Edifier R1280DB vs. Klipsch Reference R-51M

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers
$150 $350
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
13.00” × 7.00” × 8.56”
330mm × 178mm × 217mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
55-20,000 Hz 62-21,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of compact speakers delivering robust soundscapes, the Edifier R1280DB offers a convenient, budget-friendly solution with its built-in Bluetooth and versatile connectivity. Meanwhile, the Klipsch Reference R-51M champions dynamic acoustics through its proprietary horn-loaded technology and punchy bass, appealing to purists who prioritize raw performance. The Edifier caters to casual listeners valuing features and ease-of-use, whereas the Klipsch is tailored for audiophiles seeking an intense, detailed audio experience. Choose Edifier for a multifunctional speaker system, or Klipsch for an immersive sound that's steeped in tradition and engineered for precision.

Speaker Comparison

When we enter the realm of bookshelf speakers, we are met with a plethora of choices, each promising a unique listening experience that often hinges on nuances. Edifier's R1280DB and Klipsch's Reference R-51M are two contenders in this space that exemplify the diversity available to the discerning audiophile. Both speakers offer an enticing blend of performance and value, but they approach sound reproduction in fundamentally different ways, reflecting the philosophies of their respective brands.

Design and Build Quality

The Edifier R1280DB sports a modern, somewhat minimalist design, which can easily blend into a variety of decors. With its wood veneer paneling and black vinyl finish, it offers a look that is both contemporary and timeless. In contrast, the Klipsch Reference R-51M features the iconic copper spun IMG woofers and a textured wood grain vinyl wrap that exudes a more classic, assertive aesthetic. Klipsch has always been about making a statement, and the R-51M is no exception, with its rugged build and imposing presence.

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

Sound Performance

Sound-wise, the Edifier R1280DB is a pleasantly balanced speaker with a warm midrange and a smooth high end. It's particularly well-suited for genres like jazz, vocal, and acoustic music where nuance and subtlety are key. The built-in DSP (Digital Signal Processing) and DRC (Dynamic Range Control) help to minimize distortion, ensuring a clean and clear listening experience at all volume levels. The Klipsch R-51M, on the other hand, exhibits the brand's signature dynamic sound that emphasizes clarity and detail. The Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter delivers a more expansive soundstage and a precise imaging, making these speakers a great fit for those who crave a more engaging and lively presentation, particularly in rock, pop, and cinema soundtracks.

Connectivity and Features

One of the notable advantages of the Edifier R1280DB is its array of connectivity options. Bluetooth wireless connectivity is its highlight, allowing for convenient streaming from mobile devices. This feature makes it a versatile choice for users who value both traditional wired connections and modern wireless capabilities. The Klipsch R-51M, being a passive speaker, requires an external amplifier or receiver but lacks the built-in wireless feature. It's a trade-off that can matter greatly depending on the listener's setup and preferences. For purists who are focused on wired connections only, the R-51M might not be at a disadvantage, but for those who seek flexibility, the Edifier is certainly more accommodating.

Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-51M arrow (at Amazon.com)

When it comes to power handling, the R1280DB's built-in amplifier provides a convenient all-in-one solution, delivering a combined peak power of 42 watts. This makes it well-suited for small to medium-sized rooms. The Klipsch R-51M can handle up to 85 watts per channel, so it's capable of filling larger spaces with sound, though it requires pairing with a suitable amplifier to realize its full potential.

Value Proposition

Considering the price point, the Edifier R1280DB offers an excellent value proposition. It's an accessible entry into high-quality audio for those on a budget, delivering a solid performance without the need for additional equipment. The Klipsch R-51M, while more expensive, justifies its price through superior build quality and a sound that's capable of rivaling more premium-priced bookshelf speakers. It's an investment for those who are serious about their sound and are willing to spend a bit more for that quintessential Klipsch experience.

In conclusion, the Edifier R1280DB and Klipsch Reference R-51M serve different masters in the bookshelf speaker segment. The R1280DB is all about versatility and ease of use, offering a straightforward, enjoyable listening experience with the convenience of modern features. The Klipsch R-51M, conversely, is for the audiophile who prioritizes audio quality and power, with a design that's meant to be both seen and heard. Ultimately, the choice between these two speakers will come down to personal preference, room size, and the type of audio experience one is seeking to create.

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Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-51M Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-51M 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.