Edifier R1700BT vs. Polk Signature Elite ES20

Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
$180 $400
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.75” × 6.00” × 8.00”
248mm × 152mm × 203mm
14.80” × 8.50” × 13.80”
376mm × 216mm × 351mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
60-20,000 Hz 44-40,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of budget audiophile delights, the Edifier R1700BT and Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 are two notable contenders. The Edifiers offer a sleek, compact design with built-in Bluetooth for wireless convenience and surprisingly robust sound performance for their size. Meanwhile, the Polks step up with a more traditional, sizeable presence, focusing on delivering a robust, dynamic audio experience, with an emphasis on clear, detailed highs and a more expansive soundstage. Choosing between the two often boils down to space considerations, connectivity preferences, and whether you prioritize the convenience of wireless streaming or the full-bodied audio experience of larger speakers.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to filling a room with sound, bookshelf speakers can outperform their size expectations and bring high-fidelity audio into your space without requiring the same real estate as floor-standing giants. Today, I'm diving into a head-to-head comparison between the Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers and the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers to see how these contenders measure up for the discerning audiophile.

Design and Build Quality

At first glance, the Edifier R1700BTs present a sleek, modern aesthetic with their rich wood side panels and black front, making them a striking addition to any room. The build quality is substantial, giving off a sense of durability and attention to detail that speaks to Edifier's commitment to quality. In contrast, the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20s boast a more traditional appearance with their well-crafted MDF cabinets and a visually appealing washed black walnut finish. Both are a testament to the fact that bookshelf speakers can double as both sound systems and pieces of home decor.

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

Sound Quality and Performance

Sound-wise, the Edifier R1700BTs are designed with convenience in mind. They feature built-in amplification, saving you the hassle of a separate component. Their sound signature is warm and punchy, with a smooth treble that avoids fatigue during longer listening sessions. The bass is surprisingly robust for the size, though it may not satisfy those looking for a deep rumble without a subwoofer. Meanwhile, the Polk Audio ES20s deliver a more balanced and nuanced soundstage. They're part of Polk's Signature Elite series, which aims for high-resolution audio certification. This means you can expect a broader frequency response and an overall sound that's both precise and dynamic. They can handle the subtleties of a delicate string quartet as readily as they can the explosive dynamics of a blockbuster movie soundtrack.

Both the Edifier and Polk speakers cater to different needs: the Edifier R1700BTs with their built-in Bluetooth capability offer a convenient and straightforward wireless setup, perfect for a seamless integration into a variety of living spaces. The Polk Audio ES20s, lacking Bluetooth, are more traditional and might be better suited for a dedicated listening room where a wired connection is preferred for potentially higher fidelity audio.

Connectivity and Compatibility

In the arena of connectivity, the Edifier R1700BTs take a modern approach with their Bluetooth 4.0, enabling users to connect to a variety of devices wirelessly with ease. This feature alone makes the R1700BTs incredibly versatile and user-friendly, especially for those who prioritize convenience. On the other hand, the Polk Audio ES20s are passive speakers that require an external amplifier or receiver. While this may seem like a limitation, it offers audiophiles the flexibility to pair them with the amplifier of their choice, thus tailoring the sound to their exact preferences.

Looking at compatibility, it's clear that the Edifiers are the plug-and-play option, perfectly accommodating the casual listener who wants a great sound without the complexity. The Polks, conversely, cater to an audience that might already have an established system, offering an upgrade path or a new component to an enthusiast's carefully considered setup.

Final Verdict

In the final analysis, the choice between the Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers and the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers boils down to the listener's priorities. If wireless connectivity, ease of use, and a more pronounced low-end are your cup of tea, the Edifiers will serve you well. For those seeking audio purity, a more expansive soundstage, and the high-resolution stamp, the Polk Audio ES20s are the clear winner, assuming you're willing to invest in the necessary electronics to drive them.

Ultimately, both sets of speakers demonstrate that great sound doesn't necessarily require a tremendous amount of space or a monumental investment. Whether you lean towards the convenience and modern flair of the Edifiers or the audiophile-grade performance and traditional charm of the Polks, you're bound to have a satisfying auditory experience that transports you to the center of your favorite musical landscapes or the heart-pounding action of the latest films.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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.