Edifier R1280DBs vs. Polk Signature Elite ES20

Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
$160 $400
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
14.80” × 8.50” × 13.80”
376mm × 216mm × 351mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
51-20,000 Hz 44-40,000 Hz

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the showdown between the Edifier R1280DBs and Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20, we're looking at a classic budget-meets-audiophile clash. The Edifier offers a savvy, compact design with built-in Bluetooth and a remote, perfect for the modern, space-conscious listener. The Polk, on the other hand, flexes with superior build quality and a soundstage that's more expansive and detailed, catering to the purist's ear. While the Edifier excels in convenience and price, the Polk Audio takes the lead with acoustic refinement and power, suited for those seeking a more immersive listening experience.

Speaker Comparison

When audiophiles and casual listeners alike look to enhance their home audio experience, the choices can be overwhelming. Two noteworthy contenders in the realm of bookshelf speakers are the Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20s. Both are highly regarded for their quality and performance, but they cater to slightly different segments of the audio market. While the Edifier R1280DBs offer a compact, all-in-one solution, the Polk Audio ES20s are part of a legacy series that requires an external amplifier, but promises a robust, dynamic sound.

Design and Build Quality

The Edifier R1280DBs speakers exhibit a modern, clean look that integrates well into most decors. They are constructed with a wood veneer that not only gives them an elegant feel but also enhances their acoustic performance. In contrast, the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20s boast a more rugged design with their larger build, and the 'Power Port' technology designed for deeper bass response and minimizing turbulence. The Polks offer a choice of stylish finishes, ensuring they not only sound great but also add to the aesthetic of any room.

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

Sound Performance

In terms of sound, the Edifier R1280DBs offer a balanced profile with impressive clarity for speakers of their size. They feature a built-in amplifier, which makes setup a breeze, and their Bluetooth connectivity allows for wireless streaming. However, what sets the Polk Audio ES20s apart is their emphasis on delivering room-filling sound with notable depth and power. The dynamic balance designed acoustic array, and the precision crossovers ensure high-resolution detail and a more lifelike soundstage that will satisfy even meticulous listeners.

The ES20s are particularly notable for their well-defined mid-range, which is crucial for accurately reproducing vocals and most instruments. The Polk's Terylene tweeter is designed to deliver clear and detailed high-frequency response that can handle high-resolution audio files with ease. On the other hand, the Edifiers may lack the same level of refinement in the highs but compensate with a coherent sound that is both pleasant and non-fatiguing over extended listening sessions.

Features and Connectivity

The Edifier R1280DBs may have an edge in the features department, particularly for those looking for a more plug-and-play experience. With multiple inputs including Bluetooth, coaxial, optical, and dual RCA inputs, they are ready to connect to virtually any audio source. The included remote control adds convenience for volume and source selection. The Polks, in contrast, require a separate receiver or amplifier and are designed to be a part of a more extensive system, potentially offering a more customizable setup for audiophiles willing to invest in additional components.

Moreover, the Edifiers include a side panel for adjusting bass, treble, and volume, giving users an easy way to tailor the sound to their preferences. While the Polk ES20s do not have built-in controls, they are engineered to bring out the best in high-quality recordings and are compatible with most home theater systems, giving users a cinema-like experience for movies and games in addition to music.


Choosing between the Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers comes down to the listener's needs and preferences. The Edifiers are an excellent choice for those who prioritize convenience, ease of setup, and a clean, balanced sound. They are versatile, work well in small spaces, and offer great value for the price. The Polk ES20s, on the other hand, cater to the audiophile who is seeking a more expansive soundstage and is willing to invest in a separate amplifier to bring out the full potential of these speakers. Both pairs are solid options, but your individual listening goals will dictate the best fit for your sonic adventures.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 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.