Edifier R1280T vs. Wharfedale Denton 85th

Note: the 3D models above approximate the external volume of the speakers, and may not accurately reflect their shape.

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
$120 $1000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
13.44” × 9.44” × 11.94”
341mm × 240mm × 303mm
Power Type
Powered Passive
Frequency Response
75-18,000 Hz 45-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
1.9 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
4.5 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The Edifier R1280T powered bookshelf speakers offer an enticing blend of affordability and convenience for casual listeners. Their built-in amplification simplifies setup, and their sound is pleasingly balanced for their class. In contrast, the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary speakers exude a classic charm with superior craftsmanship. Wharfedales require a separate amplifier but reward with a lush, detailed soundstage and rich tonality that caters to the discerning ear. The choice pivots on priorities: the R1280T for a budget-friendly, plug-and-play option, and the Dentons for audiophiles craving a more sophisticated and immersive listening experience.

Speaker Comparison

When we talk about entry-level hi-fi, we're often looking for that sweet spot where affordability meets performance. Edifier's R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers stand confidently in this category, offering a solution to those on a budget who still yearn for quality sound. With a built-in amplifier, these speakers simplify the audio setup by removing the need for a separate amp or receiver. This makes the R1280T an attractive, plug-and-play option for casual listeners and newbie audiophiles alike.

The Vintage Charm Versus Modern Simplicity

On the other hand, Wharfedale's Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers are a different breed, aimed at a more traditional audiophile market. The Dentons, with their retro design, hark back to the golden era of hi-fi, celebrating Wharfedale's long-standing heritage. Their walnut veneer and 'tungsten' cloth grilles make them a statement piece in any listening room. In stark contrast, the R1280T opts for a modern, minimalist look with wood effect side panels and a gray front finish, eschewing the nostalgia factor for utilitarian simplicity.

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

Sound Character: Clarity Versus Warmth

The sound signature of the R1280T is surprisingly clear and detailed for speakers at their price point. They offer a well-balanced, neutral sound that's quite versatile, making them suitable for a variety of genres. However, they might not deliver the depth of bass that more discerning ears may desire. The Wharfedale Dentons, in comparison, are warm and rich, with a sound that wraps around you like a cozy blanket. The bass is more pronounced and controlled, thanks to their larger cabinet and sophisticated crossover design. This adds to the Dentons' ability to create a more immersive and emotionally engaging listening experience.

Connectivity and Power

Connectivity is another area where the R1280T shines. With multiple RCA inputs, they easily connect to most audio sources. As powered speakers with built-in amplification, they deliver a practical solution for desktop setups or smaller rooms. The Dentons, being passive speakers, require a separate amplifier, which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on how you look at it. For purists, it means the flexibility to pair them with an amp that matches their sound preferences, but for those seeking simplicity, it's an extra step and an additional cost.

Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th arrow (at Amazon.com)

Regarding power, the Edifier R1280T can pump out a total of 42W of power, which is more than enough for near-field listening or small room scenarios. Meanwhile, the Denton 85th Anniversary speakers are more power-hungry, designed to be driven by a capable amplifier to fill a larger space with their dynamic and robust sound. This demands more from the listener in terms of investment and space, but the payoff is a more expansive and detailed audio landscape.

The Verdict

If you're starting your foray into the audiophile world or need a compact, no-fuss setup, the Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers are an excellent choice. They provide a straightforward, enjoyable listening experience without the need to understand the intricacies of hi-fi setups. However, for the seasoned audiophile with a penchant for the venerable character of classic speakers, the Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers are a compelling option. They offer a more nuanced sound and the kind of craftsmanship that pays homage to Wharfedale's legacy.

In the end, the choice between the Edifier R1280T and Wharfedale Denton 85th lies in what you value most: the convenience and simplicity of modern powered speakers or the rich, detailed sound of traditional hi-fi presented in a classic package. Both sets of speakers have their place in the audio landscape, and either can be the gateway to a more profound appreciation of music as an art form.

Check Current Prices:

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary Bookshelf Speakers
Wharfedale Denton 85th Anniversary 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.