Edifier R1280T vs. NHT SuperZero 2.1

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
$120 $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
75-18,000 Hz 85-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.9 3.4
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.5 6.7

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The Edifier R1280T Powered Speakers are versatile bookshelf contenders, offering built-in amplifiers, rich tonality, and user-friendly controls, ideal for newcomers seeking an all-in-one solution. In contrast, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitors demand a separate amplifier but reward with audiophile-grade clarity and a more neutral soundstage, catering to purists who relish precision over convenience. Both speakers impress within their niches—Edifier for casual listeners valuing simplicity and affordability, NHT for sound enthusiasts eager to finesse their setup for optimal acoustic performance.

Speaker Comparison

Welcome to the realm of compact speakers, where the size of your room doesn't dictate the scale of your soundstage. Today, we're juxtaposing two seemingly similar contenders in the budget audiophile ring – the Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker. These two have been subject to audiophiles' scrutiny, often coming up in conversations concerning entry-level hi-fi setups. A tale of two speakers that, despite their compact size, promise to deliver an expansive sound that belies their modest footprints.

The Edifier R1280T: A Symphony of Convenience

The Edifier R1280T is a powerhouse of convenience wrapped in a classic aesthetic. Out of the box, these powered speakers offer a plug-and-play experience, bypassing the need for a separate amplifier. With built-in tone controls, users can fine-tune the treble and bass to their liking, without ever diving into complex equalizer settings. The dual RCA inputs are a godsend for those looking to connect multiple audio sources, and the included remote control allows listeners to adjust volume from across the room – a nod to modernity in a traditional design.

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

The NHT SuperZero 2.1: The Purist's Choice

Switching gears to the NHT SuperZero 2.1, we are met with a speaker that caters to a different philosophy – purity in audio reproduction. As a passive speaker, the SuperZero 2.1 requires an external amplifier, meaning it's aimed squarely at the purist who revels in the process of building and customizing their audio setup. The SuperZero’s acoustic suspension design is a rarity in this price range, favoring accurate sound reproduction and a tight bass response over the boomy bass reflex systems commonly found in its competitors.

Tonal Balance and Soundstage

When it comes to tonal balance, the Edifiers offer a warm, pleasant sound with a gentle bass presence and a clear midrange. However, it is the NHT's that shine in delivering a more neutral and balanced sound signature. The SuperZero 2.1's are adept at rendering fine details and intricacies in the music, making them particularly well-suited for critical listening sessions. In terms of soundstage, both speakers punch above their weight. The Edifiers cast a wide net, easily filling a small room, while the SuperZeros, with their precise imaging, create a more focused and immersive listening experience.

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

The bass output is another point of divergence. The Edifier’s ported design allows for a fuller bass response that can sometimes feel too generous for purists. The NHT SuperZero 2.1's, in contrast, with their sealed design, yield a tighter, more controlled bass. This might mean that bass-heads will look elsewhere or consider adding a subwoofer to the mix. However, for those who appreciate balance and the true timbre of instruments, the NHT's deliver a more accurate portrayal.

Build Quality and Aesthetics

As for build quality, the Edifier R1280T speakers exhibit robust construction with a wood veneer finish that exudes a retro charm. They feel solid and pleasantly weighty, hinting at the quality components housed within. The NHT SuperZero 2.1's, on the other hand, boast a minimalist design with a build that focuses more on acoustic performance than visual flair. They're unobtrusive, designed to blend into the decor of any room while maintaining a build quality that speaks to their durability.

After a deep dive into the characteristics of the Edifier R1280T and NHT SuperZero 2.1 speakers, it's apparent that they cater to different audiences. The Edifier is ideal for the listener who desires a straightforward, user-friendly experience with enough flexibility to suit various genres. The NHT, however, appeals to the audiophile who treasures accuracy and is willing to invest time and additional components into their listening experience. In the end, the choice between these two speakers will hinge on your personal audio priorities – are you seeking convenience or the path to audiophile nirvana?

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker

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.