Despite their looks, the Edifier Hecate G5000 gaming speakers are surprising and offers something different to the table when it comes to gaming peripherals.
“A passion for sound” is Edifier’s slogan. The audio equipment maker prides itself on its roster of products, but the Hecate G5000 has a lot to live up to. Having browsed other outlets for some background information on the company, Edifier seems to have picked up a reputation for great speakers, but only in certain markets.
The particular market where the $500 price tag on the Hecate G5000 speakers won’t be blinked at. So make no mistake, these are some pretty high-end “gaming” speakers.
Edifier’s attempt to enter the gaming market has gone down well well, but within the circles we populate, they’ve been a relative unknown. It’s why the G5000 is interesting to us. A speaker system that wants to work within the confines of the gaming industry, with the backing of a reputable audio company?
It’s not the first time it has happened. We’ve seen headsets from JBL proliferating at an exorbitant rate. Even companies like RODE are starting to take the industry – and its potential for a grab at the $200 billion turnover – a little more seriously.
Edifier’s Hecate G5000s then, have to do something to stand out from an overcrowded market that is desperate to one-up each other.
- Frequency: 70Hz – 40kHz
- Noise level: i>
- Audio input: Bluetooth, AUX, USB, Optical, Coaxial
- Bluetooth version: 5.0
- Audio decoding: APTX HD, APTX, SBC
- Digital sampling: Up to 24bits/192kHz
- Weird Al’s UHF and Now You Know
- Mick Gordon’s BFG Division
- David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World
- Pink Floyd’s Money and Brain Damage
- Dethklok’s Murmaider
- Brendon Small’s Prophecy of the Lazer Witch
- Run the Jewels’ Love Again
- RedLetterMedia’s Ninja Turtles review
- Classic Doctor Who
- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
- Gudetama: An Eggcellent Adventure
- Dead Space
- Modern Warfare 2
- Darksiders: Warmastered
- Wonderful 101 Remastered
- Amid Evil
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Upon first glance, the Hecate G5000 didn’t get a positive response from us. The garish gamer aesthetic, with the sickening rainbow RGB made for something that we just didn’t want to position around our setups.
We get why they chose to go with this look, as it is what everyone else is doing. However, looking at their other offerings in the high-end speaker department, made me yearn for that wooden paneling and elegant aesthetic. Something where you wouldn’t be embarrassed about having them on your shelves.
After a few weeks with them around us, the design never grew on us. Turning off the lights helped, and with winter setting in, the darkened room helps disguise them.
We loved that they’re quite chunky though, which only made us want that typical speaker design. It frustrates us that these companies dive into the industry, expecting that these rather ugly designs are what’s wanted. While we’re sure a marketing department somewhere has done the research, having some ‘grown-up’ equipment would have been appreciated.
Features and audio quality
The G5000s frustrate further through its design, because the feature set and actual performance from them are really good. From having onboard Bluetooth, AUX, COAX, and optical options, nothing was spared in giving full access. In fact, the optical cable – while tiny – was included, which is always a bonus.
There’s also a delightful, very broken English voice that mispronounces every mode as well, which is something that we see Edifier improve on in the future.
Edifier Hecate G5000 Music mode
Edifier has fitted the speakers with different modes, focused on music, movie, and games. Music is the best overall, offering thick bass and a comforting, warm sound that fills the room.
Music tracks we tested for this review included:
Each song we chose was intended to attempt to cover a few bases in terms of how far we could push the speakers. Weird Al, Bowie, and Pink Floyd’s older mixed tracks – played over Spotify and Apple Music – felt rich, as the speakers brought each stereo mix to life.
The harder, more intense sounds of metal from Mick Gordon’s DOOM 2016 soundtrack and Brendon Small’s Dethklok and Galakticon projects benefitted from the all-encompassing hardware inside, but felt as if they could have been assisted by a dedicated subwoofer. The same went for Run the Jewels, although not to the same degree.
Movie mode with the G5000
Heading into movies, YouTube, and TV, we tested the following:
It is during our testing of this type of media, that we found these speakers aren’t supposed to be running solo. Movie mode takes away the bass so that you’d reroute it to your subwoofer and other devices.
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The flatter sound made for a lesser experience when in the movie mode directly, with shows like the recently released Wednesday and Gudetama falling a little short in terms of audio.
Meanwhile, older shows like the classic run of Doctor Who didn’t suffer too much due to the overall lower production values and video files available.
YouTube content, like RedLetterMedia also didn’t sound great, which is an issue when the videos are centered on the conversation. Most of these issues were fixed by simply swapping back to music mode, which boosts the bass to fill out the sound better with no subwoofer available.
Most egregious was the excellent Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. A scene where Laura Palmer is in a sleazy club with deafening music loses its impact when the movie sounds like you’re hearing it through a tin.
The need to include more than just what’s included in the box is not a surprise, as Edifier does sell subwoofers separately and most speaker manufacturers aren’t going to include it outside of full bundles.
Where this is an issue with the gaming industry they’re trying to appeal to. Providing speakers at $500 is already a tough ask, but to then provide an audiophile-esque product to a consumer base more than happy with all-in-one options, is a big ask.
Are the Edifier Hecate G5000 good for gaming?
Gaming mode provides a smaller amount of bass, but the sound was still preferable in music mode. It appears that the flatter sound provided in gaming mode is to not drown out the sound design of certain games.
We tested the following:
Games like Wonderful 101 and Darksiders didn’t really have the needed audio to see the true lengths that these speakers would reach. They did, however, highlight the lack of bass causing certain things in the soundtrack to not have the intended effect. Wonderful 101’s thunderous chorus felt tinny, while Darksiders’ butt-rock and action sequences missed a certain punch.
Dead Space, a game that thrives on sound design, was again, better suited to the music mode. If a proper 5.1 or 7.1 setup was available to us, we think these would have been an excellent addition to them. The creaking of the Ishimura and sudden horror action could have shone properly if Edifier weren’t so afraid of an all-in-one solution.
Amid Evil, Counter-Strike, and Modern Warfare 2 all were tested to see if the theory regarding the flatter sound was to allow in-game audio to shine more. While we could certainly hear the footsteps and various gunfire in the two esports-focused games, Amid Evil didn’t benefit whatsoever.
Not that you’d want to use these over headsets anyway in terms of esports. They lack a certain finesse and having no distractions that headsets bring would always be the better way to play.
Lumines on music mode was sublime, as the puzzle game thrived off of the thick sounds.
Verdict – 4/5
Despite the two modes not performing as wanted, we still have to remember the actual purpose of these speakers. The all-in-one notion isn’t something you find once you leave the boundaries of consumer-level gear and instead begin exploring the enthusiast offerings.
They’re advertised as the one and only thing you’d need on your desk, but the fact is, you’ll need more gear to really get the full effect. On their own, in music mode, they’re delightful. In the other specialized modes, if you already don’t have a subwoofer and other speakers to go with it you’ll find flat, lackluster sounds that don’t feel like $500.
Despite this, the Edifier Hecate G5000 speakers are great, but you best start Googling for the best 5.1 surround sound setups to get the most out of them.
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