Redragon Andante GS812 Review 2.0 Gaming Desktop Speakers

Friday, August 19, 2022

Anyone familar with the RPG game Eternal Sonata and the band ABBA may find Redragon's new Andante GS812 desktop speakers familar! Sharing the name with Abba's hit song Andante Andante and the Andante village in Eternal Sonata - the hideout for the rebels of Andantino!
The ANDANTE GS812 speakers measure 16cm deep, 21cm high and 12cm wide. There are four 2mm thick foam pads on the bottom of the enclosure to elevate the enclosure and minimize vibrations on a desk. The main speaker integrates a plastic faceplate with two knobs (volume and bass tone) and connectivity ports. The faceplate measures 9.5cm high and 6.5cm wide. The knobs stick out 1cm out. The USB-A port is designed to connect the second speaker for stereo sound. 

The main speaker is the active speaker with the bluetooth chip and amplifier, while the second speaker is a passive speaker. You can use the main active speaker standalone for mono listening. The passive speaker has a fixed non-detachable USB-A rubber cable (1.2 meters long). The active speaker has a fixed figure8 style audio/mic cable, which is 1.4 meters and noticeable thicker than the passive speaker cable. 

The main speaker audio/mic cable is designed to connect the speakers to an audio source that accepts 3.5mm audio and microphone like a computer. You can also wire the Andante GS812 speakers to a phone using only the green (3.5mm) connection. If your computers uses a single combo jack for 3.5mm audio and mic, you will need a 3.5mm male to female audio/mic splitter adapter (not included).
Another thing to note is that most computers have a front panel audio and rear panel audio for 3.5mm and mic connection. The Andante GS812 speakers don't seem to work when connected to a front audio interface, although this could be due to the front panel interface not being grounded. Regardless, it is genrally better connecting the Andante GS812 speakers to a rear panel audio for better audio quality, unless the front panel audio cable is shielded to prevent noise from the motherboard being picked up in the audio. 

The volume knob sits on top of an encoder, which spins continuously in either direction clockwise or anti-clockwise. The encoder has a notched shaft too, which provides a tactile and gradual volume adjustment control. The bass knob sits on top of a traditional potentiometer so, it has stops for minimum and maximum settings. The bass potentiometer knob has a nice resistance for tactile gradual adjustment. 

The volume knob makes a loud beep alert when reaching 100% volume and, it is also a centre push button too for power on/off. On the rear side of the enclosure, there is a large vent bass port, which is literary a hole but on the Andante GS812 speakers, the vent bass port is a lot more more obvious and not in a good way. You can actually see inside the speaker and even stick your finger in, which isn't ideal as dust will likely find its way inside the speaker enclosure. 
Despite the relatively thin panel enclosure and oversized vent ports, the Andante GS812 speaker delivers good sound for casual listening and gaming. There is good detail retrieval and wide sound stage across the midrange for pinpointing footsteps and hearing in game audio cues. The bass is decent enough for enjoying in game immersion.

The rear back panel has a grainy MDF wood finish to it, while the top/bottom/side enclosure seem to be made of wood veneer. As well as knobs, there are two physical clicky buttons - one of them for controlling the RGB modes which include a single color changing and rainbow effect and OFF. The other button (M) is designed for toggling between bluetooth and wired mode. The DC power adapter (with US plug) that is included comes with a 1.4 meters long cable.
On the front of the Andante GS812 speaker enclosure, there is a RGB led side strip, a Redragon plastic logo (glued) and non-removable metal cover grilles, concealing a 3 inch woofer driver and 1.5 inch full range driver. The front of the enclosure is made of plastic. The main speaker weighs a little over 1kg (1056 grams), while the secondary speaker weighs also a little over 1kg (1013 grams).

Potential deal breakers with the Andante GS812
  • Limited RGB lighting effects - no single solid color option
  • No treble tone control
  • No bluetooth AAC codec support
  • No absolute bluetooth volume support; hence the speaker volume knob does not control the volume of the audio source.
  • The USB-A port is audio input only for connecting the second speaker. Would have been useful if the USB-A port had dual functionality for audio and power passthrough for charging external devices.
  • The built-in headphone jack does not work as an auxiliary input when connected to an external speaker
  • Doesn't seem to work when connected to a PC front panel audio 
  • The main speaker has no rechargeable battery; hence you cannot use it as a wireless bluetooth speaker - only as a mains powered bluetooth speaker
  • The cover grilles are not detachable to see the driver cones
  • Plastic wobbly knobs
  • Over exposed rear vent bass ports 
  • Cheap feel due to the thin enclosure which seems to be made of very thin layer of wood on top of a thin layer of MDF wood. 
  • Bass maybe a little on the thin side for some
  • There is no tweeter driver for higher frequencies

Selling points for the Andante GS812
  • The sound quality of the speakers is good for a 10 watt 2.0 channel desktop speaker
  • Can be connected wired and wireless to a phone
  • Subtle RGB leds - not over the top
  • Strong bluetooth connection
  • Latency doesn't seem to be an issue when watching YouTube videos, despite the lack of AAC support
  • Budget look and feel - perfect for someone looking for an entry level desktop gaming speaker
  • Analog bass control lets you remove and increase bass on the go without software
  • Plenty of power when used as a desktop speakers - may also work well as bookshelf speakers for a small room
  • They looks good on a desktop
You can buy the Andante GS812 gaming speakers from Redragon. Check out the review of the Connie GS814.

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