Wireless Over-Ear Planar Headphones with Noise Cancelation: Edifier STAX Spirit S3 Review

By: Anry Sergeev | today, 00:08
Wireless Over-Ear Planar Headphones with Noise Cancelation: Edifier STAX Spirit S3 Review

Planar magnetic headphones are nothing new, but they're still pretty rare. Edifier's flagship STAX SPIRIT S3 are over-ear, noise-cancelling headphones. Edifier is aiming them at the high end of the market, so they're relatively expensive. The company has been making audio products for 25 years, and has a good pedigree. These flagship headphones are designed with one goal in mind: to produce breathtaking high-resolution sound. 

The name of these headphones refers back to Stax, the company that pioneered the electrostatic headphone benchmark and whose name has become synonymous with this class of devices. The planar magnetic drivers produce clearer sound with higher resolution and better imaging, and the ultra-wide frequency range ensures you won't miss a single musical note. And for those times when you need to cut yourself off from the world around you, active noise cancellation makes sure nothing gets in your way. Despite the excellent sound quality, these headphones are expensive. Also, the bass isn't as piercing as some other headphones on the market, and they are a bit heavy. However, if you're willing to pay for quality sound, the Edifier STAX Spirit S3 is a great option. If you're an audiophile or just looking for great headphones, the STAX SPIRIT S3 is sure to exceed your expectations.


Edifier STAX Spirit S3 Edifier STAX Spirit S3
The Edifier STAX SPIRIT S3 is the flagship Hi-Res Audio headphone that combines cutting-edge audio technology with premium components. Ultra-wide frequency response from 10Hz to 40kHz, EqualMass, aptX HD technologies and Snapdragon audio to deliver wireless Hi-Fi audio. Lightweight, on-ear magnetic earphones are made of ultra-light and durable carbon fiber, have a full system of folding hinges, hand-crafted ear cushions and a genuine leather headband, and provide up to 80 hours of playback. Through the Edifier Connect app, the user gains access to advanced features, game modes with low delay, as well as additional equalizer parameters.
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5 Reasons to Buy Edifier STAX Spirit S3

  • Planar magnetic drivers for superior sound reproduction
  • Active noise cancellation for a truly immersive experience
  • Hi-Res Audio, Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound and aptX HD technologies support
  • Bluetooth 5.2 with Multi-Point Connectivity for 2 devices
  • Comfortable over-ear design for hours of listening enjoyment

3 Reasons Not to Buy Edifier STAX Spirit S3

  • You might not need all the features (game mode, for example)
  • They're a bit heavy for on the go use
  • They're relatively expensive

What is in the Box

The package of Edifier STAX SPIRIT S3 can be called traditional for this class of headphones. It includes a travel case, an audio cable for listening to music in wired mode (if the battery is dead, nothing should prevent you from enjoying music), a USB charging cable, a set of ear cushions, a user manual with a warranty card and an adapter (which is just not always the case) to connect the headphones to a classic home audio system.

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The headphones fold and unfold 90 degrees to fit in the case. There is an additional pocket that can hold cables and an adapter.

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Appearance

The Edifier STAX Spirit S3 has a fairly sleek and modern design. The headphones are mostly black with silver accents. The ear cups have a metal outer ring with Edifier branding in the center. On the right ear cup, there is a power button and an LED indicator light. There is also a USB-C port for charging. The headband is padded and adjustable. The ear cups are also padded and can swivel up to 90 degrees. The headphones are made of plastic but they don't feel cheap. They're actually quite sturdy and well-built. If necessary, the ear pads can be easily removed and installed back.

The left ear cup has a volume rocker, multifunctional button and a 3.5 mm jack for wired use. 

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Photo of headphones with ear cushions removed

Planar Technology: Explanation

Planar magnetic drivers are made up of a thin membrane with a conductive pattern on it. This membrane is suspended between two magnets. When an electrical signal is applied to the conductive pattern, it creates a magnetic field. This interacts with the magnets, causing the diaphragm to move back and forth, producing sound.

Planar magnetic drivers have several advantages over traditional dynamic drivers. They can produce cleaner sound with less distortion. They also have better audio and can reproduce sounds with more detail.

Edifier STAX SPIRIT S3 uses technology from Audeze LLC (the California-based high-end audio manufacturer). The award-winning sound of Audeze is the result of cutting edge planar magnetic technology that creates an accurate and immersive listening experience. Fluxor, Fazor and Uniforce are patented technologies licensed by Edifier for their STAX SPIRIT S3. 

Uniforce

The Uniforce technology is the first in its class to provide unparalleled acoustic details and accuracy with 0.5% distortion, all while maintaining an imperceptible driving force so you can hear everything clearly.

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Fluxor

The Audeze Fluxor magnetic structure is made up of a high definition, wider frequency response and more powerful magnets. This new technology provides unparalleled efficiency with double flux density compared to traditional ones.

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Fazor

Fazor is the key to cleaner and more accurate sound. It allows for waves generated by planar magnetic diaphragms, which pass through magnetic structures without being distorted or changed in any way-preserving timing details that would be lost otherwise! This ultimately results in better quality of music with greater resolution as well as improved imaging capabilities on your speakers.

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EqualMass

Edifier's all-new EqualMass diaphragm technology is engineered to be extremely accurate, with trusted and iconic components including Audeze Fluxor magnetic structure Uniforce driver for powerful sound reproduction.

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Control

To control Edifier STAX SPIRIT S3, three keys are used - extreme ones for changing the sound and a multifunctional button (MFB) for everything else. A short press on the sound key changes the volume, a long press selects the next or previous track. The multifunctional button, depending on the mode of operation of the headphones, allows you to answer a call, hang up after the end of a call, or dial the last number in the smartphone's call list. Or select headphone modes (for example, game mode with low latency). To do this, click on it once, twice or three times, as shown in the image below. All buttons are convex, so after a day or two of use, you already get used to them and easily use them by touch, without looking.

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Edifier Connect

As with all modern headphones, it is possible to control with the app. It is called Edifier Connect, there is a version for Android and iPhone. The app is simple to use and has the ability to connect headphones with connected devices. You may view the present battery level, as well as access the user guide.

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The ability to reassign the double and triple presses of the multi-function button will be useful. You can assign it to turn on the game mode or start the voice assistant. Or control switching between sound effects.

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Edifier STAX SPIRIT S3 in Use

Hi-Res Audio

The higher the class of the headphones, the harder to make any conclusions about the quality of their sound, because all preferences are individual and no one else's experience will not help you in your choice - before buying it is extremely desirable to listen to the headphones (especially relatively expensive). Speaking of Edifier STAX Spirit S3 we can say that the planar-magnetic technology works - they sound clean. I especially liked the middle frequencies. But the full potential of the headphones is revealed if you use DAC - in that case their sound is close to perfect (at least for my ears). As for the Qualcomm technologies that affect the sound (aptX in all its variations and Snapdragon sound), I liked the sound customization options provided by the Edifier Connect app, which I highly recommend to every buyer of these headphones.

Active Noise Cancelling

The Edifier STAX Spirit S3 has active noise cancellation (ANC) to help you focus on your music and block out distractions. It's worth saying that for closed-ear headphones, noise cancellation has worked very well in recent years. These headphones are no exception. The large size allows you to place batteries of higher capacity, so you do not have to worry that the use of noise cancelling will significantly reduce battery life.

Multi-Point Connectivity

The Edifier STAX SPIRIT S3 could be paired with 2 different Bluetooth devices effortlessly switching between music, gaming or phone calls. I usually use headphones at the same time as my work laptop and smartphone connected to them, so as not to miss a call. To connect a second device, you need to turn off the headphones, then press and hold the multi-function button for 5 seconds to enter the pairing mode. Or use an app where you can pair devices and, if necessary, clear the list of connected devices or generally do a factory reset.

Battery Life

The manufacturer claims that the battery life of the headphones is 80 hours. At that, the manufacturer does not specify in what working conditions such measurements were made. I would dare to assume that with active noise control turned off and, most likely, at half volume level. That is, if you use headphones at maximum volume and with noise reduction enabled, then this time should be less.

Conducting a pure experiment with measurements of battery life looks like a non-trivial task when it comes to several days of continuous operation. Therefore, I proceeded from the typical usage scenario - an average of 6 to 10 hours of music listening per day. And the charge was enough for a week of work. Although the result can not be called exact, and it can be any other for any user, but it is safe to assume that from the user's point of view there is no difference - to charge the headphones once in 6, 7 or 8 days.

And, if the charge suddenly runs out, then, firstly, there is a cable that turns the headphones into wired ones. And secondly, there is a fast charging function, when 10 minutes of charge is enough for several hours of use.

Edifier STAX Spirit S3 Edifier STAX Spirit S3
  • Planar magnetic drivers for superior sound reproduction
  • Active noise cancellation for a truly immersive experience
  • Hi-Res Audio, Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound and aptX HD technologies support
  • Bluetooth 5.2 with Multi-Point Connectivity for 2 devices
  • Comfortable over-ear design for hours of listening enjoyment
Check price

Edifier STAX Spirit S3 Specifications
Dimension 208x110x255 mm
Weight 329 g
Driver 89х70 mm Planar Magnetic Driver
Frequency Response 20Hz~40KHz
Sound Pressure Level 94±3dB SPL (A)
Impedance 24Ω
Microphone Type / Size MEMS / 3.5x2.65x0.98 mm
Microphone Sensitivity -37dBFS±1dBFS
Bluetooth V 5.2, SBC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX adaptive, Snapdragon sound
Battery Capacity 1500 mAh
Fully Charged 2 hours, 10-minute charge giving 11 hours playtime
Playtime 80 hours

3 Things to Know about Edifier STAX Spirit S3

  • Edifier STAX Spirit S3 is a well-built over-the-ear headphone with Planar Magnetic Driver that ensures clear and undistorted sound.
  • It has active noise cancellation (ANC) to help you focus on your music and block out distractions.
  • This headphones support Snapdragon Audio and formats of aptX technology. Additional sound setting options are provided by Edifier Connect app.

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Edifier STAX Spirit S3
Wireless Over-Ear Planar Headphones with Noise Cancelation