The wireless over-ear headphones EDIFIER Stax Spirit S3 for audiophile friends of high-resolution music without a pronounced bass tendency are now available from iBood for only €245.90 instead of €300. The offer is valid until May 7th. valid and only while stocks last.
The EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3 is the most expensive and most impressive Bluetooth headphones without ANC that I have been able to test so far. Since it arrived, it has been sitting on my head practically every day, as it surpasses everything I have heard in the wireless over-ear area with an incredibly detailed and crisp stage. However, I cannot unreservedly recommend it.
EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3 Review, Specs & Price
- EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3 Over-Ear Headphones
- Packaging & scope of delivery
The EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3 come in a printed box. Inside there is a transport box with the headphones, a user manual, a sleeved 3.5 mm jack cable, a 3.5 to 6.3 mm jack adapter and a second pair of ear pads. We will go into this in more detail under wearing comfort.
Design & Processing
The EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3 measures 208 x 110 x 255 mm and weighs 329 g. I don’t find either of these particularly exceptional. The headphones aren’t the lightest, but I don’t think they’re too heavy either. In comparison, a Sony WH-1000XM5 weighs around 250 g.
The design of the EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3 is anything but extraordinary. Typically, the headphones are only available in black. The EDIFIER logo can be found on both sides of the headband, directly above the headphones. In turn, the bracket can be pulled out about 3 cm on both sides. Doing this reveals a silver metal rail that amplifies the headphones in this area. As always, the middle part of the headband is equipped with a head pad, which is covered with leather.
The headphones themselves are provided with carbon on the back, which probably only serves optical purposes. The logo is in the middle, and the headphones can be rotated on the headband.
I have to say that the EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3 looks very basic and is absolutely nothing special. Other manufacturers try harder to make their models look unique. The choice of materials is also standard. The over-ear consists almost entirely of black plastic, but is well made and makes a valuable impression.
Sound of the EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3
The EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3 Over-Ears are equipped with a planar membrane driver. These are not often found in such “cheap” headphones, but they seem to be gradually becoming available in a reasonably affordable price range.
To explain how a planar driver works in a very simplified way: A metal plate that generates the sound sits between magnets and can thus be made to oscillate very precisely. For example, planar drivers are intended to reproduce stringed instruments particularly faithfully to the original. I can confirm that based on my experience. It also makes perfect sense, since the sound generation of the planar driver bears a certain resemblance to the basic sound generation of the instrument.
Disadvantage of the planar membranes: While they perform very precisely in the high/mid range, these drivers are less suitable for generating low frequencies.
Not an all-rounder, but very good in its element
In the test, the EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3 over-ears deliver the best sound in the high and mid-range that I have ever heard from over-ear headphones. Even Sony’s top ANC model WH-1000XM5 does not come close to the richness of detail of the EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3.
Especially high-resolution music that was recorded live in excellent quality is incredibly fun with the EDIFIER. You don’t hear music with it, you listen to it and can hear exactly what’s happening on stage. It makes listening to music an even more interesting experience for me.
In addition to live recordings of all kinds, I particularly enjoy classical and film music with the EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3.
While the high and mid-range performance of the EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3 is impressive, the low-frequency performance is a bit disappointing. Especially bass-heavy music is less fun, it lacks pressure, volume and depth.
So I can’t recommend the EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3 unreservedly, but if you particularly like listening to music and have access to high-resolution music, then the not exactly cheap headphones can still be worth it. But if you get your music via Spotify, for example, or don’t listen to the corresponding genres of music, then you can’t really exploit the potential of the EDIFIER over-ears and a Soundcore Space Q45 could offer you a much better price-performance ratio.
Apparently, no great importance was attached to a headset microphone with this over-ear. There is one and in quiet surroundings you can make a phone call with it, but that’s about it. Outside, or in noisy environments, background noise is not filtered out well.
As already mentioned, two pairs of ear pads are included in the scope of delivery. On the one hand there is a leather version, which shields a little better and a textile version, which shields a little less, but does not store heat as much in return.
Especially in summer, or in general, I prefer the textile version. Due to the lower heat development, I find the wearing comfort to be more pleasant when worn for a long time. But that’s probably just a matter of taste.
The pads have plastic clips on the back and snap firmly into place on the handset. To change them, all you have to do is pull the pad hard enough to release the clips. It cannot be ruled out that the clips on the upholstery will eventually break if you change the upholstery too regularly. Here you should proceed with a little finesse.
Operation And App
A control element with three buttons is installed on the right earpiece. In the middle is a multifunction button that can be used to switch the headphones on and off. If the headphones are on, the play/pause function can be executed. In the case of a call, this can be accepted and rejected with the button.
With the buttons on the left and right next to it, the previous and next track can be selected and the volume can be adjusted. Since there is no ANC, all important functions can actually be carried out directly on the EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3.
Some additional functions are available in the EDIFIER App for Android and iOS. However, the range of functions is rather narrow.
Bluetooth connection with Snapdragon Sound
When it comes to wireless connection, the STAX Spirit S3 rely entirely on Qualcomm and support the entire aptX codec package with “Snapdragon Sound”. In addition to the standard aptX codec, aptX-HD and aptX-Adaptive are also supported. Apple users are at a disadvantage, without the AAC codec, only the really outdated SBC codec remains. So I clearly cannot recommend the over-ear for Apple users !
As usual for Qualcomm chips, the Bluetooth range is good. In the test in an open area, I was able to achieve a range of around 15 meters without signal interference. In closed rooms, as always, it is a little less, depending on the obstacles.
Ultra long running time
The EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3 are equipped with a 1500 mAh battery and, according to the manufacturer, offer an incredibly long runtime of up to 80 hours. This is probably due to the fact that no ANC technology is installed and that the installed Qualcomm Bluetooth 5.2 chip has good energy efficiency.
In the test, I was able to confirm the runtime of around 80 hours at medium volume. During the four-week test phase, I only had to charge the headphones twice. A quick charge function is also implemented, so 10 minutes of charging is enough for up to 11 hours of music listening.
With the EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3, the manufacturer is launching a very special set of over-ear headphones. In terms of design, you stick to the tried and tested, with good workmanship. In terms of sound, it is aimed more at an audiophile audience who would like to enjoy high-resolution music wirelessly on the go.
The headphones offer a very precise and true-to-original sound in high and mid-tones. With bass-heavy, modern music composed on the computer, however, it lacks depth. The target group for the headphones is relatively high, but anyone who has the right taste in music and correspondingly high-resolution audio files will love the EDIFIER STAX Spirit S3. Unless you have an iPhone, without a high-resolution codec you just can’t get the full potential.
- Realistic sound
- Changeable ear pads
- Snapdragon sound
- Potential can only be exploited with high-resolution audio files
Unfortunately, EDIFIER does not use active noise suppression on this model, which has actually almost become the standard for Bluetooth over-ears. The STAX Spirit S3 is only partially made for loud environments. The focus is just a little different here. Whether I personally would have spent €350 for an over-ear without ANC from EDIFIER is questionable. After the test, however, I’m a fan of the over-ear and I got a slight “I need this” feeling.