Edifier R1280DB vs. KEF LS50 Meta

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
$150 $1600
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
11.90” × 7.90” × 11.00”
302mm × 201mm × 279mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
55-20,000 Hz 79-28,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 4.6
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 6.7

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of bookshelf speakers, the Edifier R1280DB presents as an affordable, feature-rich choice with Bluetooth connectivity and a remote control, appealing to casual listeners prioritizing ease and value. The KEF LS50 Meta, on the other hand, stands as a high-end audiophile favorite, boasting its innovative Metamaterial Absorption Technology for refined, detailed sound. While the Edifier offers commendable performance for its price point, the KEF LS50 Meta, with a higher price tag, promises an immersive listening experience, catering to those who seek audio fidelity and are willing to invest in superior sonic craftsmanship.

Speaker Comparison

When we talk about quality audio, the conversation often swirls around the speakers that bring music to our living spaces. Among the myriad of choices for the discerning audiophile, two models stand out for their unique offerings: the Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers. The former strikes with its affordability and feature-rich profile, while the latter is a high-fidelity instrument that has garnered praise for its revolutionary technology and sound accuracy.

The Edifier R1280DB - Affordability Meets Versatility

The Edifier R1280DB is a pair of powered speakers that come with a built-in amplifier, meaning you can connect them directly to your music source without the need for a separate amp. This makes them an excellent choice for those who are looking to simplify their audio setup or may be operating within a tighter budget. With Bluetooth connectivity, they offer a degree of versatility that is quite admirable at their price point, allowing users to stream music wirelessly. Additionally, multiple inputs including optical, coaxial, and dual RCA ports make the R1280DB a flexible companion for various audio configurations.

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

KEF LS50 Meta - Audiophile Performance in Compact Form

On the other side of the spectrum, the KEF LS50 Meta speakers represent a different class of listening experience. They're the result of meticulous engineering and KEF's commitment to audio excellence. The LS50 Meta incorporates the brand's cutting-edge Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) which dramatically reduces distortion and delivers a purer, more natural sound. Unlike the Edifiers, these are passive speakers requiring an external amplifier to drive them. This, while adding complexity and cost to the setup, provides the listener with the opportunity to tailor their system's performance with different amplification choices.

Design and Build Quality

The Edifier R1280DB has a classic bookshelf design with a modern touch. They're well-built for their price range, and the wood veneer finish gives them an attractive aesthetic that can easily blend with most decor. However, the KEF LS50 Meta speakers are in a league of their own when it comes to design. They boast a distinctive curved front with a unique Uni-Q driver array that is not only visually striking but also functional, enhancing the audio dispersion across a room. The build quality of the LS50 Meta is superior, with denser materials that contribute to better sound dampening and overall fidelity.

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta arrow (at Amazon.com)

Sound Quality Comparisons

When it comes down to sound quality, the R1280DB speakers offer a surprisingly coherent and balanced sound for their price point. They provide a decent soundstage and clarity, which is more than capable for casual listening and can even satisfy the ears of a more critical listener on a budget. Nonetheless, the KEF LS50 Meta is on a different level. They deliver a truly high-definition audio experience, with a wider soundstage, more precise imaging, and a level of detail that can be revelatory. The bass is tight and controlled, and the MAT technology ensures that the treble is smooth without any hint of sibilance.

Value and Accessibility

Considering value, the Edifier R1280DBs are an excellent entry point for those new to the audiophile world or those who are not ready to make a significant investment in their audio equipment. They offer a lot of functionality and a more than satisfactory sound for a very accessible price. The KEF LS50 Meta, being a premium product, comes with a premium price tag. They're an investment, but for the audiophile who demands uncompromising sound quality, the investment is justified. These are speakers that you buy not just for the present listening but as part of a long-term audio strategy that will pay dividends with every track played.


Choosing between the Edifier R1280DB and KEF LS50 Meta bookshelf speakers ultimately comes down to one's priorities and budget. The Edifiers offer an excellent price-to-performance ratio with added convenience features, making them a solid choice for everyday enjoyment and hassle-free operation. Meanwhile, the KEF LS50 Meta speakers cater to the purist, those seeking an enveloping sound that captures the nuance and emotion of a live performance. Both sets of speakers have their place in the homes of music lovers; it's just a matter of tuning into what speaks to you both in sound and spirit.

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Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta 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.