Edifier R1280DBs vs. Polk Audio T15

Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers
$160 $150
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
10.63” × 6.50” × 7.25”
270mm × 165mm × 184mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
51-20,000 Hz 65-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 0.3
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 3.3

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the entry-level arena, the Edifier R1280DBs brings a modern twist with Bluetooth connectivity and a built-in amp, ideal for the minimalist seeking a wire-free desktop setup. Its sound signature is warm with a surprising low-end presence, thanks to a new sub-out feature. Meanwhile, the Polk Audio T15 requires an external amplifier but rewards listeners with a more traditional, balanced soundscape, suitable for those dipping their toes into a larger home audio system. Both speakers offer an accessible gateway into high-fidelity audio, with the choice boiling down to convenience versus expandability in the listener's personal audio journey.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to outfitting a living space or home office with the warm glow of music, the perennial question remains: which speakers will harmonize with both our auditory sensibilities and spatial constraints? Today, the spotlight shines on two contenders in the compact audio arena: the Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers. Both aim to deliver premium sound without commandeering precious square footage, but they approach this task with distinct philosophies echoed in their design and performance nuances.

Design and Build

Let's commence with aesthetics and build quality. The Edifier R1280DBs speakers present themselves with a modern flair, featuring a sleek, black wood finish that exudes contemporary elegance. They're self-powered, which means less cable clutter and no need for an external amplifier – a significant boon for minimalists. On the other hand, the Polk Audio T15s sport a more traditional look with a wood-grain finish and a no-frills rectangular shape. They're passive speakers, hence requiring an external amp, but they do offer wall mounting options, which is a thoughtful touch for those looking to save on desk space.

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

Sound Quality

Now, let's talk about the heart of the matter: sound. The Edifier R1280DBs are designed with the audiophile's ear in mind, offering a rich and balanced sound profile. The bass is punchy and tight, thanks to the ported enclosure design, and it's adjustable via the included remote control – a feature that is as convenient as it is functional. On the flip side, the Polk Audio T15s bring their own sonic pedigree to the table. They are known for their wide soundstage and well-defined mid-range, which makes them especially good for vocal-centric music and cinematic dialogues. However, they might not deliver the same level of bass as the Edifiers without a supplementary subwoofer.


In the realm of connectivity, the Edifier R1280DBs take the lead with their versatile inputs. They offer multiple connection options, including Bluetooth, coaxial, optical, and two sets of RCA inputs, allowing for a variety of audio sources to be connected simultaneously. This feature is particularly appealing in our Bluetooth-centric world, as it allows for seamless streaming from mobile devices. The Polk T15s, being passive speakers, provide the basic wire terminals for connection to an amplifier and focus on doing one job well rather than being a jack-of-all-trades.

Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio T15 arrow (at Amazon.com)

When considering versatility, the Edifier speakers are a clear frontrunner, catering to both traditional wired setups and modern wireless expectations. The Polk T15s may lag in this department, but they're not without their merits. The simplicity of their connection can be seen as an advantage for users who prefer a dedicated sound system without the fuss of modern wireless tech.

Value for Money

Value for money is a pivotal factor in any purchase decision, and both speaker sets have their appeal. The Edifier R1280DBs, with their built-in amplification, remote control, and flexible connectivity, represent a comprehensive package that's hard to beat right out of the box. For those who already own an amplifier or are willing to invest in one, the Polk T15s could offer a more cost-effective entry into high-quality audio, provided you're prepared to potentially expand the system with additional components like a subwoofer for a full-range experience.

In conclusion, whether the Edifier R1280DBs or the Polk Audio T15 bookshelf speakers earn the privilege of gracing your space with their acoustic presence depends largely on your individual needs and preferences. The Edifiers are a modernist's dream, blending in with the latest gadgets and lifestyles, while the Polks are a nod to the classic audiophile ethos, promising a focused and authentic sound that has stood the test of time. Whichever path you choose, rest assured that both are capable of turning the simple act of listening into a rich and rewarding auditory adventure.

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Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio T15 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.