Edifier R1280DB vs. Wharfedale Denton 85th

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
$150 $1000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
13.44” × 9.44” × 11.94”
341mm × 240mm × 303mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
55-20,000 Hz 45-20,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the bustling arena of bookshelf speakers, the Edifier R1280DB presents a cost-effective, feature-rich choice with its wireless connectivity and balanced sound. The built-in amplifier simplifies setup, appealing to the modern listener seeking convenience. Conversely, the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary edition exudes classic charm, offering a warm, detailed soundscape that honors its British hi-fi heritage. Though requiring a separate amplifier, the Dentons' superior craftsmanship and nuanced audio may entice purists willing to invest in their acoustic experience. Each speaker serves its audience – one prioritizing functionality, the other, auditory artistry.

Speaker Comparison

The Edifier R1280DB and Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary bookshelf speakers epitomize the incredible diversity found within the realm of high-fidelity audio. On one hand, we have the R1280DB, a modern, reasonably priced, powered speaker system with a host of features that cater to the convenience-focused consumer. On the other hand, the Denton 85th Anniversary speakers exude a classic charm, boasting a heritage design and a dedication to the purest audiophile principles. This comparison will delve into the nuances that define each model and the unique listening experiences they offer.

Design Philosophy and Build Quality

When it comes to design, the Wharfedale Denton represents a legacy, with its vintage aesthetic and high-quality walnut veneer that harkens back to the golden era of British hi-fi. In contrast, the Edifier R1280DB's design leans into the contemporary, with a cleaner, more functional look that emphasizes utility over nostalgia. Wharfedale's hefty build and traditional craftsmanship outshine the Edifier's more lightweight and streamlined construction, which may appeal to those who prioritize space-saving and modern minimalism.

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

Connectivity and Features

Functionality-wise, the Edifier R1280DB is a clear winner for the tech-savvy user. Its powered nature means it has built-in amplification and supports Bluetooth connectivity, making it an all-in-one solution for various audio sources. Additionally, it features optical and coaxial inputs, which appeals to those with a variety of digital devices. Conversely, the Denton 85th is a passive speaker, relying on external amplification and traditional wired connections, which often appeals to the audiophile purist who may prioritize signal integrity over convenience.

Sound Performance

The sound signature of the Wharfedale Dentons is warm, rich, and inviting, with an emphasis on natural tonality and a smooth midrange that brings vocals to life. The bass is present and well-defined, without overpowering the overall balance. In contrast, the Edifier R1280DB, while offering a clear and articulate sound, doesn't quite match the Denton's level of acoustic warmth or detailed soundstage. However, the R1280DB's treble is crisp, and its overall performance is quite impressive for powered speakers at this price point.

Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th arrow (at Amazon.com)

When it comes to dynamics, the Denton 85th again takes the edge with its ability to convey the ebb and flow of music with more finesse and a greater sense of scale. The Edifiers, while energetically capable, can't quite capture the same level of subtlety. This is where the passive design and quality components of the Dentons shine, revealing their lineage and dedication to audiophile-grade performance.

For the vinyl enthusiasts, the lack of a built-in phono preamp in the Edifier R1280DB might be a detractor, requiring an additional component to integrate a turntable. The Dentons, in their traditional passive role, would naturally require a separate amplification system with a phono stage, but in this scenario, the listener has the advantage of choosing a preamp that matches their quality preferences and complements the Dentons' high-fidelity reproduction.

In summary, the choice between the Edifier R1280DB and the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary speakers ultimately boils down to the listener's values and listening habits. The Edifier offers a feature-rich, convenient, and budget-friendly option well-suited for a modern, minimalistic setup. On the other hand, the Wharfedale Dentons cater to the traditional audiophile, offering a timeless design, superior craftsmanship, and a sound that is both emotionally engaging and sonically rewarding, albeit at a higher cost. Both speakers champion their respective niches, ensuring that whether it's the future-forward convenience or the nostalgic allure of vintage hi-fi, there's a bookshelf speaker to satisfy every audiophile's appetite.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DB Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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.