Edifier R1280DB vs. NHT SuperZero 2.1

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
$150 $300
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
9.00” × 5.50” × 5.00”
229mm × 140mm × 127mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
55-20,000 Hz 85-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 3.4
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 6.7

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The Edifier R1280DB powered bookshelf speakers blend convenience with modern features like Bluetooth connectivity and onboard controls, offering a rich, room-filling sound ideal for casual listening straight out of the box. In contrast, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 mini-monitor speakers, revered for their precise audio reproduction, require an external amplifier to unlock their full potential. They cater to purists seeking an articulate and detailed soundstage. While the Edifier serves as an all-in-one solution for the everyday listener, the NHT's call out to the audiophile willing to invest in additional components for an elevated auditory experience.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to outfitting a listening space, the modern audiophile doesn't lack for options. Today, we're taking a look at two very different approaches to sound: the Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker. Both well-regarded in their own rights, they cater to different preferences and setups, promising to deliver that sweet aural experience for which every music lover yearns.

Design and Build: Modern Versus Minimalistic

The Edifier R1280DB presents itself with a contemporary flair that melds well with a modern desktop or living room setup. The side panel controls and the inclusion of a remote demonstrate a nod to convenience, making adjustments a breeze. In contrast, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 goes for a more stripped-down, minimalistic look, aiming to be unobtrusive and timeless. Lacking the bells and whistles of the Edifier, the NHT speaks to the purist who prefers simplicity and focus in design.

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

Connectivity and Integration

One of the R1280DB's most significant advantages is its array of connectivity options. Bluetooth capability, coupled with multiple input options including optical, coaxial, and two sets of RCA inputs, make it a versatile companion for a multitude of audio setups. Meanwhile, the SuperZero 2.1, with its straightforward approach, requires an external amplifier or receiver, as it relies purely on speaker-level inputs. This lack of built-in amplification and fewer connectivity options may limit the SuperZero's immediate playability out of the box, but it also offers a cleaner signal path for audio enthusiasts who prefer an external amp's control over their sound.

Sound Performance: Power Versus Precision

Edifier's R1280DB boasts a powered solution that comes ready to fill your room with sound straight from the box. It's a convenient package, with built-in amplifiers that take the guesswork out of pairing speakers with the proper external amplification. On the other hand, the SuperZero 2.1's passive design requires careful matching with an amplifier to unlock its full potential. However, this effort can yield dividends, as this mini-monitor is known for its precise imaging and flat frequency response, making it a darling for those who savor accuracy in their sound.

NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
NHT SuperZero 2.1 arrow (at Amazon.com)

But sound isn't just about accuracy; there's an emotional component that's just as important. The R1280DB offers a warm, pleasing sound that many will find engaging right from the start. It has a certain forgiveness in its presentation that makes it a friendly companion to a variety of genres. The SuperZero, while more demanding in its quest for a clean and precise audio reproduction, rewards the listener with a level of detail that can bring a piece of music to life in a completely different way, assuming you've paired it with the right amplifier.

Let's talk about bass. The R1280DB, with its larger cabinet and built-in amplification, delivers respectable lows that can hold their own in most settings. However, the NHT SuperZero 2.1, true to its mini-monitor roots, is less endowed in the lower frequencies. This isn't a flaw but rather a design choice; the SuperZero expects to be part of a wider system, often complemented by a subwoofer for those deep, room-shaking notes.

In conclusion, choosing between the Edifier R1280DB and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 boils down to what you value in your audio experience. The R1280DB is a plug-and-play powerhouse, ready to deliver a rich, full-bodied sound with the convenience of modern features. The SuperZero 2.1 is a purist's dream, a blank canvas that invites you to paint your soundscape with your choice of external components. Whether you lean towards the complete, hassle-free package or the tailored precision of a carefully curated setup, both speakers stand ready to bring your music collection to life in their unique ways.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker

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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.