Edifier R1280T vs. Q Acoustics 3020i

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speakers
$120 $450
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
10.90” × 6.70” × 11.00”
277mm × 170mm × 279mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
75-18,000 Hz 64-30,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.9 4.0
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.5 6.4

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the compact speaker showdown, the Edifier R1280T offers a budget-friendly gateway into high-fidelity sound, with its classic wood finish and built-in amplification. These speakers charm with their warm, balanced profile, and convenient tone controls. In contrast, the Q Acoustics 3020i steps up the game, boasting a larger cabinet for a more expansive soundstage and deeper bass. They require an external amplifier but reward listeners with a detailed, articulate audio experience and a sleek, modern design. While the R1280T shines in value and simplicity, the 3020i excels in audio refinement and aesthetic appeal for a higher investment.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to bookshelf speakers, the market offers an array of choices for the discerning audiophile. Today, we're looking at two popular options that cater to different ends of the budget spectrum: the Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers and the Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speakers. While both are highly regarded in their respective categories, they offer unique experiences to the listener.

Design and Build Quality

The Edifier R1280T speakers boast a classic design with a wood veneer paneling that offers a retro aesthetic. The build is solid for the price point, and the compact size ensures they fit comfortably on most shelves or desks. Conversely, the Q Acoustics 3020i speakers offer a more modern look with their sleek, rounded corners and minimalistic style. They're available in several finishes, giving buyers the option to match them with their room decor. The build quality is outstanding, feeling robust and well-crafted, which gives a sense of durability and premium touch.

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

Sound Quality

One of the most critical aspects of any speaker is, of course, the sound quality. The Edifier R1280T provides a warm and pleasant sound that is surprising for its price range. The speakers feature a 4-inch bass driver and a calibrated, flared bass reflex port, which contribute to providing a decent bass response despite their size. On the higher end, the treble is clear without being piercing, which makes for an enjoyable listening experience.

The Q Acoustics 3020i, on the other hand, is a step up in terms of audio performance. They offer a broader soundstage and more detailed audio reproduction. The bass is tight and controlled, thanks to their larger 5-inch woofer and the decoupled tweeter ensures the highs are crisp and more refined. The overall balance across frequencies is impressive, making them suitable for a wide range of musical genres.

Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speakers
Q Acoustics 3020i arrow (at Amazon.com)

Connectivity and Power

As powered speakers, the Edifier R1280T speakers have built-in amplification, which means they can be directly connected to a variety of audio sources without the need for an external amplifier. This is a significant advantage for those looking to save space or avoid the additional cost of separate components. The dual RCA inputs allow for connection to multiple devices, adding versatility in usage.

Conversely, the Q Acoustics 3020i are passive speakers and require an external amplifier or receiver to function. This is not necessarily a drawback, as it provides audiophiles the opportunity to pair them with high-quality amplification to extract the best sound possible. However, for users looking for an all-in-one solution, the need for an additional component could be viewed as an inconvenience.

Value and Verdict

In terms of value, the Edifier R1280T speakers are positioned as an affordable entry-level option. For those new to the audiophile world or seeking a no-fuss, compact system, they represent an excellent choice that doesn't compromise on quality. The convenience of having a powered system is a strong selling point and they deliver a pleasing sound that exceeds expectations for their price bracket.

The Q Acoustics 3020i speakers are aimed at a more discerning listener who is willing to invest in superior sound quality and has the resources to accommodate the requirements of passive speakers. While they come at a higher price, the performance is indicative of that investment, offering an audio experience that is rich, detailed, and immersive. Those with a love for audio fidelity will find these speakers a worthy addition to their setup.

In conclusion, both the Edifier R1280T and the Q Acoustics 3020i speakers have their place in the market and cater to different needs. Whether your priority is budget-friendly convenience or audio performance with the potential for customization, there is a clear choice between the two. Ultimately, the right speaker set for you will depend on your personal preferences, listening habits, and the importance of audio quality in your daily life.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Q Acoustics 3020i Bookshelf Speakers
Q Acoustics 3020i 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.