Edifier is known for their competitively priced audio products including speakers and recently, Bluetooth wireless earphones. While we were used to the thought of Chinese products focus on being affordable and usable while sacrificing the quality, the Edifier W200BT SE tells a slightly different story where you can somehow have all of the three if you’re not picky on the audio quality.
With an almost similar name with Edifier’s W200BT, the W200BT SE has a whole other look altogether. The SE may stand for “Special Edition”, but the exact difference is that the SE has a soft cable neckband while the standard W200BT has a solid neckband style.
A fairly simple unboxing, the box opens up like a jewellery box lid except that it is thin cardboard.
Opening the box, the W200 BT SE is laid out neatly inside by a plastic mould. Underneath the plastic contains the replacement ear tips, USB to micro USB cable, and user manual. It comes with 2 replacement tips and a small clip for the wire.
The W200BT SE has the latest Bluetooth version, Bluetooth 5.0.
The SE is also stated to have an IPX5 water-resistant level. IPX5 means that the earphone can take on lightly sprayed water on it. Perfect for a sports earphone handling sweat and some light rinses to clean it. I’m not sure about letting water touching the driver though.
Build Quality and Appearance
The W200BT SE has a decent build for its price. Retailing at RM 99, the materials are mostly plastic and silicon. Though, overall it doesn’t feel too flimsy. The wire are at a reasonable thickness for sporty activities, well, it is a sports earphone anyway. Unfortunately, the wires are not tangle-free.
The W200BT SE is available in 4 colours – Black, Red, White and Grey. The unit I received came in Black. The appearance has a simple, clean matte black finish to it, with the wire extending from the earbud to the remote control, to the battery holder, and then to the other earbud. While the remote and the battery holder is matte black, the earbuds are glossy black. The silicon is on the cheaper side at the cost. It is not as firm as the more expensive silicon ear tips out there and dust sticks to it easily. The charging port is located at the side of the remote control of the earphone. What baffles me, however, is Edifier’s decision to use a microSD port. It’s 2020, type-C is the way to go.
There’s not much to talk about the W200BT SE appearance while wearing it. On the ear, it’s a very subtle look. It doesn’t scream for attention the way a normal sport earphone would. However, the look as a whole brings a different narrative. While wearing it, it looks as if you’re wearing 2 dangling rectangular earrings due to the remote and battery compartment located beneath from the earbuds a few centimetres away.
The battery life on the W200BT SE is not as long compared to the other headphones of this age. The SE lasts around 7 hours or so, enough to last for most commercial airline flights. Charging takes about 1.5 hours. When charging, the light on the remote lights up bright red and it turns off when charging is complete. A fairly decent battery life I might say.
During calls, due to the high default bass, the voice can be overwhelming. Combined with the noise isolation, it’s not pleasant. The SE gives off a very stuffy vibe during calls. It’s like you’re talking in a vacuum-sealed bag.
Some minor details on the earphones can you can appreciate, there are magnets on the end of the earbuds which you can use to magnetically clip it to each other preventing it from dangling around when it’s not in your ear.
Secondly, the earphone speaks. It tells you if you’re on, off, disconnected, or pairing with a device rather than using a beep to indicate their status. But ironically, it sounds a beep when the battery is low.
What use is an earphone if you can’t use it for long? The W200BT SE sits quite comfortably in the ear and around the neck, for around 1.5 hours. After that, the ear starts the hurt. The silicone ear tips are quite firm which contributes to the soreness. While not in use, you can just let the earphone hang around your neck and it won’t fall, provided if you don’t run. It is really well balanced when it hangs on your neck as the remote and the battery weight is equally distributed so one side is not heavier than the other. However, if you decide to only place the earbud in one ear and leave the other ear free to listen to your surroundings, the free side of the earbud will fall, but not heavy as to pull it out from your ear. Overall, it’s a very comfortable earphone to wear wherever you are.
Noise Isolation on the SE is good. Fairly normal considering other earphones in the market. When music is playing it blocks most sounds out (not high-pitched sounds like a car horn). It’s ideal. While music is off, it’s just like putting your fingers into your ear.
Now, the core test of any audio equipment. The SE sound as a whole is pretty good, crisp and clear when tuned properly. Even without burning it in, the SE is able to play the frequency range in most music with reasonable levels of distortion.
When nicely tuned, it shines in songs with heavy bass. However, I find the bass to be too overpowering and echo-y that it can muddle up the mid-tones. In fact, the bass can be so overpowering that if still can be heard even when it is tuned down heavily. If you enjoy these kinds of songs, this will not be a problem, but for some, it can be a dealbreaker.
While the W200BT SE may have a lot of praise in this review, the mid-tones are one that it will not get any. All in all, it’s okay. Not great but definitely not ear-screeching. As said earlier, the bass muddles the mid-tones and, in some instances, it even sounds like bass under a ceramic bowl. The mid-tones also sounded echo-y.
It’s treble is just fine. High-pitched vocals are clear and it doesn’t have any distortion at all. Surprising considering the price and how it compared to other audio manufacturers at that price. But it’s still not as silky compared to the higher-end earphones, but it plays it well.
The only quality lacking in the W200BT SE is the surround sound. But I wouldn’t complain about its absence in this case due to the price that they are selling it at. But what Edifier seems to do to compensate for its lack of surround is making the earphone louder than it usually is. While at 70% volume, it really feels like two full-sized speakers taped to your ears. The sound is literally screaming in your ears. But to look at its functionality, it was designed for gym-goers. While the gym is blasting their own music, you are isolated from that environment leaving only you, your weights and your music. Outside the gym, this feature won’t be so appreciated.
Overall, it’s pretty good considering its price. In fact, this earphone gives you way more than what you’re paying. It’s great.
If you’re looking for a budget sport earphone, this is a choice you can’t go wrong with. The sound quality is very good factoring in for what they are offering it for. For sports, it grips in your ear tightly, allowing for vigorous movements and activities during your workout sessions. At only RM 99, you’re really getting more than what you paid for.