although in my experience, the active speaker is plenty strong enough on its own. I actually preferred to use the active speaker by itself in most cases, but the duo are definitely worth pairing together when it comes to movie and video audio.

It's also worth noting the QR65 active speaker boasts 65W TurboGaN fast charging, meaning you can use it to charge other devices in a pinch. The compatible connections are two USB-C and one USB-A port. Since the QR65 doesn't act as a power bank, it will need to be plugged in itself, so this only really comes up in situations with limited socket availability. Still, it's a nice little addition that is handy to have.

The build and design

Edifier QR65
©Kyle Purves, What's The Best

The design of the QR65 is easily one of its best aspects. It's definitely a winner in terms of aesthetics, regardless of whether you go for the white or black model. The majority of the build is fairly minimalist so as to draw your eyes to the seemingly infinite light abyss.

The light effects are the star of the show here. Once powered on, the lights appear to create an endless corridor into the speaker, which is one of the most unique and striking features I've seen on a pair of speakers. You can change the pattern and effect of the light show through a button on the side or by using the EDIFIER ConneX, the latter of which allows you to customise the colours too. I tended to stick to the default, as I felt it stood out the best, but I appreciated having the option to change it and keep things novel and fresh.

Beyond aesthetics, the functionality of the build is also great. The active speaker has a fantastic set of connections around the back: USB-A, USB-C, audio ports, a connection to the passive speaker, and, of course, the main supply. While the Bluetooth was excellent in my experience, you have plenty of options to choose from if you prefer physical connections.

The active speaker also has a set of dials on the side for easy access. The top one is for volume controls, and pressing it pauses or resumes the music, so you can adjust the music directly from the speaker instead of the other device it's connected to. Below that is a dial for the light effects which lets you adjust the brightness by turning it or swap preset modes by pressing it.

While the base of the speaker has feet for standing, Edifier knows that projecting the sound horizontally flat would be a waste, so the QR65 comes with a pair of slanted stands included. For me, these were angled just right to aim better at my head when seated, which was a pleasant surprise.

Lastly for the build, there's a tiny aspect that I really appreciated: the handle grooves. Around the back of each speaker is an indent you can slip your fingers into, making it practical to carry each of them in one hand. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it's an attention to detail and care for practical use that is always great to see, and gives the QR65 the possibility of being a speaker you might often move around.

Any drawbacks?

Edifier QR65
©Kyle Purves, What's The Best

Despite the many excellent features and design points of the QR65, it suffers from a few negatives that keep it from being perfect.

The first issue is the size. While these are by no means overly large speakers, I found that they took up a bit more surface space than I would have liked. In fact, it was often impractical to use them as a pair, as the available surfaces I have couldn't quite accommodate them. This is, ultimately, only a minor issue and one that might not even exist for you, depending on your available space. The other issue, however, is more problematic.

While I appreciate the overall design of the QR65 and the fact it is an active speaker paired with a passive one, the connecting cable between them is a pain to deal with. It is just long enough to stretch across a desk, with little leeway to have it loose. Of course, using these speakers on a desk is asking for more surface space trouble.

The limited range is somewhat puzzling, as it feels like a pair of speakers with this type of sound projection would be best suited further apart so as to cover an entire room. As it stands, the cable keeps them so close together that it doesn't allow for the usual benefits of a dual speaker setup and rarely feels worthwhile using it as such.

Price and competition

Edifier QR65
©Kyle Purves, What's The Best

At over £300, the Edifier QR65 speakers are far from cheap or budget-friendly, but that's not what they're aiming to be. These are mid-budget speakers for those looking to improve their audio setup without splashing out into four-digit sums. Besides, the design and performance of the QR65 more than justify the asking price. However, if you're not totally convinced by this Edifier design, here are a couple from other brands that might catch your eye.

Anker Alternative

Soundcore Motion x600Amazon/Soundcore

Rrp: $199.99

Price: $149.99
Alternative retailers
Walmart$299.00View offer

The Soundcore Motion x600 is a single speaker coming in at under £200. It's not quite as powerful as the combined might of the QR65 speakers, but is stronger than an individual one. As such, even with its bulkier frame, this is a better speaker for those with limited surface space. You're not limited to plugging this in near a socket either, since it sports an impressive 12-hour battery life. It's a portable powerhouse.

In terms of specs, the x600 doesn't disappoint. It has five drivers and five tweeters, making it highly versatile. In turn, the frequency range is more than enough for just about any purpose.

Read our full Anker Soundcore Motion x600 review.

Pros

  • Brilliant 12-hour battery life
  • Quick to charge (roughly six hours)
  • Great IPX7 waterproofing

Cons

  • Works best in medium-sized rooms

Dual speaker alternative

Ruark Audio MR1 MKII SpeakersAmazon/Ruark

If the dual speaker nature of the QR65 struck a chord with you, then perhaps these Ruark Audio MR1 MKII Speakers will have your attention too. They're a step up in price, but still relatively mid-budget. In terms of specs, they are a little less powerful, but the frequency range remains plenty vast enough for general use. The MR1 MKII are also quite light, so you could place them on a shelf without much concern.

These speakers are a bit let down by one aspect: they totally lack any EQ customisation. That said, the balance is great as it is, and if you're not in the habit of playing around with EQ settings, it shouldn't affect your experience using the speakers at all.

Read our full review of the Ruark Audio MR1 MKII.

Pros

  • Excellent hi-fi sounds
  • Simple yet effective
  • Unobtrusive size

Cons

  • No EQ customisation

Final thoughts

The Edifier QR65 are a pair of excellent and extremely versatile speakers that easily justify their price tag. They're well-suited for music, with a set of specs that never fail to impress, but also do surprisingly well when it comes to video and movie sound. The build is impressive, especially with the stunning light show, and I feel that they will always make a great aesthetic improvement to any setup you introduce them to. The only major shortcoming is the cable length between the active and passive speaker, but considering how consistently well the active speaker performs by itself, this issue might not even be that prominent for users.

Who is it for?

The QR65 is versatile enough that it could suit just about anyone, but it is perfect for anyone looking for a mid-budget upgrade. While there are better options for bass available on the market, the QR65 hits a range that should perform well enough for the majority of people.

Would we recommend it?

Yes, we would recommend the Edifier QR65. The shortcomings of taking up surface space and the short connection cable don't apply when using the active speaker by itself, negating the main issues we have. In turn, the passive speaker is always available when you do have room for it, ready to enhance your setup even further.

Edifier QR65Edifier

Pros

  • Clear and distinct audio quality
  • Controls are very easy to adjust
  • Works alone or as a pair
  • Handy set of connections, including Bluetooth
  • Impressive sound projection
  • Useful EDIFIER ConneX companion app

Cons

  • The connecting cable between the active and passive speaker is a bit short

Who tested it?

Kyle Purves is one of our tech product writers. A speaker is always sitting beside them at their desk, ready to play music to get focused when working or to relax at night. They've tested plenty of speakers before, often Bluetooth and wireless ones, and are familiar with the key features to keep an eye and ear out for.

How was it tested?

I tested the Edifier QR65 speaker over the course of a couple of weeks. I primarily used it as a desk speaker that played music as I worked or did other tasks, but I also experimented with it for videos. In most cases, I found using the active speaker alone was more convenient since it saved space, but I made sure to test the passive speaker as well. I also used the speakers as a main audio source for watching shows and videos in order to test the performance beyond music.

Kyle Purvesis a Commercial Content Writer for What’s The Best, with an avid interest in all things gaming and tech.

They’re well-versed in reviewing a variety of tech products, with a soft spot for speakers and earphones. They’re also no stranger to hunting down the best savings, always wanting to get the best deal possible. Outside of work, they can often be found playing through an RPG, listening to Japanese noise rock, or trying to catch up with their ever-expanding list of shows and anime to watch. If possible, they try to play Dungeons and Dragons a couple of times a week, but getting six adults to be free at the same time is easier said than done.

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