Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers Review


MSRP $160
(H × W × D)
9.50” × 5.75” × 7.00”
241mm × 146mm × 178mm
Power Type Powered
Frequency Response 51-20,000 Hz
Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: Edifier's R1280DBs continue the brand's legacy of delivering rich, balanced sound in a compact form. The added Bluetooth convenience and optical input are notable pluses, while the updated subwoofer output invites deeper bass exploration. However, purists might find the sound profile slightly colored, and the remote feels basic. These speakers strike a chord for budget-conscious enthusiasts seeking versatile, room-friendly audio, but audiophiles craving absolute neutrality might look elsewhere. A solid performer with a few forgivable foibles.

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Edifier R1280DBs: Our Take

Edifier has been quietly building a reputation for delivering solid audio gear that punches above its weight class, and the R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers are a testament to the brand's commitment to quality sound. These speakers are an evolution of the well-regarded R1280 series, with the 'DBs' bringing to the table enhanced features that are sure to catch the eye of budget-conscious audiophiles. Out of the box, the R1280DBs speakers exude a refined simplicity, with a classic wood grain finish that would blend unobtrusively into a variety of room settings.

At the heart of the R1280DBs is a promise of convenience paired with performance. These active speakers come with built-in amplification, meaning they save you the trouble and expense of needing a separate amp or receiver. This plug-and-play approach extends to the variety of inputs—including Bluetooth, optical, coaxial, and dual RCA inputs—allowing for a range of connectivity options with your various devices. The Bluetooth feature is particularly notable, enabling wireless streaming with a notable improvement in audio quality over its predecessors.

However, while the R1280DBs may streamline the user experience, they don't skimp on sound quality. Each speaker houses a 4-inch bass driver and a 13mm silk dome tweeter, providing a balanced sound that can surprise listeners with its depth and clarity. The bass is punchy and more pronounced than one might expect from speakers of this size, though true bass heads might still find themselves craving a dedicated subwoofer.

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Sound Performance and Enhancement

The speakers come equipped with a digital sound processing (DSP) and dynamic range control (DRC) to prevent distortion at high volumes—a feature often reserved for pricier models. When it comes to the soundstage, the R1280DBs deliver a reasonably wide and immersive experience for near-field listening, which is a boon for those using them as desktop or computer speakers. Moreover, with the bass, treble, and volume dials conveniently located on the side of the active speaker, users have the ability to fine-tune the audio to their liking.

Still, it's worth mentioning that while these speakers are versatile, they are not without their limitations. Audiophiles with a keen ear might note that the high-frequency range can at times feel a bit constrained, and the midrange, while clear, doesn't offer the kind of warmth and richness found in higher-end bookshelf speakers. These are minor quibbles, however, given the R1280DBs' price point.

Connectivity and Control

The R1280DBs also stand out with their inclusion of a compact remote control, which makes it easy to switch inputs, adjust volume, and control playback without ever getting up from your seat. This is a feature that anyone who has used lesser bookshelf speakers, where all adjustments require a manual touch, will appreciate. The remote is a small addition, but it adds an extra layer of convenience that makes the R1280DBs not just speakers but a user-friendly audio system.

But let's not forget about the competition. When considering the R1280DBs, potential buyers might also look at the Audioengine A2+ for a step up in sound quality, or the slightly less expensive Presonus Eris E3.5, which is another strong contender in the budget-friendly realm. Each of these alternatives provides its own set of features and sound profiles that may better suit different users' needs.

Final Verdict

In the final analysis, the Edifier R1280DBs Powered Bookshelf Speakers offer an excellent balance between functionality, sound quality, and affordability. They're not the end-all for audiophiles seeking the pinnacle of aural experiences, but for the price, they deliver a listening experience that is sure to satisfy most. With the added convenience of wireless connectivity and remote control, they are an attractive option for anyone looking to upgrade their audio setup without breaking the bank. For those on the hunt for an accessible entry point into high-quality audio, the Edifier R1280DBs speakers could very well hit the sweet spot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What connectivity options do the Edifier R1280DBs Speakers offer?

The Edifier R1280DBs powered bookshelf speakers make versatility a key part of their appeal. They come equipped with a variety of connectivity options to ensure they play nicely with multiple audio sources. Notably, they offer both traditional analog inputs, including dual RCA inputs, which allow you to connect them to multiple devices simultaneously. For a more modern twist, they also boast wireless Bluetooth connectivity. This means you can easily pair them with your smartphone, tablet, or computer for a seamless, cable-free listening experience. Whether you're spinning vinyl on your turntable or streaming the latest hits from your smartphone, the R1280DBs speakers have you covered.

Do the Edifier R1280DBs Speakers have any built-in sound customization features?

Indeed, the Edifier R1280DBs speakers come with built-in features that allow listeners to tailor the sound to their liking. They include onboard controls for bass, treble, and volume, giving you the ability to adjust the sound profile according to the genre of music you're enjoying or to compensate for the acoustics of your room. This level of control means that you can dial in the speakers for a warmer sound, a more pronounced high-end, or a flat, neutral response, depending on your personal preference and the type of media being played. The convenience of these controls allows for immediate tweaks, making it easy to get the sound just right.

Are the Edifier R1280DBs Speakers suitable for use with a TV or as part of a home theater setup?

Whilst primarily designed for music enthusiasts, the Edifier R1280DBs speakers are versatile enough to be part of a home theater setup. Their clear, detailed sound makes them an excellent choice for enhancing the audio experience of your favorite shows and movies. The inclusion of multiple input options means they can easily connect to most televisions, and their compact size allows them to fit neatly in most living spaces. Moreover, the wireless Bluetooth connectivity can be particularly handy for a clean setup without the hassle of cables. Keep in mind, however, that if you're looking for a true surround sound experience, you may want to consider additional speakers or a dedicated home theater system designed for that purpose.

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Edifier R1280DBs

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