Edifier R1700BT vs. KEF R3 Meta

Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers KEF R3 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
$180 $2200
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.75” × 6.00” × 8.00”
248mm × 152mm × 203mm
16.70” × 7.90” × 13.50”
424mm × 201mm × 343mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
60-20,000 Hz 58-28,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of bookshelf speakers, the Edifier R1700BT offers superb value, delivering wireless convenience and a warm sound signature that punches above its weight at an entry-level price point. Meanwhile, the KEF R3 Meta is a high-fidelity heavyweight, boasting the brand's signature Uni-Q driver array and Metamaterial Absorption Technology for unparalleled clarity and detail. The R3 Meta stands in a different league in terms of audio purity and build quality, but with a premium price tag to match. For casual listeners, Edifier suffices, but audiophiles with deeper pockets will savor the sonic excellence of KEF's offering.

Speaker Comparison

When considering the landscape of bookshelf speakers, the Edifier R1700BT and the KEF R3 Meta stand out for various reasons. The Edifier R1700BT is a go-to choice for those dipping their toes into the realm of quality audio without the commitment of a high-end price tag. These speakers offer a robust sound that is surprising given their compact size and wireless capabilities. On the flip side, the KEF R3 Meta represents a significant step up, positioned comfortably in the audiophile domain with a reputation for extraordinary sound fidelity and a design that commands attention.

Design and Build Quality

The Edifier R1700BT reflects a modern aesthetic with its black wood finish and gray front panel, while the front-facing bass ports hint at its ability to handle lower frequencies without breaking a sweat. The build quality is commendable for the price point, and it's clear that Edifier hasn't cut corners in the design department. The KEF R3 Meta, in contrast, is a testament to KEF's legacy of craftsmanship. Available in several elegant finishes, the R3s boast a refined look with their Uni-Q driver array and sleek, minimalist facade. The build quality here is unassailable, and it’s evident these speakers are constructed to serve not just as audio equipment but as a piece of art in any room they grace.

Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1700BT arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Quality

The Edifier R1700BT might be considered an entry-level system, but its sound quality says otherwise. These speakers offer a warm, balanced sound signature complemented by a healthy dose of bass, making them suitable for a variety of genres. However, when placed side by side with the KEF R3 Meta, the differences are palpable. The R3 Meta speakers deliver an impeccable level of detail and a wide soundstage that can only be described as immersive. Thanks to KEF's Meta material technology, the distortion is minimized, resulting in a purity of sound that few can rival. The hallmark of the R3 Meta's performance is its midrange reproduction, which is astoundingly clear and present, making vocals and acoustic instruments sound as if they are right there in the room with you.

Connectivity and Functionality

One of the significant advantages of the Edifier R1700BT speakers is their Bluetooth connectivity, which allows for effortless streaming from various devices. This feature makes the Edifiers exceptionally user-friendly and versatile for everyday use. They also come with a remote control for added convenience. While the KEF R3 Meta lacks Bluetooth functionality, it is geared more towards the purist approach, focusing on wired connections for the best possible signal path and, consequently, sound quality. These speakers are at home as part of a traditional hi-fi system or as the front L/R channels in a high-end home cinema setup.

KEF R3 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF R3 Meta arrow (at Amazon.com)

Ultimately, the choice between the Edifier R1700BT and KEF R3 Meta bookshelf speakers boils down to the listener's priorities and budget. The R1700BTs are perfect for those who want good sound without fuss, with the added benefit of wireless streaming. They offer an excellent entry point into the world of more serious listening experiences. On the other hand, the KEF R3 Meta speakers are designed for audiophiles seeking a no-compromise sound that reveals the nuances of their music with utmost precision. The R3s require a heftier investment, but for those who are all about the sonic details and have the budget to match, they are a worthy contender that will satisfy even the most discerning ears.

As we delve deeper into the specifics, it's worth noting that the Edifier R1700BT speakers are powered, meaning they have built-in amplification. This feature adds to their convenience factor, requiring fewer components for a complete audio setup. Conversely, the KEF R3 Meta speakers are passive. They require an external amplifier or receiver, which gives the user the freedom to tailor their system's sound by pairing the speakers with the amplifier of their choice. This can lead to an even more personalized listening experience, albeit with additional cost and setup complexity.

In conclusion, while both the Edifier R1700BT and the KEF R3 Meta offer compelling arguments for their respective price brackets, they cater to different segments of the audio market. The Edifiers are an ideal starting point for those looking to upgrade from standard computer speakers or compact systems, providing a satisfying taste of high-fidelity sound with the convenience of Bluetooth. The KEFs, on the other hand, are an investment in top-tier audio performance, offering a sonic clarity and depth that will appeal to audiophiles prepared to build a more complex system. Regardless of your choice, both sets of speakers affirm the notion that great sound comes in all shapes, sizes, and price points.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
KEF R3 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF R3 Meta Bookshelf Speakers

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.