Edifier R1280DB vs. ELAC ARB51 Navis

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
$150 $2000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
13.58” × 7.44” × 9.45”
345mm × 189mm × 240mm
Power Type
Powered Powered
Frequency Response
55-20,000 Hz 44-28,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the arena of powered bookshelf speakers, the Edifier R1280DB offers an affordable entry point with a solid soundstage, Bluetooth connectivity, and a user-friendly experience. They're an excellent choice for casual listeners. On the flip side, the ELAC ARB51 Navis is a premium option, boasting audiophile-grade refinement, sophisticated drivers, and an emphasis on accuracy and detail. With a heftier price tag, the ELAC speakers cater to serious enthusiasts seeking a high-fidelity listening experience. Each set of speakers serves its audience well, whether it's budget-conscious consumers or discerning audiophiles looking for top-tier performance.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to choosing powered bookshelf speakers, the Edifier R1280DB and the ELAC ARB51 Navis are two distinct offerings that cater to different segments of the audiophile market. Edifier, widely known for creating value-packed audio equipment, presents the R1280DB as an entry-level contender. The R1280DBs come in at an accessible price point, providing a straightforward and uncomplicated listening experience. Meanwhile, the ELAC ARB51 Navis enters the fray as a high-end option, boasting advanced engineering and audiophile-grade components that promise a more sophisticated sonic performance. This comparison examines how these two models stack up against each other in design, features, sound quality, and value.

Design & Build Quality

The Edifier R1280DB speakers sport a classic bookshelf design that's both functional and aesthetically pleasing, with a wood veneer that would blend well into most home environments. They're solidly built for their price bracket, though they might not exude the same level of sophistication as premium models. In contrast, the ELAC ARB51 Navis speakers showcase a more refined design with a sleek, lacquered finish that speaks to their premium status. The build quality of the ARB51s is top-notch, with attention to detail that justifies the higher investment. They feel robust and are designed to be a statement piece in any setup.

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DB arrow (at Amazon.com)

Features & Connectivity

The Edifier R1280DB is generous in terms of connectivity, offering Bluetooth, optical, coaxial, and dual RCA inputs, making it remarkably versatile for various audio setups. This range of inputs allows users to easily connect to multiple devices, a strong point for Edifier's accessibility. The speakers also come with a handy remote control, which adds to the convenience factor. On the other hand, the ELAC ARB51 Navis is more specialised, focusing on delivering a pure and high-quality audio experience. It includes high-end features such as a built-in amplifier designed for each driver, which ensures optimized performance. While it lacks Bluetooth connectivity, it compensates with premium analog and digital inputs that cater to the discerning listener.

Sound Quality

The sound signature of the Edifier R1280DB is warm and pleasing, with a balanced profile that does well across a variety of genres. The bass is present and punchy for a speaker of its size, and there's a good clarity in the mids and highs. However, it's in the realm of soundstage and detail that the Edifier starts to show its limitations. The ELAC ARB51 Navis, in stark contrast, offers an audio experience that is captivating. With its three-way design and dedicated drivers for lows, mids, and highs, the sound is articulate and immensely detailed. The bass is tight and controlled, while the mids are lush and the highs are crisp without being piercing. The soundstage is expansive, with exceptional imaging and separation that can make you feel like you're in the room with the musicians.

ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC ARB51 Navis arrow (at Amazon.com)

Value is a subjective term when it comes to audio equipment, but it's an essential factor in any product comparison. The Edifier R1280DB speakers provide an impressive value proposition for those entering the world of quality audio. They deliver a level of sound quality that exceeds expectations for their price point, making them an excellent choice for budget-conscious audiophiles. Conversely, the ELAC ARB51 Navis speakers are an investment, aimed at those who are willing to pay a premium for superior acoustic performance. They are a long-term investment for serious listeners who prioritize audio fidelity above all else.

When recommending one over the other, the choice largely depends on the listener's priorities and budget. The Edifier R1280DB is an ideal starting point for newcomers to the audiophile community or those seeking a significant upgrade from basic, built-in speakers without breaking the bank. They are easy to set up and offer versatility that is hard to match at their price point. The ELAC ARB51 Navis, however, is for the seasoned audiophile, someone who can appreciate the nuances of high-fidelity sound and is ready to invest in a set of speakers that can offer a transformative listening experience.

Ultimately, the Edifier R1280DB and the ELAC ARB51 Navis serve different markets within the audiophile community. The R1280DBs are about providing a quality entry-level experience, whereas the ARB51s are about pushing the boundaries of what can be expected from bookshelf speakers. Both sets have their place, and both can deliver satisfaction to their respective audiences. It's about matching the right speaker with the right listener, and in that regard, both Edifier and ELAC have succeeded in creating compelling offerings for their targeted segments.

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Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.