I’ve not looked at a product made by AirPulse in quite a while, so I was excited when I was asked to write a review of the AirPulse P100X. I jumped at the chance and accepted right away. I was eager to dive right in and because I’m impatient, I was like a kid on Christmas Eve, waiting to open all of the presents.
The P100X is the second thing I’ve looked by the Edifier sister company, the first thing I wrote covering these guys was my AirPulse A80 Review which you can read by hitting the link, which will open in a new tab.
Well, that’s enough of an intro, let’s get into the review. We’ll start as usual with my first impressions and then take it from there.
AirPulse P100X Review
When the courier arrived with the box containing the P100X I instantly commented at how heavy the box felt. I very rarely do any research into a product before it arrives, all I had to go on this time around was a picture, I didn’t assume it’d be very heavy, I was wrong.
I’m really interested to dig into the AirPulse P100X a lot more and find out where all of the weight is coming from, I really hope it’s from some incredibly high quality drivers and not just additional, useless bulk.
Opening up the outer box I was greeted with a rather plain brown branded AirPulse box. It’s not the best looking but it is made of quite thick cardboard, which should give plenty of protection to the speaker inside.
I got a sharp knife and opened up the branded box. I was greeted with a view of the top of the speakers striking walnut veneer. It’s described on the box as being a retro styled desktop speaker system. I couldn’t have described it any better my self, it’s retro alright and at first glance, it looks great.
It not only looks great, it feels solid too. Removing it from the box I can already tell that I love the overall design.
The P100X supports Bluetooth 5.0 right out of the box, which is good. Some companies need to move away from using the older standard, 5.0 allows for higher quality music to be played over Bluetooth and if you find a compatible device, the difference is remarkable.
My first impressions are fantastic and I can’t wait to plug it in and give it a try.
Single Use Plastic
There isn’t much in terms of single use plastic. But, there is unfortunately quite a lot of that un-recyclable foam used to protect the speaker whilst being shipped.
I don’t know enough about packaging materials to offer an alternative but I suspect there’s probably a more environmentally friendly solution than what’s currently employed.
Build Quality & Features
AirPulse is a sister company of Edifier so I’m expecting great build quality. The main unit body is made with what I suspect to be MDF or HDF. It’s finished in a real wood walnut veneer which feels durable.
The fit and finish of the wooden construction is good, there aren’t any gaps in between the panels and the real wood veneer doesn’t have any rough edges.
At the front of the unit you’ll find the retro looking dust cover, which on first inspection looks just as well made as the main body of the unit. But, removing the dust cover and looking at the back of it, it’s clear that it’s not very well finished around the inside edges as it was already ripped! This is slightly disappointing.
In regards to the ripped inside edge, it could be due to this unit not being factory fresh. Another reviewer had already had the speaker on loan so may have been due to that.
This may seem a trivial point to call out because most people won’t remove the dust cover but I like to mention it in the interest of openness.
Below the dust cover you’ll find the main control switches. They look great and offer good tactile feedback when operating the switch. I particularly like the main power switch because it gives off a very old school vibe.
At the back of the unit is the ports. It features a left and right RCA channel input as well as the AC power input port. The back of the unit looks super clean and upon removing the rear dust cover you can see the back of the woofer, which looks like a bit of a beast.
As well as the RCA inputs, you can connect to it via Bluetooth, which is quick. My phone connected in under 2 seconds once it had identified the AirPulse device, which is super impressive. Even the PreSonus HD10BT couldn’t connect that quick!
I’m not too impressed with the bundled remote control. It’s literally identical to a few Edifier ones I’ve reviewed in the past. It’s an off the shelf item and not specifically designed for the P100X and does unfortunately let down the overall retro look and feel.
I can’t perform my scratch test or drop test as this unit is only on loan, but the materials do feel strong and I’m fairly certain it’d survive day to day in a your household.
The retro themed design and styling elements on the AirPulse P100X has been really well done. I’m impressed with the amalgamation of retro and modern in this relatively compact package. The size reminds me slightly of the Edifier D12, which I’ve also reviewed.
A well designed speaker such as the P100X allows it to fit within any area of the house and within any style of home decor.
Overall then, I’m pleased with the build quality but there are two areas of improvement I’ve identified. The two areas aren’t any real cause for concern, I just hope quality control standards don’t slip in other areas during manufacturing.
Here’s what you’ve been waiting for. This unit has some pretty powerful drivers and I’d imagined, due to the size of them it’d be pretty bass heavy without too much fiddling with the tuning knobs.
I was right in some respects, it’s fairly bass heavy but not as much as I’d imagined there would be.
When it comes to rap, hip-hop and other genres that are more heavily reliant on bass I felt the P100X lacked a little something. There’s definitely a lot of punch but it didn’t wow me. I’d have expected the 40W long-throw woofer to provide a bit more boom when the dial was in a neutral position.
Having said that though, use the tuning knobs to dial the bass up and it soon delivers all the punch you’ll ever need and then some.
The two 10W tweeters punch well above there weight and are pretty much the dominant sound profile. I quite like a top heavy listening experience. If the bass was a little bit more ‘in your face’ I would have liked the factory fresh sound.
If you’re not into a heavy sounding top end feel free to dial up the bass and lower the treble slightly, which I found to be the sweet spot, that sweet spot sounds great for the vast majority of music genres and even a podcast.
There is good separation and brilliant levels of clarity in vocal performances. I really liked that individual instruments are easily identified, that’s definitely the mark of a good speaker.
it’s almost portable in size and if this wasn’t a loan item I’d be taking it away with me next month for my musical needs whilst on the road.
Overall, I’d describe the sound quality of this unit as being versatile, it sounded great in my office and also sounded fantastic in my slightly echo inducing kitchen.
Where does the AirPulse P100X fit in an ever growing and ever crowded market? It’s an interesting speaker that has incredible sound quality and a design straight out of a World War 2 movie.
To answer the question, I think it fits in just fine, right near the top of the pile. It should most definitely make your shortlist of future speakers.
I really like the orange glow of the on/off switch.