Edifier R1280T vs. Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
$120 $160
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
12.56” × 7.13” × 8.44”
319mm × 181mm × 214mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
75-18,000 Hz 55-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.9 5.0
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.5 7.5

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The Edifier R1280T powered speakers blend convenience and performance with their built-in amplification and warm, dynamic sound. A perfect fit for the casual listener seeking simplicity. In contrast, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, designed by acclaimed engineer Andrew Jones, delivers an audiophile-grade experience with outstanding clarity and balance, but requires an external amplifier. Both offer exceptional value, but the choice hinges on whether you prioritize the plug-and-play ease of the Edifiers or the high-fidelity potential of the Pioneers when paired with a quality amp.

Speaker Comparison

When we settle into our favorite listening chair and reach for a set of bookshelf speakers, we're not just looking for a way to fill the room with sound—we're searching for an experience. The Edifier R1280T and Pioneer SP-BS22-LR are two contenders in the budget-friendly arena that promise to deliver that auditory bliss without breaking the bank. Both models bring their unique flavor to the table, and for the discerning audiophile, the nuances are worth exploring. Let's delve into the characteristics that set these speakers apart and determine which might be the right addition to your personal soundscape.

Design and Build Quality

The Edifier R1280T speakers exude a retro charm with their wood veneer paneling and gray fabric grilles, giving them a classic look that complements both modern and traditional decor. The build quality feels solid, with enough heft to reassure you of their durability, yet they are sufficiently compact to fit on most bookshelves with ease. In contrast, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR offers a more contemporary aesthetic, with its curved cabinet design not only serving visual appeal but also acoustic function, reducing standing waves inside the cabinet for improved sound quality. Both sets of speakers are well-crafted, but the finish on the Pioneers is more utilitarian, focusing on performance over polish.

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

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound, the Edifier R1280T offers a warm and rich listening experience, with a focus on midrange clarity that brings vocals to the forefront. The bass is present and accounted for, though not overwhelming, making these speakers a suitable choice for genres that thrive on vocal performances. The Pioneers, designed by the acclaimed engineer Andrew Jones, present a more balanced soundscape, with a natural and open sound signature. The SP-BS22-LR excels in delivering a coherent soundstage and a tight, controlled bass that extends surprisingly low for speakers of their size. The highs are detailed without being harsh, which allows for long listening sessions without fatigue.

On the technical side, the Edifier R1280T is equipped with built-in amplification, simplifying the setup process and making them an excellent choice for those seeking an all-in-one solution. The onboard controls allow for treble and bass adjustments, enabling users to tailor the sound to their liking. The Pioneers, however, require an external amplifier or receiver, which allows for more flexibility and the possibility of upgrading your system's power source over time. This could be a determining factor for users who already possess a dedicated amp or those who prefer the ability to tweak their setup's overall power and sonic characteristics.

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR arrow (at Amazon.com)

Connectivity Options

Connectivity is another area where the Edifiers take a slight edge due to their dual RCA inputs, which make it simple to connect multiple audio sources simultaneously. This feature is especially handy for users looking to switch between audio devices without the need for unplugging cables. The Pioneers stick to a more traditional single speaker wire input, which is standard for passive speakers that rely on an external amp. While this might not offer the same convenience as the Edifiers, it does give audiophiles the chance to experiment with different speaker wires and connectors for potential audio enhancements.

Price to performance ratio is a critical aspect for any enthusiast on a budget. The Edifier R1280T speakers offer incredible value given their integrated amplifier and sound-shaping controls. They're a plug-and-play solution that provides immediate gratification without additional purchases. On the other hand, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR may require more investment initially due to the need for an external amplifier, but their superior soundstage and balance can justify the extra expense for serious listeners wanting to build a more customized audio setup.

Choosing between the Edifier R1280T and Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers ultimately comes down to personal preference and intended use. The Edifiers excel in ease of use, convenience, and warm sound, suitable for those looking for a straightforward, self-contained unit. Meanwhile, the Pioneers appeal to the audiophile eager to dive into a more intricate world of high-fidelity sound, offering a more balanced audio profile and the flexibility to be part of a larger, upgradeable audio system. Whichever you choose, both sets of speakers stand as testament to the fact that high-quality sound doesn't have to come with a high price tag.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers

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.