The Edifier Stax Spirit S3 are a premium pair of wi-fi cans with an impressively hi-fi sound, Bluetooth efficiency and lengthy battery life, although the creaky design and plasticky controls scale back its ‘premium’ really feel.
- Articulate, clear, and detailed presentation
- Comfy to put on
- Lengthy battery life
- Glorious Bluetooth efficiency
- Creaky construct high quality
- Plasticky controls
- Not for bass-heads
Planar Magnetic driversFor extremely low distortion and wider dynamics
Snapdragon SoundHelps Qualcomm’s lossless audio platform
Multi-point BluetoothJoin to 2 units directly
2022 was the 12 months of the flagship headphone. From Bowers & Wilkins to Sony, Sennheiser and Technics, it appeared all the massive manufacturers determined this was the time to launch their salvo on the premium wi-fi over-ear market.
And one product that was missed on this sprint for headphone supremacy was Edifier’s Stax Spirit S3. The Stax Spirit S3 – S3 for brief – are a resurrection of the ‘legendary’ Japanese Stax model that Edifier acquired in 2012, a reputation that existed pre-World Conflict II, and a model that positioned an emphasis on high-quality audio copy with its merchandise.
With the introductions out of the way in which, the S3 are up towards a tricky area of competitors, however their popularity suggests they gained’t be cowed by their illustrious rivals.
- Construct high quality feels cheaper than price ticket
- Plasticky buttons
- Light-weight for planar magnetic headphones
It must be no shock that the Edifier Stax Spirit S3 seem like a pair of over-ear headphones, although they’re not essentially a trendy pair. Furthermore, construct high quality is less than the extent you’d anticipate with a £399 worth at launch.
It’s using exhausting plastic that offers the headphones a creaky high quality that’s noticeable when dealing with and carrying them. It’s beneath the usual of different cans at this worth such because the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2. Give the headphones a jiggle they usually really feel a bit of cheaper than they need to.
At the least the degrees of padding on each the earcups and underside of the headscarf are beneficiant: comfortable and pliable and performing as a great cushion for the headphones’ 329g weight (pretty light-weight for a headphone with planar magnetic drivers).
Black is the one color they arrive in, the Stax brand engraved in gold on the earcups above a sample that provides some distinctiveness. The earpads are replaceable ought to they get broken, and somewhat than make use of contact controls, the Edifier goes ‘old skool’ with bodily buttons for playback and quantity management. Like the general construct high quality, these plasticky buttons don’t really feel as in the event that they belong on a premium pair of over-ears.
Regardless of that, the Edifier’s noise-isolating properties are served decently by the scale and depth of the earcups. Outdoors sounds nonetheless filter via to my ears, however on commutes (buses, trains and tube) the shortage of noise cancelling isn’t as missed as a lot as I assumed it might. Nudge the amount up just a few notches and the skin world turns into much less of a distraction.
Persevering with the old-fashioned vibe is the existence of a 3.5mm jack for wired listening (plus a 6.3mm adapter) alongside a USB-C port for charging. The headphones are additionally collapsible for transportation within the exhausting case and given the creakiness of the development, you would possibly need to think about using it.
- AptX Adaptive
- Very lengthy battery life
- Multi-point Bluetooth assist
The Edifier Stax Spirit S3 bear no assist for Energetic Noise Cancellation or a Transparency mode, however the viewers courted right here is strictly audio purist.
Connectivity is Bluetooth model 5.2, with transmission of audio over Bluetooth via SBC, aptX, aptX-HD and aptX Adaptive. The aptX variants permit for larger high quality audio transmission with Android units (aptX-HD), in addition to a ‘stickier’ connection (Adaptive).
AAC, which iOS units use, is notable by omission however don’t take that to essentially imply audio high quality is worst served by solely having SBC for iPhones. The efficiency of the motive force can have extra of an influence on the sound than the codec utilised.
Bluetooth efficiency has been wonderful, just like Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 and Px8. There have been few if any interruptions I can recall utilizing these headphones round London. Nothing appears to bother them on the connection entrance.
Multi-point Bluetooth can be supported to be used with two units directly, and the Spirit S3 additionally helps Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound platform, however a suitable system is required to take advantage of the audio high quality that platform can ship, and units are at the moment few (and particular to Android).
Battery life is a gigantic 80 hours. Repeated battery exams from an hour of Spotify streaming resulted in a lack of 2-3% at regular listening ranges, and 4% at louder volumes. Anticipate the style of music and quantity to have an effect on how briskly the battery drains.
Edifier’s quick charging claims are 10-minute for 11 extra hours of playback. It does look like very spiffy at recharging – ten minutes yielded a 21% increase in battery life.
The Stax Spirit hyperlinks to the Edifier Join app that permits a level of customisation and personalisation. For instance, the sound could be tailor-made to what sort of earmuffs are used (leather-based or ‘ice feeling’). Equaliser choices embody Traditional, Hello-Fi and Stax to change up the sound. A sport mode could be activated, which feels barely at odds with the headphones’ audiophile outlook however noteworthy in the event you play cellular video games.
Different options embody enjoying ‘soothing’ sounds for rest functions, customisation of controls and quantity prompts and, after all, firmware updates.
Sound High quality
- Clear and detailed throughout the frequency vary
- Not the largest bass efficiency
- Clear presentation
The Edifier Stax Spirit S3 known as in help from Audeze with its planar magnetic driver setup. The headphones use Edifier’s EqualMass expertise made out of Audeze’s Fluxor magnetic construction, Uniforce diaphragm and Fazor wave guides for part administration, all meant to precisely reproduce the unique sound with minimal distortion, better stereo imaging, and a cleaner presentation.
And the Edifier hits the suitable notes on the music entrance. There are variations between the Traditional, Hello-Fi and Stax however these variations aren’t huge: Hello-Fi is maybe softer and hotter (as if the sound had been handed via a tube amp), whereas ‘Stax’ is crisper and sharper on the high finish, and ‘Traditional’ is the mode I’ve caught with the vast majority of testing as that appears to supply the most effective stability throughout the frequency vary. Whichever sound you find yourself going for, the Stax Spirit S3 are a spacious, and articulate sounding pair of cans.
Serve up Avishai Cohen and Large Vicious’ Hidden Chamber (Tidal Grasp), and there’s a vivid copy of the trumpet that opens the tune, adopted by crisp cymbal crashes, the observe furnished with loads of element to explain the (gentle) percussive parts, pick the synthesiser and the varied guitars all through within the observe. Add in an efficient line in dynamism, each on a broader and smaller scale, that makes the observe each pure sounding in its tone and energetic (however not overly so) in its supply.
Vocals are delivered with loads of readability whatever the vocalist or style, whether or not it’s Veronica Swift in The Man I Love, Jacob Collier in All I Want or 070 Shake in Trumpets. The midrange is spacious, the highest finish of the frequency vary in a observe reminiscent of GoGo Penguin’s Erased by Daylight is clearly outlined – not distractingly vivid – however with a pleasant element and specificity to the piano in that observe, all the varied tones and that sense of stress being utilized to every observe evident via the headphones.
Bass will not be what I’d describe as ‘thumping’. These headphones are modest of their strategy to low frequencies, making use of them gently in a observe reminiscent of Beyonce’s Déjà Vu. The bassline will not be as highly effective because the Sony WH-1000XM5’s richer strategy, the Edifier extra content material to play it in a measured method, however it does imply that bass doesn’t at all times have the load and heft you would possibly anticipate. If you happen to desire your tracks bass-forward or with a V-shaped signature, maybe give these headphones a skip.
Do you have to purchase it?
If you would like high-quality sound and may do with out ANC:
Aimed extra in direction of the hi-fi lover than the on a regular basis commuter, the Edifier ship an impressively managed and articulate sound.
You need premium design to go along with the premium worth:
Corners seem to have been reduce with the design to maintain prices down, which is a disgrace. The Edifier’s construct high quality doesn’t match the audio efficiency.
The Edifier Stax Spirit S3 supply a transparent and nuanced sound. They’re not showy, preferring to err in direction of an articulate, audiophile sense of readability and element.
No noise cancellation or transparency could put some off, and the creaky design and plastic controls definitely will. However consolation ranges are good, making certain this can be a headphone that may be worn throughout prolonged classes. The noise isolation of the design makes an honest jab at blocking out sounds when used on a commute, and each the battery and Bluetooth efficiency excel.
This isn’t a headphone that hits each observe with the aplomb its price ticket would recommend, however Edifier and Stax have created a satisfying pair of headphones in the case of sound high quality, and that’s the principle cause to hunt them out, particularly in the event you take heed to high-quality music apps.
How we take a look at
We take a look at each headphones we overview totally over an prolonged time period. We use trade normal exams to match options correctly. We’ll at all times let you know what we discover. We by no means, ever, settle for cash to overview a product.
Discover out extra about how we take a look at in our ethics coverage.
Examined throughout a number of months
Examined with actual world use
The Stax Spirit helps SBC, together with aptX, aptX-HD and aptX Adaptive, however there is no such thing as a AAC assist for iOS units.
Edifier Stax Spirit S3
110 x 208 x 255 MM
STAX SPIRIT S3
SBC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive
89mm x 70mm Planar Magnetic Driver
20 40000 – Hz
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Qualcomm’s aptX codec can assist larger high quality audio than Bluetooth alone.
Bluetooth multipoint is a tool’s capability to hook up with two or extra units concurrently over a Bluetooth connection