Edifier R1280DBs vs. NHT SuperZero 2.1

Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
$160 $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
51-20,000 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 R1280DBs and NHT SuperZero 2.1 speakers cater to audiophiles looking for quality sound in compact packages. The R1280DBs offer a powered, hassle-free setup with Bluetooth connectivity and a remote control, ideal for casual listening and convenience. In contrast, the SuperZero 2.1 requires an external amplifier but rewards users with its audiophile-approved, acoustic suspension design for purer sound reproduction. Both offer excellent value, but your choice depends on whether you prioritize plug-and-play functionality with the Edifiers or the potential for higher fidelity with the passive NHTs, assuming you pair them with a worthy amplifier.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to creating an intimate soundscape within a confined space, discerning audiophiles often find themselves at a crossroads: to go for the modern convenience of powered bookshelf speakers or to choose passive speakers that adhere to the traditional audiophile ethos. Today, we're exploring two compelling options: the Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker. Both sets promise high-fidelity sound, but they cater to slightly different audiences and listening preferences.

The Modernist vs. The Purist Approach

The Edifier R1280DBs is a contemporary solution, offering a built-in amplifier which means it's a one-stop shop for those seeking an effortless setup. Their design is sleek and modern, with a versatile connectivity suite that includes Bluetooth, optical, coaxial, and dual RCA inputs. This powered pair is aimed at listeners who value both convenience and quality. In contrast, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 is a passive speaker that requires an external amplifier or receiver. This lends an air of purity for the audiophile who prefers a more hands-on approach to their audio configuration, allowing for a more customized sound experience based on the choice of amplifier.

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

Sound Signature and Performance

The sound signature of the Edifier R1280DBs is pleasantly balanced with a slight nod towards the lower end, which makes them particularly engaging for genres that benefit from a bit of warmth. They feature a 4-inch bass driver and a 13mm silk dome tweeter, which work together to deliver a cohesive and lively sound. On the other hand, the NHT SuperZero 2.1, with its 4.5-inch long-throw pulp cone woofer and 1-inch silk dome tweeter, takes pride in its acoustic accuracy. The SuperZero 2.1 is revered for its midrange clarity and tight, controlled bass, which makes it a darling for classical and instrumental enthusiasts.

Size and Aesthetics

In terms of size, both the Edifier R1280DBs and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 are compact and well-suited for small to medium-sized rooms. However, the SuperZeros, with their smaller footprint, are particularly adept at disappearing into the room, a characteristic that's often sought after in a mini-monitor. Aesthetically, the Edifier speakers have a more modern look with their wood grain finish, while the SuperZeros maintain a classic, understated profile that's been a staple of NHT's design philosophy.

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

When we talk about additional features, the Edifier R1280DBs again stand out with their remote control, making them user-friendly for the listener who likes to tweak volume and inputs from the comfort of their listening position. The ease of use is further accentuated by the side-mounted control panel for bass, treble, and volume adjustments. Such features are absent in the NHT SuperZero 2.1, as it sticks to a purist, no-frills approach, where the focus is solely on sound.

For those contemplating the ease of wireless streaming, the Edifier R1280DBs is the clear winner. The inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity allows for a seamless connection to smartphones, tablets, or computers, enriching the user experience with convenience. The NHT SuperZero 2.1, lacking such features, requires a physical connection to all sound sources, which some may see as a limitation in our increasingly wireless world.

Ultimately, the choice between the Edifier R1280DBs and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 depends on what the listener prioritizes. The R1280DBs cater to those who prefer a feature-rich speaker system that blends into modern, tech-centric lifestyles. In contrast, the SuperZero 2.1 appeals to the purist who's willing to invest in additional components to achieve their desired sonic character. Both speakers stand as testament to the fact that size does not define capability, and even in the realm of compact monitors, the quest for the perfect sound is a journey of personal preference.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DBs 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.