Edifier R1280T Review: The Best $100 Speakers Fill Your Room

by admin on May 9, 2021

Edifier have proven time and again that they are masters of design without compromise of sound quality. This is helped in part by their acquisition of STAX, the renowned electrostatic headphone manufacturer considered to be one of the greatest in the world. The audio company Edifier likes to tout its R1280T speaker model as “the best $100 speaker” on the market.

Being a bookshelf speaker, the R1280T`s are not as striking as the Image line, of course they were never intended to really draw attention. Instead, they provide a more classic look, with an understated blend of MDF and plastic. The plastic runs down the centre and rear; it feels very sturdy and the dark grey is classier than plain black or white, well matched to the grey grills. The wood looks relatively nice, but the grain is a little artificial and it lacks the feel offered by higher end speakers. There are also small foam feet on the bottom that prevent vibration and wandering as well as protecting the surface upon which the speakers are placed.


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The R1280t`s are an active bookshelf speaker that utilize a dual driver setup comprising of a 4″ bass/full range driver augmented by a 13mm silk dome tweeter for a total output of 42W RMS (21W each speaker). In addition to the front firing, flared bass reflex port, this setups allows the speakers to produce a pretty pleasing sound considering the recommended price. The maximum volume output is similarly impressive, with a full, room filling sound that will easily satisfy most listeners. As a bookshelf speakers without rear bass ports or passive radiators, the sound is very consistent with volume, sounding just as crisp at lower volumes. As a result, they`re also not placement sensitive at all, sounding similar on a desk as on a shelf. Of note, I do prefer the sound without fabric covers and will evaluate the sound with them removed.


The sound produced by the R1280t`s is reasonably balanced but on the smoother, more laid back side of neutral; perfect for easy listening and relaxing but perhaps not ideal for more excitable genres such as rock and pop. It`s a luscious and perhaps surprisingly refined sound when considering the price and one that is well suited towards the intended usage case scenario. With the bass and treble adjustment dials in factory position, the sound is more midrange centric, but the dials offer enough adjust ability to produce a slightly v-shaped sound should you want to listen to the aforementioned genres. Providing 6dB of adjustment in either direction, bass and treble controls don`t make a huge difference to the sound but will provide an extra layer of fine tuning to suit listeners looking for more low end emphasis or treble sparkle. They still don`t really alter the tonality of the midrange nor do they affect extension in either direction.

Heading into the low end, the R1280t`s are lacking sub and low bass in general, but mid-bass is punchy and upper bass is generally well considered. The speakers also produce a full bodied, slightly darker midrange, that is very even throughout, devoid of peaks and any form of harshness. This produces a nice vocal presence; vocals are very clear but sound slightly veiled with the cloth covers. Thespeakers are also well detailed but definitely not aggressively so, the sound is more relaxed. The treble response is a little more laid back as well, with a roll off at the very top. This makes them great for longer listening sessions and background play, but critical listening easily reveals their lack of top end sparkle, regardless of treble adjustment.

Despite the lack of extension in either direction, the R1280t`s have an impeccable soundstage with precise imaging and a strong centre image. Instruments have plenty of space even with the thicker sound of the R1280t`s and placement is quite easily discerned. To my ears, the R1280t`s have a stronger soundstage than Edifier`s Image line of computer speakers that themselves had strong imaging as a result of in-built psycho-acoustics.


Power output:  RMS 21W x 2 (DRC ON)
Signal to noise ratio: ≥ 85 dbA
Frequency response: 75 Hz – 18 KHz (+/- 9dB)
Input Sensitivity: PC: 750 mV ± 50 mV
AUX: 550 mV ± 50 mV
Input type: RCA stereo input (2 sets)
Dimensions: 146 x 234 x 196 mm
Weight: Approx: 4.9 kg


The Edifier R1280T is a good pair of speakers. They offer a good, smooth sound profile, with the extreme frequencies slightly rolled off. They make for a great pair of speakers for listening to music non-stop, as over-analytical sound profiles tend to be fatiguing to listen over extended periods. Build quality is also good, while I would have preferred a more woody-looking finish. Overall, these make for great listening, irregardless if you use these as PC speakers or to amp up the sound from your TV set. If I were to ask for more, it would be support for Bluetooth.

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