Edifier R1280T vs. ELAC ARB51 Navis

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers ELAC ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers
$120 $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
75-18,000 Hz 44-28,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.9 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.5 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of powered bookshelf speakers, the Edifier R1280T offers a budget-friendly entrance without sacrificing clarity and warmth for the casual listener. With its classic wood finish and user-friendly controls, it's an attractive option for those new to the audiophile scene. Conversely, the ELAC ARB51 Navis elevates the listening experience with its audiophile-grade components, delivering nuanced sound and a robust build quality for discerning ears. These premium speakers boast advanced driver technology that promises a more precise and detailed audio portrait, albeit at a significantly higher price point.

Speaker Comparison

When you're in the market for powered bookshelf speakers that meld seamlessly with your living space, both the Edifier R1280T and the ELAC ARB51 Navis come to mind, albeit at starkly different points on the price spectrum. The Edifier R1280T speakers are a darling among budget-conscious audiophiles, offering a surprisingly robust soundstage given their modest footprint and price tag. On the flip side, the ELAC ARB51 Navis are positioned as a premium audiophile offering, applying ELAC's storied engineering finesse to deliver an uncompromising listening experience. We'll dive into the nuances between the two, scrutinizing everything from design aesthetics to sonic performance.

Design and Build Quality

The Edifier R1280T speakers exude a classic charm with their wood veneer paneling and gray frontage. Their build is sturdy for the budget category, providing a sense of reliability and traditional aesthetics. In contrast, the ELAC ARB51 Navis are a testament to modern speaker design, featuring a sleek, lacquered finish that commands attention and respect. There's a palpable difference in quality, with the ARB51's heavy, dense construction reflecting its premium status. Yet, it's not just about looks; this build quality is a precursor to the sonic excellence that lies within.

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280T arrow (at Amazon.com)

Features and Connectivity

Functionality is where the Edifier R1280T speakers shine, considering their budget-friendly nature. They come equipped with dual RCA inputs, a convenient remote control, and a tone control that allows for basic adjustments to treble and bass. The no-frills approach is evident but practical for everyday use. The ELAC ARB51s, however, step into the realm of high-fidelity with advanced connectivity options. They flaunt a built-in high-quality DAC, multiple input options including Bluetooth with aptX, and sophisticated internal amplification tailored to each driver. The ARB51s are geared for the audiophile who demands control and flexibility from their listening experience.

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound, the Edifier R1280T delivers a surprisingly full and dynamic performance for its class. Their sound is warm, with a mild bass response and a clear midrange that makes vocals stand out. They are well suited for small to medium-sized rooms and can handle a variety of genres with ease. Conversely, the ELAC ARB51 Navis are in another league entirely. Meticulously crafted crossovers, bespoke drivers, and a tri-amped design ensure that each frequency range is delivered with precision and authority. The ARB51s offer an expansive soundstage, articulate bass, and a level of detail that reveals the subtle nuances in music, making them ideal for critical listening sessions.

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

Of course, discussing ELAC's ARB51 without mentioning its transparent midrange and crystalline highs would be an oversight. The ARB51s demonstrate a level of clarity that is nothing short of breathtaking, especially in the way they reproduce intricate details and the spatial relationship between instruments. The Edifiers, while competent, simply cannot match the resolution and depth provided by the ARB51's advanced components and design.

Value is an essential factor to consider in this comparison. The Edifier R1280Ts represent an exceptional value proposition, punching well above their weight and offering a gateway into the world of hi-fi audio without the intimidation of a steep price. On the other end, the ELAC ARB51 Navis speakers are a significant investment. That investment, however, buys you a seat in the upper echelons of audio fidelity. For those who can appreciate and afford the luxurious auditory experience that the ARB51s offer, the price may be justified.

In essence, choosing between the Edifier R1280T and the ELAC ARB51 Navis depends on personal priorities. If you're seeking a competent, affordable entry point into high-quality audio, the Edifiers are a commendable choice. But if your pursuit leans toward the pinnacle of sonic excellence and your budget allows, the ELAC ARB51s will reward you with an auditory experience that's as immersive as it is precise. Regardless of your choice, both sets of speakers underscore the vibrant diversity and rich experiences that the world of audiophilia has to offer.

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Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280T 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.