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Edifier M201BT Review Twin Speakers With Bluetooth Front Firing Subwoofer

 
The newest speaker subwoofer combo on the market - the Edifier M201BT - with twin satellite speakers and a front firing subwoofer equipped with bluetooth functionality!



In terms of power output, each M201BT satellite speaker is capable of 8 watts RMS, while the 5-inch subwoofer is capable of 18 watts RMS, bringing the the total RMS output to 34 watts. The peak power output rating is 68 watts, which looks good but not worth paying attention to since it isn't a true power representation. The RMS rating is the most valuable speaker specification to look for, especially when matching an external amplifier to a passive (unpowered) subwoofer. The M201BT comes with a powered subwoofer though so, it already has a built-in amplifier and power source, which have been matched and calibrated with the included satellite speakers; hence you can plug and play right out of the box.
 
Edifier's M201BT subwoofer wood enclosure has a nice matte black finish to it, which has been achieved by treating the wood with cabinet texture coating paint. The black paint finish is water resistant and scratch resistant too. The rear side of the M201BT subwoofer enclosure integrates a plastic rear panel, housing 3 connectivity ports and 3 user controls inside a recessed cutout. User controls include a power switch and two potentiometer knobs (for volume and bass). 
 
Connectivity ports include a 3.5mm auxiliary port, speaker phono outputs, and a non-detachable power cord (1.5 meters) with UK 3-pin plug. There is also a small status led to feedback bluetooth connection (solid blue light) and wired connection (solid green light). Bluetooth and wired modes have been designed seamlessly so, you don't have to unplug the audio cable from the subwoofer when switching from bluetooth to wired (and viceversa). All you have to do is long press the volume knob to switch modes and the subwoofer will automatically reconnect to a previously connected bluetooth device within 4 seconds. 


The M201BT volume knob and bass knobs are made of plastic and sit on top of a standard potentiometer (aka pot) with mechanical stops to limit the physical rotation of the knob. The knobs sit snugly on top of the pot and have tiny dimple imprints to help align the knob to the markings. The knobs feel nice without being loose nor wiggly. The bass knob has a smoother and tighter turn than the volume knob, which also integrates a centre push button for changing between bluetooth and wired. The M201BT subwoofer plastic rear panel is help in place via 8 standard screws (star head), while the wood panel enclosures have been glued together. 
 

Portable bluetooth speakers usually produce a louder volume in bluetooth mode than wired mode but with the M201BT system is the opposite. This is due to the powered amplifier built-in to the M201BT subwoofer, which makes the speaker volume noticeably louder in wired mode than in bluetooth mode. Wired mode also provides a higher audio resolution and no latency, which is perfect for gaming. The M201BT performance is similar to the Edifier C2V audio system, which is similarly spec'ed but the bass response is a lot better on the C2V due to the larger 6-inch driver and bigger enclosure. Overall though, the M201BT is a better purchase because it is  nowhere as bulky as the C2V speaker subwoofer setup.


The M201BT satellite speakers are made entirely of plastic and house an 8-watt full range driver with a frequency response between 210Hz and 20kHz. The satellite speaker enclosure and stand measure 8cm long, 15cm high and 10cm deep. Each speaker weighs 351 grams (with cable) and feature a plastic grille mesh with a non-removable cloth cover. The M201BT speakers use a standard figure 8 speaker cable (AWM 2468), which is non-detachable and attached to a color-coded phono connector to differentiate the left channel audio from the right audio channel. The figure 8 speaker cable measures 2 meters and, it is made of flexible thin wire (22AWG or 24AWG). The speaker stand is held in place via standard star-head screws so, you could detach the stand from the speaker. The satellite speakers have been mounted onto the stands at a 45 degree angle. 
 
The M201BT subwoofer output (18 watts RMS) has a decent frequency response (63Hz and 203kHz) to produce nice bass tones; however, it is nowhere as powerful as the T5 subwoofer. The M201BT subwoofer enclosure weighs 2.6kg and measures 27cm long (side to side), 16cm deep (back to front) and 19cm high. There is a small plastic Edifier badge glued onto the subwoofer, as well as a silver ring accent (10cm diameter) surrounding the front firing woofer driver opening. 
 
The bottom base of the M201BT subwoofer features circular isolation foam pads (4mm thick) to reduce floor vibrations. The stock isolation foam feet work well initially but overtime, the foam loses consistency (becoming thinner) so, you will have to replace them by scraping off the pad adhesive since they're glued on. When replacing the isolation feet, it is worth getting hardened rubber feet (screw-in type), which will be more durable and perform better at reducing floor vibrations.
 
The main circuitry components and bluetooth 5.0 chip are located inside the subwoofer enclosure. The bluetooth chip does not support AAC codec, aptX codec, absolute bluetooth volume nor multipoint connection; hence the unit cannot be connected to multiple devices at the same time. The subwoofer's volume knob does not control the volume of the connected device. The satellite speakers do not have a built-in bluetooth receiver; hence the speakers cannot be connected to the subwoofer wirelessly (only wired). 


An Edifier-branded audio cable (male to male 3.5mm) is also included about 1.7 meters long. The M201BT subwoofer cabinet enclosure is made of 100% wood so, the enclosure side panels are made of real solid wood similar to the D12 bookshelf speaker. This is worth pointing out because some speaker cabinets are made of wood veneer, which is made by attaching a thin piece of real wood onto fiberboard or particleboard. Most speaker cabinets on the market are made of MDF wood though. This is because solid wood "colors" the sound signature in a specific way, whereas MDF wood is more stable so, the sound reproduction is more consistent, which is ideal when mass producing speakers. 
 
Another advantage of MDF, it's that it is made from resin and recycled wood fibers so, MDF does not expand unlike wood which expands and retracts with the seasons. The Edifier P12 passive speaker and Edifier T5 subwoofer are two examples of speaker cabinets made of 100% MDF wood.
The M201BT speakers run on mains power (100V-240V) so, you will need a wall socket nearby since the power cable it's only 1.5 meters long. 
 
This is probably the only drawback of the M201BT audio system, which isn't as versatile as a speaker subwoofer combo powered via a USB port of a computer. On the upside, the M201BT has the advantage of constant high voltage from mains power, which enables the speakers and subwoofer driver to achieve full fidelity and decent bass. You can buy the M201BT speaker subwoofer system from amazon. Check out also the review of the Edifier R1850DB bookshelf speakers and Edifier R1010BT speakers.

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