Edifier R1280DBs vs. ELAC ARB51 Navis

Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
$160 $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
51-20,000 Hz 44-28,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of powered bookshelf speakers, the Edifier R1280DBs presents as a budget-friendly champion, offering Bluetooth connectivity, a remote control, and satisfying sound for the casual listener. Meanwhile, the ELAC ARB51 Navis is a high-fidelity contender with a heftier price tag. Its audiophile-grade components deliver a more nuanced and detailed audio experience, alongside an elegant design. The Edifier excels in value and functionality, while the ELAC reigns in acoustic refinement. The choice hinges on whether your ears crave pristine sonic clarity or your wallet favors affordable versatility.

Speaker Comparison

Embarking on the quest for the perfect bookshelf speakers can lead an audiophile down a path filled with compelling choices, each with its unique sonic signature. It's a journey that often pits budget-friendly champions against the prowess of high-end contenders. Today, we're comparing the Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers to the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers. These two contenders, though leagues apart in price, are often the subject of buzz in hushed audiophile circles and raucous online forums alike.

A Tale of Two Budgets

The Edifier R1280DBs are the quintessential entry-level speakers that strive to punch above their weight. At a price point that is accessible to even the most budget-conscious listener, these speakers offer a host of features like Bluetooth connectivity and multiple inputs that promise to cater to a variety of setups. On the other side of the ring, the ELAC ARB51 Navis speakers come with a heftier price tag, reflecting their premium positioning in the market. They're an investment, to be sure, but with the promise of a higher pedigree of audio fidelity.

Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DBs arrow (at Amazon.com)

Design Philosophy and Build

The R1280DBs sport a classic bookshelf design with a modern twist. Their wood veneer finish and black front baffle give them a look that blends well with most decors. The build quality is solid for the price, but they don't feel as hefty as their ELAC counterparts. The ARB51 Navis, by comparison, are a masterclass in speaker design. With their elegant curved cabinets and superior build materials, they not only look impressive but also provide an acoustic advantage by minimizing cabinet resonance and improving sound clarity.

Sonic Performance

When it comes to performance, the Edifiers offer a surprisingly rich sound for their size. The bass is present and accounted for, if not earth-shattering, and they handle mids and highs with a respectable crispness. However, the ELAC ARB51 Navis speakers play in a different league. They deliver an impeccably clear and detailed soundstage that is both expansive and precise. With a custom-designed midrange driver and tweeter, these speakers provide an audio experience that can be both powerfully dynamic and delicately nuanced.

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

Power is another area where the two diverge. The R1280DBs are modest, with enough wattage for small to medium-sized rooms. The ELACs, however, are built with more substantial amplification in mind, making them capable of filling larger spaces without breaking a sweat. Furthermore, the ARB51's built-in amplifiers are tailored to each driver, ensuring optimal performance and reducing the need for external amplification.

Connectivity and Versatility

In the realm of connectivity, the Edifier speakers shine with their variety of inputs, including optical, coaxial, and classic RCA, in addition to Bluetooth. This makes them incredibly versatile for different audio setups and user needs. The ELAC speakers, while not as feature-rich in terms of input variety, focus on the quality of the connections they do have. Their high-end Bluetooth with aptX and traditional analog inputs prioritize signal integrity and audiophile-grade sound reproduction.

So, how does one decide between the Edifier R1280DBs and the ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers? It boils down to priorities. For the newcomer to the audiophile world or the casual listener looking for a significant upgrade without breaking the bank, the Edifier speakers offer a compelling package. But for the audio purist willing to invest in a sonic experience that approaches the sublime, the ELAC ARB51 Navis is a clear choice. Both sets of speakers stand as testament to the diverse and rich landscape of the audiophile speaker market, each with its own allure and distinct acoustic charm.

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Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DBs 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.