Edifier R1280DBs vs. KEF LS50 Meta

Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
$160 $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
51-20,000 Hz 79-28,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 4.6
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 6.7

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In an audiophile skirmish, the Edifier R1280DBs, with their wallet-friendly price and versatile Bluetooth connectivity, offer commendable performance for those seeking quality on a budget. Their sound is pleasing, well-rounded, and unexpectedly robust for the size and cost. In the other corner, the KEF LS50 Meta, a titan of clarity and detail, boasts cutting-edge Metamaterial Absorption Technology to reduce distortion and a coaxial Uni-Q driver that delivers pristine, room-filling sound. While the LS50 Meta reigns in the high-end realm, the R1280DBs hold their own as an accessible entry-point for budding audio enthusiasts.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to outfitting a cozy listening room or study with quality sound, the search for the perfect bookshelf speakers can be as exciting as it is daunting. The Edifier R1280DBs and KEF LS50 Meta stand out in the market, but for very different reasons. Edifier has built a reputation for offering solid performance at a budget-friendly price. In contrast, the KEF LS50 Meta is positioned at a substantially higher price bracket, aiming at the discerning audiophile who demands uncompromising sound quality.

The Sound of Value vs. The Sound of Refinement

The Edifier R1280DBs speakers offer a compelling combination of clear highs, defined mids, and surprisingly robust bass for their size. Their sound signature is warm and pleasant, making them suitable for a variety of genres. However, the KEF LS50 Meta is in a league of its own, with the innovative Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) providing an astonishing level of detail, spaciousness, and coherence. The LS50 Metas deliver a level of audio fidelity that can make listening to familiar tracks a revelatory experience.

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

Design and Aesthetics

In the design department, both speakers make striking impressions but follow different design philosophies. The Edifier R1280DBs adopts a more traditional boxy form with a wood-grain finish that can blend well with different room aesthetics. The KEF LS50 Meta, on the other hand, features a sleek, modern design with a curved front baffle and the distinctive Uni-Q driver array, which not only serves an acoustic purpose but also makes a strong visual statement. The LS50 Meta is available in a variety of high-gloss finishes, appealing to those with a taste for contemporary styling.

Functionality and Flexibility

The Edifier R1280DBs is not just a pair of passive speakers but comes with built-in amplification, eliminating the need for an external amplifier. They feature Bluetooth connectivity, multiple inputs, including optical, coaxial, and two sets of RCA inputs, and a remote control for convenience. In contrast, the KEF LS50 Meta is a passive speaker, requiring a separate amplifier or receiver, which gives audiophiles the freedom to pair them with their preferred high-end audio equipment but also adds to the overall cost and setup complexity.

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

For the average listener, the Edifier R1280DBs offers a compelling plug-and-play solution, making it an excellent choice for those who want to enhance their audio experience without getting tangled in the nuances of hi-fi setups. The KEF LS50 Meta, while requiring additional components, offers a purity of sound that can be fine-tuned and optimized through the choice of amplification, which is sure to delight the seasoned audiophile ready to invest in a high-fidelity audio ecosystem.

The Verdict for Different Listeners

Ultimately, the choice between the Edifier R1280DBs and the KEF LS50 Meta comes down to the listener's priorities and budget. The R1280DBs offers remarkable value, delivering an enjoyable listening experience that punches above its weight class, making it an ideal choice for those new to the audiophile world or looking for a budget-friendly option. The LS50 Meta, on the other hand, caters to the listener who demands the pinnacle of audio performance, with a willingness to invest in the equipment that lives at the cutting edge of speaker technology.

When judging these two contenders side by side, one must consider not only their sonic capabilities but also their intended audience. The Edifier R1280DBs is a gateway to high-quality sound, while the KEF LS50 Meta is a statement of audio excellence. Whether you're looking to dip your toes into the world of serious sound or dive into the deep end, both Edifier and KEF offer compelling products that reflect their understanding of listeners' diverse needs and aspirations in the realm of high-fidelity audio.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta 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.