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Edifier MR4 Review (Budget Monitor)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 18 7.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 80 33.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 119 49.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 23 9.6%

  • Total voters
    240

rajas

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That is why I cannot value that score.
I think the biggest weakness of the score is that it doesn't take into account distortion (AFAIK)
So a small speaker like this, with good directivity will indeed get a good score after EQ. And yes, it will sound very good after EQ at low volumes. But the audio difference between it and speakers like
JBL 708P which scored the same or just lost to the Genelec 8010A
boil down to those speakers handling loud volumes much more gracefully.
(And yeah, likely also things like build quality, after-sales support etc. from a non-audio perspective.)
 

dorirod

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That is why I cannot value that score. I respect Dr. Oliver's research but assigning an objective value to a subjective phenomena is bound to create a result like this.

Are we really going to say that this speaker is better than the JBL 708P which scored the same or just lost to the Genelec 8010A with a tenth of a point?

From what I remember the difference in scores has to be around 1 point or higher before you can make a judgement. So no, 0.1 pt difference by itself doesn't tell you much.
 

redjr

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I cant decide how much this looks good. It's got a lot going for it, but can't play loud... maybe ok for nearfield listening.
I'm guessing that's what they were designed for and with the intention of how they would be used. Near field.
 

mononoaware

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Yeah, I thought it was larger. Here’s a photo from their site:
2021101511174116342678619456.jpg


I’m guessing it’s Photoshoped in.
Honestly it seems like pretty common practice with all those cheaper products on Amazon (LED Lamp's, tablet stands, bluetooth products etc).
In the images they always exaggerate the scale, what you end up getting is something 1/2~2/3 the scale most of the time.
 

mononoaware

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I was expecting this new Edifier model to be reviewed here soon going by the good reception in the R1280T ASR review (with EQ corrections).

The price is $130 now but I think the MR4 should be attainable for around $100 if you get it at the right time.

Just checked in my region it is already available for the equivalent of $92 USD.

So the question is are you willing to pay double for the 5-inch Pioneer equivalent which is the DM-50D at $199 (current B&H photo price).

Edit: the Neumi BS5P seems to be another 5-inch option at $150.
 
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Eggs Ackley

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I just got a pair of these delivered today to replace a pair of Micca PB42x. I'm using them near field as PC speakers about three feet apart. Noticeably better sound stage than the Miccas which needed toe in and tilt. These Edifiers are parallel and perpendicular on my desk and the sound stage is well centered and wide. I can move my head around quite a bit and they stay focused. I bought these on a whim based on the measurements and price and I'm glad I did. A noticeable improvement over the Miccas which are nearly identical in size, form factor and price.
 

Vict0r

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I just got a pair of these delivered today to replace a pair of Micca PB42x. I'm using them near field as PC speakers about three feet apart. Noticeably better sound stage than the Miccas which needed toe in and tilt. These Edifiers are parallel and perpendicular on my desk and the sound stage is well centered and wide. I can move my head around quite a bit and they stay focused. I bought these on a whim based on the measurements and price and I'm glad I did. A noticeable improvement over the Miccas which are nearly identical in size, form factor and price.
Could you perhaps show them on your desk, for a size reference?
 

Eggs Ackley

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Here you go. They measure 9" high, 5 1/2" wide and 7" deep. I'm running optical from the PC's Realtek digital output into a Schiit Modius DAC and balanced connections. It all sounds pretty nice.
 

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Vict0r

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Here you go. They measure 9" high, 5 1/2" wide and 7" deep. I'm running optical from the PC's Realtek digital output into a Schiit Modius DAC and balanced connections. It all sounds pretty nice.
Nice and compact! Now raise them up and point em towards your ears! :)
 

sweetchaos

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How do these compare to the R1280T/R1280DB?

Edifier MR4:
Preference Score is 3.8 and would be 6.4 with a perfect subwoofer.
Preference Score is 5.3 with an EQ and would be 7.9 with a perfect subwoofer and the same EQ.

Edifier 1280T:
Preference Score is 1.9 and would be 4.4 with a perfect subwoofer.
Preference Score is 5.3 with an EQ and would be 7.8 with a perfect subwoofer and the same EQ.

Get the MR4 if you're not using EQ.
With EQ, they're about the same.

But personally, I'd choose Neumi BS5P for US$130/pair
CEA2034.jpg

Preference Score is 4.2 and would be 7.2 with a perfect subwoofer.
Preference Score is 5.9 with an EQ and would be 8.4 with a perfect subwoofer and the same EQ.
 

JBab

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Edifier MR4:
Preference Score is 3.8 and would be 6.4 with a perfect subwoofer.
Preference Score is 5.3 with an EQ and would be 7.9 with a perfect subwoofer and the same EQ.

Edifier 1280T:
Preference Score is 1.9 and would be 4.4 with a perfect subwoofer.
Preference Score is 5.3 with an EQ and would be 7.8 with a perfect subwoofer and the same EQ.

Get the MR4 if you're not using EQ.
With EQ, they're about the same.

But personally, I'd choose Neumi BS5P for US$130/pair
CEA2034.jpg

Preference Score is 4.2 and would be 7.2 with a perfect subwoofer.
Preference Score is 5.9 with an EQ and would be 8.4 with a perfect subwoofer and the same EQ.
Thanks so much for this reply! <3

I'm mainly picking between these two as I need a white pair of powered speakers at a low price.
Good to know they are almost identical with EQ, I will just get whatever is cheaper :)
 

Walter

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Good to know they are almost identical with EQ, I will just get whatever is cheaper :)
Note that preference score only applies to far field use. If you are using them on a desktop, it will be pretty much irrelevant. I'd tend to go with the MR4 unless the price was significantly higher. It is a newer and presumable improved design, and has lower midrange distortion and better directivity. If not using EQ, I'd generally prefer a boost in the upper midrange and lower treble to a deficiency, but the degree of the 1280s boost is so much higher than the MR4's cut that I'd be inclined to think the latter would be preferable. Both have high frequency controls, however, and at least in the case of the MR4, Amir says that helps a lot if yo are not using EQ. On the other hand, if you like to play loud, the 1280 might be the better choice, as Amir's subjective comments indicate it has less audible bass distortion when pushed.
 

JBab

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Note that preference score only applies to far field use. If you are using them on a desktop, it will be pretty much irrelevant. I'd tend to go with the MR4 unless the price was significantly higher. It is a newer and presumable improved design, and has lower midrange distortion and better directivity. If not using EQ, I'd generally prefer a boost in the upper midrange and lower treble to a deficiency, but the degree of the 1280s boost is so much higher than the MR4's cut that I'd be inclined to think the latter would be preferable. Both have high frequency controls, however, and at least in the case of the MR4, Amir says that helps a lot if yo are not using EQ. On the other hand, if you like to play loud, the 1280 might be the better choice, as Amir's subjective comments indicate it has less audible bass distortion when pushed.
Damn this is a lot of useful information, thank you so much!

I intend to use them as a desktop speaker for listening to music/playing games so I think that combined with the MR4's being cheaper, I will go with them. :D
 

Walter

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Damn this is a lot of useful information, thank you so much!

I intend to use them as a desktop speaker for listening to music/playing games so I think that combined with the MR4's being cheaper, I will go with them. :D
Counterpoint then is that if your games have a lot of low bass energy (explosions, etc.) and you like them loud, you might prefer the 1280! Sorry, not sure I'm helping much with your decision. o_O
 

JBab

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Counterpoint then is that if your games have a lot of low bass energy (explosions, etc.) and you like them loud, you might prefer the 1280! Sorry, not sure I'm helping much with your decision. o_O
Hahaha it's all good, I will only listen to these during casual gaming with soundtracks etc. so don't need a massive emphasis on low bass explosives. MR4 is looking beautiful on amazon at $159 AUD :)
 

Proberts911

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Edifier MR4 powered "studio" monitor (speaker). It was sent to me by the company and costs US $130.
View attachment 172727

This is a very small speaker. It looks larger in the marketing material. You can easily carry it with one hand. I was impressed by the use of waveguide and help from Klippel Germany on the measurement side. Unlike typical "multimedia/PC" speakers, you have balanced inputs:
View attachment 172728
That should help reduce possibility of ground loops/hum. Connection to the other speaker is through one pair of wires which means the crossover is passive and there is one amplifier per channel.

There are notches for LF and HF shelving. I set the in their detent which on the HF side, was to the left of center. I made the NFS measurements below using that, and "monitor mode." If you click the power button twice, you get into music mode. I made a few measurements to quantify the difference:

View attachment 172729

I expected the Music mode to have much more exaggerated lows and highs but instead, it seems to have a more even on-axis response. Getting to the same place with the HF control requires boosting it to the 2 dB marker.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

Reference axis was the center of the tweeter (aligned by eye). It is getting colder with the measurement room temp at 14 degrees C. Accuracy is better than 1% for almost entire audio spectrum indicating a well designed speaker.

Edifier MR4 EVO Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:
View attachment 172730

As you could tell from the (in-room) preview in the intro, there is a dip in the lower treble frequencies. And we have some resonances/peaking centered around 600 Hz. Outside of this though, directivity control is good due to use of that waveguide. More on this later.

Near-field response shows uneven treble response so maybe this is why we are deficient close to the crossover frequency:

View attachment 172731

Unfortunately the early window reflections exaggerate this:

View attachment 172732

Resulting in a shelved predicted in-room response:


View attachment 172733

I am impressed by the amount of bass this little speaker is producing. It is flat down to 70 Hz! The broad deviations are very audible but rather easy to correct with EQ as you see later.

At 86 dBSPL playback level distortion was good but at 96 dB, speaker fell apart making all kinds of squealing sounds. I played with volume vs input level and got some improvements but still horrid at 96. So I reduced level to 90 dBSPL where I could still hear odd noises:

View attachment 172734

View attachment 172735

The waveguide pays dividends in directivity and beamwidth in the horizontal axis. It is unusually good for speakers in this price range and even higher:

View attachment 172736

View attachment 172737

And the wide width means that you can move left and right at your workstation without much change in tonality.

Vertically is not as good and this is typical of 2-way, non-coaxial designs:

View attachment 172738

For fans of timing tests, here is the waterfall:

View attachment 172739

Impulse response:

View attachment 172740

And for the first time, step response:

View attachment 172741

Edifier MR4 Listening Tests and Equalization
First impression defies the look of the measurements: the sound is warm and reasonably nice sounding. That extended bass response really helps here. I took out the EQ tool and made some quick adjustements:

View attachment 172742

Taking down the resonances around 615 Hz took out some of the stuffiness of the upper bass and provided more clarity. The filter next to it is there to truncate its response as there is a dip on the right that is not on the left. I then boosted the deficient region around 4000 Hz. I went easy there as I don't like bright sounding speakers.

Note that you can get part of the way there by using the rear HF control and boosting a few dB (per listening tests and measurements). Once there, you do have good sound without having to deploy EQ.

There is a cost to the extended bass: you can't get too loud. Try to do so and at first there is clicking/static is barely noticeable. Turn up the volume more and it gets quite a bit worse. I say you can only get to medium level with one speaker playing. With two speakers it should be better (I did not test). This is with content that has normal amount of lower bass. With techno/drum loop content such as Peace of Mind track you see in the EQ panel, it could get quite a bit louder with no audible distortion.

Conclusions
You are paying so little for a speaker that attempts to follow the path of much more expensive monitors with proper waveguide and balanced inputs. It takes over them with inclusion of volume control, RCA inputs, etc. Bass response is flat and impressive for such a small/light speaker. I wish it did not have the dip in lower treble though. Not sure why that is there if they did measure the speaker.

If you need an ultra cheap, active speaker and can use a bit of EQ, the Edifier MR4 makes a decent option. Just keep your expectations low as far as playback level.
Good option for the second laptop where there's no critical listening and high volume
 

Eggs Ackley

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After listening for almost five days now I've changed my vote from fine to great. I did not expect them to sound as good as they do. One album that I used for evaluation is "Bass & Mandolin" by Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer. The acoustic bass sounds fantastic for such a small speaker.
 

SimpleTheater

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Just picked up a pair for my home office. I use Adam T5V at my work office, where I have significantly more space. I needed something small, didn’t want to deal with the fiasco of my AudioEngine experience, so took a chance with the Edifier after seeing this review.

I was surprised that Edifier classifies these as bookshelf speakers, not computer speakers, on their website. I would not use these as studio monitors or as bookshelf speakers. You are not going to play these loud, but in the 85 db range, they are great for vocals (e.g. Zoom meetings, YouTube videos) and for playing music while I work. For this purpose, they are exactly what I needed - decent quality speakers at a relatively low price.

I rated them as “fine” without thinking about price or value, but based purely on my need for a very small pair of powered speakers. ;)This rating may change as the included speaker wire hasn’t broken in for the required 200 listening hours yet - that attaches the right speaker to the left. I expect the harshness to be mitigated a bit with significantly more detail and fluidity in the midrange and more attack in the low end, as soon as the break in period is over.;)
 
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Eggs Ackley

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I just spent a few hours using the headphone output with some Tin T2 earbuds and you know what, it sounded very good, better than I expected.
 
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